Our sermon today is a lecture given by Alistair Begg at this year’s Shepherds’ Conference (2015).
The mission of the Shepherds’ Conference is to provide the opportunity for men in church leadership to be challenged in their commitment to biblical ministry and to find encouragement as together we seek to become more effective servants of our chief Shepherd. Visit the inerrantword.com website for more information on this year’s topic.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV) | Preach the Word
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Alistair Begg introduces the sermon title by way of quoting from a sermon entitled “Christ and His Co-Workers” by C.H. Spurgeon (1886):
A great many learned men are defending the Gospel—no doubt it is a very proper and right thing to do—yet I always notice that when there are most books of that kind, it is because the Gospel, itself, is not being preached. Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in a cage and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I would suggest to them, if they would not object and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself—and the best “apology” for the Gospel is to let the Gospel out! Never mind about defending Deuteronomy or the whole of the Pentateuch—preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified! Let the Lion out and see who will dare to approach Him!The Lion of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away all His adversaries!
With Easter Sunday being this weekend, pray for your pastors, elders, and deacons. They are no-doubt under a lot of pressure to get everything just right for one of the biggest Sunday’s of the year. A day that statistics have shown time and time again that many who are not saved will attend a Sunday Morning service. The temptation to defend the Gospel by appealing to the desires or comfort of the once-in-a-year attendee is strong. Pray that rather than succumb to the pressure of defending the Gospel by keeping it caged up, your pastors might instead open the cage and Let the Lion Out!
Watch this lecture here: https://vimeo.com/channels/887255/121303688
Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV) | Prayer for Spiritual Strength
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,