As we wrap up our series on preaching, we want to make sure we conclude on a high note. What better way to do that than by talking about the gospel!
Over the years I've experienced two different extremes when it comes to the gospel and how it fits into a sermon. In my early days I attended a church that never really mentioned the gospel. Christ was pretty much absent from every sermon that was ever preached. So the messages were mainly moralistic.
Later, I attended a series of churches where the gospel was preached every Sunday. It was good at first because I had been deprived of it for so long at my other church. However, I came to find that the gospel presentation was ordinarily tacked on to the end of the message and really didn't have anything to do with the message that was just preached.
What's more, in these churches I found that the gospel was not really even for me! It was typically directed towards the unbeliever as a call was issued to him to embrace the Savior.
Our aim at Providence Church is to preach the gospel every Sunday because we know it is important for everyone's spiritual development, even the Christian's. As a matter of fact, we believe that if Christ is not preached, then we have not preached a truly Christian sermon!
But how do you do that without tacking the gospel on at the end of the message? The answer lies in the expository method. We believe that the gospel should rise naturally from the text itself.
Jesus said that the whole of the Scripture bears witness to him (John 5:39). At another time he took time to interpret the things concerning himself in the law and the prophets (Luke 24:27).
This means that every text of Scripture finds its culmination in Christ. It doesn't matter if it is the deep recesses of Leviticus or the heavy arguments of an epistle, every line finds its fulfillment in Christ.
So as you come to Providence you will not just hear sermons that are practical. You will hear sermons that are guided and shaped by the gospel. Better yet, you will find how the gospel should guide and shape your own life.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.
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