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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 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 —

The Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 9 (Proclaim #57)

Welcome to episode #57 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 18:1 which reads: “And he [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

Our quote on preaching today is from E.M. Bounds. He said, “.What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.”

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 9” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon’.

Time spent in quiet prostration of soul before the Lord is most invigorating. David “sat before the Lord;” it is a great thing to hold these sacred sittings; the mind being receptive, like an open flower drinking in the sunbeams, or the sensitive photographic plate accepting the image before it. Quietude, which some men cannot abide, because it reveals their inward poverty, is as a palace of cedar to the wise, for along its hallowed courts the King in his beauty deigns to walk. “Sacred silence! thou that art Floodgate of the deeper heart, Offspring of a heavenly kind; Frost o’ the mouth, and thaw o’ the mind.” Priceless as the gift of utterance may be, the practice of silence in some aspects far excels it. Do you think me a Quaker? Well, be it so. Herein I follow George Fox most lovingly; for I am persuaded that we most of us think too much of speech, which after all is but the shell of thought. Quiet contemplation, still worship, unuttered rapture, these are mine when my best jewels are before me. Brethren, rob not your heart of the deep sea joys; miss not the far-down life, by for ever babbling among the broken shells and foaming surges of the shore.

I would seriously recommend to you, when settled in the ministry, the celebration of extraordinary seasons of devotion. If your ordinary prayers do not keep up the freshness and vigor of your souls, and you feel that you are flagging, get alone for a week, or even a month if possible. We have occasional holidays, why not frequent holy days? We hear of our richer brethren finding time for a journey to Jerusalem; could we not spare time for the less difficult and far more profitable journey to the heavenly city?

Isaac Ambrose, once pastor at Preston, who wrote that famous book, “Looking unto Jesus,” always set apart one month in the year for seclusion in a hut in a wood at Garstang. No wonder that he was so mighty a divine, when he could regularly spend so long a time in the mount with God. I notice that the Romanists are accustomed to secure what they call “Retreats,” where a number of priests will retire for a time into perfect quietude, to spend the whole of the time in fasting and prayer, so as to inflame their souls with ardor. We may learn from our adversaries. It would be a great thing every now and then for a band of truly spiritual brethren to spend a day or two with each other in real burning agony of prayer. Pastors alone could use much more freedom than in a mixed company. Times of humiliation and supplication for the whole church will also benefit us if we enter into them heartily. Our seasons of fasting and prayer at the Tabernacle have been high days indeed; never has heaven’s gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the central glory. I look forward to our month of special devotion, as mariners reckon upon reaching land. Even if our public work were laid aside to give us space for special prayer, it might be a great gain to our churches. A voyage to the golden rivers of fellowship and meditation would be well repaid by a freight of sanctified feeling and elevated thought. Our silence might be better than our voices if our solitude were spent with God. That was a grand action of old Jerome, when he laid all his pressing engagements aside to achieve a purpose to which he felt a call from heaven. He had a large congregation, as large a one as any of us need want; but he said to his people, “Now it is of necessity that the New Testament should be translated, you must find another preacher: the translation must be made; I am bound for the wilderness, and shall not return till my task is finished.”

Away he went with his manuscripts, and prayed and labored, and produced a work–the Latin-Vulgate–which will last as long as the world stands; on the whole a most wonderful translation of Holy Scripture. As learning and prayerful retirement together could thus produce an immortal work, if we were sometimes to say to our people when we felt moved to do so, “Dear friends, we really must be gone for a little while to refresh our souls in solitude,” our profiting would soon be apparent, and if we did not write Latin Vulgates, yet we should do immortal work, such as would abide the fire.

PODCAST: The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 5 (Proclaim #56 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #56 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 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.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Reinhard Bonnke. He said, “You may not be allowed to stand on the pulpit in your church to preach, but every junction in your area is a pulpit, stand there and preach.”

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

1. We Explain It: “What Does This Mean?”

The first developmental question centers on explanation: What does this mean? Does this concept, or parts of it, need explanation?

The question, “What does this mean?” can be pointed at different targets. First, it can be directed toward the Bible: “Is the author in the passage before me developing his thought primarily through explanation?” When Paul wrote to his friends at Corinth, he explained how the diversity of gifts granted to its members should work for, and not against, unity in the congregation. He sums up his idea in 1 Corinthians 12:11–12: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ” (NASB). In the verses surrounding this statement Paul explains the concept either by breaking it down into particulars, such as enumerating spiritual gifts, or by illustrating it through the example of a human body. By that analogy he explains that a church, like a body, consists of many different parts, but each one contributes to the life and benefit of all. A preacher handling this section of the Corinthian letter should be aware that Paul expands his thought primarily through explanation, and that explanation will probably be the major thrust of a sermon from this passage.

When the apostle Paul wrote to his young associate Titus, he wanted him to appoint elders in Crete. In Titus 1:5–9 Paul explained to Titus what he was to look for in appointing overseers in the churches. He wrote:

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (NIV)

Paul’s subject is “What are the qualifications for a leader in the church?”

His complement is “The candidate must be ‘blameless.’”

Paul states that twice. The apostle explains what “blameless” means in three concrete frameworks: the candidate’s family life, his personal life, and his ministry. A sermon based on this passage will do a great deal of explaining of the particulars that Paul lays down. (In addition, you might want to consider other characteristics that might go into a “blameless” leader today.)

Let’s Pray —

PODCAST: The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 34 (Proclaim #55 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #55 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 George Herbert. He said, “Knowledge is but folly unless it is guided by grace.”

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 34” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.

(2) The advantage of knowledge. Anything that better equips a preacher to proclaim “the glorious Gospel of the blessed God” more effectively deserves his most earnest consideration. Spurgeon said, “If I can be a ram’s horn for God, this is good; but if a silver trumpet, that is far better.” All other things being equal, from a spiritual standpoint, the educated preacher has a decided advantage over the uneducated. His knowledge of grammar and his command of words is greater, as well as his correct use and pronunciation of the words by which the message is conveyed. His range of general knowledge is wider, and all this store of information will prove to be of great use in illustrating and driving home the points he wishes to make.

We may well thank God that all the men of great learning are not on the side of the devil. Moses was an intellectual giant. We are told he was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds”. When he made his great choice for God, and turned his back on Egypt’s treasures and pleasures, God used him mightily as a leader of Israel, inspiring him to write the first five books of the Bible. The apostle Paul is in a similar category. Brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, the greatest teacher of his time, he received a splendid education. When he was brought to know Christ, he gladly and unreservedly placed all he was, and all he had, at the disposal of his Lord and Master. By divine inspiration, the greater part of the New Testament has come to us through his pen.

One has only to look at his bookshelf to see the honored names of men who combined a high degree of intellectual attainment with a higher degree of spirituality. Though these men of God are now with Christ, their “works do follow them,” and their writings are still used to bless and edify the people of God.

The average audience of today is better educated than that of a generation ago. The widespread media networks have contributed very largely to the forming of a far more discriminating audience than was possible forty years ago. On the whole, these media programs are couched in good English, clearly enunciated and correctly pronounced. Surely it is not too much to expect that the Gospel preacher, with the greatest and grandest message in the entire world, should be able to tell out the good news in equally good forceful English, clearly enunciated and correctly pronounced.

Let’s Pray —

PODCAST: The Preacher’s Private Prayer, Part 8 (Proclaim #54 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #54 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 Matthew 6:6 which reads: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Our quote on preaching today is from R.A. Torrey. He said, “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little. Many services, but few conversions; much machinery, but few results.”

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 8” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.

How much of blessing we may have missed through remissness in supplication we can scarcely guess, and none of us can know how poor we are in comparison with what we might have been if we had lived habitually nearer to God in prayer. Vain regrets and surmises are useless, but an earnest determination to amend will be far more useful. We not only ought to pray more, but we must. The fact is, the secret of all ministerial success lies in prevalence at the mercy-seat.

One bright benison which private prayer brings down upon the ministry is an indescribable and inimitable something, better understood than named; it is a dew from the Lord, a divine presence which you will recognize at once when I say it is “an unction from the holy One.” What is it? I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into words what is meant by preaching with unction; yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence; Samaria, in famine, typifies a discourse without it; Jerusalem, with her feasts of fat things full of marrow, may represent a sermon enriched with it. Every one knows what the freshness of the morning is when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass, but who can describe it, much less produce it of itself? Such is the mystery of spiritual anointing; we know, but we cannot tell to others what it is. It is as easy as it is foolish to counterfeit it, as some do who use expressions which are meant to betoken fervent love, but oftener indicate sickly sentimentalism or mere cant. “Dear Lord!” “Sweet Jesus!” “Precious Christ!” are by them poured out wholesale, till one is nauseated. These familiarities may have been not only tolerable, but even beautiful when they first fell from a saint of God, speaking, as it were out of the excellent glory, but when repeated flippantly they are not only intolerable, but indecent, if not profane. Some have tried to imitate unction by unnatural tones and whines; by turning up the whites of their eyes, and lifting their hands in a most ridiculous manner. M’Cheyne’s tone and rhythm one hears from Scotchmen continually: we much prefer his spirit to his mannerism; and all mere mannerism without power is as foul carrion of all life bereft, obnoxious, mischievous. Certain brethren aim at inspiration through exertion and loud shouting; but it does not come: some we have known to stop the discourse, and exclaim, “God bless you,” and others gesticulate wildly, and drive their finger nails into the palms of their hands as if they were in convulsions of celestial ardor. Bah! The whole thing smells of the green-room and the stage. The getting up of fervor in hearers by the simulation of it in the preacher is a loathsome deceit to be scorned by honest men. “To affect feeling,” says Richard Cecil, “is nauseous and soon detected, but to feel is the readiest way to the hearts of others.” Unction is a thing which you cannot manufacture, and its counterfeits are worse than worthless; yet it is in itself priceless, and beyond measure needful if you would edify believers and bring sinners to Jesus. To the secret pleader with God this secret is committed; upon him rests the dew of the Lord, about him is the perfume which makes glad the heart. If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts we are deceivers, and since only in prayer can we obtain it, let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication. Let your fleece lie on the threshing-floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven. Go not to minister in the temple till you have washed in the laver. Think not to be a messenger of grace to others till you have seen the God of grace for yourselves, and had the word from his mouth.

Let’s Pray —

PODCAST: The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 4 (Proclaim #53 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #53 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 Charles Spurgeon. He said, “I always say to young fellows who consult me about the ministry, “Don’t be a minister if you can help it,” because if the man can help it, God never called him. But if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.”

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 4” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.
Stage 4 Submit your exegetical idea to three developmental questions.
The exegetical idea can lie in our notes like a bowl of soggy cereal. Having stated it, we may wonder if we have anything to preach. How can we bring snap, crackle, and pop to the exegetical idea so that it develops into a sermon that is vital and alive? To answer that practical question, we must be aware of how thought develops.

When we make any declarative statement, we can do only four things with it: we can restate it, explain it, prove it, or apply it. Nothing else. To recognize this simple fact opens the way to understanding the dynamic of thought.

By the use of restatement an author or speaker merely states an idea “in other words” to clarify it or to impress it on the reader or hearer. Restatement is used in every kind of discourse, but it occupies a major place in the parallelism of Hebrew poetry. “I will sing unto Yahweh as long as I live,” the psalmist informs us in Psalm 104:33: “I will sing praise to my God while I have any being”. He has stated, then restated his idea in different words. The apostle Paul, infuriated by false teachers who substitute legalism for evangelism, uses restatement to emphasize their condemnation. “Though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be damned!” But he restates it: “As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preaches unto you any gospel other than that which you received, let him be damned” (Gal. 1:8–9).

Jeremiah hammers home his denunciation of Babylon by restating the same thought in at least six different particulars:

“A sword against the Babylonians!”
declares the LORD—
“against those who live in Babylon
and against her officials and wise men!
A sword against her false prophets!
They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!
They will be filled with terror.
A sword against her horses and chariots
and all the foreigners in her ranks!
They will become weaklings.
A sword against their treasures!
They will be plundered.
A drought on her waters!
They will dry up.
For it is a land of idols,
idols that will go mad with terror.”
— Jeremiah 50:35–38 NIV

The restatement emphasizes that the Babylonians are in deep trouble!

Restatement takes up a great deal of space in written and especially oral communication, but restatement does not develop thought. It simply says the same thing in other words. To develop a thought, however, we must do one or more of three things. We must explain it, prove it, or apply it. To do this, we can use three developmental questions.

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 —