Sola Scriptura

I loved Jared C. Wilson's chapter "The Pastor and the Bible."  I highlighted a lot!  Often we can let good things become too important in the church and in life.  This chapter is a reminder that our absolute authority is God's Word and how important the Bible is in our preaching. 

most gospel-centered preachers have an aversion to "how-to" sermons to begin with...Do these things and thereby reap these rewards is in essence legalistic..."How-to" sermons are specifically designed to help people become better Christians.

The long and short of it appears to be that an entire ministerial enterprise dedicated to meeting felt needs, supplying biblical advice, and providing top-notch production values has quietly become a huge success at drawing crowds but a huge failure at what the Bible actually calls the church to do.

Our words ought to stand under Scripture, not vice versa. When we come to the biblical text, it is meant to shape us: we are not to shape it. We are the ones to be malleable, not the Bible.

Good preaching is all about content and posture. By content, I mean, "What is the message about?" and by posture I mean, "How is it about it?"...preaching is proclamation that exults in the exposing of God's glory.

Because the gospel is good news, not good advice, we come proclaiming, "It is finished," not "Get to work."

the church is starving (starving!) for the glory of God...That should be the chief service of our worship services--beholding. Behold our glorious God and his lavishing grace on us in his precious Son...We are aiming for awe of God. Preaching advice is a poor means to that end. We want the Lamb to be beheld, so we must hold him up high and long. We proclaim not helpful hints but eternal visions.

What I remind myself is that we are not charged with creating fruitfulness but preaching the Word. The growth is up to God...The word will not return void in God's time. The gospel will create its glorious disorder among God's people according to the movements of his Spirit...The gospel well preached and applied will make ministry messy. Things will change...while the gospel is creating a safe space...The same gospel that exposes mess creates order...the gospel brings junk up and then sorts junk out.

Legalistic messages predicated on human wisdom are an insidious trick to keep people in bondage. We don't mean them that way, but that is the effect. It doesn't matter if they sound comforting, if we deliver them in blue jeans from stools with lattes in our hands and conclude them with a movie clip. They only prolong spiritual captivity.

Are you going on about the business of religious busywork, as dynamic and heartwarming as it may sound, and neglecting the very power that provides the freedom to run for the prize?

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