The Glory of Preaching


SOURCE: B.C. Goodpasture, May 1968, Volume XII, No. 9, pp., 429-30.

The Glory of Preaching

by B.C. Goodpasture

There are two basic elements in all gospel preaching: the human and the divine. The gospel, the thing to be preached (Mark 16:15-16), originated with God (1 Timothy 1:11), has to do with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-3; 2:1), as is to be proclaimed by man (2 Corinthians 4:7; 5:19). Preaching as a means of bringing salvation to the lost is a divine provision (1 Corinthians 1:21). The chief glory stems from the divine, rather than from the human element in the ministry of the word. Paul said, “Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of” (1 Corinthians 9:16).

What are some of the things that contribute to the glory of preaching? We suggest:

1. In preaching the gospel there is the glory of an exclusive privilege.
Neither God, nor Christ, nor the Holy Spirit, nor any angel, directly preaches the gospel to man. Christ directed Ananias to Saul (Acts 9:12-15), the angel put Cornelius in touch with Peter (Acts 10:5), and the Holy Spirit sent Philip to the chariot of the eunuch (Acts 8:29). In evangelizing the world, preaching the gospel is the exclusive privilege of man. No angel nor archangel can share directly in this glorious work. Man is permitted to proclaim that message concerning which the ancient prophets searched, and into which the holy angels desired to look (1 Peter 1:10-12). God has committed his gospel to earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). The weight of this responsibility and the glory of this opportunity should humble man and inspire him to do all he can to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ.

2. In preaching the gospel there is glory in the privilege of delivering a dynamic message.
The chief glory in heralding the gospel resides not in the fact that one may thereby entertain or instruct his hearers, but in the fact that he may thereby save them: “The gospel of Christ … is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). In the proclamation of the gospel, man is privileged to deliver the most important message ever heard. He is permitted to engage in the greatest work in the world.

3. In preaching the gospel there is glory in saving the most priceless thing on earth, the soul of man.
It is a matter worth while to save the possessions, the literary productions, and the physical bodies of men. But these are as nothing compared with saving the souls of men. When Paul was planning to visit Corinth, he wrote the church, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15). The Great Apostle was not primarily concerned about the material affairs of the brethren at Corinth. He was interested in their souls. The soul is of inestimable value. Jesus inquired, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Knowles Shaw, “the Singing Evangelist,” said, just before he was killed in the wreck of a train near McKinney, Texas, “It is a glorious thing to rally lost men around the cross of Christ.”

4. In preaching the gospel there is a glory in the prospect of an eternal reward.
There is great satisfaction in bringing light to those who sit in darkness; there is great compensation in seeing those whom we have brought to Christ through the gospel happy in the possession of salvation. But the larger rewards are in the hereafter. Daniel, an exile, by the waters of Babylon, wrote, “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). The glory of the stars in the midnight sky will end with the wreck of worlds and the crash of matter; but the glory of the soul winner is eternal. It is no wonder Paul asked, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glory? Are not ye, before our Lord Jesus at his coming? For ye are our glory and our joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).

Finally, in view of the foregoing considerations, the reader will surely exclaim with the great apostle to the Gentiles, “How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15).

Also found in Gospel Advocate, September 7, 1967.

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Good Question

SOURCE: Wade Webster, The Searcher, March 23, 2008

 

Will Only Those In The Church of Christ Be Saved?

by Wade Webster

 

From one standpoint, this is a very easy question to answer. After all, the New Testament gives a simple and straightforward answer to it. However, from another standpoint, this is a very difficult question to answer. The question is difficult because many are not prepared to accept the answer. The singular answer of Scripture is simply too narrow for many (Matthew 7:13-14). In this study, we want to try to develop the matter in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

 

First, let’s consider the case of Noah, the flood, and the ark.

You will remember that because of man’s wickedness, God decided to destroy man with a worldwide flood (Genesis 6:5-7). Unlike the wicked people around him, Noah was a righteous man who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). Having found grace, Noah was given specific directions for building the ark that would be used in saving him and his family (Genesis 6:14-21). As a righteous man, he followed the directions of God and built the ark according to God’s pattern (Genesis 6:22). When the ark was completed, according to God’s commandment, Noah and his family entered the ark (Genesis 7:1-10). At the appointed time, the rains poured down and the springs gushed forth until the earth was covered with water. The eight souls in the ark were saved (1 Peter 3:20), while the countless souls outside of the ark perished (Genesis 7:21-23). Generally, individuals have no trouble seeing that only those in the ark were saved.

 

Second, let’s consider the children of Israel, the destroyer, and the doorposts covered with blood.

You will remember that because of the cry of His people, God sent Moses to Pharaoh to command him to let His people go (Exodus 4:21-23). Ten plagues in all were brought upon Pharaoh before he would let God’s people leave Egypt. The final plague, and the most severe of all, was the visitation of the destroyer upon all the first-born of Egypt (Exodus 11:1, 5). Only those who put the blood of a spotless lamb upon the doorposts of their houses were spared from this terrible plague (Exodus 12:3-13). Those who did not have this blood upon their doorposts lost their first-born (Exodus 12:29-30). Again, individuals generally have no trouble seeing that only those who had blood upon their doorposts were spared from this plague.

 

Third, let’s consider Christ, the one body, and the blood.

We know that Christ came to redeem us from sin by shedding His blood for our sins (Titus 2:14; Matthew 26:28). We know that it was with this same precious blood that He purchased the church. Paul wrote, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). A similar statement is found in the book of Ephesians. In describing the church under the figure of a bride, Paul said that Christ gave “Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). He would also say that it is over this bride, the church, that Christ reigns as head and savior (Ephesians 5:23, 25). Under another figure, Paul described the church as the body of Christ. he wrote, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). Later, in the book of Ephesians, he was directed to write that there is but “one body” (Ephesians 4:4). Since it is true that there is only “one body” (Ephesians 4:4) and the body is the same as the church (Ephesians 1:22-23), it follows that there is only one church. This conclusion is consistent with everything that we read about the church in the New Testament. For example, Christ used a singular word and not a plural word when promising to build the church. he said, “I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18). After having noticed all of these Scriptures, there can be no disputing that the church belongs to Christ because He purchased the church with His own blood. Likewise, there can be no disputing that Christ is the savior of His body, the church. Thus, it is clear that those who are in the body or the church which Christ built and bought will be saved and those who are outside of it will be lost. Sadly, individuals have more trouble seeing this than the truths noted earlier relative to the ark and the blood upon the doorposts.

 

It is amazing that many who see the singularity of salvation in previous dispensations, miss it in the present dispensation. They see that only those in the ark in Noah’s day were saved and that only those who had blood upon their doorposts were spared in Moses’ day. However, they stumble over the fact that only those who are in the church will be saved in our day. Let’s lovingly (Ephesians 4:15), meekly (1 Peter 3:15), and fearfully (1 Peter 3:15) try to help them see this truth.