Quotes by C. Matthew McMahon
For we do not keep the Law to be saved. But rather, in keeping the Law we show ourselves to already have gained salvation through the cross of Christ. In light of the cross of Christ and the liberation from the (sting) of sin we receive from it, we are now free to keep the Law (Gal. 4:31).
We are not Legalists when we keep the Law, because we do not look to the Law for life. Rather the Law shows us we have true life in our hearts. We keep the Law to be obedient to Christ and show Him how much we love Him for rescuing us from the damning influences of trying to keep the Law to gain eternal life. Obedience is a far cry from Legalism.
But the [improper] use of God’s name is hardly restricted just to language… Whenever we do not live up to the call of the Christian life, we take God’s name in vain. We are mirrors that should reflect the perfection of God. If the mirror claims to be Christ’s and reflects tendencies of hell, then we use the name of Christ in vain, and people see that.
When we use our tongues in a way that dishonors God’s name we use His name in vain. This is when we curse and swear. It is when we say “O my God” or any such time when the Lord’s name is used in an irreverent way. Even when we are in prayer or praise to God and we continually repeat the name “Jesus” or “Father” irreverently through vain repetition, we use God’s name in vain. It is a sacred name and should be held in high esteem no matter when we invoke it. For invoking the name of God is a weighty matter and should not be taken lightly.
Preaching is not just morally edifying speech. It is not simply a pep-rally to excite the listeners to a day or two of penitential service. It is taking the dominion of God and placing it within the deepest reaches of the soul of those He is ministering to. It is screwing truth into men’s minds in such a way as to enthrall the heart with more of Jesus Christ. Preaching is a spiritual infection which ought to impregnate the hearer with the life of God and Christ.
The pulpit is the place where the voice of God is heard. The clay pot of the minister is used by the Holy Spirit in such a way as to communicate the rational Biblical message which has been burning in the bosom of that preacher’s heart night and day all week long. It is the place where God speaks to His people in a unique manner. The Word of God is audibly expressed and expounded by careful and responsible exegesis to God’s chosen people.
There must be a dread about the minister; one which works in such a way as to render him wholly dependent upon the Spirit of God to communicate the Word of God through him by means of his message. There must be a complete reliance on God and an utter destitute of self, or the pulpit is nothing more than an exercise in futility. If a preacher does not see this, then he is no preacher. If a preacher does not live this, he is not called to preach. Butterflies before preaching a sermon is not a warrant for understanding the weightiness of the task at hand. You can get butterflies before you speak at a bar-b-que. There must be a day-to-day cry from the closet of the preacher to the throne room of heaven, a besieging of heaven with a holy fervor that this man knows he is unable to bring any good to the people lest God is with him.
The entire remnant of the redeemed elect from all ages; both on earth and in heaven.
Worship in the pulpit is exercised by those who know the saving power of Christ, and express that power through the spoken word, molded by the written revelation of God in the Bible… The preacher, in his act of preaching, communicates the Bible (the knowledge he has gained of God) to the hearers. His worship becomes their worship. Preaching is worship.
[The preacher] appreciates the fact that he is simply the vessel that has been prepared to pour forth Christ into the mouth of those waiting for rivers of living water. In that instance and that act of preaching he worships God with all his heart. His heart is poured forth and every fiber of his being screams forth the majesty of Christ and the holiness of God as He addresses the saints. The explanation of the Excellencies he is depositing into the ears of the hearers is the immediate fruit of his personal ownership of those sublime truths. Preaching, for the preacher, is worship.
Here the preacher rests in a quiet assurance. He is backed by the promise that God is at work while he is about worship. In this he knows he is a planter. Seeds are sown and fruit will result. Yet, the fruit may not be seen for weeks, months or even years. Still, the preacher rests confident in who God is and what He has promised. God is at work and the preacher glories in that work like a vessel that is used by the hand to be lifted to the thirsty mouth. The preacher is worshipping in all of this. He is experiencing the pleasure of God upon himself as the Word of God rains down upon the people.
The pulpit is not to be used to experiment in doctrine. Doctrine should already be settled before it ever reaches the pulpit. The sanctuary should not be a personal theological laboratory, and the people of God used as white mice. This can have profoundly damaging affects as already seen through the history of the church. Men have often used the pulpits to preaching and through doctrines which they have yet to understand, or fully grasp.