Three ways a Gospel-centred preacher can miss the Gospel

Oct 5, 2017 by

by Cole Brown, The Gospel Coalition.

[…] One benefit of the emphasis on gospel-centered preaching has been a deeper understanding of God’s grace… These grace-centered sermons tell us that God forgives us, God accepts us, God loves us, and God blesses us in spite of the fact that we’ve done nothing to earn it and nothing to maintain it. This is all good and true. Unfortunately the sermons often stop there, and when they do, they fall far short of being gospel-centered. Instead, they become self-centered in one of two ways.

First, grace-centered sermons can become self-centered sermons by proclaiming all the gifts we receive from God without actually proclaiming Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection that makes them possible. As much as God’s forgiveness and acceptance are closely related to the gospel, they are not the gospel. The gospel is focused on what Jesus has achieved, not on what we can receive.

Second, they become self-centered sermons by focusing only on the forgiving grace the gospel supplies, while overlooking the transforming grace the gospel bestows. Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection not only make forgiveness possible; this work also makes obediencepossible by gifting believers with a new heart, new desires, and new power from the Holy Spirit. True gospel preaching does not limit the gospel’s power to the comfortable message of being accepted and forgiven; it also acknowledges the gospel’s power to make us uncomfortable by transforming us into brand-new people.

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