Preach the Gospel – not Values

Preach the Gospel – not Values

Creative Commons: Christian Values Candle Set

Many churches (and individuals) are teaching and preaching Christian values to a lost world. This message is calling for people to respect and embrace the standards of behaviour taught in the Scriptures. It must be noted that outward conformity to Christian values will extend certain benefits to an individual’s personal life and to those around them – however, this in and of itself it detrimental and damning to the hearer. Dr. R. Albert Mohler insightfully notes in a recent blog post,

“Hell will be filled with people who were avidly committed to Christian values. Christian values cannot save anyone and never will. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a Christian value, and a comfortability with Christian values can blind sinners to their need for the gospel.”

Here Mohler makes the important point that what is essential in our message to the unbelieving world is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the unmistakable teaching of Scripture that the practice of Christian values comes as the result of one hearing and heeding the gospel of Christ (see Col. 1:3-6). This is necessary because the gospel – not Christian values – contains “the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1:16). This does not mean that the Christian isn’t concerned regarding societies abandonment of Christian values and nor should they be silent on such matters. As Mohler also says,

“We should not pray for Christian morality to disappear or for Christian values to evaporate. We should not pray to live in Sodom or in Vanity Fair. But a culture marked even by Christian values is in desperate need of evangelism, and that evangelism requires the knowledge that Christian values and the gospel of Jesus Christ are not the same thing.”

The point is, we as God’s people are to make the gospel known because only the gospel’s power can bring true and eternal change to a sinner’s plight. We are to preach the gospel!

One Comment

  1. Simon

    A very important distinction, Andrew. The gospel saves. People living in line with God’s norms are a good and valuable outworking of God’s grace , but only his particular grace in the work of Christ is what saves.

    Abraham Kuyper makes the distinction between the blessings of God’s common grace (e.g. people living with Christian values) and his particular grace (him electing and saving people), but shows how they are also linked. Both flow into the other, in both directions. Common grace makes particular grace possible, and visa versa. I think Mohler captures this link nicely when he says that we shouldn’t pray to live in Vanity Fair, yet we still need to evangelise a society filled with God’s grace.

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