6/25/2010

So You Think You Can Preach...

While Charles Spurgeon is "the prince of preachers," Dr. D Martyn Lloyd-Jones (who preached for 42 years) has been described as "the last of the preachers," & perhaps one of the greatest preachers of the 20th century. He said,

There is all the difference in the world between preaching merely from human understanding and energy, and preaching in the conscious smile of God.

There is a very real danger of our putting our faith in our sermon rather than in the Spirit. Our faith should not be in the sermon, it should be in the Holy Spirit Himself.

You can have knowledge, and you can be meticulous in your preparation; but without the unction of the Holy Spirit you will have no power, and your preaching will not be effective.

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.

That is what preaching (the Bible) is meant to do. It addresses us in such a manner as to bring us under judgment; and it deals with us in such a way that we feel our whole life is involved, and we go out saying, "I can never go back and live just as I did before. This has done something to me; it has made a difference to me. I am a different person as the result of listening to this."

What is preaching? Logic on fire! Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.

I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel. If he does that I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him.

Be natural; forget yourself; be so absorbed in what you are doing and in the realization of the presence of God, and in the glory and the greatness of the Truth that you are preaching, and the occasion that brings you together, that you forget yourself completely. That is the right condition; that is the only place of safety; that is the only way in which you can honour God. Self is the greatest enemy of the preacher, more so than in the case of any other man in society. And the only way to deal with self is to be so taken up with, and so enraptured by, the glory of what you are doing, that you forget yourself altogether.

To me, the work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious of callings to which anyone can ever be called.

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

Avoid cleverness and smartness. The people will detect this, and they will get the impression that you are more interested in yourself and your cleverness than in the truth of God and their souls.

The big difference between a lecture and a sermon is that a sermon does not start with a subject; a sermon should always be expository. In a sermon the theme or the doctrine is something that arises out of the text and its context, it is something which is illustrated by that text and context.


Love, Joy & Peace from the Spirit (Galatians 5:22),
Ben (312) 363-8578

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