Are we preaching Christ or talking about Christ?
“My wife always says the most important thing about the man as a preacher was, you didn’t notice him. He came quietly into the pulpit, started quietly, and then something seemed to happen, and then you became absorbed in what he was saying. . . .
‘We beseech you, in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God’ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Spirit-filled preaching — the preacher is in the background. And something happens. The worshiper, by the grace of God, is being spoken to by God and by the Word of God. So Lloyd-Jones would often say, the difference between talking about Christ and preaching Christ, or talking about the gospel and actually preaching the gospel. It’s a comparatively easy thing to talk about the gospel, but to really preach it is another thing. . . .
So many preachers have to start their sermon with a nice little anecdote or something interesting, to catch people’s attention. That is a condemnation of the whole service. If the service has really been in the presence of God, you don’t need to catch anyone’s attention. . . .
I love that quotation of John Knox. It’s really a definition of the Reformation: ‘God gave his Holy Spirit to simple men in great abundance.’”
Recent 9Marks audio, Iain Murray interviewed by Mark Dever on “The Pastoral Practices of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.”
Are we pastors even thinking in these categories?