preachthecross.jpgI am currently in the midst of reading multiple books.  One of those books is Preaching the Cross by Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan III, C.J. Mahaney, and R. Albert Mohler.  I have been anxious to read this book since I purchased it (on sale mind you) a few months ago.  Since I desire to grow as a preacher and teacher, I thought this book would be a great encouragement toward that goal.  I just finished the first chapter and it did not disappoint.  Preaching the Cross is the fruit of the Together for the Gospel project.  It is a reminder of the “primacy of the gospel” to pastors and preachers.  “It is a call to expository, gospel-centered preaching as the center of pastoral ministry.”

 Mark Dever kicks things off in Chapter 1 with A Real Minister.  What are the marks of a real minister?  I’m glad you asked.  Dever discusses three marks of a real minister as they are laid out in 1 Corinthians 4:

1.  A Cross-centered Message
2.  A Cross-centered Life
3.  Having Cross-centered Followers

Here are some highlights of the chapter:

“The mailman has been entrusted with other people’s messages to us.  The same is true with ministers and their ministries.  We are not to invent the message but to faithfully deliver God’s message to his people.  That is our calling, which means that we are called as ministers only insofar as we present God’s message to his people.” (p. 19)

“Ministers are servants and stewards of God’s Word–that’s the message we are to deliver.” (p. 21)

“The main task he has given us is making known the secret things of God–the gospel of the crucified Messiah!” (p. 21)

“If you fear the Lord, you can deal with your fear of man.  But remember that you cannot please God if you live to please men.” (p. 22)

“A real minister has the cross at the center of his message, and his delivery of this message is the center of his role as a minister.” (p. 25)

“Surely a Christian minister should not only teach the gospel correctly and live a Christ-like life, but he should also lead others to do the same.” (p. 31)

“Humility encourages every other virtue, it undermines our sin, and it opens us up to hearing how we can continue to grow in Christ” (p. 33)

“Our churches are to be living, loving, moving pictures of this great gospel.” (p. 37)

That’s what I want to be…a real minister.  Pick up the book, take it to heart, and join in the discussion.  More to come…

What Do You Think?