Last week I discussed the reasons for this series on Calvinism on Fire and argued that Calvinism changes culture, tilts world-views, and is at its best as a culture-changing, world-tilting, & burns uncontrollable for the cause of Christ. Now I will argue this is true in ten ways. So keep your seat belts on and tray tables in the upright position.
One of the major contentions of the Reformation was that preaching is one of the marks of the true church. So if you find a church with solid exposition of God’s word you will inevitably have found the body of Christ.
It’s not just any old preaching. It’s not self-help preaching. It’s not motivational preaching. It’s not moralistic preaching. It’s not storytelling preaching. It’s expositional preaching. It’s thus saith the Lord. It’s authoritative because it’s bound to the text.
We need a major reformation in this regard in our churches today. If you look at many of the largest and most popular churches today, many of them fall into the self-help, motivational, or moralistic therapy category. Few faithfully unearth what the word of the Lord means. Few faithfully point people to Christ beginning at Moses.
In this regard, the reasons for this decline in faithful exposition goes back to the first two points of this series. If you are passionately pursuing God’s glory then you are not seeking to make yourself or your congregants the heroes of the story; you realize intuitively that Jesus is the hero. He’s the focus.
And if the gospel is of first importance then nothing else will be king of the mountain at our churches. Christ living perfectly, dead in our place, and alive for our santification will be our battle cry.
Preaching is deemphasized in our current culture. Music is king now. When people are searching for a church, I rarely hear them talk about looking for solid expositional preaching and frequently hear them talking about the style of music. The style of music should matter less than the content of the music and even less than the content of the preaching. You can also see this, as Carl Trueman pointed out, when churches are willing to broadcast the preaching but unwilling to do so with the music.
We must return preaching to its primary position--because God speaks to us through his word and because without the word of God there is no gospel and no power through the Spirit for Christian living.
Pastors, heed the words of Christ, “Feed my sheep.”