Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2.10
The Christian Ministry: Part VI, chapter IV
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“To inculcate Christian duty upon the basis of Christian doctrine – to represent it as the natural exercise of gratitude for redeeming love – to exhibit the operation of heavenly motives flowing from the doctrine of the cross – to mark the union of the soul with Christ, as the only source of holiness; and to trace the acceptance of the fruits of this union solely to His atonement and mediation – this was the apostolical – the only efficient – system of practical preaching; this is raising a holy fabric upon the only ‘foundation laid in Zion.’”
Preaching must be unto something, some eager act of obedience springing from a soul filled with gratitude and light. Preaching for its own sake – just to proclaim the doctrine – is not the point; the point is discipleship. The point is healthy, growing churches. The point is Kingdom progress. The point is God being glorified in every area of life. Here the preacher must guide and direct – lead – the flock of God. The soul brought into union with Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Word will be hungry to express that union in immediate acts of joyful obedience. Our task is to point them in the right way, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, every next step of joyful obedience. But to do this, a preacher needs to know his sheep, as Jesus explained, so that he understands precisely the next steps that will lead to “the natural exercise of gratitude for redeeming love” in every one of the saints entrusted to his care.
Doctrine, gratitude, obedience – are you careful to hold these three together in all your preaching and teaching?
T. M. Moore
Fan into Flame
As shepherds of the Lord’s flocks, we need to make sure we’re actually doing the work God has appointed to us, especially where the Word of God is concerned. Our handbook, Fan into Flame, provides a concise overview of the shepherd’s ministry of the Word, and includes helpful self-evaluation tools, so you can discover areas of needed improvement. Order your copy by clicking here.
Pastoral Hope Initiative
Does it seem that pastors have given up hope of seeing the Kingdom in their community? Do we really expect to see the goodness of the Lord – and His beauty and truth – in the land of the living? In the land where we live? Or is a vision of the church merely one of perpetuating the status quo indefinitely into the future? Where are you in your walk with and work for the Lord? The Pastoral Hope Initiative provides a series of assessments to help you determine where you and your church stand at this time, and how you might begin to move toward a more Kingdom-advancing future. Watch this brief video to find out more.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.