The Primacy of the Gospel in our PreachingJuly 18, 2013
The gospel is the treasure of our expositional quest. Charles Spurgeon said, “Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in Him are all things. I take my text and make a beeline toward the cross.” As preachers, we need not dress the gospel up; it needs no decoration. We need not embellish its story; it needs no human sensation. It is not enhanced by personality, oratory skills, or delivery style. The preacher must simply preach the gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only message in history that is not enhanced by the ability or talent of the messenger. Its power resides in simply defining its terms.
The gospel settles the divine quandary of justice and mercy. It unites the holiness of God with the unrighteousness of man. The gospel alters the destinies of the wretched and revolutionizes the course of the continents. It settles the eternal debts of humanity, and promises the glorification of the saints of God. This massive, monumental, magnanimous message has been entrusted to our care. Image such a thing! Our hearts should beat to the sound of the Good News. Our lips should quiver at the opportunity to proclaim its power. Our spirit must leap within us to preach, teach, spread, proclaim, and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not only the theme of our calling; it is the reason for our existence.
Of course we are to preach the “whole counsel of God.” As preachers we are to preach on various subjects ranging from family, feelings, future, finances, and faith. But we must never lose sight that our primary task is to preach the gospel. Kyle Idleman notes, “As a preacher you all too easily find yourself presenting the parts of the Bible that will be more popular. The parts that you don’t think will be as well received are dressed up with creative language in an attempt to try and distract from the offensiveness. Instead of the uncompromised and unfiltered truths from God’s Word, people are given a neutered and more palatable version. In doing so we rob the gospel of its power and the people of the life God has for them.”