We Preach…But What?
As Hillview Baptist Church prepares itself for our upcoming Hillside sermon series (A Study of the Sermon on the Mount) this February 2019, we want to clarify a few things concerning the preaching. Let’s look at three aspects: to whom we preach, what we preach, and why we preach.
“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. (Matthew 5:1)
Seeing the Crowds
In the context of the sermon on the mount, we need to see what Christ saw in our own world today. The world Jesus walked is no different today, at least in terms of “the crowds” who still seek ‘the Christ’, or the Jesus they want to seek. Just as in His day, they often do not know who or what the real Christ looks like outside of their own perception. Yes, the world is very different in regard to our government, culture, fashion, etc. Still, people are people, image bearers of God. As Christ sees the crowds, we know what He has been doing, and what He is about to do – preach.
So who do we preach to? Anyone that will listen to the gospel
The apostle Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians that when he arrived up in this ancient port city of the Roman Empire, he did not show up “with lofty speech or wisdom.” (1 Cor. 2:1) Rather, he writes “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2) Why? Because the apostle has made clear, in both this letter, and others alike, that knowing Christ trumps everything this world offers. We want to preach Christ at Hillview Baptist Church. Only Christ is enough to cover all of our sins and make us righteous before God.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)
It is easy for preachers to want to provide life advice for us in this fallen world. Often, they are led to preach something besides Christ, or maybe Christ added to, for many reasons. Some of those are simply out of concern for what they may see as bad choices, which lead to unfortunate consequences. Another reason, the pastor does not want to sound negative always pointing to the sad truth of sin and it’s eternal effect on our lives. Lastly, the preacher could want to sway people into following their wisdom. He, or she, may believe this will bring more people, and in their eyes, quantity over quality is key to success. This though is not true Christian discipleship.
None of these will hold water in the end. Against all human wisdom anything contrary to the true gospel is worthless, and the preacher be accursed. Therefore, we preach Christ and only Christ on the Hill.
Our Reason to Preach
Finally, what is the reason we preach? Let us be clear, we preach so the good news is heard.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:15)
Just as when Christ saw the crowds He preached, we strive to do the same. We know that by the preaching of the Word, souls can be saved. How can they believe if they never hear? It is that compassion, hope and prayer that lead us to preaching the gospel. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wed evening and every time we open our facility, we look to preach.
On that final proclamation, we now want to invite you, no matter where you are at in life, to come and hear the gospel at Hillview Baptist Church. We will begin our new 10:30 am Sunday morning sermon series starting February 3, 2019, titled “Hillside: A Study of the Sermon on the Mount.” Rich and I will attempt to go deep into the greatest sermon ever preached, one of the most amazing works of literature ever written, and learn what Christ was teaching, telling and preaching on that hillside over two millennia ago. It is our sincere hope you would consider joining us Hillside at Hillview Baptist Church that first Sunday in February. Come and Grow in Christ with Us!