Failing to Preach Christ (Continued)Friday, March 04, 2005
Picking up from where we left off yesterday, the reason why preaching is deficient when it does not honor the proportion of other truths to its heart in the gospel of Christ is because believe in that gospel is at stake. If we fail to present the truths in their proper proportion, then what we are asking people to believe in? If Christ and Him crucified is not high and lifted up, then we are asking people to believe in whatever else it is we preached. So if they believe in something other than Christ, doesn't that mean their salvation is at stake?
"You may preach all of Christ's work as well as hi Person, and all in due proportion of parts, and yet some other vital truth essentially connected, may be so disproportionately presented as to create in the whole a most important defect. You have exhibited the foundation which God hath laid in Zion. The question remains, how the sinner is to avail himself on that foundation. He is to build thereon. But how? The Apostle answers, 'He that believeth on him shall not be confounded.' We build by faith. We cannot preach Christ without preaching on that by which we become 'partakers of Christ.' Confusion, indistinctness, feebleness, deficiency there [in the matter of belief], must produce the same effect throughout the whole gospel.
"If faith, in its nature, office, efficacy, and distinctive operation and fruits, be kept in a place so obscure, so subordinate, or taught so confusedly, that either it is wholly out of sight or hid in a crowd of other things, placed in the outer court of the temple instead of immediately by the alter of sacrifice, as the one instrumentla grace by which the sinner partakes of the 'Lamb of God'; if the works which are its fruits, be so confounded with itself that the grace by which we are 'rooted and grounded' in Christ is made of no more influence in our participation of him than the several works of righteousness which grow out of its life, and follow upon the participation of Christ through its agency - then is the relative adjustment of truth most seriously spoiled and deformed" (pp. 15-16).
May the Spirit of Christ convict us of elevating subordinate truths to the level of gospel of Christ. May the Father forgive us for preaching in such a way that the gospel has been clouded or completely neglected, so that we have led many to come to believe in something other than Christ. May the Spirit of wisdom give us the guidance to know how to correct these errors and help those souls whom we have unwittingly led astray.