As Christians, both preachers and non-preachers alike, it is essential that we grasp and embrace the importance of Christ-centered preaching. For a sermon to offer hope to a lost and rebellious world we must preach Christ crucified and resurrected as the atoning sacrifice for our sins and as the climax of Salvation History. Without Jesus we have no choice but to preach sermons of judgment and despair because of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.
More than that, at an even more foundational level, it is impossible to preach a Christ-less sermon if we take seriously the intent and structure of the Bible. The Bible is about Jesus from front to back. Jesus Himself has confirmed this reality and the apostles have modelled it for us. Self-help sermons that ignore Christ – at best – and intentionally cut Him out – at worst – are not faithfully exegeting the Scriptures. On the Day of Jesus’ Resurrection, Christ gave us a hermeneutical model to follow and that model placed Jesus in the centre of the Bible as the focus of all revelation. Therefore, that is what and how we are to preach.
When we take seriously the biblical mandate that God has given to us we must prioritize a strong and faithful pulpit ministry. And, when we open our mouths to share the word of God we must be standing firm in the grace of God. For, there is nothing more intimidating and nothing more eternally beneficial or detrimental than speaking on behalf of the God of the universe. As James said, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1). Let us therefore, take up the call with fear and trembling, and with a boldness that comes exclusively from the grace of God.