Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Why I still Preach the Word by MacArthur
1. Because the Message of God's Word is Timeless and Truly Powerful.
A primary reason that I still preach the Bible is that this alone is God's eternal divinely empowered message. Forty years of ministry could never exhaust it, either in terms of its freshness and richeness, its depth of teaching, or its ability to impact lives. God's Word is timeless and no matter how culture changes God's Word never does.
Scripture is powerful because, unlike man-made programs and solutions, the Bible is empowered by God Himself. There have always been men in pulpits who gather crowds because they are gifted orators, interesting storytellers, entertaining speakers, dynamic personalities, shrewd crowd manipulators, rousing speech makers, popular politicians, or erudite scholars. Such preaching may be popular but not necessarily powerful. No one can preach with power who does not preach the Word. And no faithful preacher will water down or neglect the whole counsel of God. Proclaiming the Word- all of it- is the pastor's calling.
2. Because God's Word is the Good News of Salvation.
A second reason to preach the Word is that Scripture alone unfolds God's plan for salvation. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68
Why would I ever go anywhere else for spiritual answers than to the inspired revelation of Jesus Christ. Scripture reveals the Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). I certainly don't have the words of life, neither does anyone else. Only He does.
The Bible makes it clear that, no matter what people's felt needs may be, their real need is for forgiveness and salvation from sin so as to escape eternal hell and enter the bliss of heaven. A fulfilled life, a happy marriage, a loving friendship, a successful career-- those "needs" pale in comparison with the eternal issue facing every human being.
The Bible also makes it clear that genuine belief include more than mental assent. Biblical faith is more than just a "profession of faith"; it is a change of allegiance- from the mastery of sin to the lordship of Christ. As a preacher, it certainly would be convenient for me to preach a gospel that says, "If you've ever made a profession of faith in Jesus, then you're saved, even if there is nothing in your life to validate that claim." But I can't do that, because that's not the true gospel. The true gospel repeatedly commands true believers to repent and tells us that, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."