• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • September 2014
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Samuel A CainDo your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1 ESV)

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV)

The very best kind of preaching is saying exactly what God says. It is preaching with the sound of God’s own voice. Preaching to glorify God means preaching with the very words of God. Preaching that glorifies God is preaching that is heard like the very voice of God Himself.

A preacher must be careful not to modify the gospel by the means he uses to preach it. Preaching that relies on psychology and motivational strategies may reveal a lack of trust in the Holy Spirit to bring God’s message to life in the hearts of His people. Biblical preaching is all about God, not us.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:

“The most urgent need of the Christian Church today is true preaching, and as it is the greatest and most urgent need in the Church, it is the greatest need of the world also.”

God must be supreme in our preaching. There is nowhere else to go where people can hear about the supremacy of God through Jesus Christ. A lukewarm Gospel denies the power of God in favor of the world’s approval. In such churches we find an unbiblical focus on man. Too many of our preachers have already traded in the Word of God for the sake of popularity.

God’s pulpit is not the place for a frustrated comedian. The minister’s dignity bears witness to the glory of God. It is more than unfortunate that modern congregations want to restrict the time for preaching in order to give more time to the band, the choir, and the drama team. Many people think it is more important to get to their favorite Sunday restaurant ahead of the crowd than to sit longer for preaching or hear the closing prayer. People have lost respect for Biblical preaching and thus for God’s glory. The modern congregation is filled with “needs-driven” people who are often a “bottomless pit” of distraction as they demand to be the center of attention and the pastor’s first priority. The Holy Spirit is seeking preachers to call men to repentance; not to elevate their self-esteem.

I close here with Question 159 of the Westminster Larger Catechism:

Question 159: How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called to do it?

Answer: Those who are called to labor in the ministry of the Word, are to preach sound doctrine, attentively, whether it is convenient or inconvenient to them to do so; plainly, not in the enticing words of man’s wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, considering the needs and abilities of the hearers; enthusiastically, with passionate love of God and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming to Glorify God, and work to the conversion, building up, and salvation of the people.

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