Just Keep Preaching

It is impossible for men to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ by themselves (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 3:10–12; Eph 2:1–3), even though it is required of them (Acts 17:30). God’s employment of a preacher, to proclaim His message, does not transfer power of conversion to His herald, either. It is the work of God for men to believe (Jn 1:13; 6:29; Phil 1:29).

Preaching for quick conversion, using abbreviated sermonettes, is a modern-day aberration. Blessed is the man who sits under an expositor of the Scriptures, for an elongated period of time. The preacher of the text will also be a teacher of doctrine. By moving through books of the Bible, verse by verse, both the scope and variety of biblical doctrine will become apparent.

People in the pews are not clamoring for difficult doctrines: sin; the plight of totally depraved humanity; eternal punishment in everlasting hell; reprobation; etc. Still, it behooves every true Gospel preacher to visit these doctrines with some frequency, to keep the right understanding of them fresh in the hearers’ minds.

Preachers of bad news will never need gimmicks to accompany the Gospel, much like the surgery patient need not know the piano prowess of the physician. Doctors inform patients and bring remedy. Preachers inform their hearers and bring Christ. Thus, there is no such thing as, “a Gospel sermon,” or “an evangelistic sermon.” Jesus Christ is the Gospel, and the knowledge of Him is what evangelizes hearers.

The scope and understanding of the Person and work of Jesus Christ is very broad and very deep. Still, for us to know God is to know our salvation. It begins with the fear of the Lord (Prv 1:7), which requires a thorough study of man, sin, Law, death, judgment, Trinity, salvation, and the end things. In other words, salvation requires a right and thorough understanding of Christian doctrine.

Preachers must present the whole counsel of God from the whole of the Bible. Imagine a huge jigsaw puzzle and two people working in the pieces. One knows the big picture (preacher) and the other does not (hearer). If the one in the know repeatedly depicts only one corner of the whole puzzle, over and over and over again, there will be a great disadvantage to the other. The whole Bible is the whole Gospel. We must set a course to see the whole story.

Repetition is a vital teaching method, but once a concept has been grasped, it can be dealt with more quickly and efficiently with the same group of hearers. Blessed is the teacher with the same crew of hearers for the long haul. They will find mutual blessing from one another’s presence. Thus, we need repetition, new subjects (doctrines), and long periods of cementing the whole content corpus.

By way of illustration, the seminary I attended for four years endeavored to teach all sixty-six books of the Bible during each student’s tenure. It was like a whirlwind traveling through the pages of Scripture, in that brief period of concentrated study, but it gave me perspective. The task is mighty, but God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). Pilgrims must begin at the beginning, and then, they must redeem the time remaining.

Jesus Christ sits at the center of every episode of learning. To learn Christ is to know God, and to know God is to be saved. Every doctrine is a spoke to this hub, offering a different angle, to see yet another dimension of the majestic God-man.

Sin helps us see our need for a Savior. Grace teaches us that God has done everything to secure the salvation of His chosen people. The Day of Judgment has a perspective to give us on Christ, our Judge, and the ramifications of condemnation. Recognize that everyone you encounter, today, either has the Spirit of Christ or does not have the Spirit of Christ — and yes, this adds perspective on why people do what they do in the world.

We must emphasize that there is no set formula for evangelism. There is also no identical time frame, for sinners to be exposed to the Gospel, before God grants them regeneration and conversion. Obviously, some will sit in church their whole lives and never get these blessings from God (Mt 7:21–23).

Salvation is predetermined in eternity past (Acts 2:23; Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4–5). It is executed in time by Christ’s advent, and it will be consummated at His second advent. The Spirit has been at work securing the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Christ), both Jew and Gentile, from the death of Abel, forward.

The preacher’s task is to magnify Christ and honor God, by proclaiming the glories of God’s attributes and to tell of His mighty works. Both sinners and saints will hear of His excellencies. The sinner will either be hardened or converted, depending on whether God has mercy or not (Rom 9:15–16). The saint will grow in accordance to the plan of God for her, and each of her days are known to God (Ps 39:4–5; Ps 139:16), even being directed by Him (Prv 3:4–5; Jn 16:13).

Stewards of the Gospel must be found faithful, and they are wise to pray toward that end. There is no competition in Christianity, as God is working His holy will. With no programs, methods, or required modules, Christians are wise to thank God for the means of grace, by which they grow into conformity to Christ (Rom 8:29). This ever remains a work of the Holy Spirit, employing the Word of God, in His chosen place for you, and at His chosen pace.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

July 12, 2022

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Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher