In an earlier post dealing with preaching Christ from the OT, I said that we must take the shortest route for Christ from these Scriptures.
Let me add another very important principle - we must also find the shortest route to application of textual teaching. How aggravating it is to listen to sermons that provide excellent applicatory points, yet these are either not seen by the preacher, or he does not want to "muddy the waters" by applying the Gospel too personally. I have sat and listened to sermons, and found myself thrilled at the preaching, only to be disappointed at the obvious lack of personal application. Why is this happening? Why has preaching become an exercise in dealing with absent 'third persons,' and not with those whom God, in His providence, has brought to hear this particular sermon? Why the apprehension of preachers when it comes to "driving the nail home" to the consciences of his hearers?
It is precisely this lack, amongst others, that has caused many church attenders to see no relevance whatever of the Christian Gospel to their lives. There hear many fine sounding words, but experience no power. Paul was not interested the word of the Corinthians, but he did look for 'power.' Where is the power today in the sermons we preach? I bemoan the lack of life transforming power in my own preaching, but many, it would appear, do not even identify this as a problem! How sorry such preachers are!
Oh, that they would wake up and see what is happening and be deeply preturbed by the lack of spiritual power in the public and private ministry. Oh, that they would yearn for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them in their preparation and in their sermon delivery, and that they would yearn to see fruits following their preaching ministry! Oh, that preachers would be slain by their lack of spiritual impact on the lives of their hearers! But, alas, they are much too content with the status quo.
May God awaken His called and equipped servants to their eternal responsibilities, and may time-servers be removed from the work of the ministry.