Monday, March 15, 2010

True Preaching Part 1: "The Shepherds Stewardship"

I just finished a book about preaching. It was fabulous! It answered the question: "Why preaching expositorally?" Expository preaching is line upon line preaching all the way through a book of the Bible. I am convinced this is the only reliable and God-honoring form of preaching. In the next couple of blogs I want to report some of what I learned. This helps me to process and gives you a reference for true preaching.


The first thing I want to delve into is the responsibility preachers have. They are to be men who illuminate the Scriptures. There is NO new revelations being given by the Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:11 tells us that God gave prophets and apostles and evangelists, and pastor / teachers for the equipping of the saints. There has been a progression of bibilical revelation. That progress began with prophets - Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, and even John the Bapitst. These were men who recieved direct communitcation from the Spirit of God to them. We know that Moses was a man who spent time with the Lord face to face. There were prophets in the early days of the church, we read of them in Acts.

Then came apostles, the twelve who spent three years living with Jesus. Listening, watching, and ingesting all that our Lord did. These men, along with the prophets, ushered in the church-age. Paul, Peter, John, and James began writing as the Spirit prompted them, letters to believers. The prophets began to slide out. By the time the apostles were all dead the church still had many copies of these letters and thus began the creation of the churches holy sciptures.

Now, today, men of God, take that written, God-inspired word and illuminate it. This is the chief operation of any preacher, pastor, evangelist, and teacher, to rightly divide the Word of God. Preachers must take a text and dive deep into its meaning. We have 2000 - 4000 years of history to fill in. This is an ancient book, and Pastors are to be the resident experts of its content. The preacher is to take this book and make it understandable to modern worhippers. A Pastor is a good reporter, he understands his topic and brings it to the attention of the people.

DANGER! False preaching adds extra-biblical information as authoritative and then we have reduced God's word. Any therapist can evaluate marriages and then come up with principles to show how to have a good marriage. This is truth that God ordained, but it is not essential truth for the church. The Word of God reveals to us God's standard. It gives us enough information that sets the bar for us. The problem with modern day preaching is that preachers think all people want is "how-to" sermons. Preachers don't believe that preaching on the glory of God in marriage is enough. They presumptiously beleive, "Believers, already know that. They want to know how good marriages work." A faithful expository Pastor will mine the depths of God's word and reveal to hungry believers the needed nuggets to strengthen marriages. Yes, other books are helpful, but God's word gets to the core of the issue, ALWAYS. The root of knowledge is what believers need. The Bible provides it, and the faithful Pastor will reveal it.

"How-to" sermons are nothing more than candy bars. But, expository sermons are a Thanksgiving dinner. If your Pastor is using all kinds of stories, and videos, and dramas then he might be attempting to water down the truth. He wrongly thinks that people don't want deep doctrine, they just want the "rubber meets the road" stuff. If your Pastor uses his pulpit to talk about anything other than the Word of God, like politics and entertainment, then he is prostituting the preaching of God's Word and feeding you candy bars. The Man of God is to take the Bible, lay it open on that pulpit and begin to illuminate what is inside. Believers think they know all there is to know. Sorry, but that is wrong. You and I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all the gold and jewels that await us in the Bible.

I pray you will come back for more.


Rob said...

I couldn't agree more but I think today the Pastor/Preacher must find a balance for the "How to" or the "rubber meets the road". Its not the days of Spurgeon, Watson, or Whitfield unfortunately people today expect things to be sifted and served to them on a platter. I would say some don't know how to "digest" whether they are too lazy or don't know how and haven't been taught the fact is thats who they are. I'm not saying to water dowm and conform to the "entertain me service" again I agree with you but I think there should be some amount of how to application broken down that they may learn. Its like as one is being raised they have the "milk" and only when they get older do they recieve solid food. I believe there are alot of christians that are on the milk and there hasn't been discipleship to bring them further.

Paul Simpson said...

Amen, I couldn't agree more. As I blog more you will see there is a balance that can be maintained.