A Community of Counselors: The Fruit of Good Preaching -- By: Paul David Tripp
SBJT 7:4 (Winter 2003) p. 4
A Community of Counselors:
The Fruit of Good Preaching1
Paul David Tripp is a counselor and faculty member of the School of Biblical Counseling at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation and also serves as lecturer in Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Age of Opportunity: A Guide to Parenting Teens (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1997), War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Our Communication Struggles (Presbyterian and Reformed, 2000), Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands (Presbyterian and Reformed, 2002), and numerous articles.
I love Sundays. Even when I am out of town, I often fly home on Saturday nights just to be with my family, to worship, and to be taught the Word.
I love the moment when our preacher stands to deliver God’s Word to God’s people. I love the stunning wisdom of God’s Word and the remarkable depth and practicality of what God says. No matter how deep you dig, the Word always runs deeper. No matter how familiar the road, the Word always surprises you from around the next corner. I love how the Word understands both the infinitely detailed textures of human experience and the labyrinthine motives of the human heart. The Word is a light, a rainstorm, a mine, a mirror, a garden, a hammer, a fire. I love God’s Word.
Most of all I love the fact that the Truth revealed in the Word is more than a theology or a set of principles, but a Person: Jesus Christ. Truth is Emmanuel, God with Us. Truth is the Shepherd, the Lamb, the Wonderful Counselor, the Way and the Life, our Redeemer King. He is the one I need to see and hear and love. He gives me reasons to get up in the morning that far transcend any purpose that I might cobble together in some moment of great insight or inspiration.
I go to worship with God’s people with hunger and expectancy. I am a man in desperate need of help, and the preacher is one of God’s primary helpers. Sunday after Sunday, I am made to see what I had not seen before. My convictions are strengthened —and reversed. My heart is exposed, and my behavior is challenged. I am led to gaze on the glory-laden beauty of the Redeemer. Sunday after Sunday, the invisible Kingdom is made visible for me, and my selfish agendas shrink against God’s wise and wonderful plan.
Yet, with all the glory and power of the public preaching of the Word, I am convinced that, too often, something is missing. A significant part of God’s plan for the proclamation of the Word lacks the prominence that it should have in the public moment of exposition. This remarkable weekly moment of truth declaration must be shaped by a reco...
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