Gospel Preaching: Is Jesus the Central Theme of Every Sermon?

 |  April 6, 2018

Gospel Preaching is the Proclamation of the Good News. The Good News, as understood in the Word of God, is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of man and rose from the dead on the third day! The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the Gospel and thus to be accurately proclaimed Jesus must be central in the Gospel Message. Christocentric preaching is Gospel preaching.

Gospel preaching exalts Jesus Christ as Lord. His birth was miraculous in that He was born of a virgin with no earthly father. It was the work of the Holy Spirit of God. His life was important because He was sinless, “but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”[1]New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Heb 4:15). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. As a result He was an acceptable sacrifice to go to the cross and bear man’s sin. John wrote, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”[2]New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (1 Jn 2:2). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. Jesus laid down His life on the cross in order to pay man’s sin debt. He was laid in a borrowed tomb and on the third day He arose with all power in His hand. Through the cross-Jesus forgave man’s sin and from the empty tomb offered eternal life. Gospel preaching must have Christ as the only means of salvation for man.

Secondly, Gospel preaching explains how to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Scripture explains God offers so great a salvation to man based on His Grace. Man responds in faith believing that Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sin and rose from the dead on the third day. Paul stated, “for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”[3]New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Ro 10:10). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. W. E. Vine contends “But what is faith? Faith is the response of the soul to a word from God; it is belief in, and reliance upon, God.”[4]Vine, W. E. (1996). Collected writings of W.E. Vine. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. The gospel message gives clear and simple instruction on how to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Finally, Gospel preaching will call the hearer to respond to Jesus Christ who has been proclaimed. The Good News is indeed good news but not fully appreciated until received; therefore, inviting the hearers of the Good News to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior follows the Christocentric message. Pastor John Bisagno stated, “explain step by step that if they are willing to change their way of life, confess their sin, put Christ as Lord and Master of their life, you want them to step out.”[5]Bisagno, John; The Power of Positive Invitation; Broadman Press, Nashville, TN, 1968; page 16. Gospel preaching calls for a response. Jesus is the theme of Gospel preaching.

Without Jesus there is no good news. Without Jesus there is no salvation. Without Jesus there is no message. He is the central theme of all Gospel preaching.  If Jesus is not the central message then the Gospel is not proclaimed. The good news is that Jesus is evident from Genesis to Revelation. No matter where the sermon finds Biblical roots it will ultimately point to Jesus Christ who is the central message of the Gospel. “The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘we preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.”[6]C. H. Spurgeon; Exposition of Acts 13:13-49, Published 1904. Surely today there are many who come to the preacher of the Gospel, even as the Greeks did to Philip and say, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”[7]The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2009 (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version.) (Jn 12:21). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. Gospel Preaching is centered on Jesus!


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