Our Scripture verse on preaching is John 21:15-17 which reads: "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."
Our quote on preaching today is from Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He said, "What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this: It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence."
Our first topic is titled "The Call to the Ministry, Part 3" from "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:
The Master is not to be denied the choice of the vessels which he uses, he will still say of certain men as he did of Saul of Tarsus, "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles." When our Lord ascended on high he gave gifts unto men, and it is noteworthy that these gifts were men set apart for various works: "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers"; from which it is evident that certain individuals are, as the result of our Lord's ascension, bestowed upon the churches as pastors; they are given of God, and consequently not self-elevated to their position.
Our second topic is titled "The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 16" from "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 1)
When God calls a person to His service He also fits and equips him for it, for “God’s commands are His enablings.” When God wishes one of His creatures to fly, He gives it wings to fit it for the sphere in which it is to live and move and have its being. We shall think of the fitness of the preacher in a four-fold sense: spiritually, physically, mentally and educationally.
Our third topic is titled "What's the Big Idea?, Part 7" from "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:
--- Examples of Forming an Idea (Part 2)
Look at how the process of forming an idea works with the poetry in an Old Testament book. The small diary of Habakkuk consists of a series of conversations that the prophet had with God. In the opening chapter Habakkuk is upset with God for not punishing evil in the nation of Judah and in the broader world. We must first state the ideas that make up the argument the prophet had with God.
Our Scripture verse on preaching is 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 which reads: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
Our quote on preaching today is from Steven J. Lawson. He said, "It matters to God what is preached. And it matters to Him how it is preached. No man is free to preach whatever and however he so chooses.No preacher, regardless of where he serves, is free to reinvent preaching."
Our first topic is titled "The Call to the Ministry, Part 2" from "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:
Varying in its outward form, but to the same purport, was the commission of Ezekiel; it runs thus in his own words: "And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the Spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day." "Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them."
Our second topic is titled "The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 15" from "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE CLEAN IN LIFE (PART 4)
--- The peril of prominence
While discussing the subject of exaggeration, it may not be amiss to draw attention to the present tendency, in some circles, to indulge in wild flights of imagination. Worse yet, the tendency to advertise the abilities of certain preachers, teachers and singers, etc. Superlatives are piled on superlatives in the attempt to assure the reader, or hearer, that all who come to hear this marvelous person will be both greatly honored and highly privileged. The public is invited to listen to, "The most gifted, eloquent, dynamic speaker that has ever graced the town with his illustrious presence." It is to be feared that sometimes the preacher himself becomes a party to this form of self-advertising.
Our third topic is titled "What's the Big Idea?, Part 6" from "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:
--- Examples of Forming an Idea (Part 1)
In some biblical passages the subject and complement may be discovered with relative ease, but in others determining the idea stands as a major challenge. Psalm 117 is an example of an uncomplicated thought. The psalmist urges:
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all you people!
For his love is strong,
His faithfulness eternal.
We do not understand the psalm until we can state its subject. What is the psalmist talking about? We might be tempted to say that the subject is praise, but praise is broad and imprecise. The psalmist isn’t telling us everything about praise. Nor is the subject praise of God, which is still too broad. The subject needs more limits. The precise subject is why everyone should praise the Lord. What, then, is the psalmist saying about that? He has two complements to his subject. The Lord should be praised, first, because his love is strong and second, because his faithfulness is eternal. In this short psalm the psalmist states his naked idea, stripped of any development, but in its bare bones it has a definite subject and two complements.
Our Scripture verse on preaching is Matthew 10:27-28 which reads: "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Our quote on preaching today is from Francis de Sales. He said, "The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not ‘What a lovely sermon,’ but ‘I will do something!’"
In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon; "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs; and "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson.
Our first topic is titled "The Call to the Ministry, Part 1" from "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:
Any Christian has a right to disseminate the gospel who has the ability to do so; and more, he not only has the right, but it is his duty so to do as long as he lives. The propagation of the gospel is left, not to a few, but to all the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ: according to the measure of grace entrusted to him by the Holy Spirit, each man is bound to minister in his day and generation, both to the church and among unbelievers. Indeed, this question goes beyond men, and even includes the whole of the other sex; whether believers are male or female, they are all bound, when enabled by divine grace, to exert themselves to the utmost to extend the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our service, however, need not take the particular form of preaching -- certainly, in some cases it must not, as for instance in the case of females, whose public teaching is expressly prohibited.
Our second topic is titled "The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 14" from "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE CLEAN IN LIFE (PART 3)
--- The peril of prominence
A preacher occupies a far more prominent place in the public eye than those who take no part in preaching. Therefore there exists the need for a correspondingly circumspect walk before men. A pocket watch and a public clock both serve the same purpose, to tell the time. If a watch gets out of order, only the owner is affected; but if a public clock goes wrong, hundreds of people are misled. Thus a prominent position carries with it a far greater necessity and responsibility for a consistent life. This will involve merciless self-judgment, separation from all known sin and, in some cases, denying of the legitimate things of life, that the testimony of Christ and “the ministry be not blamed”.
Our third topic is titled "What's the Big Idea?, Part 5" from "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:
--- The Formation of an Idea
To define an idea with “scrupulous exactness,” we must know how ideas are formed. When reduced to its basic structure, an idea consists of only two essential elements: a subject and a complement. Both are necessary. When we talk about the subject of an idea, we mean the complete, definite answer to the question, “What am I talking about?” The subject as it is used in homiletics is not the same thing as a subject in grammar. A grammatical subject is often a single word. The subject of a sermon idea can never be only one word. It calls for the full, precise answer to the question, “What am I talking about?” Single words such as discipleship, witnessing, worship, grief, or love may masquerade as subjects, but they are too vague to be viable.
Our Scripture verse on preaching is Galatians 1:8-10 which reads: "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Our quote on preaching today is from Tim Keller. He said, "Expository preaching should provide the main diet of preaching for a Christian community… It is the best method for displaying and conveying your conviction that the whole Bible is true. This approach testifies that you believe every part of the Bible to be God’s Word, not just particular themes and not just the parts you feel comfortable agreeing with."
Our first topic is titled "The Minister's Piety Must be Vigorous, Part 6" from "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:
Even in little things the minister should take care that his life is consistent with his ministry. He should be especially careful never to fall short of his word. This should be pushed even to scrupulosity; We cannot be too careful; truth must not only be in us, but shine from us. A celebrated doctor of divinity in London, who is now in heaven I have no doubt–a very excellent and godly man–gave notice one Sunday that he intended to visit all his people, and said, that in order to be able to get round and visit them and their families once in the year, he should take all the seatholders in order. A person well known to me, who was then a poor man, was delighted with the idea that the minister was coming to his house to see him, and about a week or two before he conceived it would be his turn, his wife was very careful to sweep the hearth and keep the house tidy, and the man ran home early from work, hoping each night to find the doctor there.
Our second topic is titled "The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 13" from "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE CLEAN IN LIFE (PART 2)
--- The Menace of Inconsistency
More damage has been brought to the cause of Christ through the inconsistent lives of those who profess His name and preach His Word than anything else has. Paul, by the Spirit, asks some searching questions, “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?…Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written”.
Note also that inconsistency of life causes both God’s doctrine and His Word to be blasphemed. It is recorded that Nathan said to David, concerning his double sin of adultery and murder, “Because of this deed, thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme”. Time has proved how true this statement was. A man once said of a loose-living, but eloquent preacher, “When he is in the pulpit, I wish he’d never get out; when he’s out, I wish he’d never go back again!”
Our third topic is titled "What's the Big Idea?, Part 4" from "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:
--- The Definition of an Idea
What do we mean by an idea? A glance at the dictionary demonstrates that defining an idea resembles trying to package fog. A complete definition could send us into the fields of philosophy, linguistics, and grammar. Webster ranges all the way from “a transcendent entity that is a real pattern of which existing things are imperfect representations” to “an entity (as a thought, concept, sensation, or image) actually or potentially present to consciousness.”
The word idea itself moved into English from the Greek word eido, which means “to see” and therefore “to know.” An idea sometimes enables us to see what was previously unclear. In common life when an explanation provides new insight, we exclaim, “Oh, I see what you mean!” Still another synonym for idea is concept, which comes from the verb to conceive. Just as a sperm and an egg join to produce new life in the womb, an idea begins in the mind when things ordinarily separated come together to form a unity that either did not exist before or was not recognized previously.