Pristine Grace

The Difference in Ministers
by George Barker

Most people see no difference in sermons by religious ministers or theologians versus preachers of the gospel of grace, particularly when the text of the scriptures is the same. Is there a difference? Yes, and there are three primary reasons.

First, the COMMISSION, which is performed by the anointment of the Holy Spirit on those pre-ordained by God to deliver His Word, that is, preachers of the gospel of grace. The commission to religious ministers and theologians is conferred through self-development by the acquisition of human knowledge and is recognized by the titles of Reverend, Doctor, Father, Rabbi, etc., accompanied by prescribed acts of behavior (ethics) and worship (liturgy) deemed appropriate by the religion of choice.

Second, the SUBJECT of the sermon. For the grace preacher this will always be exclusively CHRIST CRUCIFIED, no matter what scripture is selected. But for the religious minister the subject is likely to be the works or acts necessary for man to perform in order to receive salvation.

Third, the RESPONSE expected of the audience. The grace preacher knows that only those who have been pre-conditioned by a spiritual life can hear and truly understand the gospel. Christ said, "My sheep hear my voice", the voice of the anointed preacher delivering God's revealed word from the scriptures. Being able to hear, they BELIEVE THROUGH FAITH and will in duetime seek baptism as a public affirmation of faith. The religious minister expects that ALL may respond with equal chance for salvation, based on individual self-will, commitment, and adherence to the particular religion's code of conduct.

The most obvious difference, then, is in the subject matter, CHRIST CRUCIFIED. Spurgeon issued a warning about preachers when he advised, "When a preacher becomes heretical, IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT CHRIST. If he is not clear about Christ crucified and you hear one sermon from him, that is your MISFORTUNE. But if you go and hear him again and hear another sermon like the first, it will be your FAULT. If you go a third time, it will be your CRIME."