The Goal of Preaching

Here is an excerpt from a book I am currently reading entitled “The Supremacy of God in Preaching” by John Piper.

“Our parents fell for it, and in them we have all fallen for it. It’s now part of our nature. We take the mirror of God’s image, which was intended to reflect His glory in the world, and turn our backs to the light, and fall in love with the contours of our own dark shadow, trying desperately to convince ourselves (with technological advances or management skills or athletic prowess or academic achievements or sexual exploits or counterculture hair styles) that the dark shadow of the image on the ground in front of us is really glorious and satisfying. And in our proud love affair with ourselves, we pour contempt (whether we know it or not!) on the worth of God’s glory.

And as our pride pours contempt upon God’s glory, His righteousness obliges Him to pour wrath upon our pride.

‘The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.’ -Isaiah 2:11

‘For how should My Name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.’ -Isaiah 48:11

‘The eyes of the haughty are brought low…and the Holy God shows Himself holy in righteousness.’ -Isaiah 5:15-16

‘Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.‘ -Isaiah 10:22

The goal of preaching is the glory of God in the glad submission of His creation. and so there is an obstacle to this preaching in God, and there is an obstacle in man. The pride of man will not delight in God’s glory. The righteousness of God will not suffer his glory to be scorned.

So where is there any hope that preaching might attain its goal–that God be glorified in those who are satisfied in Him? Can the righteousness of God ever relent in its opposition to sinners? Can the pride of man ever be broken of its own vanity and be satisfied in God’s glory? Is there a basis for such hope? Is there a ground for valid and hopeful preaching?

There is. In the cross of Christ, God has undertaken to overcome both obstacles to preaching. It overcomes the objective, external obstacle of God’s righteous opposition to human pride. And it overcomes the subjective, internal obstacle of our proud opposition to God’s glory. In so doing the cross becomes the ground of the objective validity of preaching and the ground of the subjective humility of preaching.”

pgs. 32-33

1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, Mike

One response to “The Goal of Preaching

  1. The cross is everything to preaching. Show me a church that has drifted from the cross and I'll show you a church that's indistinguishable from the world…Oh, wait!Great quote.

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