“Doubtless people need warnings against the evils of contemporary society (abortion, apostasy in the visible church, etc). But we cannot build a ministry, nor healthy Christians, on a diet of fulminating against the world.
No. Rather we do this by seeing the Scriptures expose the sin in our own hearts, undeceive us about ourselves, root out the poison that remains in our own hearts—and then helping our people to do the same ‘by the open statement of the truth’ ( 2 Cor. 4:2).
There is only one safe way to do this. Spiritual surgery must be done within the context of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Only by seeing our sin do we come to see the need for and wonder of grace. But exposing sin is not the same thing as unveiling and applying grace.
We must be familiar with and exponents of the multifaceted power of grace, and know how to apply grace to a variety of spiritual conditions. Truth to tell, exposing sin is easier than applying grace; for, alas, we are more intimate with the former than we sometimes are with the latter. Therein lies our weakness.”
–Sinclair B. Ferguson, “A Preacher’s Decalogue Part II,” Reformation21 (Accessed January 24, 2011) as cited here.