Preaching, God's Channel of Grace

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Preaching, God’s Channel of Grace
9/1/19 GBC
is tracing a chain of necessary events in order for a person to believe on Jesus for salvation. It is stated in the form of an objection. Paul is anticipating objections to his teaching that salvation is free and open but only to those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Word Is God’s Means for Saving Men

Men cannot be saved apart from God’s word! It is an indispensable means of saving men. They cannot believe in Christ if they haven’t heard from him in his word. It’s a growing notion that God is working in every nation through other religions in order to save them, even if they do not know about Jesus. This is against the teaching of scripture and is a fanciful notion, a vain imagination. Any record will show that pagan cultures are not morally advanced places, but they are hotbeds of wickedness. They aren’t growing in righteous deeds, but they live in darkness.
“Nevertheless it remains a fact patent to all eyes that the nations where the Bible is unknown sit in darkness. The absence of the Bible is just as distinctly discernible as the absence of the sun. The declaration of the Scriptures is that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (); and that declaration is confirmed by all history.[1]
So It’s The Word that God uses to Change and Save Men
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
“It is a clear doctrine of the Bible and fact of experience that the truth when spiritually discerned has this transforming power.[2]”

Preaching Is God’s Primary Means of Making His Word Known.

Q. 89. How is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.[3]
It’s not just the reading of the scripture that God uses, but “especially the preaching of the word.” God preaching is his means to save and sanctify men. Every movement of God in history was accompanied with among other things preaching!


Men Need To Be accosted with the Gospel!
Men Need more than a discussion or to have a talk, they need to hear the declaration of “Thus Says the Lord” Men are blind, running along many unconscious of the danger they face and as Whitfield said,” They need a shout to wake them out of the spiritual slumber!”

It is how God speaks to men

-When the Word is preached it is as if God himself were speaking to you
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
For God’s sheep, it’s not the cleverness or winsomeness of the man in there, but in his preaching they hear the familiar voice of the shepherd, they hear their savior speaking to them, they know the words come from him! Have you ever wondered why you love preaching when other’s do not? I don’t mean you enjoy a particular type of performance but you love with the truths of God’s word are read, explained and exalted to you authoritatively? If you love the word and the preaching of the word, it’s because you are a sheep, and Christ’s sheep hear his voice!
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

Preaching as God’s Means to Evangelize

18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The Word is God’s means to save people, he never promises to save any other way. We have no hope of a person being a believer in Christ apart from hearing the preaching of the Gospel. Men who do not hear the Gospel, are separated from the means that Gods has chosen to save. Paul describes such people as in “no hope, strangers to the covenants of promise, without God.”

Preaching as God’s Means to build His Church

11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

The Proper Use of Means

God is the one who saves, it is dependent on him,but he ordinarily works through appointed means. We make no progress without him. “Without me, you can do nothing!” Yet God has told us some of how he plans to help us! It’s no accident when someone becomes a Christian. It’s mysterious, but God has revealed some of what happens when he does save someone. The normal way it happens is through the word faithful preached in the power of the spirit. It’s the ordinary Channel which God gives grace to his people.
The Balance of Dependent Action
“Second, if God chooses, he will endow the means we do in faith with his grace. God does this by His will and sovereign grace alone. Strobel writes, “Our call, in other words, is not to grow ourselves, but to present ourselves to God through the means He has provided. Means of grace are spiritual postures to receive God’s grace.” We would be wrong to assume that these practices are easy; in actuality they require hard work. Many of them, as we know from experience, are deeply trying. They are designed to put us in a spiritual frame that runs contrary to our fleshly dependence and worldly fascination. But they do not, and cannot, grow you. What they ordinarily do is open your soul to receive the grace that alone can transform and beautify.[4]”

Examples of Means

· The Miracle at Cana
· The Lame Man By the Pool Of Bethesda
· Naaman the Syrian and Elisha
-Preaching is only effective as it is accompanied by the Spirit!
We are dependent on God to save anyone, my children, my friends, anyone, but he has told me the way he works to save men!
So God has divinely appointed channels! Places where he has designated that His Spirit works bringing grace to a person’s soul! Preaching the Word is one of those Channels! God doesn’t have to use men in this way, he is not bound to save men in some particular way, but he has declared that this is the way he will save men
Get yourself and your friends under the means God has ordained! Posture yourself in dependence on God! God I desire my friends to be saved, I’m bringing them to hear the Gospel, I’m dependent on you!

This is why preaching is important

“Many things are talked about as necessary for the health and growth of the church today. People talk about certain programs as essential. It is true that they are important. We have such a diversified culture that people have their own individual problems. The family is fragmented, and the kind of reinforcement along Christian lines that ought to take place in homes does not always take place. The church is trying to minister specifically at these points through programs. Still, if you think back to the time of the Great Awakening in this country, you will realize that churches at that time had hardly any programs at all, at least nothing that we would recognize as programs. There were no youth groups, no graded Sunday schools, no bowling leagues, no baseball teams. But those churches were healthy. Why? Because they had the faithful preaching of the Word.[5]”
This is why it’s is never a waste of Church funds to invest in things like theological training for it’s preachers, or in providing resources for the training of it’s pastors. They in the plan of God play an indispensable role in the health and progress of God’s Church.
-Preaching is an Honorable Assigment
Application: That’s why if someone comes and minister’s to us we want to pay them well. Maybe they didn’t preach as well as we’d like, but they are God’s means of speaking to us, not his only means but a primary channel.

Conclusions for Application

1) Recommit yourself to take a posture of dependent activity. Rely on God to work the way he said he would! Commit yourself and your family to be under the preaching of God’s word!
2) Be encouraged that inviting someone to listen to the Gospel preached is not a vain attempt! It’s God’s divinely appointed means for working! Expect that God is going to work in some way to use it to His glory!
3) Allow God to decide what those results look like!
[1] Hodge, C. (1997). Systematic theology (Vol. 3, p. 469). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[2] Hodge, C. (1997). Systematic theology (Vol. 3, p. 477). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.The Importance of Bible Literacy
[3] Westminster Assembly. (1851). The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition (p. 420). Philadelphia: William S. Young.
[5] Boice, J. M. (2008). The Foolishness of Preaching. In D. Kistler (Ed.), Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching (p. 25). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.
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