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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 Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 7 (Proclaim #51)

Welcome to episode #51 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 6:12 which reads: “And it came to pass in those days, that He [Jesus] went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Andrew Murray. He said, “Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. He did not speak much of what was needed to preach well, but much of praying well.”

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 Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 7” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.
I am afraid that, more or less, most of us need self-examination as to this matter. If any man here should venture to say that he prays as much as he ought, as a student, I should gravely question; his statement; and if there be a minister, deacon, or elder present who can say that he believes he is occupied with God in prayer to the full extent to which he might be, I should be pleased to know him. I can only say, that if he can claim this excellence, he leaves me far behind, for I can make no such claim: I wish I could; and I make the confession with no small degree of shame-facedness and confusion, but I am obliged to make it. If we are not more negligent than others, this is no consolation to us; the shortcomings of others are no excuses for us. How few of us could compare ourselves with Mr. Joseph Alleine, whose character I have mentioned before? “At the time of his health,” writes his wife, “he did rise constantly at or before four of the clock, and would be much troubled if he heard smiths or other craftsmen at their trades before he was at communion with God; saying to me often, How this noise shames me. Does not my Master deserve more than theirs?’ From four till eight he spent in prayer, holy contemplation, and singing of psalms, in which he much delighted and did daily practice alone, as well as in the family. Sometimes he would suspend the routine of parochial engagements, and devote whole days to these secret exercises, in order to which, he would contrive to be alone in some void house, or else in some sequestered spot in the open valley. Here there would be much prayer and meditation on God and Heaven.”
Could we read Jonathan Edwards’ description of David Brainerd and not blush? “His life,” says Edwards, “shows the right way to success in the works of the ministry. He sought it as a resolute soldier seeks victory in a siege or battle; or as a man that runs a race for a great prize. Animated with love to Christ and souls, how did he labor always fervently, not only in word and doctrine, in public and private, but in prayers day and night, wrestling with God’ in secret, and travailing in birth,’ with unutterable groans and agonies! until Christ were formed’ in the hearts of the people to whom he was sent! How did he thirst for a blessing upon his ministry, and watch for souls as one that must give account!’ How did he go forth in the strength of the Lord God, seeking and depending on the special influence of the Spirit to assist and succeed him! And what was the happy fruit at last, after long waiting and many dark and discouraging appearances: like a true son of Jacob, he persevered in wrestling through all the darkness of the night, until the breaking of the day.”
Might not Henry Martyn’s journal shame us, where we find such entries; as these; “Sept. 24th–The determination with which I went to bed last night, of devoting this day to prayer and fasting, I was enabled to put into execution. In my first prayer for deliverance from worldly thoughts, depending on the power and promises of God, for fixing my soul while I prayed, I was helped to enjoy much abstinence from the world for nearly an hour. Then read the history of Abraham, to see how familiarly God had revealed himself to mortal men of old. Afterwards, in prayer for my own sanctification, my soul breathed freely and ardently after the holiness of God, and this was the best season of the day.” We might perhaps more truly join with him in his lament after the first year of his ministry that “he judged he had dedicated too much time to public ministrations, and too little to private communion with God.”
Let’s Pray —

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 3 (Proclaim #50 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #50 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 10:42-43 which reads: “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins..”

Our quote on preaching today is from C. H. Spurgeon. He said, “God forms man, sin deforms him, the school informs him but only Christ transforms him, therefore preach Christ to ALL Men.”

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 3” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

In the following stages we endeavor to bring the ancient world, the modern world, and our particular world together as we develop the sermon. In doing this we do not make the Bible relevant as though we were drawing an apt illustration from an old story. Modern men and women stand under God in the same position as did their counterparts in the Bible, and they hear the Word of God addressing them now. “Yahweh our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.” This affirmation comes from a people hearing the law a second time decades after it was originally given. Yet they declared through Moses, “Yahweh our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did Yahweh make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive this day”. The community of faith, looking back at an event that had occurred at a distant time and different place, experienced that history as a present reality. God’s word spoken at Sinai continued to speak to this new generation of people and not only related them to God but also spelled out what God expected in their relation to one another.

To expound the Scriptures so that the contemporary God confronts us where we live requires that we study our audience as well as our Bible. It also means that some very nuts-and-bolts questions must be asked and answered to discover how the exegetical idea and its development can expand into a sermon. We relate the Bible to life as we enter the next stage of our study.

Let’s Pray —

The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 32 (Proclaim #49)

Welcome to episode #49 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 4:2 which reads: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”

Our quote on preaching today is from John Macarthur. He said, “The preacher is not a chef; he’s a waiter. God doesn’t want you to make the meal; He just wants you to deliver it to the table without messing it up. That’s all.”

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 32” from “The Preacher and His Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

The example of the Lord Jesus offers no encouragement to those who belittle special training for Christian work. He chose and called certain disciples, and the reason for this act is stated thus, “That they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach”. For the next three years these men enjoyed the company of the Lord, and were thus under the tutelage of the greatest of all Teachers, before they began to preach and teach in His Name. There was much that Christ said to them that they could not understand, for they were “[foolish] and slow of heart to believe”. There were many things that Christ could have taught them, but would not, for their capacity was limited. He had to say, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” After Pentecost, as Christ had promised, the Holy Spirit brought back to their remembrance these words and drove home to their hearts the lessons He had so patiently taught them. These lessons, in turn, became a great power in their lives and gave divine authority to their ministry.

Though the Pharisees, blinded by their religious prejudices, looked upon these disciples as “ignorant and unlearned men,” they were most emphatically nothing of the kind! They were, in reality, the best educated people in the world, for they had been for three years or more in the best school in the world, the school of Christ! Let those who ignorantly criticize a Bible school, which is conducted along scriptural lines, remember that it exists for the same purpose as the school of Christ. That purpose is to impart Bible knowledge and consequently better fit young believers to know and preach the living Word of the living God. Let such criticizers take good heed and seriously, soberly, and intelligently consider what they say, in the light of this example set by the Lord Himself.

There is a tendency on the part of some unthinking believer to depreciate “scholarship,” but surely the Lord has given brains to His people in order that they might use them for Him! While brains are not everything, most people, including Christians, would find it rather awkward to get along without them! Regeneration does not rob a believer of his intelligence, but enlightens, ennobles and empowers it for the purpose intended in the beginning, the glory of God. Our intellect was not given to us to be deprecated , or depreciated, but to be developed for Him.

Two Christians were once engaged in a rather warm discussion. The better educated of the two was getting the best of the argument, and the other, thinking to end it exclaimed. “God doesn’t want your knowledge, brother.” The other calmly replied. “No, that’s quite true, but neither does He require your ignorance!”

Let’s Pray —

The Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 6 (Proclaim #48)

Welcome to episode #48 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 9:26-27 which reads: “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway:”

Our quote on preaching today is from Billy Graham. He said, “I’m not a great preacher, and I don’t claim to be a great preacher . . . I’m an ordinary preacher, just communicating the gospel in the best way I know how”

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 Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 6” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

When we have done with preaching, we shall not, if we are true ministers of God, have done with praying, because the whole church, with many tongues, will be crying, in the language of the Macedonian, “Come over and help us” in prayer. If you are enabled to prevail in prayer you will have many requests to offer for others who will flock to you, and beg a share in your intercessions, and so you will find yourselves commissioned with errands to the mercy-seat for friends and hearers. Such is always my lot, and I feel it a pleasure to have such requests to present before my Lord.

Never can you be short of themes for prayer, even if no one should suggest them to you. Look at your congregation. There are always sick folk among them, and many more who are soul sick. Some are unsaved, others are seeking and cannot find. Many are desponding, and not a few believers are backsliding or mourning. There are widows’ tears and orphans’ sighs to be put into our bottle, and poured out before the Lord. If you are a genuine minister of God you will stand as a priest before the Lord, spiritually wearing the ephod and the breast-plate whereon you bear the names of the children of Israel, pleading for them within the veil. I have known brethren who have kept a list of persons for whom they felt bound especially to pray, and I doubt not such a record often reminded them of what might otherwise have slipped their memory. Nor will your people wholly engross you; the nation and the world will claim their share. The man who is mighty in prayer may be a wall of fire around his country, her guardian angel and her shield. We have all heard how the enemies of the Protestant cause dreaded the prayers of Knox more than they feared armies of ten thousand men. The famous Welch was also a great intercessor for his country; he used to say “he wondered how a Christian could lie in his bed all night and not rise to pray.” When his wife fearing that he would take cold, followed him into the room to which he had withdrawn, she heard him pleading in broken sentences, “Lord, wilt thou not grant me Scotland?” O that we were thus wrestling at midnight, crying, “Lord, wilt thou not grant us our hearers’ souls?”

Let’s Pray —

The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 2 (Proclaim #47)

Welcome to episode #47 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 Francis of Assisi. He said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our 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 “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 2” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

A second world we must consider is the modern world. We must be aware of the currents swirling across our own times. Each generation develops out of its own history and culture and speaks its own language. We may stand before a congregation and deliver exegetically accurate sermons that are scholarly and organized, but they are dead and powerless because they ignore the life-wrenching problems and questions of our hearers. Such sermons, spoken in a stained-glass voice using a code language never heard in the marketplace, dabble in great biblical concepts, but our audience may feel that God belongs to the long ago and far away. We must answer not only the questions our fathers and mothers asked; we must wrestle with the questions our children ask. Men and women who speak effectively for God must first struggle with the questions of their age and then speak to those questions from the eternal truth of God.

A third world in which we must participate is our own particular world. A church has a postal code and stands near Fifth and Main in some town or city. The profound issues of the Bible and the ethical, philosophical questions of our times assume different shapes in rural villages, in middle-class communities, or in the ghettos of crowded cities. Ultimately we do not address everyone; we speak to particular people and call them by name. The Bible speaks of the gift of pastor-teacher. This implies the two functions should be joined, or else an irrelevant exposition may emerge that reflects negatively on God. As one bewildered churchgoer expressed it, “The trouble is that God is like the minister: we don’t see him during the week, and we don’t understand Him on Sunday.” J. M. Reu was on target when he wrote, “Preaching is fundamentally a part of the care of souls, and the care of souls involves a thorough understanding of the congregation. Able shepherds know their flock.”

Let’s Pray —

The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 31 (Proclaim #46)

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Mark 16:15 which reads: “And he [Jesus] said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Our quote on preaching today is from John R. Rice. He said, “What a compelling motive we have for prayer, for preaching, for soul winning when we learn that every responsible human being who leaves this world without a definite change in heart immediately lifts his eyes in Hell, tormented in flame!”

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 31” from “The Preacher and His Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

— (1) The need for it.

Surely the Lord’s work demands the very best that is within one’s power to give. Each young believer should be able to truthfully sing:

Just as I am, young, strong, and free,
To be the very best that I can be
For truth and righteousness and Thee,
Lord of my life, I come!

God places no premium, or value on ignorance. The penalty of willful ignorance is deeper, darker, more gross and more abysmal ignorance, to the point the victim becomes so steeped in it that he becomes complacent and even proud of his lack of knowledge. One such person was once heard to pray, “O, Lord, I thank Thee that I don’t know nothing!” Another such individual once remarked to a group of people: “I am thankful for my ignorance.” One of them replied, “Well, you certainly have a great deal to be thankful for!”

The Bible puts the matter thus, “If a man (will) be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” The idea that “anything is good enough for the Lord’s work” certainly has no support from the Word of God. On the contrary, it is soundly condemned. The Christian is enjoined to show himself “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” This demands the very best he can give, in the way of concentrated study, painstaking preparation and arrangement, and the earnest presentation of the preaching material. The best of our time, energy and ability should be placed unreservedly at the disposal of the Lord, for the work of the Lord. As Oswald Chambers so tersely put it, “My utmost for His Highest!”

The Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 5 (Proclaim #45)

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Ephesians 4:11-12 which reads: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

Our quote on preaching today is from Vance Havner. He said, “A preacher should have the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros. His problem is how to toughen his hide without hardening his heart.”

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 Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 5” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Like Joseph, the affectionate minister will seek where to weep; his emotions, however freely he may express himself, will be pent up in the pulpit, and only in private prayer can he draw up the sluices and bid them flow forth. If we cannot prevail with men for God, we will, at least, endeavor to prevail with God for men. We cannot save them, or even persuade them to be saved, but we can at least bewail their madness and entreat the interference of the Lord. Like Jeremiah, we can make it our resolve, “If ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride, and mine eye shall weep sore and run down with tears.” To such pathetic appeals the Lord’s heart can never be indifferent; in due time the weeping intercessor will become the rejoicing winner of souls. There is a distinct connection between the travail and the birth, the sowing in fears and the reaping in joy. “How is it that your seed comes up so soon?” said one gardener to another. “Because I steep it,” was the reply. We must steep all our teachings in tears, “when none but God is nigh,” and their growth will surprise and delight us. Could any one wonder at Brainerd’s success, when his diary contains such notes as this: “Lord’s Day, April 25th–This morning spent about two hours in sacred duties, and was enabled, more than ordinarily, to agonize for immortal souls; though it was early in the morning, and the sun scardely shone at all, yet my body was quite wet with sweat.”

The secret of Luther’s power lay in the same direction. Theodorus said of him: “I overheard him in prayer, but, good God, with what life and spirit did he pray! It was with so much reverence, as if he were speaking to God, yet with so much confidence as if he speaking to his friend.” My brethren, let me beseech you to be men of prayer. Great talents you may never have, but you will do well enough without them if you abound in intercession. If you do not pray over what you have sown, God’s sovereignty may possibly determine to give a blessing, but you have no right to expect it, and if it comes it will bring no comfort to your own heart. I was reading yesterday a book by Father Faber, late of the Oratory, at Brompton, a marvelous compound of truth and error. In it he relates a legend to this effect. A certain preacher, whose sermons converted men by scores, received a revelation from Heaven that not one of the conversions was owing to his talents or eloquence, but all to the prayers of an illiterate lay-brother, who sat on the pulpit steps, pleading all the time for the success of the sermon. It may in the all-revealing day be so with us. We may discover, after having labored long and wearily in preaching, that all the honor belongs to another builder, whose prayers were gold, silver, and precious stones, while our sermonizing, being apart from prayer, were but hay and stubble.

Let’s Pray —