|Vol. 16 No. 1 January 2014||
This past week I was reading an article on the Internet, taken from Salon online magazine. Albert Mohler writes, “Is an unborn baby ‘a life worth sacrificing?’ The question is horrifying, but the argument was all too real. In a recent article, Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon.com conceded what the pro-life movement has contended all along — that from the moment of conception the unborn child is undeniably a human life. And yet, Williams argues that this unborn human life must be terminated if a woman desires an abortion. The child is a life, but, in her grotesque view, ‘a life worth sacrificing.’”
A life worth sacrificing? It applies not only to the unborn child, but now to those who might have birth defects the parents don’t want to deal with. It applies to the elderly when they are considered a burden to their children or to society. Such is what happens when God is removed from the equation. Life is no longer viewed as sacred, having no value above those of the current conventions of the age. Life, however, does not create itself from nothing; nothing can’t bring something into existence. David is correct when he said, “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well” (Psalm 139:13-14). We must defer to God when it comes to life, for it rightly belongs to Him.
There was, however, a life worth sacrificing. The decision wasn’t made by any human being, but by God Himself. Before anything was made, God knew creating mankind with free will would usher in sin, and to deal with sin a sacrifice would have to be offered. Christ’s sacrifice was as planned for our forgiveness just as our lives were. Christ came in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4), to offer His life for our sin’s forgiveness. “For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish” (1 Peter 1:18-19). “He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). Christ’s life was worth sacrificing because He was tempted in all things as we are, but without having sinned (Hebrews 4:15). If our lives are joined in Him, we rediscover our true worth, without the condemnation of sin.
No innocent child in the womb of his or her mother should ever be considered a life worth sacrificing. No life outside the womb should ever be considered the domain of Satan. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We belong to God by right of creation, but as Christians He has a double claim on us by right of re-creation in Christ. What a difference this makes in our view of life, our own lives and how we view the lives of others. Everyone is special because we are from God’s creative hand, but how much more so when we are reclaimed from sin, when we reclaim the right vision of who we are and what life can be in Christ. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds. For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25).
Mark N. Posey
Homiletics (Gr. homiletikos, from homilos, to assemble together) in theology is the application of the general principles of rhetoric to the specific department of public preaching. The one who practices or studies homiletics is called a homilist. Homiletics is the study of the composition and delivery of a sermon or other religious discourse. It includes all forms of preaching, viz., the sermon, homily and theological instruction. It is further defined as the study of the analysis, classification, preparation, composition and delivery of sermons.
Different from a speech or a public address, which is usually for the entertainment of an audience, the sermon is the proclamation of God’s eternal Word. The preacher has nothing worthwhile to say if he does not minister from the Holy Scriptures. Such a proclamation may take the form of evangelistic preaching, encouragement or theological teaching, but it must always be firmly established and built upon the Bible.
Teaching (Romans 12:7)
William Glasser (psychologist) said that we learn by:
Encouragement (Romans 12:8)
Paul encouraged people to practice what they had been taught. Those who are taught but not exhorted become “lazy sheep” that only take in and never live the Christian life. Those who are exhorted but not taught become excited and active, but have no depth or understanding of what they do and will burn out quickly or work in wrong ways. Preaching includes exhortation and practical application.
Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)
Someone said, “It is easy to determine when something is aflame—it ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A preacher without a message of evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.” A sermon is not just proclamation, but living out a life of faith in Christ among, and in full view of, those same people, once the sermon is over.