Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Consequences of Failing to Preach Christ (Part 1)

Continued from HERE.

Q: If a conservative preacher does not preach Christ, then what does he preach instead?
A: The commands or examples found in Scripture.

And preaching the commands or examples leads listeners to either unnecessary self-condemnation or unwarranted self-commendation.

C.J. Mahaney writes about unnecessary self-condemnation in "Unloading Condemnation: How the Cross Removes Guilt and Shame" [C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2002), 36-44]. Mahaney notes, "Without Jesus, we all deserve to be condemned and punished for sin. But in Romans 8:1 the Bible tells us, 'There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.'"

Hearing the commands and examples of Scripture can bring a person under right condemnation as that person realizes that he or she does not measure up to God's holy standards. But without mention of the Jesus Christ- and specifically His work on the Cross- the person is left under condemnation and with no hope. The preacher may encourage hearers, 'You need to do this or follow this example,' but hearers, if honest, will quickly realize that they fall short of the commands and examples found in the Bible. That is why the Jesus must be preached: so that people may look to the One who has dealt with our condemnation, taking our guilt on Himself as He died on the Cross, and showing that He has conquered our condemnation as He rose from the grave, offering forgiveness to all who believe in Him.

Condemnation is real but it is unnecessary in light of Christ.

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