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.