The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 9 (Proclaim #71)

Welcome to episode #71 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 20:27-28 which reads: “.For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 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 Charles Spurgeon. He said, “Of all I wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, preach Christ, always and evermore.”

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

We do well, therefore, to adopt the attitude that a statement is not true because it is in the Bible; it is in the Bible because it is true. The fact that an assertion is in the pages of a leather-covered book does not necessarily make it valid. Instead, the Bible states reality as it exists in the universe, as God has made it and as he governs it. We would expect, therefore, the affirmations of Scripture to be demonstrated in the world around us. That is not to say that we establish biblical truth by studying sociology, astronomy, or archaeology, but the valid data from these sciences second the truth taught in Scripture.

How does a preacher handle the developmental questions, “Is that true? Do I really believe it?” Imagine that you were to state to a modern congregation the mighty affirmation of Paul, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). Most people greet that statement with raised eyebrows: “Is that true? Can we believe that?” What about the mother who was killed by a hit-and-run driver and who left behind a husband and three children? What about those Christian parents whose four-year-old son has been diagnosed with leukemia? How is that good? What’s “good” about a young missionary drowned in the muddy waters of a jungle river before he has witnessed to even one national? To work with this passage and fail to address those perplexing questions is to miss the audience completely.

Donald Grey Barnhouse works with the question of validity while expounding John 14:12: “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (KJV). He uses an analogy to establish the truth of his explanation:

Aboard a United States submarine in enemy waters of the Pacific, a sailor was stricken with acute appendicitis. The nearest surgeon was thousands of miles away. Pharmacist Mate Wheller Lipes watched the seaman’s temperature rise to 106 degrees. His only hope was an operation. Said Lipes: “I have watched doctors do it. I think I could. What do you say?” The sailor consented. In the wardroom, about the size of a Pullman drawing room, the patient was stretched out on a table beneath a floodlight. The mate and assisting officers, dressed in reversed pajama tops, masked their faces with gauze. The crew stood by the diving planes to keep the ship steady: the cook boiled water for sterilizing. A tea strainer served as an antiseptic cone. A broken-handled scalpel was the operating instrument. Alcohol drained from the torpedoes was the antiseptic. Bent tablespoons served to keep the muscles open. After cutting through the layers of muscle, the mate took twenty minutes to find the appendix. Two hours and a half later, the last catgut stitch was sewed, just as the last drop of ether gave out. Thirteen days later the patient was back at work. Admittedly this was a much more magnificent feat than if it had been performed by trained surgeons in a fully equipped operating room of a modern hospital. Study this analogy and you will know the real meaning of Christ’s words. “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” For Christ, perfect God, to work directly on a lost soul to quicken and bring out of death and into life is great, but for Him to do the same thing through us is a greater work.

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!

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