Tuesday, March 23, 2010

True Preaching Part 3: "The Anointing"

I was once told after a sermon that my message was anointed. That of course went immediately to my head. I got all puffed up and thought I was "hot stuff" for God. Of course it went away immediately the next time I had to preach. My thought was, "How do I make this sermon anointed too?" "What did I do the first time, so I can get that anointing again?"

Jim Shaddix exploded my preconceived idea in his book "The Passion Driven Sermon" which is what I have been reviewing for you, my reader. His clarification of anointed preaching has given me hope and has also taken away the mystical hocus-pocus I thought I had somehow magically received. It has given me hope because anointed preaching isn't entirely wrapped up in the preacher/evangelist. It is a combination of things: the preacher, the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit.

The Pastor should never speak for himself, but only for God.

Pastor's are to speak the Words of God as given in the Bible. I was listening to a horrible sermon lately that showed how many preachers are putting their own subjective feelings and thoughts on the same par as the Word of God. This preacher was saying things like, "God revealed to me..." and then he finished that thought with silly things that in no way were attributal to God. Silly things, such as, when one is in prayer one should take deep breaths, this helps the mind to think more sharply and relax more. I am sure these things are true, but that is in no way on the same level of divine revelation as the Scriptures. Pastor's are to speak with only the authority of the Word, their authority is derived from the Word. The Bible warns not to add or delete from the Word.

The Scriptures themselves are most powerful. All that a preacher needs is found in the Word of God. in Second Timothy Paul tells his protege that all scripture is profitable for teaching, for correction, for reproving, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped. Then in Ephesians Paul writes that Pastors are to equip the saints. The only way this is to be done is through the use of explaining the Scriptures. The Bible contains everything people need for walking in greater holiness. This is what God requires most.

A third part that makes up anointing is the Spirit of God Himself. The Word tells us that we are under going metamorphis, a transforming of our minds. The old has gone and the new is coming. We are now on this earth justified and being sanctified, yet one day we will stand before Jesus and be glorified. The Spirit is the One Who comes alongside us and enables us to live this crucified life. He enabled the apostles to remember all that our Lord had spoken so they could write His words down. Jesus promised that the Spirit would help them when they were on trial to speak up for the cause of Jesus Christ. So too, the Spirit will bring Scripture to our remembrance when we need it and He will empower us to speak on Jesus' behalf when we testify for Him before men.

If the scriptures where inspired by God then don't you think that our preaching will be anointed if we speak clearly the truths of the scriptures? The Pastor must preach so that his audience comes to understand the meaning of the text as it was meant for the original audience. Then the Pastor can relate those same principles into our day.

I love to hear preachers who are fired up in the pulpit. Old preachers and saints call this "unction." When a Pastor gets in that pulpit their should be a little unction in that sermon. I know for myself it has come when I am prayed up, know my material, and I understand that I am speaking on behalf of God to His people. God wants to move in them and He uses the man of God in the pulpit expounding the Scriptures.

Go and preach my fellow Pastors!

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