When preaching is moralistic rather than Christ-centered hearers who possess a seared conscience may develop an attitude of self-righteousness: according to their judgment they are adequately living by God’s rules. Faithful believers with tender consciences may despair because they know that they constantly fall short of God’s standard. In other words, preaching bare moral truths (moralisms) often drives people away from fellowship with Christ.

 

Did Jesus perform miracles, cast out demons and prophesy by the working of his divine nature or by the power of the Holy Spirit? The answer to this question might surprise many in modern Evangelical and Reformed circles. For years, I responded to that question by saying something like, "Of course, Jesus worked all his extraordinary works of power and prophecy by the working of his divine nature! After all, he is God manifest in the flesh."

 

Satan doesn't mind expository preaching as long as it misses the main point of God’s word; in fact, Satan himself engages in a form of expository preaching and encourages that form of biblical exposition to be practiced as a means of his deception.

 

We often express high esteem for great pastors and missionaries who worked themselves to death because of their willingness to give up personal health and wellbeing for the work of the ministry, but rarely stop to consider how much more useful they could’ve been for the sake of the Kingdom if they had a recreational hobby. I’ve lost count of the number of pastors who have bragged to me that they haven’t taken a vacation or even a day off for many years.

 

Everyone packages knowledge. The preacher who finds an illustration and uses it repeatedly must surely find it to be the best wrapping for truth. The theologian who popularizes a pithy saying does so in order to package the essence of some biblical doctrine. The novelist who reintroduces a theme throughout his or her writing is convinced that it is the best wrapping with which to package a narrative. The innate urge in each of us to package knowledge simultaneously reveals our finitude and that we are seeking an all-encompassing idea.