Preaching Grace?

The Reformation 21 blog has had a theme this week on preaching grace rather than denunciation. When coming to the application of the scriptures to life it is easy to become severe. After all, what does not need to be done? However the answer to these needs is to more clearly proclaim grace. Rick Phillips makes some good observations.

I suppose a preacher who resorts to denunciation (and I cringe when I think of some of the sermons I have preached) himself needs to see grace in Christ more clearly.

Preaching Grace?

4 thoughts on “Preaching Grace?

  1. Dan B. says:

    Good links. My pastor preached a great sermon that might have seemed like “railing” on the fact that people need to rely on grace and mercy rather than rely on their own powers of self-reformation (in other words, not denounce specific things they do or don’t do, but tell them to throw themselves on the mercy of the cross).

    The link is at if you want to check it out (I tried to make a link, but could not use the link tag). The title of the sermon is “Mercy or Morality.” However, if you don’t think it’s on point, you can remove my comment. =)

  2. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the link, Dan. I have dowloaded the sermon and will listen later (I’m in the middle of sermon prep right now).

  3. David says:

    I would reject the dichotomy posed in the statement “preaching grace rather than denunciation”.

    Unless we stand exposed to some kind of denunciation, grace has no meaning.

    Both grace and denunciation can of course both be preached in various wrong ways, or related in wrong ways, etc., but fundamentally we cannot pose such a dichotomy. Grace only appears wonderful when we understand the context of our worthiness for denunciation.

    Of course, I haven’t read the articles, so I write in complete ignorance of the context… (isn’t that what we’re meant to do on the Internet?)

  4. Stephen says:

    The invitation was indeed to read the articles, not focus on my paltry commentary! Nevertheless this may be a fruitful discussion to help us in our preaching, my brother.

    A couple of comments:

    1. It is a matter emphasis rather than strict dichotomy. There is a place for admonition, but in the right context.

    2. I think you have it the wrong way round in your third para. Let me give you some bits of evidence (and there are many more I am sure):

    a) When Jesus performed the miracle of a great catch in Luke 5, Peter’s response was to be conscious of sin.

    b) Only when Isaiah saw the LORD in his glory in the temple (Isa 6) did he then confess his sin of unclean lips.

    c) Is it not striking how the preaching in Acts seems to have so little about sinfulness (though it is there) and much about Christ and his resurrection? Yet the people still knew that they needed to be saved.

    d) This explains (clearly to me at least) why Paul wanted to preach nothing but Christ and him crucified. Anything else is the wisdom of men.

    e) It is in the bringing of Light that reveals that there has indeed been darkness and that things have been hidden there. Once the light is present you can clearly point out and identify these nasty things. I cannot see how it can be profitable to point out how dark and nasty the darkness is without first having light.

    So as you can see, I am much happier placarding Christ before giving admonition. The people know better in faith what to do about it.

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