1Timothy 1:11-12 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
The gospel is exceedingly splendid and wonderful. In spite of this fact, many attempt to pervert the gospel by adding to it and/or subtracting from it. We must always remember that it is HIS gospel, not ours. God does something wonderful with His good news of reconciliation and that is, he commits it to men. He has confidence in men and therefore gives them His gospel. In 2 Corinthians 4:7 it says concerning this gospel, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." Earthen vessels at this time were old clay pots, cheap, breakable, and easily replaceable. Most often, these vessels were used to hold garbage or human waste. God commits the gospel to us who are lowly, common, expendable, and replaceable.
The reason for this, is so that when the powerful transformation of the gospel, through the preaching of the cross takes place, people do not hail the preacher as some great man of God- but clearly see that the glory for the saving of sinners belongs to God alone. The reformers called this Soli Deo Gloria- the Glory of God Alone!
At VCC, I am finishing up preaching through the book of Mark. We have come now to the crucifixion. I am seeing the cross as I never have before and in some ways, people in our church are seeing it, perhaps as they have never before. This past Sunday, the 9th, I preached a message from
Mar 15:22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.
It has easily been the most provocative message I have ever preached. There were many people weeping as I preached, several people came up afterwards saying that they have not heard preaching like that in many years, others wanted to sit down and talk with me about membership, baptism, and getting more involved with the church. 2 people told me they were encouraged by what I said.
Others were furious. Some thought I stood up for 40 minutes and yelled at them and told everyone that they are going to hell. Others came into my office visibly upset that I would get up and preach so loudly for well past 12:00. In my own estimation, I sensed the presence of God in the message like I have few other times in my life.
You can listen to the message here if you would like.