"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"
Kerygma - The Call to Faith
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2009
'Jesus said to him (Peter), "Feed my sheep."' - John 21:17
'I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.' - 2 Timothy 4:1-2
'The direct result of our having become thus cool and blasé about preaching is that we look for too little to happen through sermons, and we should not wonder that God deals with us according to our unbelief.' - J.I. Packer, The Preacher and Preaching, p. 5
'Good theology always has pastoral implications.' - T. D. Alexander, From Eden to the New Jerusalem, p. 11
'Faith is not built by preaching introspectively (constantly challenging people to question whether they have faith); faith is not built by preaching moralistically (which has exactly the opposite effect of focusing attention on the self rather than on Christ, in whom our faith is placed); faith is not built by joining the culture wars and taking potshots at what is wrong with our culture. Faith is built by careful, thorough exposition of the person, character, and work of Christ.' - T. David Gordon, Why Johnny Can't Preach, pp. 75-76
The primary charge given to pastors is to faithfully preach by declaring the kerygma (the gospel message) and to call people to faith. Every Sunday the responsibility of pastors is to issue a divine summons. Even in light of the hours of message preparation, the message is not grounded in the abilities or creativity of the pastor; the message is grounded in the revelation of God to His people, the God who issues the summons to faith. The message is to declare the person, character, and work of Christ and issue a call to believe; and, insofar as pastors are faithful to declare this message, pastors are being faithful to their calling. It is entirely appropriate for church members to hold their pastors accountable to this task, because to fail in this duty is to cause harm to the church and the pastor and, ultimately, to the cause of Christ. May God give us all a love for the preached Word and the call to believe.