For too long we have preached about what people ought to do or what they get from a personal relationship with Christ. This is a great quote about Christ centered preaching. What do you think of what he has to say?
When an appreciation for God’s love despite our sin motivates our obedience to him, then the need to establish our righteous standing by comparisons with others dies. Love for God overflows into the desire to please him by caring for others he loves. Pride and judgmentalism vanish. Christians associate with and aid the needy precisely because grace assures them that they can “afford” to do so. Only Christ-centered preaching produces such fruitful confidence.
Personal resonance with the desires of God lifts the concern of Christians from solely individual interests. The aims of God to redeem his creation, reflect his glory throughout the earth, express his love to all peoples, and extend his rule to every corner of creation become the heartbeat of those whose desire is to fulfill the will of the sovereign Lord they love. This means that much of the individualistic and self-absorbed religion that can be an unintended consequence of overemphasizing a “personal” relationship with Jesus can be undermined by Christ-centered preaching. Proper emphasis on what the Lord has done for us and desires to be done for others raises the eyes of believers beyond the walls of self to consider (and truly love) the underprivileged, unprotected, and unrepentant for Christ’s sake.
Chapell, B. (2005). Christ-centered preaching: Redeeming the expository sermon (Second Edition) (322). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
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