Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oft upon the same things

Why must we continually emphasize Christ, the cross, and the gospel? Why must those topics be foremost in our reading, thinking, and conversation? Why? Because, they matter. And they matter in such a way that they are preeminent in importance and thus predominate our life. Richard Baxter, in his book on the ministry called The Reformed Pastor, discusses the role that necessity plays in the pastor's life. The pastor focuses on the things mentioned above because they are dictated to him by necessity.

I confess I think NECESSITY should be the great disposer of a minister’s course of study and labor. If we were sufficient for everything, we might attempt everything, and take in order the whole Encyclopaedia: but life is short, and we are dull, and eternal things are necessary, and the souls that depend on our teaching are precious. I confess, necessity hath been the conductor of my studies and life. It chooseth what book I shall read, and tells me when, and how long. It chooseth my text, and makes my sermon ... Hence it is, that a preacher must be oft upon the same things, because the matters of necessity are few. We must not either feign necessaries, or fall much upon unnecessaries, to satisfy them that look for novelties, though we must clothe the same truths with a grateful variety in the manner of our delivery.

Let's not get distracted on peripheral issues, but rather keep the main things the main things!

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