Preaching and the Lord’s Supper (Vos)

Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Seminary - Vos, Geerhardus - 9781848719187
The Christian pastor’s duty is to consistently and clearly preach the whole counsel of God which has Christ at the center (Acts 20:27; 2 Cor. 1:20; 1 Cor. 9:16, etc.). Christian sermons must come out of the Christian Scriptures which are all about Christ. And this reality also has to do with the Lord’s Supper. The focus of Christian preaching is Christ; the thing signified in the sacrament is about Christ: his life-giving death on the cross. I appreciate how Geerhardus Vos explained this so well in one of his chapel sermons called “The Gracious Provision.” Here it is – and pastors, take note!

…In order to assure yourselves whether or not you are doing this [preaching Christ], whether your preaching meets this requirement or not, a good test to apply is the frequent comparison of the purport of your sermon with the purport of the sacrament. The word and the sacrament as means of grace belong together: they are but two sides of the same divinely instituted instrumentality. While addressing themselves to different organs of perception, they are intended to bear the one identical message of the grace of God—to interpret and mutually enforce one another.

If in the individual spiritual life of a Christian, the Lord’s Supper comes as something for which he is unprepared, something which requires a spiritual state of mind which he feels he cannot bring to it, something from which he shrinks because he realizes that it is so sadly unrelated to the usual tone and temper of his religious experience—then we would not hesitate to say that there is something wrong in the relation of that Christian to his God and his Savior.

And yet I think we shall be all willing to confess that such has been frequently the case with ourselves [as preachers]. Is it not likely that a similar experience may be in store for us not as common believers but as preachers of the gospel? Let us therefore be careful to key our preaching to such a note that when we stand as ministrants behind the table of our Lord to distribute the bread of life, our congregation shall feel that what we are doing then is but the sum and culmination of what we have been doing every Sabbath from the pulpit.


The above quote is found on pages 238-239 of Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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