June 2014

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 9

Aside from a Holy Spirit produced reformation, what is the church to do in maintaining the centrality of the gospel in preaching and reversing the downward slide towards apostasy? I submit that one biblical text providing an answer is Romans 1:16-17.

Aside from a Holy Spirit produced reformation, what is the church to do in maintaining the centrality of the gospel in preaching and reversing the downward slide towards apostasy? I submit that one biblical text providing an answer is Romans 1:16-17.

In striving for, and guarding the accuracy of, the centrality of the gospel in preaching the church must always delight in the Gospel, remember the power of God is contained in the Gospel, recognize the righteousness of Christ is revealed in the Gospel and live consequentially by faith because of the Gospel.

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 9

Aside from a Holy Spirit produced reformation, what is the church to do in maintaining the centrality of the gospel in preaching and reversing the downward slide towards apostasy? I submit that one biblical text providing an answer is Romans 1:16-17.

Aside from a Holy Spirit produced reformation, what is the church to do in maintaining the centrality of the gospel in preaching and reversing the downward slide towards apostasy? I submit that one biblical text providing an answer is Romans 1:16-17.

In striving for, and guarding the accuracy of, the centrality of the gospel in preaching the church must always delight in the Gospel, remember the power of God is contained in the Gospel, recognize the righteousness of Christ is revealed in the Gospel and live consequentially by faith because of the Gospel.

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 8

The lack of understanding, or the outright rejection of, the sovereignty of God in salvation, his sovereign grace, the reality of God-given faith, monergistic regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the sinner’s repentance from sin, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not only fundamentally undermining the centrality of the gospel in preaching but also has the residual impact of replacing the centrality of the gospel with correspondingly worthless substitutes. In many churches what passes for the gospel is nothing more than what one theologian called “moralistic, therapeutic deism.” The gospel, and the wonderful joy that results from it, has been replaced with a man centered, self-help philosophy that views man as better than he actually is.

The lack of understanding, or the outright rejection of, the sovereignty of God in salvation, his sovereign grace, the reality of God-given faith, monergistic regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the sinner’s repentance from sin, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not only fundamentally undermining the centrality of the gospel in preaching but also has the residual impact of replacing the centrality of the gospel with correspondingly worthless substitutes.

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 7

It is certainly true that the gospel can solicit an emotional response. In writing this, I am reflecting on the past week’s services in which the content of the message of the cross, along with the music supporting the message’s content, brought many attending the services to tears. God has given us the ability to feel, and emotions expressed in praise to God are appropriate. Yet emotionalism, or emotion for the sake of emotion, cannot be the reason we worship.

It is certainly true that the gospel can solicit an emotional response. In writing this, I am reflecting on the past week’s services in which the content of the message of the cross, along with the music supporting the message’s content, brought many attending the services to tears. God has given us the ability to feel, and emotions expressed in praise to God are appropriate. Yet emotionalism, or emotion for the sake of emotion, cannot be the reason we worship.

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 6

In a recent letter, Pastor Dr. John MacArthur wrote, “You cannot deny our world is shaped and driven by emotion. Everything today – from music to entertainment to advertising and even the news – is designed to affect and manipulate our feelings. Facts and objective truth only matter in terms of the emotional response they can prompt from you.”

In a recent letter, Pastor Dr. John MacArthur wrote, “You cannot deny our world is shaped and driven by emotion. Everything today – from music to entertainment to advertising and even the news – is designed to affect and manipulate our feelings. Facts and objective truth only matter in terms of the emotional response they can prompt from you.”

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 5

What are some philosophies undermining the centrality of the gospel in preaching? I submit to you four major perspectives that are attacking the preaching of the gospel: rationalism, materialism, and experiential emotionalism.

What are some philosophies undermining the centrality of the gospel in preaching? I submit to you three major perspectives that are attacking the preaching of the gospel: rationalism, materialism, and experiential emotionalism.

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 4

The worship of God is to be more than the congregation being amused. Worship of God must not be equated with the Tonight Show or Late Night with David Letterman. God is the object of worship and as such, it is to be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Worship is not about amusing and entertaining the masses but rather expressing heartfelt devotion to God reflected in melody and lyric, the observance of the sacraments, prayer, and the expositional preaching of the Word of God: that not only appeals to the emotions, but also to the mind and the will.

The worship of God is to be more than the congregation being amused. Worship of God must not be equated with The Tonight Show or Late Night with David Letterman. God is the object of worship and as such, it is to be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Worship is not about amusing and entertaining the masses but rather expressing heartfelt devotion to God reflected in melody and lyric, the observance of the sacraments, prayer, and the expositional preaching of the Word of God: that not only appeals to the emotions, but also to the mind and the will.

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 3

The centrality of the gospel in preaching that brought an understanding and embracing of the imputed righteousness of Christ to the souls of Augustine, Luther and Wesley is currently under attack. Realistically, the gospel has always been under attack from the sinful and fallen culture.

The centrality of the gospel in preaching that brought an understanding and embracing of the imputed righteousness of Christ to the souls of Augustine, Luther and Wesley is currently under attack. Realistically, the gospel has always been under attack from the sinful and fallen culture. As the Apostle Paul explained in I Corinthians 1:18-30:

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 2

One of the most significant epistles the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write was the Epistle to the Romans. It has been a noteworthy influence throughout the history of the church. One of the most significant reasons for this is that Romans emphasizes the gospel of Jesus Christ from beginning to end, from first to last. The gospel is its central theme.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed  from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1.16-17 ESV).

The Centrality of the Gospel in Preaching 1

Anyone who is familiar with the life of Martin Luther should not be surprised by his affection for the Epistle to the Romans and its stress on the gospel.

Anyone who is familiar with the life of Martin Luther should not be surprised by his affection for the Epistle to the Romans and its stress on the gospel. Regarding his personal conversion to saving faith in Christ, Luther recalls:

THINK AND ACT BIBLICALLY

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