Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Thoughts on Doctrinal Preaching

With the rise of pragmatism in the Western Church, what has been lost has been gospel focused, gospel rich, doctrinal preaching.  One needs only to read the sermons of the Puritans, of Wesley, of Arminius, of Spurgeon, and you’ll see sermons rich in the Scriptures and rich in doctrine.  After all, Paul told Timothy to watch his life and his doctrine closely to ensure both his own salvation and the salvation of others (1 Timothy 4:16).  Doctrine goes hand in hand with “practical Christian living” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Yet sadly we live in an age where churches want results.  They want to entertain the masses, to keep people happy, to keep people coming back to church.  Rather than preaching the gospel and calling people to repent and to love, adore, praise, share, and live the gospel, the modern Church wants to just keep people coming and keep them comfortable.  Lost has been rich doctrinal preaching.  Lost has been teaching people how to study the Bible and apply it to our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17).  Lost has been a focus on Jesus and what He has done but instead we are focused on law teaching that teaches people how to be moral and how to pick themselves up and do what the Church says.  Lost has been a wailing over our sinfulness, recognizing that only through the grace of God can we overcome sin (Titus 2:11-12) and only in Christ can we live the gospel.  Further, lost has been the adoration of our God for His salvation nor for praising Him for His saving us from His wrath in His Son (Romans 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:8).  Lost has been expository preaching where the Word of God and not the opinions of men takes precedence (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

I am not arguing here for dry doctrinal teaching.  I am not arguing for mere academic preaching.  I am arguing for gospel preaching that is passionate for the truth of God.  I want to hear anointed preaching of the Word where the Bible teacher is passionate for the truth of God, where they truly love Jesus and His truth.  I want to hear preachers who fear only God (Luke 12:4-7).  I want to hear preachers who hate sin and want to see the gospel destroy sin in the lives of the people (Galatians 6:7-9; James 1:12-15).  I want to hear preachers who know the grace of God in truth (Colossians 1:6) and who know that only in Christ can we overcome sin and live the normal Christian life (Romans 6:1-23).  I am tired of hearing Mr. Legality in the pulpit but I want to hear the Interpreter who can turn us to the Word and show us that the Christian life is not something we do, it flows from who we are in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 7:1).

We do need doctrinal preaching.  We need to hear teachings on deep doctrinal truths such as the Trinity, the doctrine of God, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Person and work of both of Christ and the Holy Spirit, the truth of salvation, what it means to be sanctified, the truth of sin, heaven and hell.  We have sermon series’ on movies, on families, on secular books, but where are the anointed teachers who will preach the gospel and from the gospel enable us to live lives of holiness?  May God raise them up and soon I pray.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/31/2013 at 10:00 AM

4 Responses

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  1. Your passion is palpable. The Spirit of Christ is alive in you. Reading your posts has encouraged me greatly. I have wept over the condition of the church for years. To find yet another brother or sister in Christ who longs for the Church as Jesus did on the day He entered Jerusalem is good. In the last few days I have read some of your posts and they are good. I know God is wanting me to be an encouragement to you and, in so doing, be encouraged. A few months ago I finally started to seriously investigate what is being written on the internet about the gospel. All of my work for the Lord has been “in the trenches.” That is where I learned the gospel of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” I did not learn it in an organized church or even at graduate school. I have been on sabbatical from full time ministry for about 3 years now, and God has used it to help me work on my relationship with Him in a fresh new way. I have often asked the same questions as you have regarding the failure of believers to champion the real gospel and of the corruption of the gospel message by secularism. We know the “Whys”, but the ache in our hearts is, “What, Lord do you want me/us to do?” I know that is why I am on the internet searching for connections -I am hoping that God will open my eyes and direct me. That is also why I created a website. It is like stepping into the River Jordan at flood stage. My guess is you can relate to what I am saying. So, be encouraged. God abides in you; I “hear” Christ in you.

    elocsivad

    07/31/2013 at 2:43 PM

  2. I just preached 1 Corinthians 1 last Sunday, making the point that if you preach the Gospel no one will come. The Gospel is foolishness and preaching is foolishness. Combine those two and you get a, to all appearances, failure of a church. We should be content to preach the Gospel and let the numbers worry about themselves. Easier said than done when dinner depends on the numbers.

    jeff

    08/01/2013 at 9:00 AM

    • Amen! Glorify God and allow Him to have His way with His Word to save souls. Our focus should be on God.


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