You Can’t Have One without the Other

Let me share with you a helpful reminder for ministers in their gospel preaching (taken from Calvin’s Harmony of the Gospels, Volume II -commenting on Luke 9:22):

as there is nothing to be seen in the cross but the weakness of the flesh, till we come to his resurrection, in which the power of the Spirit shines brightly, our faith will find no encouragement or support. In like manner, all ministers of the Word, who desire that their preaching may be profitable, ought to be exceedingly careful that the glory of his resurrection should be always exhibited by them in connection with the ignominy of his death.

With the arrival of a ‘health and wealth gospel’ as well as all manner of worldly success and gain being trumpeted in the name of Christ, the godly pastor might overreact by emphasizing the suffering and death of Jesus to the virtual exclusion of the real victory we have in Christ.

But if we do not preach the resurrection of Christ, all His suffering is in vain (let alone our own – see Philippians 1:29). In fact if we neglect it we have given the false preachers an ‘in’ to our congregants for faith longs to hear of the victory we have in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). If they don’t hear it from us will they not listen to someone else?

“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. But now Christ is risen from the dead. ‘Death is swallowed up in victory'”. (1 Corinthians 15:14,20,54)

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