Are you ever curious as to WHY I preach the way I preach? Here’s why:
To preach salvation by good works is to flatter people and so avoid opposition.
This may seem to some to pose the alternative too starkly. But I do not think so. All Christian preachers have to face this issue.
Either we preach that human beings are rebels against God, under his just judgment and (if left to themselves) lost, and that Christ crucified who bore their sin and curse is the only available Saviour.
Or we emphasize human potential and human ability, with Christ brought in only to boost them, and with no necessity for the cross except to exhibit God’s love and so inspire us to greater endeavour.
The former is the way to be faithful, the latter the way to be popular.
It is not possible to be faithful and popular simultaneously. We need to hear again the warning of Jesus: ‘Woe to you when all men speak well of you’ (Lk. 6:26). By contrast, if we preach the cross, we may find that we are ourselves hounded to the cross.
(John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, IL, IVP, 1986), pp. 347-348)
In my flesh, I want to be popular & liked. But this does NO ONE any good. But to preach Christ crucified is VERY BEST I can preach. It may sting & be offensive initially but to the weak it gives rest.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
This means we have to come to an end of ourselves (our gifts, our strength, our sufficiency). This calling of Jesus is a calling to admit we need help; it is to confess we need Christ. We need Him. And it is only in preaching the full weight & significance of the cross that we find rest. At the cross, we come to an end of our self-potential & find fullness in Christ alone.
So, why do I preach the way I preach? Because I love you!