This is brilliant, and true, and something I need to remind myself of everyday; it’s all the gospel. Getting this makes the difference between producing life or death in your ministry.
“Remember this: Discipleship will put you in despair without the Gospel. Discipleship that’s rooted in law will just drive you into despair or Pharisaism. Discipleship needs to grow out of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit magnifying Jesus and the love of God. You can recognize law preaching because it’s always full of references to the Bible being a ‘handbook for life,’ full of principles for a successful life. If your Bible is just a handbook for life, throw it away.
“The Bible is the story that delivers us the Gospel. It’s point is to get you to Jesus, the one mediator between God and man. It’s a big book to get you to a short message. You buy the whole field, but the treasure is the Gospel, not the book of Judges or financial principles from Proverbs. Once you have the Gospel right and you know what preaching is all about, then you can read and preach Leviticus or Malachi or whatever you want, as long as Jesus is in his proper place and the message is the Gospel, not the law, or the old covenant, or this week’s good advice.
“I really think we have an army of preachers who think that people ought to come hear them ‘preach’ about various life questions and issues. How to have a great family. How to get along at work. How to use money. How to discipline kids.
Why would I want a preacher to tell me anything about these things? Why are preachers talking about sex, politics and what Jesus wants you to eat? Can anyone admit that the preacher’s ego is often inflated to dangerous level when we let his/her advice about politics or parenting become legitimate material for preaching.
Preach the Gospel, brother. Then sit down, be quiet and let’s do something else. We can pray, sing or go eat. All good.
“The Bible is about the Gospel. You are about the Gospel. Give me enough of the law to make the Gospel good news, though I’ll admit I’m not one of those people convinced that we need to try and recreate Bunyan’s conversion. I’m with Spurgeon on that one. Our job is to keep the Good News out there.”
And then later:
Law youth ministry is a waste of your time. If all you’re doing is trying to make kids behave, make good choices and buy into the church as a place to hang out, then by all means, get another job. Or be honest and just say you’re a moralistic therapeutic babysitter carrying out the wishes of the church to not have any kids make bad decisions.
(via from whom I pretty much just copied everything for this link)