Friday, June 14, 2013

Preaching Christ... Steven Lawson's new book.

"I take my text and make a bee-line to the Cross," 
Charles Spurgeon on preaching. 

"I preach as though Christ were crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today 
and is coming back to earth tomorrow!" 
Martin Luther on preaching. 

This book by Stephen Lawson spreads a grand and Biblical vision for preaching Christ 
and Him crucified. Listen to a few quotes from this book, first, why Christian preaching must be preaching Christ, because Christianity is Christ:  
"The essence of Christianity is centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The sum and substance of being a Christian is trusting Christ with the entirety of one's being. The height of the Christian life is adoring Christ, the depth of it loving Him, the breadth of it obeying Him, and the length of it following Him." 

"Simply put, God honors the preaching that honors his Son. If our proclamation departs from this glorious focus, the blessing of God will be far from it. God will abandon the preaching that abandons Christ."

"Great preachers always preach Christ. Wherever they may be weak, 
they must always succeed in proclaiming the matchless greatness of the Lord Jesus.
 Regardless of the culture in which they serve, the expectations of their listeners, 
faithful preachers are committed to upholding the unrivaled supremacy of 
Jesus Christ in His saving death."

How on earth do I review a book that just needs to be read? 
This book reminds me why we listen to sermons and preaching in the first place:
 to hear about Christ, to exalt Him, to learn about Him.
All the other benefits come because each verse is a road that leads to Him!

Perhaps the idea that hit me the hardest was the truth that we continually need 
to hear Christ and His full work preached. 
I mean, I used to think that the "Easter story" should only be preached at Easter. 
And Luke Two was great at Christmas but surely wouldn't you get odd looks if you read it any other time? In other words, I didn't understand that the full work of Christ needed to be proclaimed all year, every year. 
It is way too easy to put Christ's work on the cross out of your mind after you are saved, to think "I don't need to hear that again every week... we can move on to other topics." But there is no other Biblical topic that doesn't lead back to Christ and His work, His Glory, His Love! 

I want to thank Harvest House for my review copy of The Kind of Preaching God Blesses.
Steven J. Lawson is the senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the Long Line of Godly Men series. He also serves as Professor of Preaching at The Master’s Seminary and a Teaching Fellow at Ligonier Ministries and Visiting Professor in the Doctor of Ministry program at Ligonier Academy.

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