Preach the Word!

The Scriptures just handed me another blade with which to continue my ongoing crusade to reintroduce the Gospel to Evangelicalism. I was listening to the book of 1 Peter on CD, when I heard that Peter writes that we were born again through the living and abiding word of God, he ended the passage clarifying what the “word” is that gave us new life: “And this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25b).

“And this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25b)

I’ve been amazed in the past couple of years how deaf the ears are on which this message falls. The constant reply to my constant pleas that every sermon should always be explicitly built on the foundation of the Gospel of the sinless life of Jesus, the death of Jesus because of our sins and the resurrection of Jesus because those who come to faith are justified is that “we are to preach ‘the Word’.

“And this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25b)

What my dear brethren mean is that we should preach the “whole counsel of God.” We should preach more than just the Gospel, the Bible talks about all kinds of other things than just the Gospel, if we always preach the Gospel, we won’t have time to preach the rest of the Bible. What they miss is that I’m not talking about preaching the Gospel instead of the rest of the Bible, I’m talking about (and so did the Reformers, who recovered the Gospel out of the ash heap of Romanism, the “Founding Fathers” of “Evangelicalism”) preaching all of the Bible in context.

What is the context? The Gospel.

Everything that comes before the sinless Christ crucified and risen for sinners points to and reaches its pinnacle and therefore its ultimate point in the sinless Christ crucified and risen for sinners; likewise, everything that is revealed in Scripture after the sinless Christ crucified and risen for sinners (you know, all that “practical” and “relevant” stuff) flows out of and is built on the foundation of the sinless Christ crucified and risen for sinners.

If we talk about everything that leads up to the Gospel but leave out any explicit reference to the Gospel as the point of that material, and get off on things other than that ultimate point, then we are not preaching the Word.

“And this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25b)

If we talk about all that practical stuff that is built on the foundation of the Gospel and flows from the source of the Gospel, assuming everyone understands that the Gospel is the source, foundation and reason we do these things, then we are not preaching the Gospel, because I don’t care how long people have been involved in church, if they don’t get reminded constantly (in every sermon) that all that stuff they are to do which is taught in Scripture is founded on, has it source in, and is done because of, and by the power of the Gospel, the Power of God for Salvation to Everyone who Believes, then they’re going to wind up doing it by their own power and for their own reasons. And therefore, the Word hasn’t been preached.

“And this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25b).


3 responses

  1. Fundamentally Reformed | Reply


    AMEN! I have not read Bryan Chappel’s Christ-Centered Preaching, but my brother read some excerpts from it to me and I have glanced at it. It sounds like you are in agreement with that book. It seems like a very important book for evangelicalism now.

    I agree, and have recently been thinking and blogging about redemptive historical hermeneutics–which would go along with your point about the OT being gospel focused.

    God bless.

  2. John D. Chitty | Reply

    You got it, Brother!

    Actually, I haven’t read all of Chappel yet; when I found that book, I felt it could do more good in the hands of my pastor. It was my Christmas present to him last year, but I bought it promptly enough to savor it daily until I had to relinquish it to him in church on Christmas Sunday morning.

    However, one interesting twist is that, while I carried it to work with me last year, my charismatic buddy jotted down the title and author and went and picked up a copy of it himself! That was exciting! My friend is well aware that his ministers need to be preaching the gospel without emphasizing all the “blessings” the way they do; you know, prosperity, healing, angelic languages, etc., etc.

    We fellowship almost daily, sometimes we just wallow in mutual belly-aching, but we manage to bless each other regularly around the cross!

    If I could get that guy over the “eternal security” hump, I know he’d join a Baptist church. All that TULIP-sniffin’ stuff’s still a little premature, once he got some orientation on the issue, he moved on.

    I try to remember from where I came and not play the merciless Calvinist bulldog latched onto his heels like a few friends God used in my life a few years ago. I’ll have to share that story with you sometime.

  3. […] the church to do–feed his sheep the Word of God, which Peter would go on to write, “the Word of God is the Gospel which we preached to you” (1 Peter […]

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