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Give them the Salve, Preacher

June 18, 2009

Bryan Chapell offers these words of wisdom for all teachers of the Bible teachers:

Thus, instruction in biblical behavior barren of redemptive truth only wounds, and though it is offered as an antidote to sin such preaching either promotes pharisaism or prompts despair. Christ-centered preachers accept neither alternative. They understand that if they wound, they are obligated to heal. The holy standards that pierce the heart whenever people recognize the depth of their divine obligations become salve to their souls when we preach their fulfillment in Christ and their enablement by his Spirit.

– Christ-Centered Preaching, 285

As Chapell notes, when moralism is preached, this leads to either pride or despair – all because we’re encouraging people to be their own saviors. “Do this and this, and then God will approve of you.” So if they follow the rules, they have saved themselves. If they fail to keep the rules then they have damned themselves. Where is Jesus in all this?

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