“…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.
2. Preaching must be God-Exalting.
3. Preaching must be Christ-ward.
4. Preaching must be Doctrinally and Theologically Accurate.
Preaching should not be driven by theological presuppositions, but instead should be, first and foremost, biblically-centered and biblically-grounded. Every sermon is, to some degree, a theological endeavor, as it promotes and explains the character and Word of God.
So before the sermon is preached, it should be checked against trusted theological resources to ensure the preacher is safely within the guardrails of orthodoxy. To this end, studying systematic theology, biblical theology, historical theology, and practical theology is an essential component of being a faithful and effective preacher of God’s Word. Being a student of theology not only benefits the preacher, it benefits those to whom he is preaching.
As J.I. Packer once put it: “Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ’s sheep.”
5. Preaching must be dependent, both before and after the Preaching Event.
The preacher recognizes that apart from Christ he can do nothing (John 15:5), and so he is a man of prayer, both as a part of his daily walk with the Lord (1 Thess. 5:17) and in particular as he prepares his soul and mind to preach.
He prays as he studies (Ps. 119:18), he prays throughout the week leading up to his preaching, he prays the night before he preaches, he prays the morning he is scheduled to preach, and he prays as he walks up to preach. He is utterly dependent upon the Lord to provide the wisdom, the grace, and the strength to deliver God’s Word that day.
While the preacher is dependent upon prayer that is not the only way he is dependent on God in his preaching. Though he is well-prepared to preach the sermon, he is nevertheless yielded to the Spirit as he delivers the sermon. He is reading the room as he preaches, noting eye contact and other non-verbal cues from the congregation, and as he does so, he is willing to go in directions that he had not planned to, as the Spirit leads, albeit all within a well-crafted and orderly presentation of what God has revealed in His Word.
With his words, the preacher is to shepherd real people who sit before him with real hurts and real questions, not simply recite a memorized speech. So the preacher must depend upon the Spirit to help him to accomplish this task.
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!