If we will acknowledge the ministry a particular office in the church of Christ … then we must also confess it is not anyone’s work, though never so able, except called to the office….
Those that are not sent and commissionated by God’s call for ministerial work, they may speak truths as well as they that are, yet of him that acts by virtue of his calling, we may say that he preacheth with authority, and not like those that can show no commission, but what the opinion themselves have of their own abilities give them.
– William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, p. 285
I learn a lot every time I read Peter Leithart’s blog. He is obviously very intelligent and the range of his reading is breathtaking. Here’s a post of his on Pope Francis’ advice on preaching. “[The] words of the preacher must be measured, so that the Lord, more than his minister, will be the centre of attention.” – See more at: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2013/12/20/for-short-sermons/#sthash.RTVql4hF.dpuf
Speak the words, convey the data, and step aside… Step aside and they will know what you know because they know it already. You have nothing to teach them. You are not more beautiful than they are. You are not wiser. Do not shout at them.
Leonard Cohen, “How to Speak Poetry”. I need to remind myself of this every time I preach, just before I step into the pulpit.
It certainly is the part of the Christian man to ascend higher than merely to seek and secure the salvation of his own soul.
Although not all have the office of preaching the word of God, yet a private person who is a member of the church may beget spiritual children to God if he has the occasion and ability to win a poor soul and enlighten him with the faith of the gospel.
But when most people see that God provides an opening for them and a way to instruct the uninformed, they will remain silent, keep their mouths shut, and not say a word… He will be guilty of other people’s sin because he had the means to admonish them and did not.
John Calvin, quoted in Engaging with Calvin (edited by Mark D. Thompson) pp. 36-37.
Click HERE to listen to an American missionary who has been such a blessing to many Filipinos.
Pastor Travis Moore was my Pastor at Open Door Baptist Church, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. He was mightily used by God here in Negros Occidental and elsewhere in the Philippines. Many of those whom he discipled are now pastors of churches, deacons, teachers at the Baptist Missionary Association of America and the Philippines Bible College (BMAAPBC) as well as leaders in their respective fields. I owe a lot to his ministry and was very much influenced and blessed by his dynamic and biblical preaching. I am glad that his sermons are now online.
C. S. Lewis once wrote that there are theologians in the bottom of hell who are more interested in their own thoughts about God than in God himself. For that reason it is important that a dogmatician should also preach regularly. He will then create a counterweight to his intellectual preoccupations.
– HENDRIKUS BERKHOF, Introduction to the Study of Dogmatics
I just learned that John Piper considers D.M. Lloyd Jones the greatest preacher of the 20th century, and that every Monday morning he listens to Lloyd Jones. Lloyd Jones has been a great blessing to me personally. His book Spiritual Depression helped me at a time when I really needed help in my spiritual life. Click here to hear Lloyd Jones’ preaching.