Friday, September 21, 2012

Are We Preaching Christ or Talking About Christ?

Sobering words and a great reminder from Ray Ortlund. I always appreciate Ray's zeal for Christ and His gospel to be exalted. Read the original post here. 

“My wife always says the most important thing about the man as a preacher was, you didn’t notice him.  He came quietly into the pulpit, started quietly, and then something seemed to happen, and then you became absorbed in what he was saying. . . .
‘We beseech you, in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God’ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Spirit-filled preaching — the preacher is in the background.  And something happens.  The worshiper, by the grace of God, is being spoken to by God and by the Word of God.  So Lloyd-Jones would often say, the difference between talking about Christ and preaching Christ, or talking about the gospel and actually preaching the gospel.  It’s a comparatively easy thing to talk about the gospel, but to really preach it is another thing. . . .
So many preachers have to start their sermon with a nice little anecdote or something interesting, to catch people’s attention.  That is a condemnation of the whole service.  If the service has really been in the presence of God, you don’t need to catch anyone’s attention. . . .
I love that quotation of John Knox.  It’s really a definition of the Reformation: ‘God gave his Holy Spirit to simple men in great abundance.’”
Recent 9Marks audio, Iain Murray interviewed by Mark Dever on “The Pastoral Practices of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.”
Are we pastors even thinking in these categories?

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