Thursday, March 18, 2010

Preaching and fear of the Lord

Jeff Weddle looks at fear of the Lord and guilt-based preaching. What he has to say is pretty insightful:
If you can make people feel guilty maybe they fear God. Isn’t guilt an admission that they’ve offended someone higher than them?

It may be, but if their guilt is primarily there because you are there, then this is not fear of God. This is fear of you, which many pastors settle for, because it is quite an ego booster.

I think the only way to teach people to fear God is to teach them about God. His power, His majesty, glory, beauty, strength, justice, perfection, holiness, love, mercy, and all else that is God.

Underlying all that is the Gospel, the manifestation of God’s love toward us. If the Gospel’s goodness does not shake a man to his core, there is nothing you can teach him to make him fear God.
Amen. It's not easy to call sinners to repentance without playing psychological games. But if we really believe in the power of God's Word, our preaching can bring repentance without resorting to manipulation of any kind.


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