How can a sermon make the sin problem worse? A preacher explains

Peter Mead via Photo credit

Surely good preaching helps people live less sinful lives? Good preaching does, but not by moralizing. Simply pressuring people to clean up their act and perform more like good clean Christians is not gospel work. It is what Tim Keller refers to as turning younger brothers into older brothers. Cleaner, supposedly better and certainly more religious, but no more Christian than a fence post. Behavior modification is not the intention of the Bible. Independent pride promotion is the antithesis of Biblical intent.

So am I going against Scripture to argue against moralizing, especially when there is so much instruction there? I don’t think so. The Scripture assumes things to which we have grown blind. Knowing God brings life change, there are instructions relevant for those who are in communion with Him, but the process is never one of behavior modification first, internal realities second. And growth as a Christian is not a different set of rules; it continues to be by faith from first to last. So what does this mean?

In a nutshell, it means that we can’t simply be the older brother patrol out to instruct people toward a pseudo-godliness. When you preach an instructive section, be sure to put it in its full gospel context. Specifically, seek to answer the “why?” question. Why does that command make sense in light of the Bible’s teaching about God and sin and life? How you answer the why question will reveal your theology. That you ask the why question will reveal your awareness that instruction alone is never enough.

Read the entire article here-
Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible church in the UK.

2 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. joseph elon lillie
    aug. 05, 2013 @ 10:26:01

    This is a good point. Changeover not happen by trying to modify behavior but by coming to an understanding g of our identity. We change because we have accepted we are new creations in Christ. We do not become new creations because we have changed our behavior under our own power.

    • rodi
      aug. 05, 2013 @ 16:17:21

      How true! Also, this is good to keep in mind when teaching our young(er) people that they need Christ in over to overcome behaviors.

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