What is "balanced preaching?" I have heard of it all of my adult life. Generally it is the response of someone who thinks what they are hearing is lopsided. Or, perhaps, what they conceive to be central is not being emphasized. So, for some people "balanced preaching" really means equal time. For still others, it means nothing of real conviction is being said. Say enough about enough things, and nothing will happen. It is like being drowned in academia -- a dreadful way to go!
Does God's Word say anything about this subject? Not directly, because the subject smacks more of human analysis than of Divine wisdom. To begin with, I am not sure there are offsetting truths, so to speak. That is, as some suppose, by preaching some law you will keep people from dropping off the deep end of grace -- or, vice versa. Is it true that we can give the people too many promises, or too many commandments, and so we offset this possibility by giving a equal portions of each? Paul said he did not "shrink from declaring . . . the whole purpose (counsel, KJV) of God" (Acts 20:27). That not only is an excellent procedure, it is the only acceptable one! Just what is "the whole purpose" or "counsel" of God? It involves an eternal perspective as well as a practical one. The "whole counsel" concerning Christ's death, for example, involved telling the people He was "delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God." It also involved telling them they were nevertheless responsible for unspeakable transgression. Without timidity, they were told, "You nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death" (Acts 2:23). From the perspective of this devotion, that was "balanced preaching."
Good balance does not consist of some negative and some positive, some Old Testament and some New Testament, some rebuke and some consolation . . . etc. Rather, it is the development of a spiritual perspective that will enable the child of God to overcome the world, resist the devil, have strong faith, abound in hope, and fight the good fight of faith. Any preaching that, when embraced, does not produce these results is unbalanced! If the hearers are left wondering whether or not they should obey the Lord, they have not heard balanced preaching. On the other hand, if they are left wondering whether or not God is "able to keep them from falling and present them faultless before His presence with exceeding joy" (Jude 24-25), they have not heard a balanced presentation.
The "whole purpose" or "counsel" of God has more to do with His intentions than human obligations. Contrary to the thinking of some, that does not reduce the need for our response. Rather, it compels that it be given. This is why the Apostle prayed for the enlightenment of those to whom he preached the Gospel. His prayers open up the nature of truly balanced preaching. He prayed God would open the "eyes of their understanding" to know the hope to which they were called, the richness of God's inheritance in them, and the "exceeding greatness of the power" toward them (Eph 1:18-20). He prayed that God would "strengthen them with might by His Spirit in the inner man," in order that Christ might "dwell" in their hearts "by faith." This was in order that they might "comprehend" the extend of the love of Christ, and thus become "rooted and grounded" (Eph 3:16-20). THAT IS BALANCE!
Balanced preaching leaves people receiving it looking to things "unseen" (2 Cor 4:17-18). It compels them to "make straight paths for their feet" (Heb 12:13), and engage in the "good fight of faith" (1 Tim 6:12). It leaves the people discontent with sin, and desirous of being well pleasing in God's sight. THAT IS BALANCE! That kind of preaching will call for discernment on the part of the preacher. He is charged with "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15), dispensing the right word for the occasion. Imagine Paul shouting "REPENT" when the Philippian jailor cried "What must I do to be saved?" That would have been out of balance because he had already evidenced repentance. Balanced preaching (if we want to use that term) will leave people SPIRITUALLY BALANCED. That means heaven will tend to eclipse earth, and righteousness will be loved, while iniquity is hated. The hearers will receive incentive "put on the new man," and "put off the old man." THAT IS BALANCE!
One other thing, in God's "balance," things are seen differently. Accuracy is the point in the Divine balance, not equality! As Job said, "Let Him weigh me with accurate scales, And let God know my integrity" (Job 31:6). How is this for perspective: "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing" (Isa 40:15). How about this statement. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor 4:17). In the first saying, Job anticipated God's attentiveness to his integrity. THERE IS BALANCE! In the second, The mass of humanity is like a spec of dust in comparison to the God of heaven. THERE IS BALANCE! In the third, the sufferings of this world are offset by the mass of glory that awaits us. THAT IS BALANCE!
-- MONDAY: GOD LOVES US --