Conrad Mbewe – 1 John 5:13-15June 7, 2007
Quotes like the following brought me into contact with our preacher today:
“CONRAD MBEWE SLICES THE air with his hands. His booming baritone soars to a frenzied pitch. “I ask, what is your attitude to authority in your home?” he says. “What is your at-ti-tude? If that’s what characterizes your life, stop cheating yourself that you’re a Christian.” The congregation’s eyes follow every jab of his finger, every sweep of his hands. They’re hearing—and watching—a regular Sunday sermon from their pastor. But he also happens to be the Spurgeon of Africa.” (World Magazine, March 29th, 2003)
What was the opening sentence? ‘We’re continuing in our series of messages under the theme: “the things most surely believed among us”‘
What was the introduction about?
This was a recap of the previous week’s sermon that assured believers that if they are truly Christ’s, then what he has begun, he will finish. This week the theme will be: that God wants all those who are saved, to know they are saved, in this life.
What was the outline?
1. Who does John wants to assure?
Only those who are “believers” are promised full assurance (1 John 5:13). But there are frequently two forms of self-deception, which blind people to the fact that they are not believers:
i) they think they can be saved by outward actions
ii) they think they can be saved and sin with impunity
2. How are they to know it?
i) Loving the brethren (1 John 3:10)
ii) Peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)
iii) Inwardly our spirit cries out “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15)
What aspects of Mbewe’s style did you appreciate?
a) Interaction with the congregation. Talks near the beginning of the sermon to an imaginary objector, who doubts the fact that Christians can be assured. This kind of dialogue returns throughout the sermon.
b) Flat out earnestness. This guy can preach!
c) Use of questions in application. Rarely have I heard a preacher so relentlessly question his congregation, and to such effect.
d) Mbewe’s concluding appeals. Really, you should all listen to this…!
What will you remember in a week’s time?
The rising of Dr Mbewe’s voice as he pleads with the congregation.
What one aspect of Mbewe’s preaching will you seek to adopt into your own? His excellent use of questioning. Surely this is one way to press the soul of the hearer! A good explainer of the text must know how to question his text and his hearer.