Archive for September, 2011


Yes, Christians Need The Gospel

September 29, 2011

At a recent conference I preached on “Why do Christians need the Gospel?”  My sermon was based on 1 John 1:8- 2:2, a passage which gives us a framework for Gospel-centred living. My outline was:

1. Don’t be deceived, confess your sins (1:8-10)

  • the claim we must avoid (8,10)
  • the confessionwe must adopt (9)

2. Don’t be discouraged, consider Jesus (2:1-2)

  • What is Jesus doing now?
  • How can Jesus plead my case and win?

Practical suggestions:

  • Talk about the gospel
  • Meditate on the gospel
  • See the gospel
  • Share the gospel

Listen to the whole sermon.


Preaching At The Death Bed

September 27, 2011

We need to learn to preach at bedsides, not just behind pulpits. That’s why I found Kevin De Young’s article “Some Thoughts On Ministering to the Sick and Dying”  of such great benefit when I read it this morning. It covers the practicalities of making the hardest visit of all. He even suggests Scriptural texts which are pertinent to different situations.

Read the entire thing.


Glad I’m Not Alone!

September 16, 2011

Getting The Most Out Of Sermons

September 15, 2011

This is really good from Nancy Leigh DeMoss: How to Get the Most Out of Your Pastor’s Preaching.  The abbreviated outline:

Before the service

1. Pray for your pastor as he prepares for Sunday.

2. Take time during the week to read ahead and meditate on the text.

3. Prepare for public worship the night before.

4. Ask God to prepare your heart for the preaching of the Word.

5. Ask God to give you a sense of anticipation.

During the service

1. Participate—you need to be there.

2. Spend a few minutes before the service quietly preparing your heartfor worship.

3. Don’t be a spectator.

4. Open your Bible and follow along.

5. Listen attentively to the reading and the preaching of the Word.

6. Listen humbly to the preaching of the Word.

7. Take notes.

8. Don’t make your pastor a prisoner of unrealistic expectations.

After the service

1. Ask God to give you at least one takeaway from the message.

2. Discuss the message with others.

3. Be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (James 1:22).


Making It Personal

  • Do you highly esteem, respect, and reverence the Word of God (Neh. 8:5; Ps. 138:2)?
  • Do you prepare your heart to hear the Word of God (Ps. 119:18)?
  • Do you find delight in hearing the Word proclaimed?
  • Do you listen attentively when the Word is being read or preached (Neh. 8:3; Ps. 85:8)?
  • Do you expect God to speak to you every time you hear His Word proclaimed?
  • Do you have a teachable spirit (Ps. 25:9)?
  • Do you tremble at the Word of the Lord (Isa. 66:2; Ezra 9:4)?
  • Do you pray for those who proclaim the Word to you, that they might be pure, anointed vessels of God (1 Thess. 5:25)?
  • When the Word is preached, are you conscious that you are not listening to the words of men but to the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13)?
  • Do you have a commitment to obey anything God shows you from His Word (Matt. 7:24; James 1:22–25)?
  • Do you respond in faith, that is, acting on the Word you have heard (Heb. 4:2)?
  • Is your heart good soil that receives the Word and produces fruit (Luke 8:15)?
  • Are you willing to let the message sit in judgment of you rather than you sitting in judgment of the message?
  • Do you take the message personally (James 1:22)? Or are you more focused on how it applies to the people sitting near you?
  • Do you pass on to others what you’ve learned from the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:2)?
  • Do you express appreciation and gratitude for those who minister the Word of God to you (Gal. 6:6; 1 Thess. 5:12-13)?

Read the entire post with explanations here.


C.K Barrett

September 13, 2011

For some reason, I only learned today about the recent passing away of New Testament scholar C.K Barrett.  I enjoyed reading the Telegraph’s obituary to him. This was an intriguing paragraph:

Barrett never forgot that he was first and foremost a Methodist minister. He exercised a gentle and sensitive pastoral ministry, and remained a regular and engaging preacher in the Durham Methodist circuit into his nineties.

And this one:

That he managed to combine ministry and academia was testament to his great energy. After finishing his circuit duties at 10pm, he set aside four hours each day to pursue his New Testament research, retiring only at 2am.


Pride Cometh Before A Bad Sermon

September 13, 2011

Says Timothy Raymond.


James MacDonald Talks Preaching

September 12, 2011

James MacDonald starts to discuss what he has learned from decades of preaching.

Here’s part one.


Ponder These Points!

September 12, 2011

1. Many “consecutive expository” preachers communicate simply, passionately, memorably and evangelistically. Note: this method is not inherently complex, listless, forgettable and anti-evangel.

2. Many “single-text” preachers exalt Christ and expound Scripture with serious attention to context Note: this method is not inherently man-centred and biblically shallow.

Conclusion: I must be careful not to over-generalise.


Hearing Both Sides Of The Preaching Debate

September 12, 2011

I greatly prefer the practice of preaching consecutively through books of the bible. From time to time, I need to remind myself why this approach to preaching is so valuable. Clint Arnold has done a fine job of summarising some of the reasons why consecutive expository preaching can be our primary method.

  1. It is the best way to feed the sheep a balanced diet.
  2. It enables you to treat hard topics without being second-guessed.
  3. It helps to insure that you preach the Scripture and not yourself.
  4. It doesn’t have to be boring and lacking in relevance.
  5. Expository preaching is and should be application oriented.
  6. Expository preaching models how to read Scripture in context.
  7. There is a long history of this kind of preaching in the church—with great impact!

On the other hand, we need to hear critiques of the consecutive method as the only way to preach. Iain H. Murray raises a number of potential criticism of the consecutive method,  which should be considered.

1. Not every preacher is as capable in utilising this method.

2. The goal of preaching is not mainly to communicate as much information as possible.

3.  Historically, many have distinguished between a sermon and a lecture (ie. consecutive expository preaching).

4.  Sermons may be less memorable than if one preached on individual texts, and fastened those texts in the minds of the listeners.

5.  Evangelistic preaching is harder to do using the consecutive model.