Thursday, February 09, 2006

Preaching the Bible verses Preaching the Gospel

I can preach the Bible and never preach the gospel.

The most egregious example of this error is found in groups such as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. They have Bibles. They use Bibles. They do not preach the gospel.

But a more subtle expression of this occurs among evangelicals/charismatics. It happens when we use the Bible as a source book for living. Sounds good doesn't it? But this creates two problems.

First, we can give practical help on how to live, but without wrapping around it the gospel of grace it simply turns into the Law -- albeit the Law with a smile -- but the Law nonetheless.

Second, it makes preaching about us. We go to the Bible seeing its primary agenda as helping me. But the primary agenda of the Bible is to lift up Jesus that all peoples might glorify his name.

Preach the gospel -- Jesus Christ and him crucified. That is our call preachers.

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