Silencing the Critics Against Preaching

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J.C. Ryle in his commentary on Luke notes:

We ought to notice, lastly, in these verses, the declaration of our Lord as to one of the objects of His coming into the world. We read that He said, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also–for therefore was I sent.” An expression like this ought to silence forever the foolish remarks that are sometimes made against preaching. The mere fact that the eternal Son of God undertook the office of a preacher, should satisfy us that preaching is one of the most valuable means of grace. To speak of preaching, as some do, as a thing of less importance than reading public prayers or administering the sacraments, is, to say the least, to exhibit ignorance of Scripture. It is a striking circumstance in our Lord’s history, that although He was almost incessantly preaching, we never read of His baptizing any person. The witness of John is distinct on this point–“Jesus baptized not.” (John 4:2.)

Let us beware of despising preaching. In every age of the Church, it has been God’s principal instrument for the awakening of sinners and the edifying of saints. The days when there has been little or no preaching have been days when there has been little or no good done in the Church. Let us hear sermons in a prayerful and reverent frame of mind, and remember that they are the principal engines which Christ Himself employed, when He was upon earth. Not least, let us pray daily for a continual supply of faithful preachers or God’s word. According to the state of the pulpit will always be the state of a congregation and of a Church.

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