I always recommend to pastors that they purchase all of Don Carsonâ€™s little paperback expositions because I think they are some of the best expositional material available. They are models of exegesis, application, and preaching in general.
I just came back across this following quote from Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians . This is piercing application. I am cut to the quick. I know the approach to life he is satirizing not simply by looking out at others but by looking within. I need to hear this word again. And, how we need this word in our churches! All too easily we warp the gospel into a way for securing the â€˜good lifeâ€™ for ourselves.
â€œI would like to buy about three dollars worth of gospel, please. Not too much â€“ just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted. I donâ€™t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust. I certainly donâ€™t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture. I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation. I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself donâ€™t want to love those from different races â€“ especially if they smell. I would like enough gospel to make my family
secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged. I would like about three dollars worth of the gospel, please.â€ (pp. 12-13)
Brothers, we must preach this searching point. Many will be entirely content for us to â€œdo our sermonâ€, but when you begin to press the call of the gospel to shape our lives, rebuke our sin, calling for repentance many will rebel. But without this we have failed to discharge our ministries (Col 4:17). Without this we are mere hirelings awaiting rebuke from the Master on the final day. There is no discount version of the Gospel. It is all or nothing. Let us wield the searching sword of the Spirit (Heb 4:12) as those who have first been pierced by it.