Why Do You Want to Preach?

I Peter 4:11
       If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): What is the end of the gospel ministry?

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Isn’t it a principle part of the ordinary call of God to the ministerial work to aim at the glory of God and, in subordination thereunto, the good of souls as the chief marks in their undertaking that work?

C. H. SPURGEON: Some will say it is to convert sinners. That is a collateral end. Others will say it is to convert the saints. That is true. But the proper answer to give is—it is to glorify God, and God is glorified even in the damnation of sinners. If I testify to them the truth of God and they reject His gospel; if I faithfully preach His truth, and they scorn it, my ministry is not therefore void. It has not returned to God void, for even in the punishment of those rebels He will be glorified, even in their destruction He will get Himself honour; and if He cannot get praise from their songs, He will at last get honour from their condemnation and overthrow, when He shall cast them into the fire for ever.

JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): But that is not His great and proper design in sending His Son; He could have had His glory that way, though He never sent Him into the world.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Well, then, we must ask ourselves the question—what do we regard as of supreme importance? What are we going to put at the centre? What are we going to say matters above all else, and which we must never lose sight of? Surely there can be no disagreement among us with regard to the answer. It is the gospel of salvation which is also the “gospel of the glory of God.”

C. H. SPURGEON: The true motive for which we should always labour, is the glory of God in the conversion of souls, and building up of God’s people; but let us never lose sight of the great end―Preach with a single eye to the glory of God, or hold your tongue.

JOHN NEWTON: I hold it a good rule to inquire in this point, whether the desire to preach is most fervent in our most lively and spiritual frames, and when we are most laid in the dust before the Lord? If so, it is a good sign. But if, as is sometimes the case, a person is very earnest to be a preacher to others, when he finds but little hungerings and thirstings after grace in his own soul, it is then to be feared his zeal springs rather from a selfish principle than from the Spirit of God.

D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): There are many people who start out with idea that they are great and other people are small, and they are going to bring them up on the high level with themselves. God never yet used a man of that stamp.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): If we secretly wish to appear great among our brethren, to magnify ourselves or our party, or to figure away in the religious world, as persons of extraordinary zeal, all is naked to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, and, depend upon it, He will have no delight in us.

C. H. SPURGEON: Young brethren apply who earnestly desire to enter the ministry, but it is painfully apparent that their main motive is an ambitious desire to shine among men―they have embraced the idea that if they entered the ministry they would be greatly distinguished; they have felt the budding of genius, and have regarded themselves as greater than ordinary persons, and, therefore, they have looked upon the ministry as a platform upon which to display their supposed abilities. Whenever this has been visible I have felt bound to leave the man―believing that such spirits always come to nought if they enter the Lord’s service.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): If, instead of aiming only at the glory of God, and our acceptance with Him, we look aside at the applause of men, and while we profess to honour God, contrive to honour ourselves, and seek our own things under colour of seeking the things of Christ, this spoils all.

JOHN NEWTON: Every part of Paul’s history and writings demonstrates a disinterested spirit, and that his uncommon labours were directed to no other ends than the glory of God and the good of men.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The glory of God―That should ever be what marks God’s people, collectively or singly. It is neither the first business of the Church to “win the world for Christ” nor of the individual Christian to seek the salvation of his relatives and companions: rather is it to “show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light,” by our entire subjection to His Word.

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): I question whether there is a moment in which we are not either sinning or, in some way or other, bringing forth fruit to the glory of God.

C. H. SPURGEON: We find that we have nothing whereof to glory, and if we had, the very worst place in which to hang it out would be a pulpit; for there we are brought daily to feel our own insignificance and nothingness.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): I hope I can say, I act herein from a principle of true zeal for the glory of God; that this great thing I do, as I should do every thing to the glory of God, that my light may shine, that Christ’s kingdom may be advanced, the power of godliness kept up, the word of life held forth; by all which God is glorified. The desire of my soul is, that “whether I live I may live to the Lord, or whether I die I may die to the Lord, and that living and dying I may be the Lord’s.”


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