Friday, October 30, 2015
“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…” (1 Corinthians 2:4).
Preaching—true biblical preaching, heralding the message as Scripture commands—is becoming less and less common as the anti-authority, “God is my life coach” spirit of the age becomes more and more common.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Don’t back off, preachers—do your job with passion and in the power of the Holy Spirit. You are not making a Mary Kay presentation or engaging in reflective dialogue on the set with Oprah or Dr. Phil—you are a man with a message from a King.
Don’t back off, preachers—do your job with passion and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
A king’s messenger would never stand quietly on a street corner, parchment in hand, speaking in passive tones only a few nearby could hear. While modern audio equipment amplifies volume and eliminates the need to shout for hearing, faithfulness to the meaning of terms translated “preach” or “proclaim” demand we find equally effective ways to herald the gravity of the message.
Let me say it succinctly: Bible explanation is not preaching. Exegetical review by itself is not preaching. Speaking the message in a monotone way that wouldn’t engage your mother in the front row on your birthday is not faithfulness to what the Bible commands in proclamation. If you are unpacking your lexical study and dispensing biblical accuracy without Holy Spirit urgency, you are not preaching in the biblical sense, which commands a heralding of the message. A favorite quote of mine is from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, of whom I am told you could not sit under his preaching without being gripped by God’s Spirit and held until you heard what God would say through him.
Lloyd-Jones said: “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.”
Here is a short example of what I mean.
Let’s bring our King’s message this weekend with the authority of God’s Word and without apology. Some will reject it, to be sure—but by God’s grace, it will be for someone “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16).