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John 14:23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’
mikehill4jesus “Seeing their desperate need causes people to love and obey Jesus”
In some people this conviction of their sin is already ripe, and the preacher may at once present Christ, with the hope of their being accepted; but at ordinary times such cases are exceptional. The great mass of sinners are careless, unconvicted, and to assume their conviction and preparedness to receive Christ, and, hence, to urge sinners immediately to accept him, is to begin at the wrong end of our work–to render our teaching unintelligible. And such a course will be found to have been a mistaken one, whatever present appearances and professions may indicate. The sinner may obtain a hope under such teaching; but, unless the Holy Spirit supplies something which the preacher has failed to do, it will be found to be a false one. All the essential links of truth must be supplied.
When the law has done its work, annihilated self-righteousness, and shut the sinner up to the acceptance of mercy, they should be made to understand the delicacy and danger of dispensing with the execution of the penalty when the precept of law has been violated.
Right here the sinner should be made to understand that from the benevolence of God he cannot justly infer that God can consistently forgive him. For unless public justice can be satisfied the law of universal benevolence forbids the forgiveness of sin. If public justice is not regarded in the exercise of mercy, the good of the public is sacrificed to that of the individual. God will never do this.
This teaching will shut the sinner up to look for some offering to public justice.
Now give him the atonement as a revealed fact, and shut him up to Christ as his own sin offering. Press the revealed fact that God has accepted the death of Christ as a substitute for the sinner’s death, and that this is to be received upon the testimony of God.
Being already crushed into contrition by the convicting power of the law, the revelation of the love of God manifested in the death of Christ, will naturally beget great self-loathing, and that godly sorrow that needeth not to be repented of. Under this showing the sinner can never forgive himself. God is holy and glorious; and he a sinner, saved by sovereign grace. This teaching may be more or less formal as the souls you address are more or less thoughtful, intelligent, and careful to understand.
It was not by accident that the dispensation of law preceded the dispensation of grace; but it is in the natural order of things, in accordance with established mental laws, and evermore the law must prepare the way for the Gospel. To overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope, the introduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill the church with spurious converts. Time will make this plain.
The truth should be preached to the persons present, and so personally applied as to compel everyone to feel that you mean him or her. As has been often said of a certain preacher: “He does not preach, but explains what other people preach, and seems to be talking directly to me.”
This course will rivet attention, and cause your hearers to lose sight of the length of your sermon. They will tire if they feel no personal interest in what you say. To secure their individual interest in what you are saying is an indispensable condition of their being converted. And, while their individual interest is thus awakened, and held fast to your subject, they will seldom complain of the length of your sermon. In nearly all cases, if the people complain of the length of our sermons, it is because we fail to interest them personally in what we say.
If we fail to interest them personally, it is either because we do not address them personally, or because we lack unction and earnestness, or because we lack clearness and force, or certainly because we lack something that we ought to possess. To make them feel that we and that God means them is indispensable.
Only those people described by Jesus in John 14:23 can help those described by him in John 14:24.
The foolishness of Churchianity, Christless Christians, is that Sinners remain as described in John 14:24 until they are either saved through the Gospel of Jesus or they die and enter Hell. But how can they be saved through the Gospel of Jesus if their Teachers are not saved through that same Gospel?
3rd July 2017 (12.39) My .mp3 audio Podcast linked to this Blog
Do not study the Holy Bible without allowing the Holy Spirit of God to help you.
Jesus promises the Holy Spirit