Passing the Preacher's Test (part one)
The first temptation: To preach something other than the Bible as the source and substance of our sermon
I used to cheat in Algebra. Math has always been difficult for me, and so when I was assigned to the honors Algebra class, which was very much over my head, I adjusted this discrepancy by "borrowing" some answers from the best mathematician in the school, and a fellow starter on the varsity basketball team.
I wasn't a Christian at the time, but I had a strong conscience, one which initially burned within me each time I broke the school's law, God's law, and my own moral law. But after a while, as the teacher himself turned a blind eye to what was going on, and my heart hardened toward this sin, this fire of conscience cooled. The guilt subsided. The teacher didn't care. My friend didn't care. I didn't care. I passed the class.
When I became a Christian a year after graduating high school, everything changed on the inside, and eventually on the outside. So when I transferred to Wheaton College to major in Bible/Theology, I vowed never again to cheat on anything.
This vow, however, was quickly ...