Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Church is God's Farm

We have noticed a trend as we have listened to quite a number of pastors preach throughout the course of our search for a church home.  It seems most of the sermons consist of pastors lauding their personal accomplishments and recounting numerous personal anecdotes.  If this turns my stomach, how must it make our Savior feel?  And we are visiting the proverbial "cream of the crop."  We have avoided churches we know are definitely not Bible-centered and doctrinally sound.
"For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake." II Corinthians 4:5  
Matthew Henry comments that: "Self was not the matter nor the end of the apostles’ preaching: they did not give their own notions and private opinions, nor their passions and prejudices, for the word and will of God; nor did they seek themselves, to advance their own secular interest or glory. Their business was to make their Master known to the world as the Messiah, or the Christ of God, and as Jesus, the only Saviour of men, and as the rightful Lord, and to advance his honour and glory."  Source:  Commentary by Matthew Henry

As I was doing a bit of digging into II Corinthians 4:5 I came across this lovely gem by Spurgeon entitled Farm Labourers.  He uses I Corinthians 3:6-9 as his text.  Here is just a brief excerpt regarding man seeking to steal God's glory:
"This farm [the church] is, by choice, by purchase, by enclosure, by cultivation, by preservation, entirely the Lord's. See, then, the injustice of allowing any of the labourers to call even a part of the estate his own. . .  Shall insignificant nobodies rob God of his glory? Remember how Paul put it: "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos?" "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" The entire church belongs to him who has chosen it in his sovereignty, bought it with his blood, fenced it by his grace, cultivated it by his wisdom, and preserved it by his power."

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