We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to Preach the Gospel

The Scripture lasts down quite plainly not only that we are to preach the gospel, the true message, but also how we are to do so. It tells us that we are to do so with “sobriety” and with “gravity,” in fear and trembling, in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” and not with “enticing words of man’s wisdom.”  But today evangelistic methods which are a flagrant contradiction of these words are justified in terms of results.  “Look at the results,” men say.  “Such and such a man may not conform to the scriptural method, but look at the results!”  And because of “the results” the plain dictates of Scripture are put on one side.  Is that believing the Scriptures?  Is that taking the Scriptures as our final authority?  Is not that repeating the old error of Saul, who said, “Yes, I know, but I thought it would be good if I did so and so.”  He tries to justify his disobedience by some result he is going to produce.  We Protestants, of course, hold up our hands in horror at the Roman Catholics, especially the Jesuits, when they tell us that “the end justifies the means.”  It is the great argument of the Church of Rome.  We repudiate it in the Roman Catholic Church, but it is a common argument in evangelical circles.  The “results” justify everything.  If the results are good, the argument runs, the methods must be right—the end justifies the means.  If you want to avoid terrible disillusionment at the day of judgment, face Scripture as it is.  Do not argue with it, do not try to manipulate it, do not twist it;  face it, receive it and submit to it whatever the cost.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,” volume 2, p.280


Robyn Base said...

Thank you for posting MLJ's writing. I had never read or listened to him before reading you blog.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Robyn,

He was an excellent teacher (if you ignore the "reformed" theology he espoused), and I had many of his books, but recently have passed most of the to another fan of his.

Anonymous said...

The Demonstration of the Power of God - the Gospel 1 Cor.
Years ago a man said to me that he witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit as his rock band began to play in the main street. He said, as he began to play riffs on his guitar, the Holy Spirit drew people to listen. However, I'm very sure that the demonstration of the power of the Spirit is not by means of fleshly human effort to convert people using gifted and charismatic speakers, emotive music and comedy, a display of human talent to appeal to the emotional senses. Because this is not the gospel preached by the apostle Paul.
In chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians, Paul is explaining to the Corinthians that the power of God is not about wise or persuasive words, nor miracles, as he said, ‘I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.’
So, what is the ‘demonstration of the Spirit’s power’ that Paul is talking about?
It is the simple message of the cross, the gospel.
Paul says, ‘Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the gentiles.’ 1Cor.1:22 and ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ 1Cor.1:18
And again in Romans 1:16, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’.
This demonstration of power that Paul speaks of is the message of the word which is able to save those who believe but is foolishness to those who are perishing. It is the power of the Holy Spirit to take that which is both simple and foolish to the world, the message of the gospel, and have it understood by those who have ears to hear. This is the demonstration of the Spirit’s power! It cannot be demonstrated any more highly than this.
To the world we are despised like mere foolish sheep following after our shepherd. Let us be content in that. But not only be content, let’s rejoice in this because, indeed, this is the demonstration of the power of our God.