Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | October 7, 2007

Lord’s Day Quote: Michael Horton

It is important for us to realize that preaching is effective not because of the minister or the people, the music, the staging and lighting, dramas, or other means that we might consider more effective than “the foolishness of preaching.”  It is effective because God has promised to dispense his saving grace then and there by his Spirit, and it grows organically out of the logic of the message itself because it is an announcement of something that has been accomplished by God, rather than an incentive to get sinners to save themselves by sheer force of will or effort…

…even the apostolic ministry, says, Paul, depended not on the trappings of glory, excitement, or powers of persuasion but on the gospel proclaimed:  “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor 4:7)…Often, God is not present where we would expect to find him.  But we can always count on God being where he has promised to meet us, amid the chipped cups, half-washed plates, and all.  The power of the Spirit is linked to a promise; namely, a promise that faith comes by hearing the gospel preached (Rom 10:8,17).

We may not feel God’s presence in every instance, and we may not experience his grace in the same measure each week, but the power is in God’s objective promise, not in our subjective apprehension.  As we sit there and are ourselves declared righteous by God in the gospel, we recognize that we are objectively accepted by God even though our experience often seems to tell us otherwise.  While I may not detect “that peaceful, easy feeling,” I can be confident in this:  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we havepeace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into his grace in which we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:1, emphasis added).  It is not the minister or his methods but God and his ordained means that make preaching different from anything else that we might think more creative, relevant and exciting.  “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account” (Heb 4:12-13).

Michael Horton, A Better Way Rediscovering the Drama of Christ-Centered Worship


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