“…and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;” (Titus 1:3 (ESV)
The following article is an excerpt from the Master’s Seminary Blog, June 23, 2020. It is entitled Ten Essentials of Preaching.
1. Preaching must be Biblically-Centered and Biblically-Grounded.
A preacher does not stand in the pulpit to make his point, to ride his hobby horse, or to showcase his oratorical skills. Instead, he is a mouthpiece for God, heralding His perfect Word to the flock before him. His commitment to proclaiming the truth of God’s Word is rooted in his commitment to the inerrancy, infallibility, clarity, and sufficiency of Scripture (“The sum of Your word is truth”, Ps. 119:160; “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4 quoting Deut. 8:3); “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction. . . .”(Rom. 15:4); and “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”, (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
2. Preaching must be God-Exalting.
Preaching is not about the man who lays the Bible atop the pulpit. Preaching is about the God whom that man is charged to proclaim. Preaching should leave its listeners in awe of the holy, majestic, regal, omnipotent, omniscient, unchanging, just, wrathful, patient, compassionate, and loving God revealed in Scripture.
The preacher should endeavor to bring glory to God by showcasing God and His greatness in his sermons, whether the sermon is based on a text that is explicitly about the greatness of God (Ps. 145:3; Rom. 11:33), or if it comes from a book that does not mention the name of God (Esther), that raises questions of God and His purposes (Job, Ecclesiastes), or that contains instructions on how Christians are to live in a world that is increasingly hostile to God (the Epistles).
3. Preaching must be Christ-ward.
While we reject hyper-typological and allegorical methods which might find Jesus, say, in the sword Ehud thrust into Eglon’s belly (Judg. 3:21–22), we nevertheless take heed of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:2: “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” While we would not go as far as Charles Spurgeon in saying, “I take my text and make a beeline to the cross,” those who preach should, at some point in a sermon, focus the saints’ gaze on the glorious Son of God.
“I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshippers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. . . . if I am asked to say what is my creed, I think I must reply—”It is Jesus Christ.” . . . the body of divinity to which I would pin and bind myself for ever, God helping me, is . . . Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the gospel; who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every previous truth, the all-glorious personal embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life,” explains Spurgeon.
May those who preach say Amen to those beautiful words.
Take time today to pray for your pastor and other ministers who preach the Word of God. Pray they never compromise from God’s command to “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:1-7).
Soli deo Gloria!