How Important Is Gospel Preaching?
††††††††††† All who know the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ appreciate those who preach it; but very few, I fear, understand that the preaching of the gospel is absolutely vital to their souls. This is the ascension gift of the exalted Christ to his church (Eph. 4:8-11). Not only is it true that God sends his Word to heal his elect and to deliver us from our deserved destruction (Psa. 107:20), it is also true that all Godís works of grace in chosen, redeemed sinners are accomplished by the ministry of the gospel.
††††††††††† If God speaks to a sinners heart, if God teaches any man anything, if God reveals anything to any of us, he does it through the instrumentality of gospel preaching. Is gospel preaching really that important? Let the Word of God alone decide the issue. The Scriptures plainly tell us that the preaching† is absolutely necessary for faith in Christ (Rom. ), --for the new birth (James ; 1 Pet. -25), --for understanding in the Word of truth (Acts -31), --for the edification of Godís saints (Eph. 4:8-16).
††††††††††† Without the preaching of the gospel there is no possibility of salvation, sanctification, spiritual growth, spiritual direction, or spiritual stability. God did not give his church the gift of the ministry for nothing. This ascension gift of Christ is not something a person may choose to avail himself of or despise without consequence. If Godís people could get along without pastors and teachers to guide them in and with the Word of truth, he would not have given them.
††††††††††† There was a time when God did not speak for four hundred years. His last word in the Old Testament was given by the prophet Malachi. After that, God sent no prophet into the earth. No angel was sent from heaven. No vision was granted. No word was spoken from the throne of God to anyone upon the earth. What was the result?
again. After four hundred years of silence, after four hundred years of men and
women acting as their own prophets, the worship of