Thursday, March 12, 2009

Brief Thoughts on the Goal of Preaching, no. 2

Yesterday, I started reflecting on what is the goal of preaching. I tried to say there that the goal was to enter into the work that the triune God is already doing in the midst of his people. That is to say, the work belongs to God and our sufficiency for that work, as ministers, is from God (2 Cor 3:5).

A second angle on this question, though, could be put this way: one of my key goals in every sermon is that people leave with a greater delight in the God who has come near to them in Jesus Christ. And so, 1 Peter 1:8-9 is very important: "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not ow see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

If people truly meet with the triune God in their midst in corporate worship and hear his word of grace; if they truly understand the depths of the riches of the grace of God in Jesus; if their affections are stirred by the Spirit to savor this grace and the God of this grace; and if they are taught to hope in God as that one being of surpassing worth....

then they will delight in God. They will serve God with passion and excitement because such a God is worth serving and glorifying. The root attraction of sin will be severed because such a God is far better and his pleasures (Psa 16:11) are far more satisfying than sin's pleasures. They will delight in each other and in God's world (Psa 16:2) because God is their greatest good. 

And so, my prayer Sunday by Sunday is that God's people will leave the sanctuary of God having tasted and seen that God is that good (Psa 34:8).

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