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PROCLAIM! Podcast

PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

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The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 38 (Proclaim #67)

Welcome to episode #67 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Luke 9:1-2 which reads: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Charles Swindoll. He said, “If I ever wrote a book on preaching, it would contain three words: Preach the Word. Get rid of all the other stuff that gets you sidetracked; preach the Word.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 38” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

(e) Criticism. The preacher should both seek and welcome criticism from others on subject matter, expressions, pronunciation, grammar, gesticulations, mannerisms, and anything else that would hinder the effective presentation of the message through him. We shall refer more fully to this matter later on.

Jeff D. Day has finely expressed this thought, “Really trying to preach involves persistent, careful, and prayerful preparation of the sermon in all its details, its doctrines, its homiletical order, its vigorous English, its grammatical correctness, its proper pronunciation of the words, its winsome delivery, in modulated vocalization, clear enunciation and correct gesticulation.” All this sounds like hard work, and it most certainly is, but it is well worthwhile, for “payday” is coming!

May it be ours not only to pray for “the wisdom that cometh from above”, but to use every opportunity to develop our capacity for that wisdom. This shall better fit us for the task of being “ambassadors for Christ,” and enable us to earn the “well done, thou good and faithful servant” of our blessed Lord and Master.

We used quite a little space for this matter of the qualifications of the preacher, and for good reason. We cannot disassociate the preacher from his preaching. We must remember the divine order in Paul’s injunction, “Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine [teaching]”.

The ECS Ministries (Emmaus Correspondence School Ministries), P.O. Box 1028, Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1028, has some splendid courses on the Scriptures that should prove useful. Contact them for a catalog by phone at 563 585 2070 or on the web—www.ecsministries.org, also email—ecsorders@emmaus.org. This is a sister-ministry to the Emmaus Bible School, of Dubuque, Iowa. —EDITOR.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

Our Public Prayer, Part 3 (Proclaim #66)

Welcome to episode #66 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 1 Corinthians 2:3-4 which reads: “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

Our quote on preaching today is from E. M. Bounds. He said, “. . . every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “Our Public Prayer, Part 3” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Prayer must not be transformed into “an oblique sermon.” It is little short of blasphemy to make devotion an occasion for display. Fine prayers are generally very wicked prayers. In the presence of the Lord of hosts it ill becomes a sinner to parade the feathers and finery of tawdry speech with the view of winning applause from his fellow mortals. Hypocrites who dare to do this have their reward, but it is one to be dreaded. A heavy sentence of condemnation was passed upon a minister when it was flatteringly said that his prayer was the most eloquent ever offered to a Boston congregation. We may aim at exciting the yearnings and aspirations of those who hear us in prayer; but every word and thought must be Godward, and only so far touching upon the people as may be needful to bring them and their wants before the Lord. Remember the people in your prayers, but do not mold your supplications to win their esteem: look up, look up with both eyes. Avoid all vulgarities in prayer. I must acknowledge to having heard some, but it would be unprofitable to recount them; the more especially as they become less frequent every day. We seldom now meet with the vulgarities of prayer which were once so common in Methodist prayer-meetings, much commoner probably by report than in reality. Uneducated people must, when in earnest, pray in their own way, and their language will frequently shock, the fastidious if not the devout; but for this allowance must be made, and if the spirit is evidently sincere we may forgive uncomely expressions. I once; at a prayer-meeting, heard a poor man pray thus: “Lord, watch over these young people during the feast time, for thou knowest, Lord, how their enemies watch for them as a cat watches for mice.” Some ridiculed the expression, but it appeared to me to be natural and expressive, considering the person using it. A little gentle instruction and a hint or two will usually prevent a repetition of anything objectionable in such cases, but we, who occupy the pulpit, must be careful to be quite clear ourselves. The biographer of that remarkable American Methodist preacher Jacob Gruber, mentions as an instance of his ready wit, that after having heard a young Calvinistic minister violently attack his creed, he was asked to conclude with prayer, and among other petitions, prayed that the, Lord would bless the young man who had been preaching, and grant him much grace, “that his heart might become as soft as his head.” To say nothing of the bad taste of such public animadversion upon a fellow minister, every right-minded man will see that the throne of the Most High is not the place for uttering such vulgar witticisms. Most probably the young orator deserved a castigation for his offence against charity, but the older one sinned ten times more in his want of reverence. Choice words are for the King of kings, not such as ribald tongues have defiled. Another fault equally to be avoided in prayer is an unhallowed and sickening superabundance of endearing words. When “Dear Lord,” and “Blessed Lord,” and “Sweet Lord,” come over and over again, as vain repetitions, they are among the worst of blots. I must confess I should feel no revulsion in my mind to the words, “Dear Jesus,” if they fell from the lips of a Rutherford, or a Hawker, or a Herbert; but when I hear fond and familiar expressions hackneyed by persons not at all remarkable for spirituality, I am inclined to wish that they could, in some way or other, come to a better understanding of the true relation existing between man and God. The word “dear” has come from daily use to be so common, and so small, and in some cases so silly and affected a monosyllable, that interlarding one’s prayers with it is not to edification.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 8 (Proclaim #65)

Welcome to episode #65 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Acts 6:2-4 which reads: “Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

Our quote on preaching today is from G. Campbell Morgan. He said, “Nothing is more needed among preachers today than that we should have the courage to shake ourselves free from the thousand and one trivialities in which we are asked to waste our time and strength, and resolutely return to the apostolic ideal which made necessary the office of the diaconate. We must resolve that we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the Word..”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 8” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

2. We Prove It: “Is It True?”
Our second developmental question centers on validity. After we understand (or think we understand) what a statement means, we often ask, “Is that true? Can I really believe it?” We demand proof. An initial response of those of us who take the Scriptures seriously is to ignore this question. We assume that an idea should be accepted as true because it comes from the Bible. That is not necessarily a valid assumption. We may need to gain psychological acceptance in our hearers through reasoning, proofs, or illustrations. Even the inspired writers of the New Testament (all of whom believed that the Old Testament was a God-breathed witness) sometimes established the validity of their statements, not only by quoting the Old Testament but by referring to common life as well.

When Paul wanted to prove to the Corinthian congregation that he had a right to receive financial support for his ministry, for example, he argued not only from the Mosaic law but from the experience of farmers, shepherds, and soldiers. In a series of rhetorical questions, he laid out his case:

Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right not to work for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? (1 Cor. 9:6–12 NIV)

Paul appealed for proof first to the logic of experience. After all, if soldiers, grape growers, shepherds, and farmers receive wages for their work, why not an apostle or teacher? Then Paul reasoned from an all-embracing principle found in the law against muzzling oxen when they tread out corn or other grain. A worker—be it animal or human—should be rewarded for working. In using this developmental question, therefore, we should note how the biblical writers validated what they had to say.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 37 (Proclaim #64)

Welcome to episode #64 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 2 Timothy 2:14-16 which reads: “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Steven J. Lawson. He said, “It matters to God what is preached. And it matters to Him how it is preached. No man is free to preach whatever and however he so chooses.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 37” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

(c) Correspondence courses. There are a host of courses available and the preacher is faced with a galaxy of subjects from which to meet his own particular need. The Emmaus Correspondence School has splendid courses on the Scriptures that should prove very useful. Then again, courses in English, public speaking, or journalism, will all aid in better fitting the preacher to present the message of the Gospel, or to teach the Word of God.

(d) Writing. The preacher would be well advised to write as much as possible. This will materially aid him in acquiring both clarity of thought and facility of expression. Incidentally, it will do much to correct any mistakes in his grammar. The very effort of writing is an excellent discipline for the mind, for it compels a person to state his facts clearly and concisely. A lot of muddied thinking and ambiguous speaking could have been avoided if the speaker had written down what he would have liked to say!

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

Our Public Prayer, Part 2 (Proclaim #63)

Welcome to episode #63 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 which reads: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Billy Graham. He said, “When we preach or teach the Scriptures, we open the door for the Holy Spirit to do His work. God has not promised to bless oratory or clever preaching. He has promised to bless His Word.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “Our Public Prayer, Part 2” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Let me, therefore, very earnestly caution you, beloved brethren, against spoiling your services by your prayers: make it your solemn resolve that all. the engagements of the sanctuary shall be of the best kind. Be assured that free prayer is the most scriptural, and should be the most excellent form of public supplication. If you lose faith in what you are doing you will never do it well; settle it in your minds therefore, that before the Lord you are worshipping in a manner which is warranted by the word of God, and accepted of the Lord. The expression, “reading prayers,” to which we are now so accustomed, is not to be found in Holy Scripture, rich as it is in words for conveying religious thought; and the phrase is not there because the thing itself had no existence. Where in the writings of the apostles meet we with the bare idea of a liturgy? Prayer in the assemblies of the early Christians was unrestricted to any form of words. Tertullian writes, “we pray without a prompter because from the heart.” Justin Martyr describes the presiding minister as praying “according to his ability.” It would be difficult to discover when and where liturgies began; their introduction was gradual, and as we believe, co-extensive with the decline of purity in the church; the introduction of them among Nonconformists would mark the era of our decline and fall. The subject tempts me to linger, but it is not the point in hand, and therefore I pass on, only remarking that you will find the matter of liturgies ably handled by Dr. John Owen, whom you will do well to consult. Be it ours to prove the superiority of extempore prayer by making it more spiritual and earnest than liturgical devotion. It is a great pity when the observation is forced from the hearer, our minister preaches far better than he prays: this is not after the model of our Lord; he spake as never man spake–and as for his prayers, they so impressed his disciples that they said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” All our faculties should concentrate their energy, and the whole man should be elevated to his highest point of vigor while in public prayer, the Holy Ghost meanwhile baptizing soul and spirit with his sacred influence; but slovenly, careless, lifeless talk in the guise of prayer, made to fill up a certain space in the service, is a weariness to man, and an abomination to God. Had free prayer been universally of a higher order a liturgy would never have been thought of, and to-day forms of prayer have no better apology than the feebleness of extemporaneous devotions. The secret is that we are not so really devout at heart as we should be. Habitual communion with God must be maintained, or our public prayers will be vapid or formal. If there be no melting of the glacier high up in the ravines of the mountain, there will be no descending rivulets to cheer the plain. Private prayer is the drill ground for our more public exercises, neither can we long neglect it without being out of order when before the people. Our prayers must never grovel, they must soar and mount. We need a heavenly frame of mind. Our addresses to the throne of grace must be solemn and humble, not flippant and loud, or formal and careless. The colloquial form of speech is out of place before the Lord; we must bow reverently and with deepest awe. We may speak boldly with God, but still he is in heaven and we are upon earth, and we are to avoid presumption. In supplication we are peculiarly before the throne of the Infinite, and as the courtier in the king’s palace puts on another mien and another manner than that which he exhibits to his fellow courtiers, so should it be with us. We have noticed in the churches of Holland, that as soon as the minister begins to preach every man puts his hat on, but the instant he turns to pray everybody takes his hat off: this was the custom in the older Puritanic congregations of England, and it lingered long among the Baptists; they wore their caps during those parts of the service which they conceived were not direct worship, but put them off as soon as there was a direct approach to God, either in song or in prayer. I think the practice unseemly, and the reason for it erroneous. I have urged that the distinction between prayer and hearing is not great, and I feel sure no one would propose to return to the old custom or the opinion of which it was the index; but still there is a difference, and inasmuch as in prayer we are more directly talking with God rather than seeking the edification of our fellow men, we must put our shoes from off our feet, for the place whereon we stand is holy ground. Let the Lord alone be the object of your prayers. Beware of having an eye to the auditors; beware of becoming rhetorical to please the listeners.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 7 (Proclaim #62)

Welcome to episode #62 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Acts 20:28 which reads: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Tim Keller. He said, “To reach people gospel preachers must challenge the culture’s story at points of confrontation and finally retell the culture’s story, as it were, revealing how its deepest aspirations for good can be fulfilled only in Christ.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 7” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Napoleon had three commands for his messengers that apply to any communicator: “Be clear! Be clear! Be clear!” Clarity does not come easily. When we train to be expositors, we probably spend three or four years in seminary. While that training prepares us to be theologians, it sometimes gets in our way as communicators. Theological jargon, abstract thinking, or scholars’ questions become part of the intellectual baggage that hinders preachers from speaking clearly to ordinary men and women. If we entered a hospital, a television studio, a printer’s shop, a locker room, or a local garage and wanted to understand what goes on there, we would persistently ask, “What do you mean?” Experts in other occupations seldom have to make themselves understood to those outside their profession, but preachers are different. No one is an outsider to religion. Everyone must understand what God says. In fact, it is a life-and-death matter. Therefore, we must anticipate what our hearers may not know and, by our explanations, help them understand.

The developmental question “What does that mean?” then, deals with both the passage and the people. If you imagine some courageous soul standing up in the middle of your sermon to shout, “Pastor, what exactly do you mean by that?” you will become aware of matters that must be talked about to make yourself clear as your sermon develops.

Let’s Pray —

Dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, may God bless you!

The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 36 (Proclaim #61)

Welcome to episode #61 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 2 Timothy 2:15 which reads: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Horatius Bonar. He said, “Bold preaching is the only preaching that is owned of God.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 36” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

(b) A good library. The present-day Christian can also say, with David, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:6). Perhaps we little realize the tremendous debt we owe to men of learning, who have devoted their great abilities and vast store of Bible knowledge to the service of Christ and His people. These men have left behind them, in the form of books, the valuable legacy of truth we now possess. We would do well to take every advantage of this. It can be truthfully said of their sacrificial efforts, “Other men labored and ye are entered into their labors” (John 4:38).

Let no man despise books, for in so doing, he despises what God has given. Teachers are a divine gift for the Church’s edification, whether their ministry is oral or written. The person who foolishly refuses to read books written by sound teachers of the Word must, to be consistent, refuse to go and listen to any of them speak! In doing this, he would be taking issue with God who has given them for the specific purpose of his edification (see Eph. 4:11-16). The only difference between oral and written ministry is that the latter is likely to be more profitable! When a person commits himself to writing for publication, he takes far greater care in expressing himself, lest there should be any misunderstanding of his meaning. Thus these good books only await the opportunity of pouring out their treasures at the feet of the diligent seeker (read Proverbs 2:1-12; 3:13-26). While the Bible must ever have the first place in one’s reading, and never crowded out, these other books will prove to be a very valuable adjunct to it and of much spiritual profit.

Needless to say, it will not be the number of books on one’s library shelves that constitute the preacher’s possession, but only those he has really made his own by personal reading. It can be truthfully said that many a good library remains unpossessed by its owner! These books should be purchased with great care. The advice of an experienced Christian should be sought in their selection. It is far better to have a few really good books than a large number of the other kind which merely take up valuable space, to say nothing of the expense in acquiring them. We shall devote quite a little space, later on, to a suggestive list of books for a preacher’s library.

The preacher should also read fairly widely the best of secular literature, including history, poetry and the classics. In this way he will widen his horizons, increase his vocabulary, become better acquainted with good English, and thus learn to express himself better. It is astonishing how much time is uselessly frittered away during the course of every twenty-four hours, which could have been much better utilized in reading. It is always a good idea to take a book everywhere one goes, and read when the opportunity presents itself.

Let’s Pray —

Our Public Prayer, Part 1 (Proclaim #60)

Welcome to episode #60 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 1 Corinthians 1:17 which reads: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Billy Sunday. He said, “Whenever a day comes when I can stand and preach God’s Word without an agony of anxiety lest the people will not accept Christ; whenever a day comes when I can see men and women coming down the aisles without joy in my heart, I’ll quit preaching.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “Our Public Prayer, Part 1” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

IT has sometimes been the boast of Episcopalians that Churchmen go to their churches to pray and worship God, but that Dissenters merely assemble to hear sermons. Our reply to this is, that albeit there may be some professors who are guilty of this evil, it is not true of the people of God among us, and these are the only persons who ever will in any church really enjoy devotion. Our congregations gather together to worship God, and we assert, and feel no hesitation in so asserting, that there is as much true and acceptable prayer offered in our ordinary Nonconformist services as in the best and most pompous performances of the Church of England.

Moreover, if the observation be meant to imply that the hearing of sermons is not worshipping God, it is founded on a gross mistake, for rightly to listen to the gospel is one of the noblest parts of the adoration of the Most High. It is a mental exercise, when rightly performed, in which all the faculties of the spiritual man are called into devotional action. Reverently hearing the word exercises our humility, instructs our faith, irradiates us with joy, inflames us with love, inspires us with zeal, and lifts us up towards heaven. Many a time a sermon has been a kind of Jacob’s ladder upon which we have seen the angels of God ascending and descending, and the covenant God himself at the top thereof. We have often felt when God has spoken through his servants into our souls, “This is none other than the house of God, and the very gate of heaven.” We have magnified the name of the Lord and praised him with all our heart while he has spoken to us by his Spirit which he has given unto men. Hence there is not the wide distinction to be drawn between preaching and prayer that some would have us admit; for the one part of the service softly blends into the other, and the sermon frequently inspires the prayer and the hymn. True preaching is an acceptable adoration of God by the manifestation of his gracious attributes: the testimony of his gospel, which pre-eminently glorifies him, and the obedient hearing of revealed truth, are an acceptable form of worship to the Most High, and perhaps one of the most spiritual in which the human mind can be engaged. Nevertheless, as the old Roman poet tells us, it is right to learn from our enemies, and therefore it may be possible that our liturgical opponents have pointed out to us what is in some instances a weak place in our public services. It is to be feared that our exercises are not in every case molded into the best form, or presented in the most commendable fashion. There are meeting-houses in which the supplications are neither so devout nor so earnest as we desire; in other places the earnestness is so allied with ignorance, and the devotion so marred with rant, that no intelligent believer can enter into the service with pleasure. Praying in the Holy Ghost is not universal among us, neither do all pray with the understanding as well as with the heart. There is room for improvement, and in some quarters there is an imperative demand for it.

Let’s Pray —

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 6 (Proclaim #56)

Welcome to episode #59 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Isaiah 52:7 which reads: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

Our quote on preaching today is from C.S. Lewis. He said, “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christ. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 6” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Second, the developmental question, “What does this mean?” may also probe the audience. It takes several forms. If I simply stated my exegetical idea, would my audience respond, “What does he mean by that?” Are there elements in the passage that the biblical writer takes for granted that my audience needs explained to them? When Paul advised the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 8 about meat offered to idols, idolatry and sacrifices were as familiar to his readers as shopping centers are to modern audiences. On the other hand, people today are as bewildered about the practices of idolatry as a Corinthian would be in a supermarket. Therefore, when we talk about “food sacrificed to idols,” we must do some explaining. The passage may be misunderstood or, more damaging, misapplied unless our listeners understand the background out of which the problem developed. They must enter into the psychological, emotional, and spiritual tensions posed by eating meat previously offered in sacrifice to heathen gods.

As a case in point, when Paul speaks of a “weak brother,” he does not necessarily mean someone who is easily tempted to sin. Instead, he has in mind an overscrupulous Christian who has not applied theology to experience. The weak Christian does not fully appreciate that “no idol is anything in the world” but is only a creation of superstition. In modern churches, therefore, many overscrupulous people who consider themselves “strong” would, in Paul’s mind, be “weak.” In a treatment of this passage, therefore, what Paul took for granted with his readers requires extensive explanation today.

In 1 Corinthians 12:13 the apostle observes: “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (NIV). Here again Paul assumes that his readers understand the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot necessarily assume that our congregation has that knowledge. A reference to “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” now causes some noncharismatic listeners to shift uneasily in their pews and wonder: “What does that mean?” “What do people in my denomination think about it?” “Isn’t that an experience important to charismatics, and doesn’t it have something to do with speaking in tongues?” In a charismatic congregation listeners may assume that they know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is but wonder what it has to do with Paul’s argument. If we were preaching on this passage, therefore, we could not ignore those responses. Instead, we would anticipate them in our preparation, and we might decide to devote some time in the sermon to expanding on the baptism of the Holy Spirit even though Paul did not.

Let’s Pray —

The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 35 (Proclaim #58)

Welcome to episode #58 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Exodus 4:10-12 which reads: “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Horatius Bonar. He said, “Christ crucified is to be the burden of our preaching the substance of our belief from first to last. At no time in the saint’s life does he cease to need the cross.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 35” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

(3) The provision of it. God has both anticipated and supplied the need for the preachers’ education. The student must now lay hold upon this provision and make it his own by diligent application. It is one thing for food to be provided, but quite another to appropriate it for one’s self. It is possible for a person to starve to death in the midst of plenty, simply by a failure to eat the food that has been supplied. Let us look at this abundant provision for the preacher’s education.

(a) The Bible. The preacher will not lack in facilities to improve his education. The Bible comes first and foremost. In fact, the study of the English Bible is a magnificent education in itself, and no one’s education is complete without it. Viewed only as literature it is unsurpassed. “It is cast into every form of constructive composition and good writing: history, prophecy, poetry, allegory, emblematic representation, judicious interpretation, literal statement, precept, example, proverbs, disquisition, epistle, sermon and prayer. In short, all the rational shapes of human discourse are included” (Maclagan).

The Bible is a library in itself and, of course, must be the preacher’s constant companion, and his “Inquire within about everything.” There is no other book in the entire world that can, for one moment, compare with it. It dwarfs into utter insignificance all secular literature. The preacher must saturate himself with the Holy Scriptures. This can only be done as he reads and rereads it, and it thus becomes part and parcel of his very being, influencing and governing his thoughts, words and acts. He must be “a man of the Book” and a master of its contents. He should be able to quote from it freely and thus make its beautiful language his own.

Let’s Pray —