Archive for the ‘purpose of preaching’ Category

Be interesting; be clear; be practical

May 19, 2014

To be listened to is the first thing: so be interesting. To be understood is the second thing: so be clear. To be useful is the third thing: so be practical.

Bob Telford?

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Some are dead; you must rouse them

May 19, 2014

Some are dead; you must rouse them. Some are troubled; you must comfort them. Others are burdened; you must point them to the burden-bearer. Still more are puzzled; you must enlighten them. Still others are careless and indifferent; you must warn and woo them.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon on the purposes of preaching

Preaching: giving what has been received

January 26, 2012

Augustine saw his role as preacher, and the role of all preachers, as feeding the flock. The scriptural idea of breaking bread or feeding the multitude drives his view of preaching. “I go to feed so that I can give you to eat,” he writes. “I am the servant, the bringer of food, not the master of the house. I lay out before you that from which I also draw my life.” He told Jerome, “If I do gain any stock of knowledge, I pay it out immediately to the people of God.”

Augustine of Hippo, Peter Brown, (1966) 252.

The threefold purposes of preaching

December 4, 2011

For the general guidance of the preacher in his preparation of his message it is good to think of it in that threefold way–preaching to those who are unbelievers, then preaching to a believer in an experimental manner, and, thirdly, in a more directly didactic instructional manner.

Martin Lloyd Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 1985, p.63

there was no Christ in it

August 9, 2010

“A poor sermon!” said the preacher, “It took me a long time to study it, my explanation of the text was accurate, the illustrations were appropriate, and the arguments conclusive! Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?”

“Because,” said Jonathan Edwards, “there was no Christ in it.”

“Well,” said the preacher, “Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text.”

“Then don’t take a text without Christ in it,” Edwards replied. “But you will find Christ in every text if you examine it. From every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business is, when you get to a text, to say, ‘Now, what is the road to Christ?’ and then preach a sermon running along that road. “I have never yet found a text that had not a plain and direct road to Christ in it; and if ever I should find one that has no such road, I will make a road. I would go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for a sermon is neither fit for the lord nor yet for the peasant unless there is a savor of Christ in it.”

He did earnestly urge us, in plain and simple language, not to put off the consideration of eternal things. He did entreat us to look to Christ

February 6, 2010

‘In a little while there will be a concourse of persons in the streets. Methinks I hear someone enquiring, “What are all these people waiting for?” “Do you not know? He is to be buried to-day.” “And who is that!” “It is Spurgeon.” “What! the man that preached at the Tabernacle'” “Yes; he is to be buried to-day.” That will happen very soon; and when you see my coffin carried to the silent grave, I should like every one of you, whether converted or not, to be constrained to say, “He did earnestly urge us, in plain and simple language, not to put off the consideration of eternal things. He did entreat us to look to Christ. Now he is gone, our blood is not at his door if we perish.” God grant that you may not have to bear the bitter reproach of your own conscience! But, as I feel “the time is short,” I will stir you up so long as I am in this Tabernacle.’

Spurgeon, at the close of his sermon, on Lord’s-day evening, December 27, 1874

What did you preach for?

December 26, 2009

A minister, in the early part of the 17th century was preaching before an assembly of his brethren; and in order to direct their attention to the great motive from which they should act, he represented to them something of the great day of judgment. Having spoken of Christ as seated on His throne, he described Him as speaking to His ministers; examining how they had preached, and with what views they had undertaken and discharged the duties of the ministry. ‘What did you preach for?’ ‘I preached, Lord, that I might keep a good living that was left me by my father; which, if I had not entered the ministry, would have been wholly lost to me and my family.’ Christ addresses him, ‘Stand by, thou hast had thy reward.’ The question is put to another, ‘And what did you preach for?’ ‘Lord, I was applauded as a learned man, and I preached to keep up the reputation of an excellent orator, and an ingenious preacher.’ The answer of Christ to him also is, ‘Stand by, thou hast had thy reward.’ The Judge puts the question to a third. ‘And what did you preach for?’ ‘Lord,’ saith he, ‘I neither aimed at the great things of this world, though I was thankful for the conveniences of life which Thou gavest me; nor did I preach that I might gain the character of a wit, or of a man of parts, or of a fine scholar; but I preached in compassion to souls, and to please and honour Thee; my design, Lord, in preaching, was that I might win souls to Thy blessed Majesty.’ The Judge was now described as calling out, ‘Room, men; room, angels! let this man come and sit with me on my throne; he has owned and honoured me on earth, and I will own and honour him through all the ages of eternity.’ The ministers went home much affected; resolving, that through the help of God, they would attend more diligently to the motives and work of the ministry than they had before done.

– John Whitecross, The Shorter Catechism Illustrated