Monday, May 01, 2006

T4G: Mark Dever "We Preach Better Than We Are"

Having gotten back from the T4G Conference, and having spent the Lord's Day in worship of God and fellowship with family, I have had time to reflect upon the conference and will over the next few days share a few of my thoughts. What I would like to do is to share with you some nugget of truth or insight from each preacher that had an acute impact on me. I will begin with Mark Dever.

Dever reminded us of this important truth, "We preach better than we are." In other words, following the admonition of Paul to have the Corinthians to be imitators of him (1Cor. 4:16), so too must pastors be willing to set their lives before their people as examples of faithfulness and consistency. Yet, all of us, if we are honest, will readily admit to shortcomings, failures, and faithlessness in various aspects of our lives. Often these shortcomings will grip us so, that we fail to preach with the conviction the gospel message and Bible faithfulness calls for. Subsequently, we may not be prepared to preach until we have come to perfection. Yet, Dever reminded us that "We must preach better than we are." We must be willing to say what the Bible says, though it says it first and often foremost to us. We must be willing to allow the convicting word of our sermons to fall upon us first as we prepare to have them, by God's power, fall upon our congregations.
"We preach better than we are," should remind us that though we seek to exemplify the word that we preach, ultimately it is the standard of our risen Lord that we are setting before our people. Their imitation of us is only in so far as we are striving to imitate Christ. In this, we are their servants, helping them to see their Savior. Or as Paul so rightly put it in 2Cor. 4:5: "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."

1 comment:

Mitch said...

As the Puritans prayed, "I am desired to preach today, but go weak and needy to the task; Yet I long that people might be edified with divine truth, that an honest testimony might be borne for Thee...help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way, or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a Redeemer."