Preaching The Gospel – The Spiritual Release

This teaching talks about being effective in Gods kingdom, it has less to do with you and more to do with God working in you..

‘Many people have the wrong concept that a man believes in the gospel because he has heard the right teachings, or because he is touched in his emotion. But this is far from the truth. Those who base their acceptance of the Lord on emotional impulses will not last, nor will those who are convinced by persuasion in the mind. There is nothing wrong with using the mind and the emotion, but these things are not enough. A man is not saved through emotion and thought. A sinner falls at the Lord’s feet because the speaker’s spirit has released light through his speaking. As soon as our spirit gushes out, others are struck. This is the reason we need a released spirit to preach the gospel.

A coal miner was greatly used by the Lord in preaching the gospel. He wrote a book entitled Seen and Heard in which he described his experience with the gospel. We were deeply touched by this book. This brother was not an educated or gifted man; he was only an ordinary brother. But his absolute consecration to the Lord became the basis for the Lord to use him greatly. Do you know what was so special about him? He was a broken man. His spirit could be released easily. He started to preach at the age of twenty-three, when he first experienced salvation. In one meeting the word of a preacher kindled a burning desire within him to save souls. He asked to be allowed to speak. After he stood up, he was unable to say anything, even though his heart was burning with fire for lost souls. His tears came down like a torrent. In the end he could only utter one or two sentences. God’s Spirit filled the meeting, and everyone was convicted of his own sin and waywardness. Here was a man who, in spite of his young age, was broken in the outer man. He did not have much to say, yet his spirit was released and men were saved. He led many people to salvation during his lifetime. When we read his biography, we sense that he was a man with a released spirit.

This is the way to preach the gospel. The way to preach the gospel is to release the spirit. When the hardness of the outer man is removed and the outer man is broken, the spirit is released. If the very sight of an unsaved person compels us to do something to save him, it means that our spirit is released.

This is the basic issue. The preaching of the gospel has everything to do with the breaking of the outer man. When the outer man is broken, our spirit will be released and will touch others. It is our spirit that reaches others’ spirits. It is God’s Spirit that touches the darkened spirit of man. When this happens, a man is saved, and no reason can account for this change. However, when the outer man chokes the spirit, God does not have a way through us and the gospel will not be released. We always have to pay attention to the matter of the breaking of the outer man because all of our problems lie in the outer man.

If we, the person, are not dealt with, it is useless for us to memorize more teachings. The only thing that will bring salvation to men is for our spirit to touch others’ spirits. If our spirit touches others’ spirits, they will fall on their face before God. If our spirit is discharged in a strong way, they will have no choice but to prostrate themselves before the Lord.’

This extract is from ‘The Breaking of the Outer Man & the Release of the Spirit’ – Watchman Nee Pg. 32

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The “Christ And…” Syndrome – by Dr. Michael Horton

In C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, the devil’s strategy is not to remove Christ altogether from the scene, but to propagate a “Christ And…” religion:
 
What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of “Christianity And.” You know–Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychic Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform. If they must be Christians, let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring. Work on their horror of the Same Old Thing (Letter XXV).

Today, we see this in terms of Christ and America; Christ and Self-Esteem; Christ and Prosperity; Christ and the Republican or Democratic Party; Christ and End-Time Predictions; Christ and Healing; Christ and Marketing and Church Growth; Christ and Traditional Values, and on we could go, until Christ himself becomes little more than an appendage to a religion that can, after all, get on quite well without him. That is not, of course, to say that the evangelical enterprise could do this without some difficulty. After all, every movement needs a mascot. We say we are Christ-centered, but what was the sermon about last Sunday?

In fact, it is not even enough to preach the centrality of Christ. It is particularly Christ as he is our sacrifice for sin and guarantor of new life because of his resurrection that the Bible makes central in its revelation. After a tragic car accident, Fr. James Feehan, a seasoned Roman Catholic priest in New Zealand, realized afresh the significance of Paul’s command to preach Christ and him crucified:

If the pulpit is not committed to this utter centrality of the Cross, then our preaching, however, brilliant, is doomed to sterility and failure. We preach the Christ of the Mount; we preach the Christ of the healing ministry; we preach the Christ of the sublime example; we preach the Christ of the Social Gospel; we preach the Christ of the Resurrection but rarely, if ever, do we preach the Christ of the Cross. We have evaded the very heart of the Christian message. In our preaching we tend to decry the human predicament, the turmoil of our lives, the evil in the world, and we wonder if there is a way out. The Way Out is staring us in the face. It is the Way of Christ, the Way of the Cross (Preaching Christ Crucified: Our Guilty Silence [Dublin: The Mercier Press, 1991], p.19).

In other words, to guard the centrality of Christ in our preaching, it is necessary to guard the centrality of Christ’s ministry as prophet, priest and king. Otherwise, we will even use “Christ” as a means of preaching something other than Christ. We will insist that we are preaching Christ even though we are really only using his name in vain as a buttress for some fashionable tangent we happen to be on this week.

What then is the proper method for reading, preaching, and interpreting God’s Word? Many resist the idea that there is a proper method at all, dismissing it as naive. The content is normative and unchanging, they say, but the method is relative and depends on what works best for each pastor. It is often treated as a matter of style, like whether one wears robes or has the choir in the front or the back of the church. But not only does the Bible give us the content of what we are to believe; it gives us a method for properly determining that message.

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Article taken from:

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/preachChristalone.html