No Other Message

Thomas Jones, from a 1976 lecture, “Preaching the Cross of Christ”:

True Christian preaching must center on the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is the central doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. All other revealed truths either find their fulfillment in the cross or are necessarily founded upon it. Therefore, no doctrine of Scripture may faithfully be set before men unless it is displayed in its relationship to the cross. The one who is called to preach, therefore, must preach Christ because there is no other message from God.

[Quoted in Bryan Chappell, Christ-centered Preaching, p.271]

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

5 Responses to No Other Message

  1. This is a great quote about preaching. Thanks.

    I once heard someone (Tim Keller?) say that preaching that doesn’t center on the cross is like a synagogue sermon; it may have good morality…but if the cross isn’t central, it isn’t a Christian sermon.

    I’ve heard too many synagogue sermons.

    Thanks.

    • B Treece says:

      Sam,

      Thanks for the note. I totally agree. Still there are many who misunderstand this principle to mean a “gospel presentation” at the end of every sermon on whatever other topic may have struck the preacher.

      Instead, every sermon should be a gospel sermon AND a teaching sermon, weaving every doctrine into the fabric of the cross, the way the Bible does. I’ve also written on this in many, many posts on justification by faith and its recent misunderstandings if you’re interested in more.

      For the good news of the cross,

      Britt
      crossonmyback

      • i agree completely. The cross cannot be an add on, like a PS in a letter. The purpose of the sermon must hinge on the cross, or rest on the cross.

        I recently heard a sermon on spiritual warfare, and the message was basically, “do this and do that.” (and many of the suggested “do’s” we’re good suggestions.) but there was an ending tag…and if you mess up, ask Christ for forgiveness.

        It totally lacked the message that on the cross fought the battle for us, in him through the cross we are already Victors; like David fought and won on behalf of the cowardly Israelites, Jesus already fought and won for us.

        Alas.

        I just wrote a post on justification by faith. You can see it on my site, if you want to check it out.

        Sam

    • B Treece says:

      Sam,

      Thanks for dropping by, and I apologize for taking so long to reply (I usually try to do that in 1-2 days). Anyways, yes, I totally agree with that statement. If Jesus isn’t at the center of a sermon, of its logic and motivations and intentions, then it isn’t a Christian sermon.

      What makes it hard is our indwelling sinful desires for legalism and Bible-belt history of fuzzy fundamentalism – as if our actions were the core of the gospel! May it never be!

      Thanks again,

      Britt
      crossonmyback

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