Paul, the apostle, as an experienced and respected minister of the Gospel gave the young Timothy a fatherly ministerial counsel which is very much still relevant today. He said to him: Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shall both save thyself, and them that hear thee (1Tim.4:16 [KJV]).
We are called upon to mind ourselves first and then to what we believe, teach or preach. And when we do this we shall first of all save ourselves and then the people God has given their ears and lives to you. As a pastor and teacher of the Gospel I keep this warning and counsel very close to my heart. I’m very much conscious that what I teach will make or mar those God has given to me to lead. No preacher has the liberty to preach whatever he likes. I will share with you today why I don’t preach sin but the Gospel of Christ. We’ll start here:
The Origin of Sin
(Gen 3:6-8 [KJV])
And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
The scripture above indicates the origin of sin; the beginning of the reign of sin and all it accomplices. The fall of man was a total fall, it was a complete fall, it was an absolute fall. Everything man was fallen. His nature was completely tampered with. Man was now ruled by the law of sin and death (Rom.8:2). He became a servant of sin (Jn.8:34; Rom.6:6, 16-17, 20).
Adam being the federal head of the human race transferred this corruption and depravity of his nature to his generation and invariably the human race.
Adam’s sinful likeness and image was transferred to his generation (Gen.5:3), man became unclean and nothing good could come out of him (Job 14:4). Every man born of a woman was now shaped and born in iniquity (Psm. 51:5). Man was wicked and evil even from the womb (Psm. 58:3), all that came out of man was evil (Matt. 15:19; Jas. 4:1).
What Jesus did with Sin
John the Baptist introduced Jesus as ‘’the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world’’ (Jn.1:29). He saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the true sacrifice for sin. He meant to say to his hearers that this Jesus you are seeing is the true lamb that will be sacrificed for your sins and that of the whole world. He really saw well.
The word ‘’taketh away’’ in Greek is ‘’airo‘’ and it means to lift up, to take up or away, to sail away. In hebraism it means to atone for sin. So Jesus as the Lamb of God is the true and perfect atonement for sin. This lamb was not man’s lamb for his sin but God’s lamb for man’s sin. God is the judge, the one man sinned against and the one to be propitiated so He knew what will best solve the sin problem.
The lambs, bulls and goats that men offered morning and evening and yearly could not take away or atone for sin (Heb.10:3-4). But Jesus as a perfect lamb that God presented removed sin forever from man’s account and purified his conscience from sin (Heb. 10:11-14).
.Jesus has taken away sin. He has fully atoned for sin. God is satisfied with what Jesus, the lamb did with sin. The full price and judgment for sin has been atoned for. We are not expected to pay for our sins in anyway. Doing that is a direct affront on Jesus and His finished work. Whatever form of sacrifice we offer for sin is not acceptable before God. If man could give an acceptable sacrifice for his sins then Jesus wouldn’t have come. Trying to pay for your wrongs through penance or restitution of whatever kind or form is anti-christ.
We must trust only in what Christ has done for us as pertain to sin. We are not to trust in ourselves or our works. Faith in what Christ has done with the sin of the world is only what pleases God (Rom.8:8; Heb.11:6).
Christianity is not what man can do for God but what God has done for man. So in preaching or teaching we are to show God’s people what God through Christ has made available for them not the other way round.
Jesus came to this world as the incarnate son of God to save sinners from sin by providing a legal means of forgiveness (Lk.19:10; Jn.3:17; Acts 5:31; 1Tim.1:15). Now we are fully, absolutely and eternally forgiven. This is the crux of the New Testament. If we miss it here then we miss it all.
For Christ to save us from sin He had to take our place in substitution (Psm.69:9; Isa.53:5; Gal.3:13; 2Cor.5:21; Heb.2:9; Heb.9:28; 1Pet.2:24; 1Pet.3:18). So that He will suffer what we ought to suffer. The punishment we deserved he took upon Himself. There is no more punishment for us. God has emptied the punishment for sin on Christ Jesus.
He took the place of the ungodly, the sinner, the wicked, the unjust in identification and substitution to pay for our sins. He did all this to bring us back to God. Sin has separated us from God. It has denied us access to God and His blessings and favours but by the sacrifice of this perfect Lamb of God we have been brought back into God’s presence. Now we have unhindered, unfettered access to God and all He is and has.
(1Pet 3:18 [KJV])
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Now we have been brought back to God by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. His blood has made us clean enough to be in His presence forever (Rom.5:2; Eph.2:18; 1Pet.3:12; Heb.4:15-16; Heb.Heb.6:19-20).
In substitution He bore our sins upon Himself (Isa.53:12; Heb.9:28; 1Pet.2:24; 1Jn.3:5) as the Lamb of God (Isa.53:7; Jn.1:29; 1Cor.5:7; 1Pet.1:19). Jesus as the Lamb of God ‘’gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father’’ (Gal.1:4). He gave Himself as a perfect lamb, without spot or blemish.
(1Pet 1:19 [KJV])
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
The sacrifice was spot on. It was just what eternal justice required. In this sacrifice God was fully propitiated; He was absolutely satisfied. Nothing less would do.
Jesus Christ offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins (Jn.15:13; Gal.1:4; Eph.5:2; Tit.2:14; Heb.9:26; 1Pet.3:18; 1Jn.3:16; Rev.1:5). In it we have peace with God. In it we have victory over sin, satan and death. This is what we are supposed to go out and tell our world.
By reason of what Christ has done we now have forgiveness of sins (Eph.1:7; Col.1:14) we are not going to have forgiveness of sins, we already have it as a present possession in Christ.
Our sins are forgiven and will not be remembered again forever (Heb.8:12; Heb.10:17). Sin is no more a problem to man because Jesus has dealt with the problem of sin once and for all (Heb. 7:27; Heb. 9:12, 26, 28; Heb. 10:10, 12, 14).
He has offered a one and forever sacrifice we cannot offer any other one and must not. We as believers are not people trying to secure forgiveness by our efforts, we have been given forgiveness. Our sins have been forgiven – past, present and future. All we need do is believe and enjoy what Christ has done.
The Reason I Don’t Preach Sin
- Jesus did not
Jesus had ample opportunities to condemn people in His preaching and teaching but He never did. The only people He spoke against were the religious Pharisees of the day. He was even nick named friend of sinners. They were comfortable coming to His church. He loved them the way they are but never leaves them the same way. He loves them out of their sin.
See the kind of people coming to His Church but He never condemned them and the Pharisees and Scribes who are used to preaching sin and condemnation didn’t understand why Jesus wasn’t condemning these folks.
(Luke 15:1-2 [AMP])
NOW THE tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him.
And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.
What was Jesus preaching that endeared sinners to Him? And what are we preaching today that keeps sinners away from us?
The woman caught in adultery
She was caught red handed and by the law deserved condemnation but Jesus never did. Instead see what He did:
(John 8:10-11 [KJV])
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Jesus gave her the gift of no condemnation. And that is what empowers us to stay out of sin. Preaching sin will make us have faith in sin and keep us in it. When a man receives the gift of no-condemnation he is empowered to go and sin no more.
Jesus did not preach sin, he preached forgiveness (Lk.5:17-24; Lk.7:36-50), so do I. what about you?
- The Apostles did not
They preached Jesus Christ as the Gospel: Acts 8:25; Acts 14:17, 21; Acts 15:17; Acts 16:10; Acts 20:24
Acts 2:14-36; Acts 3:12-26; Acts 4:8-12; Acts 5:28-31, 40-42; Acts 8:4-5, 25,32-35; Acts 9:20-22,27-29; Acts 10:36-43; Acts 11:19-20; Acts 13:14-39, 49; Acts 14:3,7,21-26; Acts 15:5-12; Acts
Let’s Look into the Book of Acts as Regards our Subject of Consideration
I picked some words relevant to our subject of consideration and checked how many times they were used in the Book of Acts. I chose the Book of Acts because it is the history of the early Church and we can learn from them. The number of times a particular word is mentioned will tell us clearly what they emphasized most in their preaching and daily Christian living.
- Jesus Christ/Christ is mentioned 80 times: You can see their emphasis and the content and focus of their teaching and preaching. Jesus was their message.
- Sinner(s) is not mentioned at all: is it that there were no sinners in the church? They choose to emphasis the gospel and not behavior or morality. They choose to preach the solution and not the problem.
- Sin(s) is mentioned 8 times and all in the positive: See how the early Apostles who were with Christ Jesus Himself used the word ‘’sin’’ in their preaching. They always spoke of sin as relating to the unconditional forgiveness we have in Christ not the other way round. They emphasized what Jesus did with sin and not the dangers or power of sin. I want to be like them. Let’s see the 8 verses where sin was mentioned.
(Acts 2:38 [KJV])
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
(Acts 3:19 [KJV])
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
(Acts 5:31 [KJV])
Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
(Acts 7:60 [KJV])
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
(Acts 10:43 [KJV])
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
(Acts 13:38 [KJV])
Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
(Acts 22:16 [KJV])
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
(Acts 26:18 [KJV])
To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
- Forgive is mentioned 4 times
- Gospel mentioned 6 times
- Satan is mentioned 2 times
- Devil is mentioned 2 times
- Believe(d) is mentioned 41 times
- Righteousness is mentioned 4 times
- Holiness is mentioned once
- Confess(ed) is mentioned 3 times
- Repent(ance) is mentioned 10 times
- Receive(ed) is mentioned 41 times: This is because as believers we are called to receive of what Christ has done. Believers are receivers.
- Hell mentioned 2 times all in the positive: They didn’t see hell as a message and never dedicated a sermon on hell fire and we shouldn’t, they never used hell to threaten men to salvation or to live right.
By the number of times these words are used you can tell what the emphasis of their preaching was. You can tell clearly what they understood as the Gospel. So why not we do likewise?
Why is what we preach and call the Gospel today so man-centred? So sin-centred, so much of traditions of men, self-righteousness, human philosophies, nothing different from Judaism or all those religions in the world. What makes Christianity unique and powerful is JESUS. Let’s preach Jesus.
The early church preached so much of Jesus that even the unbelievers of their day knew that the power in what they were preaching was Jesus. So they warned them not to preach Jesus any more (Acts 4:17-18).
They knew they will be powerless if they preach morality, philosophies or any other thing apart from Jesus. Beloved get back to preaching only Jesus and He did for humanity. That’s the essence of Christianity, the pivot of Christianity, the power of Christianity (Rom.1:16).
The Corinthian Church
Now let’s do the same thing we did with the Book of Acts. I choose Corinthians to see the message Paul, the Apostle was preaching to them seeing that this Church was what an average preacher today will condemn and sentence them to eternal damnation without a thought.
- Jesus/Christ is mentioned 144 times: You can see the anchor of the apostles preaching and teaching (1Cor.2:2).
- Sin is mentioned 8 times
- Sinners is not mentioned at all
- Sinful not mentioned at all
- Sinned is mentioned 4 times
- Sinneth is mentioned 2 times
- Sins is mentioned 2 times
- Sinning is not mentioned at all
- Gospel is mentioned 18 times: He preached the gospel not sin.
- Save(d) mentioned 12 times
- Condemn, condemned or condemnation is mentioned 4 times. All in the positive.
- Hell is not mentioned at all: With all their immorality he never said to them that they will go to hell for it.
- Heaven is mentioned 7 times
- Holy Ghost is mentioned 5 times
- (Holy) Spirit is mentioned 17 times
- Spiritual gifts mentioned 3 times
- Confess or confession is mentioned no time at all: Imagine with all their errors Paul didn’t ask them to confess their sins to God.
- Repent, Repented, Repentance is mentioned 4 times
- God is mentioned 155 times
- Lord or lord Jesus mentioned 88 times
- Satan is mentioned 5 times: You can see that they made less emphasis on satan.
- Devils mentioned 2 times
- Love is mentioned 25 times
- Forgive 3 times
- Believed 3 times
- Gifts 13 times
Looking at these numbers you can tell what the emphasis of the apostles’ message was. Though these men, women and children by their conduct would have been written off and declared guilty and condemnable by some preachers today but the Apostle Paul saw something about these people that we are hardly seeing today with growing up believers.
He saw Christ in them. He saw what Christ has done for them. He saw the mighty Holy Spirit at work in them to cause them to will and do the Lord’s good pleasure (Phil.2:13). He focused on who Christ has made them, what He has done for them never on their misbehaviors.
(1Cor 2:2 [KJV])
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
He didn’t focus on their conduct or behavior. He preached Christ to them and not morality or karma or vain philosophies.
- I preach the Gospel
What is the Gospel? What did the Apostles preached and taught as the Gospel? Let’s go into the Holy Bible to find out, because you can’t be preaching sin and preaching the Gospel at the same time. Morality is good but morality is not the Gospel. The Gospel produces morally upright men as a fruit it is not the emphasis of the Gospel.
(1Cor 15:1-4 [KJV])
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
See how Paul defined the Gospel:
- That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures
- That he was buried
- That He rose again the third day
So according to Paul, the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first component of the Gospel that Paul mentioned is that our sins are forgiven according to the scriptures. So if it’s the Gospel you’re preaching, the most important part of it is the forgiveness of sins.
According to Karma, traditions of men, and human philosophies our sins are not forgiven and we need to pay for our sins by our penance, restitutions and our strenuous efforts. But according to the scriptures – your sins are forever forgiven.
(Gal 1:11-12 [KJV])
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The great Apostle here says the Gospel that he preaches is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the unveiling of the Gospel. This is so simple and direct. The Man of God was preaching Jesus not religion or morality.
The Gospel is the revelation of Jesus Christ. What we preach must unveil and imprint on the hearts of men Jesus and His finished work.
(Rom 1:1 [KJV])
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
(Rom 1:3-4 [KJV])
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Here again Paul said the Gospel he was separated unto is concerning Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. The Gospel once again is Jesus and His Finished work.
Let’s see what he said about this Gospel in verse 16 and 17:
(Rom 1:16-17 [KJV])
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God not the sin of man. So preaching sin is preaching what Paul calls ‘’another gospel’’ (Gal.1:8-9) not the gospel of Christ.
The Gospel of Christ reveals God’s perfect righteousness which we are (2Cor.5:21). The Gospel unveils to us our righteousness, what Jesus did to make us righteous. When it is consistently preached it causes believers to awake to their true righteous nature so they can live above sin (1Cor.15:34). And when sin is consistently preached believers awake to sin and live under it.
Let’s go further and see how Peter defined the Gospel.
(1Pet 1:10-11 [KJV])
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you:
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
The Old Testament prophets saw the glories of the Gospel. Peter here says what they saw was the sufferings of Christ and the glory that follows that suffering. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of what we stand to gain and enjoy because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Psalm 22 tells us of the sufferings of Christ while Psalm 23 tells us of the glories that follows it. Isaiah 53 tells us of the sufferings of Christ while Isaiah 54 tells us of the glories that should follow it.
The Gospel is good news because it reveals to us what Jesus Christ bought for us in His vicarious death. How He took our sins and made us righteous (2Cor.5:21), how He perfected and sanctified us (Heb.10:14). How He justified us and made us holy and blameless (Rom.4:25; Rom.5:1). How he delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear son (Col.1:13).
1Pet 5:1 says the same thing:
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed (KJV).
What I preach is the Gospel (the only cure for sin) not sin the disease.
- It makes Believers sin conscious
Sin is not the problem of any Christian. The problem is actually sin consciousness. People become conscious of whatever they keep hearing. And what you’re conscious of you naturally and effortlessly experience. We become what we continually hear. That is why Jesus said we should be careful what we hear. If we keep hearing about sin and our weaknesses we will effortless sin and live under it.
(Heb 10:2-3 [KJV])
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year.
The people spoken of in the scripture above are said to have a conscience of sin or simply put, they were sin conscious. But why were they sin conscious? The answer is in verse 3; a constant remembrance of sin is what made them sin conscious. So like I said earlier when you keep preaching sin, you’re reminding them of sin and they will sure be sin conscious.
A sin conscience is also called an evil conscience in verse 22. It is called so because a sin conscience will sure produce evil things. Remember that a man’s life consists of the abundance of his heart. The cure for such a conscience is deliberate and constant listening to the Gospel of Christ Jesus and not the law of Moses.
My focus in preaching and teaching is to get people conscious of Christ Jesus not sin. To get this done I teach and preach Christ to them (Acts 8:5).
- Sin is not a Message
Sin is not a message. No one is called to preach sin. No one is called to fight sin. No one is called to stop sin. If we could fight and stop sin then Jesus wouldn’t have come since we can do it on our own. We are called to preach the Gospel – the remission of sins not the retaining of sins.
(Luke 24:46-47 [KJV])
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Jesus told the disciples here to preach repentance (change of mind) and remission of sins not condemnation and judgment.
See the same thing in the scripture below:
(Acts 13:38 [KJV])
Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Read Acts 26:14-18 and see what Jesus told Paul to preach.
- We make the First Adam Stronger than the last Adam
When you emphasis sin in your preaching what you are actually saying is that what Adam did is more powerful than what Jesus, the Christ did. It so easy for some of us to preach about how we were all born in sin because of the fall of Adam but difficult for us to now believe that just as we did nothing to be born sinners so is it for us to be born righteous. As a believer in Christ you are born righteous. It is not by what you did or will do. You were born that way.
(Rom 5:17-19 [KJV])
For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
We were born into sin so also are we born into righteousness. We did nothing to become either. I preach what the second Adam Jesus has done above what the first Adam did. Preaching sin is emphasizing what the first Adam did above what the second Adam did. Let’s exalt Jesus not Adam.
‘’Note, Christ, in his person and offices, is the sum and substance of the gospel, and ought to be the great subject of a gospel minister’s preaching’’ – Matthew Henry
- God is not imputing Sin
(2Cor 5:19 [KJV])
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
If God is not imputing sin against anyone on earth then why should I? I’m I more righteous than God who chose in His own divine counsel not to count sin against us believers? See also this scripture verses:
(Rom 4:7-8 [KJV])
[Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed [is] the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
What God is imputing, reckoning and crediting to us is righteousness not sin. So I preach righteousness not sin. I choose to stand on the side of God. I choose to do what God is doing. If God Himself is not preaching sin why should I?
“their sins are covered; from the eye of divine justice, and shall never be seen more, or be brought against them to their condemnation, and therefore must be happy persons’’ – John Gill
See what God is imputing:
(Rom 4:2-6 [KJV])
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
All that we need do to be righteous is believe. Righteousness is not keeping strenuous rules and regulations. It is who we are in Christ. It is not a behavior but a nature.
The word impute, count and reckon used in these verses is ‘’Logizomai’’ and it means ‘’to take an inventory’’. God is not taking inventory on my church members so why should i?
God does not impute sin on us because Christ Jesus has taken our sins upon Himself, He bore all our sins – past, present and future. Our sins were imputed on Jesus while His righteousness is imputed on us (2Cor. 5:21). He is not charging or accounting any offense against us because of the finished work of Christ.
(Rom 4:8 [NET])
blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.”
Beloved, why not be on God’s side, why team up with the devil accusing the brethren instead of teaming up with God and showing them what Christ did to make them righteous and free from the power of sin forever.
- I was given the Ministry of Reconciliation not Condemnation
(2Cor 5:18-19 [KJV])
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Every believer in Christ is called to reconcile people to God. We are called to tell them about what Christ has done for them. There is no more enmity between us and God. We can’t be accusing believers like the devil is doing and claim we are preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
We have been perfectly redeemed by Christ from a state of hostility to a state of perfect peace; we were once at enmity but now friends. Reconciliation is done by the removal of the cause of hostility. Christ did just that when he gave up His life on the cross of Calvary; he bore sin on behalf of sinners, the just for the unjust.
God’s holy wrath against sin was absolutely satisfied, but that was at a great cost to Himself. God was in Christ, reconciling sinners to Himself. Now for all he has done through Christ’s death, God can in his love accept repentant sinners back to himself legally and righteously (Rom. 5:6-9; 2Cor. 5:18-19, 21).
God has dealt with sin according to his standards of justice and holiness, so now he can reconcile guilty sinners legally. Reconciliation is God’s work; it is not something sinners themselves can accomplish. But what we do so many times in our preaching is that we make it man’s work and we tell people what they must do to be reconciled to God. That’s not the Gospel.
This is the core difference between the Old and New Covenant. The Old Covenant tells us what we must do to reconcile to God while the New Covenant shows us what Christ Jesus has already accomplished for us. Our part is to believe it and enjoy all.
We were the ones at fault, but the removal of hostility is entirely the work of God (2Cor. 5:18-19). The Gospel unveils to the people what God has done through Christ to remove that hostility and as they believe it, they are saved, healed, prosper etc.
People are brought into a perfectly right relationship with God only through the outworking of God’s grace in the death of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:10-11; Eph. 2:12-16; Col. 1:20, 22) not in our efforts or even the very best of our good works. All we do is believe in the finished works not add to it. But how will they know and believe if we do not preach it (Rom.10:14)?
- Because I am a Minister of the New Testament not the Old
(2Cor 3:6 [KJV])
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
We have been made able, qualified, capable preachers of the New Testament not the Old Covenant. A lot of believers do not know at all the difference between the Old and New Covenant and that’s really unfortunate. Not knowing this basic Bible truth is the key reason for heresy and accusastion and condemnation preachings.
See from this scripture below the difference between the Old and New Testament and the implications of preaching either of them.
(2Cor 3:7-11 [KJV])
But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away:
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious.
We are called to minister the New Testament, which is the ministration of the Spirit, the ministration of righteousness. Not the Old Testament which is the ministration of death, the ministration of condemnation. Are you preaching death and condemnation? I choose to preach Life and righteousness.
There are two kinds of preachers: those who are agent life and righteousness and those who are agent of death and condemnation. Where do you belong?
The right way to help a believer live right is by unveiling his true nature and identity to him. Help him awake to his true nature in Christ and he will live in accordance to it. For long we have been talking to believers as though we are talking to unbelievers.
Paul saw how morally bad the Corinthian Church was but he never stoop low to preach morality, hell or condemnation. Instead see what he said:
(2Cor 5:16 [KJV])
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh:
Paul refused to be carried away with their lifestyle and begin to condemn them. He choose to see them as who they are in Christ and reminded them thus. In his messages to them he helped them discover their true nature and identity in Christ. This is what New Testament preaching is all about.
He told them that they are saints (1Cor.1:2; 6:1-2; 16:1, they are new creatures (2Cor. 5:17), they are the temple of God (1Cor.3:16), they are sanctified (1Cor.1:2; 6:11) and they are righteous (1Cor.1:30; 2Cor. 5:21). Some folks who don’t understand the Gospel message will haul all the woes, threats and condemnations in the world on such congregation like the Corinthians. But Paul knew better, he never threatened the Corinthian church with hell fire, judgments, woes and such like. He just preached and taught the Gospel. He helped them awake to their true nature in Christ so that they can break away from sin.
(1Cor 15:34 [KJV])
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak [this] to your shame.
As a minister of the New Testament I get busy unveiling the believer’s nature to him. Until they see it they won’t live in consonance to it. Right believing will effortlessly produce right living. The reason a believer is living contrary to his nature in Christ is because he is blind and has forgotten who he really is:
(2Pet 1:6-9 [KJV])
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Can you see it clearly stated in verse 9 why some believers lack good virtues? So to help them manifest the right Christian virtues simply remind them who they are in Christ and they will awake to it. Just like Paul did to the Corinthians.