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Todayís Expositorís Quote is another from John Stott:

Our task as Christian preachers is not subserviently to answer all the questions which men put to us; nor to attempt to meet all the demands which are made on us; nor hesitantly to make tentative suggestions to the philosophically minded; but rather to proclaim the message which is dogmatic because it is divine. The preacher's responsibility is proclamation, not discussion. . . . We are 'heralds', charged to publish abroad a message that did not originate with us (that we should presume to tamper with it) but with Him who gave it us to publish. . . . To this revealed message men must humbly submit. 'If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.' (1 Cor 3:18) I believe that this 'let him become a fool' is one of the hardest words of Scripture to the proud hearts and minds of men. Like the brilliant intellectuals of ancient Greece our contemporaries have unbounded confidence in the human reason. They want to think their way to God by themselves, and to gain credit for discovering God by their own effort. . . . Of course men have been given minds to use . . . but they must humble them reverently before the revelation of God, becoming in Paul's word 'fools' and in Christ's word 'babes'. It is only babes to whom God reveals Himself and only fools whom He makes wise.

So if the sinner must humble himself to receive God's Word, the preacher must humble himself to proclaim it. There is power in it. . . . But let it not be thought that its power is principally destructive, like a burning fire, a smashing hammer, or a piercing sword. The gospel is, above all, 'the power of God for salvation.' There is no stronger argument for faithful expository preaching than this, that it is through the kerygma, the revealed good news committed to our trust, that God is pleased to save those who believe. There is no saving power in the words of men. The devil does not relinquish his grasp upon his prisoners at the bidding of mere mortals. No word has authority for him but the Word of God. Then let us proclaim and expound God's Word, confident that it 'effectually worketh' in those who believe.

John Stott, The Preacher's Portrait, IVP 1961, p. 98-100.

[May we humble ourselves before God's saving Word, both proclaiming it faithfully and explaining it clearly. And may we proclaim God's truth even when - especially when - we will be thought fools for so doing -- Coty]


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