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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Preaching the Gospel

This morning, we continue our series in a study of worship: what it means, why we worship, and how we worship. Last week we talked about the connection between the words for worship and for worthy. Our worship is an expression of our recognition of the One who is worthy: God. Psalm 18:3 describes worship as a calling on the Lord: “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so I shall be saved from my enemies.”

We worship in song, in prayer, in the gathering around the table of thanksgiving, and we also worship in studying the word of God. Just as we talked about various ways that offerings and sacrifices could be brought in a way God does not desire, we also see boundaries and direction for what should be taught in the church. Our messages should not just be life-lessons, personal anecdotes, and a bit of light-heartedness. Neither should they just be the text of the Bible without explanation or application.

Our messages require a number of vital ingredients, both from the ancient world of the text and from the day and age in which we live. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). We must have the text, and we must know what to do with that text (James 1:22). We must have the Scriptures, and we must know how to handle them (2 Tim 2:15).

Our messages must be relatable and clear (1 Cor 9:22). Sometimes, clarity comes with an awakening. Sometimes, it is well-received but at other times, the truth may bring pain (Gal 4:16). However, painful truths give us no right to be hurtful:  “Instead, speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15).

Our messages warn, they give hope, they bring compassion, they offer love, they promise peace. Sometimes, our messages even use words (1 Pt 3:1).

Is your life bringing a Gospel message to the world around you?