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One Job


The preacher’s one job is to proclaim the whole counsel of God in a way that makes the gospel clear and magnifies the glory of God. “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. . . . For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:5-6). The Word of God is our text; the gospel message is the crux of it; Christ is its main theme and central character, and the glory of God is the ultimate purpose. All of that is implied in the apostle’s instruction to Timothy: “Preach the word! . . . in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2).

Notice: “We do not preach ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:5). That statement is contrary to every dominant style of contemporary ministry. Pulpits today are full of narcissists, show-offs, and self-promoters. But no preacher who is thinking properly about the glory of God would ever want to uplift himself or make himself the focus of a sermon. Humility is the natural expression of a God-glorifying attitude. The person who is egotistical or self-absorbed has never really understood the grandeur of God’s glory.

At the same time, our knowledge of God’s glory ought to make us bold for the truth. You can tell a preacher is focused on God’s glory when he fearlessly proclaims the hard or unpopular truths regardless of whatever opposition, criticism, or persecution he receives as a result.

The preacher who keeps God’s glory in proper focus will likewise be indifferent to praise and flattery. To see the glory of God is to understand that nothing else really matters in the ultimate sense.

—John MacArthur, The Gospel according to Paul (Thomas Nelson, 2017), 168–169.

Posted 2018·08·02 by David Kjos
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Posted in: John MacArthur · Soli Deo Gloria · The Gospel according to Paul

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