I am scheduled to preach this Sunday morning – yippee! Opportunities have been scarce of late, so my heart is thrilled to once again have the sacred honor of feeding God’s flock from His Word. Of course, for someone such as myself whose preference is always expository preaching, verse-by-verse, passage-by-passage through books of the Bible, having to just “figure out” what text to preach is somewhat intimidating! How do you topical preachers do it? :-0 How did Spurgeon do it? I’m just not that creative!
One thing is for sure, any man who fills a pulpit has nothing of eternal value to offer listeners apart from the very words of our God as recorded in the Bible. This is why exposition – the explanation of the text’s meaning and the application of its timeless truth – is so very critical to the life of a church. God created by His Word (Gen 1:3). God saves us by His Word (Romans 10:17; James 1:18). God sanctifies (grows us more like Christ) by His Word (John 17:17). Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). One can quickly get the idea from Scripture that the Word is important!
Indeed, the Word is important. And this Sunday, Lord willing, I will expound on a passage that leaves me awe-struck every time I read and study it. The passage is 1 Peter 1:8-16. In a nutshell, Peter tells us this gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus was sought after intensely by the grand old saints of Old – men like Moses, Samuel, David and Isaiah. Pious woman of old like Esther and Ruth no doubt wished for their eyes to behold Messiah. Yet, it was not God’s plan to send Salvation to walk the earth during their lifetimes.
This salvation God brings to undeserving sinners like us is so glorious that Peter says the angels are bewildered by it! Say what? Angels? Like those men in white robes that have unbelievable power? Yes, those angels. They long to look into the mystery of how Holy God reconciles unholy sinners to Himself through the bloody work of Jesus on the cross.
Well, I do not want to get so excited that I preach the whole sermon here! You’ll just have to come hear it in person this Sunday, March 7th, at Tar Landing Baptist Church, at 10:30 a.m. Or, log onto www.tarlandingbaptist.org in a few days to download the audio. I want you to hear the sermon not because I am preaching it, but because I am convinced we American Christians sorely need to reorder our priorities.
What would our lives look like if we really started to treasure the glorious gospel of King Jesus above all? What would our homes look like if we truly bowed our knee in awe of what God has given us in the gospel? How would we spend our money? Time? Would we still make the same educational choices for our children? Would we continue to let our kids spend more time studying Geometry and Biology than they do Scripture? What of their “extra-curricular” activities? Might we launch our children to the nations to carry the gospel torch if we really got a hold of what God has told us through Peter’s pen? After all, it is the gospel that has as its end the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!
That’s the all-surpassing value of the gospel, friends.