alien righteousness

Packer – An endless battle for Preachers

“The devil is malicious and mean, more so than any of us can imagine, and he marauds constantly with destructive intent. Though he is, as Luther said, God’s devil, and is on a chain (a strong one, though admittedly a long one), he is tireless in opposing God, and sets himself to spoil and thwart all the redemptive work that God ever does in human lives. As one means to this end, he labor a to ensure that preachers’ messages will be either misstated or misheard, so that they will not have the liberating, invigorating, upbuilding effect that is proper to the preached Word. Preaching is this, as all real preachers soon discover, an endless battle for truth and power, a battle that has to be fought afresh each time by watchfulness and prayer. Preachers know themselves to be warriors in God’s front line, drawing enemy fire; the experience is gruelling, but it confirms to them the importance of their task as ambassadors for Christ and heralds of God, sowers of good seed, stewards of saving truth, shepherds of God’s flock, fathers guiding their spiritual families (II Cor. 5:20; Luke 8:4-15; I Cor. 4:1; Acts 20: 28:32; I Pet. 5:2-4; I Cor. 4:15; Gal. 4:19). In the manner of front-line troops they frequently get scared by the opposition unleashed against them, but they do not panic, and their morale remains high. The challenge of beating back Satan by God’s strength, like that of communication effectively for Christ, is one to which they rise.” (27-28)

-J.I. Packer

Taken from The Preacher and Preaching: Reviving the Art, edited by Samuel T. Logan Jr.

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