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vassal of the King

The preaching of the Gospel brings hostility & mockings.

Last night I preached on the streets of Santa Monica, CA again with my buddy. Being May 21st at 6pm when we started preaching, we gathered quite a crowd—especially when a man walked up dressed in a full-on ancient outfit trying to impersonate Jesus Christ. It was blatantly blasphemous and severely mocking the gospel of Christ. So we went on to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next few hours on 3rd street as floods of people walked by.

One thing that struck me—and fed my soul!—this morning is the statement by the Apostle Paul:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 — For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 — Καὶ διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ θεῷ ἀδιαλείπτως, ὅτι παραλαβόντες λόγον ἀκοῆς παρ᾽ ἡμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐδέξασθε οὐ λόγον ἀνθρώπων ἀλλὰ καθώς ἐστιν ἀληθῶς λόγον θεοῦ, ὃς καὶ ἐνεργεῖται ἐν ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν.

When I read these words this morning it hit me afresh like a ton of bricks. The preaching of the Word of God is not the word of men but it is the word of God. And here's the phrase that reminded me again of why we do what we do as preachers. It is God's Work (the relative pronoun "which" [ὃς] refers back to the phrase "word of God" [λόγον θεοῦ]) in taking His Word and making it effective upon the hearts of the hearers.

It is not the preacher who makes the preaching effective.

It is not the logic or persuasive arguments that makes preaching worthwhile.

It is not even the visible results that makes preaching seem successful.

It is God who takes His Word (*note* it must be the faithful & true preaching of His Word) and that word works (ἐνεργεῖται) in those who believe. God the Spirit takes the Word that is faithfully delivered through the mouthpiece of the preacher and He sovereignly accomplishes (=works) His will amongst those who hear.

What a reminder that God takes His Word and makes it effective. God is glorified through the preaching & proclamation of His Word.

Last night:

I preached Ephesians 2:1-10

Sherwood preached Matthew 7:21-23

Pray that God's Word bears fruit in the saving of souls.

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