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October 19, 2020 4:00 am
Every pastor has so many issues competing for his time.
What should his primary assignment be today on Truth for Life Alastair Begg continues a message. He started Friday originally presented to an audience of church leaders he's talking about the pastoral priority of presenting everyone mature in Christ. Alastair is teaching from Colossians 1 to proclaim Jesus to back up into verse 25 is to make the word of God fully known, it is impossible for us to see the people of God becoming fully mature without eyes making the word of God fully known. And it's important for us to reinforce these things, especially in an opening session like this that right teaching of the Bible always leads us to Jesus and part of our skill in counseling. What are our friends and our loved ones is to be able to take them from where they are and show them through the Scriptures what it means to be in Christ united to him and how all the dimensions of their Christian pilgrimage are ultimately tied to his saving work, our people will not know Christ better without knowing the Scriptures better and it is for that reason that many of us have committed for a long time to make expository preaching of the Bible, the staple diet of our congregation and we will do it.
Hopefully with a humble heart not just a stigma. This phrase from him and him we proclaim him we proclaim when that is actually our focus. It will serve as a safeguard against at least a couple of things. One will serve as a safeguard against preaching ourselves, preaching ourselves for many of us is far too much of the first person in our talks. I wanted you.
Others will come in threes by Albert Barnes where he has a purple passage.
I will read it all is too long, but he he waxes eloquent on the whole idea of preaching ourselves. Ministers may be said to preach themselves in the following ways when their preaching as a primary reference to the advancement of their own reputation. So when we preach and the thought in our mind is due to likely or do they realize how erudite ion or whatever might be when we aiming at exulting any notion of our own authority out of our own influence, or when we proclaim our own opinions rather than Christ or when we put ourselves forward and speak too much of ourselves and in one word really. We preach ourselves when self is primary and the gospel is secondary to keep in mind that notion.
I am here to proclaim you, Lord Jesus is a safeguard against ourselves. It's also a safeguard against is getting involved in emphases that may cause unhelpfully distinctive because it appears we have particular axes to grind. Ian Ian Murray wonderfully helpful when he writes the preaching of Christ crucified to the unconverted requires the presentation of his person. The cost of a substitution for sinners and the immensity of the divine love for sinners. It does not require explanations on the extent of the atonement. On a lighter level and I saw a large man here with Friendship Baptist Church I thought what a nice name for a Baptist Church that I thought that's almost an oxymoron.
In some places and then I can fight confess that is it within the next 10 yards. I did is I and I jokingly say here that we've we've long given up that song.
I'm so glad you're part of the family of God. I will read is saying now. I'm surprised that you're part of the but I was about to mention a Baptist things so that's working to mind so I don't lighter level. You remember the story of G. Campbell Morgan from Westminster Chapel.
He he he used to tell the story of a Baptist preacher who had a fixation with baptism and he referred to it constantly and so one morning he announced his text Genesis 39 Adam where are you.
Then he said we shall follow three lines number one where Adam was number two how he was to be saved from where he was and thirdly and finally, a few words about baptism.
There is so commonplace is so straightforward we might miss him. We proclaim may suggest to us that the best reputation we can have is a faithfulness to Scripture rather than even to a doctrinal position. Remember Spurgeon's opening sermon.
The Metropolitan Tabernacle when he had followed the immense ministry of Gil who was known for his theological erudition and, as Spurgeon stood to address his congregation for the first time. Remember, the essence of his quote was this if I am asked what is my creed. I reply it is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ know him we proclaim the proclaiming of Christ is accompanied or it unfolds with both a negative and a positive dimension you see that him we proclaim, warning or admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom. Now this is something that Paul references frequently in his letters, for example, classically enforce the Thessalonians, he writes to the Thessalonians. Remembering the assessor them. We ask you to respect those who labor among you who are over you in the Lord and who admonished you or who warn you. Paul didn't shrink as some of us are tempted to do from the uncongenial work of rebuking ever in the evil.
Why is it that we are forced to try desperately to pick up so many of the pieces of scattered marriages and broken lives.
Surely part of it and I said, suggesting this is the answer to, but surely part of it has to do with how slow we are on the preventative and in our preaching to warn our people about these things to point out the error of subjectivity.
The evil of subjectivity instead of waiting to all the dozen eggs are smashed on the kitchen floor and then were all running around trying to find a way to reconcile and put the pieces back together again and somebody might come to is justifiably sick pastor why did you never warn me.
Why did you never put up a big sign. Why was your preaching so absent that, admonishing him, of course, some of us on the other side of become such experts at the warning in the admonishing that it would be a happy thing if we were to tone it down just a little bit but the fact is the pathway of discipleship. The track on to maturity strewn with dangers and with temptations and sell them a straight line, visit something on in my life is you charting your course are going on all along and all of a sudden your trip up you fall over your in the whole somebody is poorly allowed, and so on. Peter's classic in that regard is the he didn't even get out of the chapter in Matthew chapter 60 he gets. It starts with an atom boy and then it goes down from there you send a message you said you're the Christ the son of the living God. Excellent work Peter go to the top of the class. Let me explain to you that I'm going up to suffer and to die. Far be it from your Lord, get behind me Satan you're a hindrance to me.
How is your discipleship going Peter fantastic 9 o'clock in the morning full steam ahead 11:20 down in the dumps. Welcome to being a disciple of Jesus.
Our people are living their life. There and we are interested in part with the responsibility of helping them to run that race is amazing. Now that we don't have cards that you don't have to drive by the driver assess thing is supposed to keep you in the lane right and it is a jolly nuisance of a thing. If I borrow the car without it scared me half to death every time I was just going a little off at any and then shovel back over again. But what's that about were trying to keep you alive back that's what it's about.
Part of the ministry of the word of God what you doing to me pastor trying to keep you on the line, trying to keep you there just because you started from the right position doesn't mean that you're still on track. That's what they always say to us, that's what we will stay as well as needed. I never once imagined I would find myself in this position. How did I get here. I never thought this would happen to me seekers. The process whereby we have the privilege of doing what we do is the same process in part, that God has entrusted so as to keep us on the track. We are actually in part responsible for ourselves and we all need to be warned I need to be warned against manifold dangers the peril of prey of greed, laziness, a part of our responsibilities are put on the big signs, why would we ever be concerned when his science is danger in April just around Easter time, a young couple in England. Both of them. 25 school teachers were having holiday on the island of Santorini in Greece and then only being there. I think a day and they took up buggy to go and and explore and the buggy fell 200 feet into a ravine and they were killed instantaneously both the report in the times amongst other things pointed out quotes with no fence or wall on the edge of the cliff to prevent them falling. The couple plunged to their deaths.
The sidebar to it. Interestingly is that in the Times of London. The comments from siblings and parents were quite incredible because they said to the journalist. The depth of our sadness is mitigated by the fact that on this Easter weekend. We know that Jesus Christ is a resurrected Lord and so did Millie and Toby Mason, pastor, why did you put up the fence. Think about our young people about our teenagers how we need fence six for walls, hedges, nods hardhearted admonishments know the kind of thing that is along the lines of Paul to the Ephesian elders in the system is as you know, you remember that for three years I never stop wanting you day and night, but there's not up. After night because there's two more words with tears. With tears we see that is the nature of the admonishing nonjudgmental is not a pooper that is 6 feet above contradicts, but the awareness of the fact that we are in danger ourselves and we are kept by God's grace now. The negative is set beside the positive. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone will need to say a great deal on this. It seems fairly straightforward, doesn't it were saying this is not the way there's danger here is to sing a Crusaders in Scotland. I met Jesus at the crossroads where the two ways meet and Satan too was standing there and he said come this way. Lots and lots of pleasures I will give to you today but I said no there's Jesus here to see what he offers me down here. My sins forgiven up their home in heaven. No, this is a way for me that's what we want to be saying to our folks, pointing them in that direction. Teaching them in that way no one of the inevitable questions that comes to us unless you suggested, since it it almost inevitably does, and we don't always have a good answer up our sleeves will people say well what about teaching and what about preaching is almost Islamist Chestnut isn't civil the distinction is is arbitrary know it's not when you really actually Parsons will discover that the distinction is made.
Not all the time that the distinction is made. So, for example, in acts five. The apostles did not cease teaching and proclaiming Jesus as the Christ. They were teaching and proclaiming Jesus as the Christ. In acts chapter 15. They taught and preached the word of the Lord.
So what are we to do with this was quite simply in teaching as we unfold the Scriptures where aiming to give people an understanding of God's truth, perhaps unfolding the first principle of some theological notion of justification or whatever it might be that is in our teaching than in preaching. We are making an appeal to their hearts.
If you like to their minds to their wills to respond to the word of God that they have now understood as a result of our teaching and I think what people are often suggesting is that there is a form of preaching was just exhorting, exhorting, exhorting, and there is apparently no foundation to it at all because there's no didactic element to it. So people are being asked to respond in a vacuum.
Paul is saying here that if were going to disciple our people ever going to see them go on to maturity, then it's going to involve both warning and teaching and that is a warning in teaching of everyone which calls for considerable wisdom with all wisdom. Wisdom runs through this book. I think for Paul probably has simply in mind is that this wisdom is not as a result of training or on account of our expertise, but rather the wisdom that comes from the fear of the Lord respect for the word of the Lord sensitivity to the spirit of God so that we might then realize that this is something that we are to do for everyone. Teaching everyone. I thought about that in relationship to record that I have a nice note from Luther that I've used in one way, and I want to use it in another way, I've usually use it in a positive way than I thought today and I'm not so sure now you remember this quote I went where Luther had tells this is his colleagues. He says when I preach. I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom I have about 40 in my congregation.
I have all my eyes on the servants and the children and if the learned men are not well pleased with what they hear. Well, the doors open while much godly wisdom is there and that Martin Luther sounds very good doesn't. I don't care about the doctors in the magistrates.
I only care about the servants of the children. Well, you know you can get away with that Luther because he says everyone that includes adulterers in the magistrates and I swear the real skill in preaching comes in is not in interviewing the congregation as I view you now and picking out those who are already on the third stages of anesthesia and decided and decided what are you gonna reach for them and bring them back or just allow them a pleasant afternoon when you see when you see the child that is waned in the watch around his mother's wrist.
Are you unable to say something like that. I remember when I was a nine-year-old boy used to set out there and all of a sudden the boys with what he wanted is for everyone, but everyone I like your archbishop: the late Archbishop of Canterbury on his three PEs in the pew EE was a master of this kind of thing a visit. He was a very kindly man used to say to us. This is what I like to think of I I like to think that I can buy my teaching the Bible give constant advice to the puzzled warm encouragement to the promising and express compassion to the perplexed, for God brings into our care. Men and women, young and old, and all of them at different stages of spiritual experience feeding them proclaiming the whole counsel of God are not ends in themselves. They serve a greater and in just a minute pause with Alistair Begg for a closing order prayer, so please keep listening. This is Truth for Life in today's message is titled presenting everyone mature in Christ. Earlier we heard Alastair remind us that the wisdom of the Bible is for everyone hearing the clear and accurate teaching of God's word should not be an exclusive right available only to those who are able to pay for it. It Truth for Life.
We believe cost should never be a barrier to anyone who desires to learn more about Jesus, about the Bible. That's the reason why every single message you here on Truth for Life can be freely downloaded from our website, or accessed for free through our mobile app.
In fact, right now the complete collection of Alistair's sermons in the pastor's study series is available on a USB drive or on CDs. If you prefer. Either way, you're invited to purchase all eight volumes in this series at our cost without any markup. Simply go to Truth for Life.org and look for the pastor's study series. These free and affordable resources are made possible because of truth partners and listeners like you who give a one time donation to Truth for Life today we'd like to say thanks when you give, by offering a brand-new documentary on DVD. It's called Puritan all of life, to the glory of God over the years critics have typecast the Puritans as a group of joyless loners who kept themselves isolated from the rest of the world. That's an inaccurate portrayal. The Puritans burned with a deep love for God for his word and for his glory regardless of how much you know about the Puritans you will find this film both engaging and enjoyable. It comes on DVD there's a second DVD the comes with that. That includes special features.
There's also a link available if you prefer to stream this documentary, it's yours. When you make a donation to support the ministry of Truth for Life to request your copy of the documentary on the Puritans right now.
Go to Truth for Life.org/donate or call 888-588-7884 if you like to send your contribution along with your request in the mail address your envelope to Truth for Life at PO Box 39000, Cleveland, OH 44139 and now Alastair leads us in prayer.
The moment of silence is even think about that God from all eternity with callers into the ministry of his work so that we might at least aspire to being able to say this is all my business here below to cry. Behold the Lamb forgive us Lord, when we preach ourselves are out of fear of people's faces failed to warn women place them in danger or fail because we like some more than others or can be bothered with another group retrying sites that the everyone that runs three times through these two verses bless us now as we go on through the afternoon for Jesus sake. Amen. I'm Bob Lapine. Every pastor feels the significant weight that comes with the charge to rightly divide the word of truth on Tuesday will hear a message from Alistair Begg that reminds pastors and church attenders alike of the critical importance of proclaiming the truth without compromise. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living