I want to only hear the Gospel

In church we should only preach about one thing, the Gospel. If we were to sit down and examine the Gospel, we would see that it contains two major themes. First is Christ and his example. Second, that there are two kind of good works. One is is completely done, that of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Through it we are saved through faith. But good works don't just stop with Jesus on the cross. They are to continue through us. The second good work described in the gospel is us bringing our neighor the help they need.

If we are teaching anything different from the Gospel, we are leading people astray. But the most dangerous person isn't the one who just teaches things outside of the Gospel. The most dangerous person is the one who only partially teaches the Gospel. He is the one who teaches only the example of Christ without the death of Jesus on the cross. He is the one who teaches Jesus on the cross without the call for us to follow Christ's example. This person is worse than one who teaches without the Gospel because he abuses and corrupts God's word. Paul wrote, "For we are not peddlers of God's word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence" (2 Corinthians 2:17)

The one thing we can be sure of is that this Gospel couldn't be revealed to those who just contemplated nature, nor could all the ingenuity, reason and wisdom of this world have thought it out. The Gospel is supernatural. Who would be able to discover by means of his own efforts that faith in Christ makes us one with Christ and gives us for our own all that is Christ's? Who would be able to discover that no works are of any value except those intended to benefit our neighbor? Nature teaches no more than that which is worked out in the law. Nature will always fall back upon its own work. Then, naturally, a person will think that he fulfills the commandment by founding some institution or organization. Another person will think he fulfills the commandment by fasting. Another by the kind of clothes he wears. Another by going on pilgrimages. People will try to fulfill the commandment with all sorts of methods. Yet all their methods are useless, for nobody is helped by them. That is the way the world is today. The whole world is blinded and veering off course due to the doctrines and works of men. Faith and love, along with the Gospel, have perished.

The Gospel if preached properly, is a supernatural sermon and light that will focus on making only Christ known. It will awaken this blinded world. The Gospel is a heavenly light that teaches nothing more than Christ. In Christ we completely receive God's grace and of our human achievements are completely cast aside. The Gospel exalts only God making it foolish for man to boast of his own strength. The preaching of the Gospel should give God all the glory, for it is through his love and goodness alone that we are saved through Christ.

The Gospel can tolerate nothing but the truth. The teachings of men are just earthly light and human glory. The teachings exalt being of good reputation and receiving fame. It makes souls be prideful in their own works. The Gospel glories in Christ, in God's grace and goodness, and teaches us to boast and live in Christ.

The human teachings of men will try to satisfy, but they cannot. They will leave a barren land and deadly hunger. The only complete satisfaction our heart will ever find is when it hears Christ rightly proclaimed in the Gospel. The angel said to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).

Just in this little verse we can see what the Gospel is, a joyful sermon concerning Christ our savior. Whoever preaches rightly will preach a Gospel of pure joy. How is it possible for anyone to hear of greater joy than that Christ is given to us as our own? The angel does not only say that Christ is born, but he makes the savior personal by saying "to you is born..a Savior."

The Gospel is not just a history of the life of Christ. It is a powerful story that enables all who believe it to receive it as their own. It wouldn't be any benefit to us if Christ had been born a thousand times, and people would daily sing and preach the story of him to me in a most beautiful and eloquent manner. What would any of it if I never heard that Christ was born for me and was to be my very own? If any voice tells me that Christ was born for me and he is to be my very own, even if they do it in a poor untrained manner, my heart listens with joy for it is always a lovely sound which penetrates my soul. There is nothing else to be preached.

Taken and modified from Martin Luther's Christmas Day Sermon:34-44

Watch out for the potholes.