Saturday, September 29, 2018

THE PRIMACY OF PREACHING
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Upcoming blogs in this preaching series...
The PRIMACY of preaching
The POWER of preaching
The SERIOUSNESS of preaching
The NECESSITY of preaching
The CONVICTION of preaching


I. THE PRIMACY OF PREACHING
The authoritative declaration from God is rare to come by in these days. In a society where much of professing evangelicalism are looking to learn from the culture rather than to speak authoritative truth to the culture, we have exchanged the truth of God for the scraps of entertainment. So many have given up on the expository preaching of Truth and have instead replaced it with a talk that may last for 20-30 minutes so people can leave and get on with their already busy Sundays. The case is clear. The need is urgent. We must return to the primacy of preaching and uphold the glory of God’s timeless call to preach the Word — and to be ready in season and out of season to declare: “Thus says the LORD!”

The man of God who serves as a pastor must be utterly consumed with one primary task. This is the chief work that He gives himself to. He must tirelessly and joyfully and consistently devote himself and his energies and his time to the steadfast study of Scripture and to importunate prayer to the Lord. This is nonnegotiable. He cannot ignore the commands of GOd. The true minister understands the primacy of preaching and is willing to uphold the centrality of preaching in his ministry.

The minister of Christ lives to please Christ and not man. His ambition focuses on receiving the approval from God and not the accolades of men. He is unmoved by cultural fads and political whims. He is not shaken by political pressures and religious ideologies. He knows the ultimate solution for man’s desperate condition is found in the glorious propitiation of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! As the spiritual soul-doctor, he does not give sick patients what they ask for. He knows what’s best for them and so he gives it to them — even if they may not want it, or like it, or choose it for themselves. He understands that Christ is the healer of depraved and dying souls. He knows the gospel is the only remedy that can save, sanctify and change men. He believes in the power of grace, the glory of God, the wonder of regeneration, and the sovereignty of the Spirit. He marvels at the sweetness of Christ, the hope of Christ’s substitution, and the nearness of eternity.

When God calls a man he bids the man to die to his own expectations, ambitions, goals, and laziness. The man of God must busy himself with Christ, with prayer, with study, and with souls. He is a man on mission with the Word of God in hand and with an eye toward eternity. He knows that God has called him to preach the Word of God. And if the almighty King of the universe has called him to such a noble task, no other enchanting delight should distract him from his ultimate purpose. To be called to preach demands serious study, a serious mind, serious praying, and a serious mindset. That serious mindset includes the notion that eternity is soon-coming. Souls are hanging over eternity — some are headed to glory, by God’s sovereign grace, and many others hang over the flaming pit of hell and will be cast there at the very instant of death, unless God mercifully saves them. Life is short. Eternity is long. Death is imminent. Souls are valuable. The pastor knows this and thus he is a sober-minded man.

Life isn’t a game. Ministry isn’t a game. The Church is not for entertainment. This is why the true minister of the gospel gives himself to the primacy of preaching. His calendar is primarily consumed with study of the Truth of Scripture — the truth that saves souls and sanctifies God’s children — and with the prayer for God’s help. This is the man who understands that when the Church gathers, He must feed the people of God with the deep things of God from the Word of God pointing to the gospel of God with full confidence in the power and Spirit of God. He knows that everything he does in life and in ministry must take second place to the primacy and preeminence and centrality of the authoritative preaching of the Word of God.

This is the minister of the gospel who understands God and who understands Truth and who understands the calling to preach. May God raise up more men by the thousands who are relentlessly committed to the primacy of expository preaching.

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