A Late Thursday Afternoon Teaser
"As stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we do no service to men by making light of sin, skirting around the issue, or avoiding it altogether. Men have only one problem: they are under the wrath of God because of their sin. To deny this is to deny one of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity. It is not unloving to tell men that they are sinners, but it is the grossest form of immorality not to tell them! In fact, God declares that their blood will be on our hands if we do not warn them of their sin and the coming judgment. To seek to preach the gospel without making sin an issue is like trying to heal the brokenness of people superficially, saying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace."
"The gospel preacher must inundate men with the love of God. Men must know that it is not their merit or virtue but God's love that moves Him to give Himself freely and selflessly to others for their benefit or good. They must know that His love is much more than an attitude, emotion, or work. It is an attribute, a part of His very being or nature. God not only loves--He is love. He is the God of love. He is the very essence of what true love is, and all true love flows from Him as its ultimate source. Men must know that it would be easier to count all the stars in the heavens or each grain of sand on the earth than to measure or even seek to describe the love of God. Its height, depth, and width are beyond the comprehension of even the greatest and most discerning creatures."
"The Scriptures declare that Christ became sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. On the cross, God caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him, and God treated Him severely, as though He were guilty of the sins He bore. He was forsaken of God, smitten of God and afflicted, crushed for our iniquities, and chastened for our well-being. He bore the divine curse and suffered the wrath of God that we evoked with our sin, and yet, by His suffering, the debt we could not pay was paid in full. Consequently, the believer is now declared righteous and receives the infinite and immeasurable benefit of that righteousness--God treats us as sons! This is an amazing truth that will transform the way in which the believer sees himself. We are the beneficiaries of the great exchange, "the just for the unjust."
"Denying Christ's resurrection--or even treating it as a nonessential-- devastates genuine Christianity. However, those of us who believe the doctrine and seek to faithfully proclaim the gospel can also practice something of a lesser evil: neglecting to give the resurrection its rightful place in our preaching. This great doctrine is not something that we should merely tag on to the end of a lengthy sermon on the cross, but it should be given equal prominence with the cross. A thorough survey of the apostles' preaching in the book of Acts will demonstrate that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was the primary theme of their gospel. It was not a message brought out of the closet one Sunday a year at Easter. It was the unrelenting victory chant of the early church!"
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