Eight Facets of Faithful Preaching

Faithfulness is multifaceted; there is much more to it than simply capturing the dominant thrust of the passage we are expounding, essential as that is. Faithful servants of God’s Word prove themselves to be faithful stewards of it when they:

1. Trust God. Those who speak for God are justified to expect him to speak through them when they are faithful servants and stewards of his Word. The preached Word is powerful for the purposes for which God gave it. Those who speak for God need not, and therefore must not, go beyond what is written. Scripture is sufficient (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 Peter 1:3).

2. Speak as those assigned, equipped, and empowered to do so. God selects, authorizes, equips, deploys, accompanies, and empowers those who speak for him. Those who speak for God look to him for all they need to fulfill their calling and are accountable to him for what they say in his name.

3. Speak from the Bible in ways that reflect the Bible’s composition as a literary collection. Because all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable, to faithfully preach it all, preachers need strategies that are consistent with the nature and purpose of all its parts.

4. Listen to God before they attempt to speak for God, discerning what he is saying. Those who speak for God must first listen to him (Isa. 50:4–11).

5. Understand those to whom God has called them to speak. Because God speaks intelligibly through people to people, messages from him must be intelligible to those to whom we speak (1 Cor. 14:1–12).

6. Respect and reflect the clarity and orderliness of Scripture while discerning the way people hear. What God says in Scripture is sufficiently clear so that those who speak for him can make it clear to those to whom they speak on God’s behalf (Deut. 29:9; 2 Cor. 1:13; Eph. 3:9). Because God adapts his speech to achieve his purposes, we must organize what we say to reflect his mind and his desire to be heard.

7. Respect and reflect the ways that Scripture communicates in stories, propositions, and images. Because God speaks in stories and word pictures, as well as propositions, commands, and warnings, faithfulness to his Word requires that we reflect its nature when we respeak it.

8. Take seriously their role as messengers who also embody the message they proclaim. Because God’s message to humanity is both verbal and incarnate, we cannot neglect how we embody the truth both in the pulpit and outside of it (Col. 1–2).

While there is no easy or automatic formula for success in preaching, I have become convinced that the servant of the Word who humbly attends to these eight facets of faithfulness is significantly more likely to let God’s voice be heard than one who does not. Each facet of faithfulness presents its own challenges or, as I describe them, bottlenecks preventing the flow of God’s Word to God’s people. The remainder of this book will be devoted to opening these bottlenecks to let the Word of God speak.

Greg R. Scharf, Let the Earth Hear His Voice, Chapter 1.

Spirit-empowered Preaching

As a Christian and pastor, I really enjoyed this book. This book is unique in its focus on the Holy Spirit’s work in preaching. It is not merely a chapter on the Holy Spirit, but on every page and in every point the Holy Spirit is discussed with biblical care and honor. I am better off for having read this book.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0805443886/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_V4BXxbKN71JT9

Page Flip on Kindle

I have long loved amazon Kindle books. They are weightless, inexpensive (usually), and out of reach by small children who love to tear the pages. I have progressed ever-so-slowly from the earliest iterations of the Amazon reading devices until now I actually own an iPad. I read Kindle books on my iphone and computer as well, via the Kindle for PC/iphone/etc apps.

Continue reading “Page Flip on Kindle”

Nothing In My Hand I Bring by Ray Galea

Promoting helpful Christian reading is important part of the Church’s responsibility to promote the announcement of good news. This post aims to promote a well-written resource for those seeking to better understand the differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant beliefs.

Nothing in My Hand I Bring became available in 2007 as a publication of Matthias Media. It was written by Ray Galea. A recipient of a thoroughly Catholic upbringing, Galea did not want to simply take His Catholicism for granted. He set out to investigate these differences between Protestant Christians and the Catholic friends, neighbors, and family among whom he was raised. The book is a re-tracing of Galea’s investigation; an investigation which led him to Christianity through faith in the Christ alone. This challenging and invaluable book is helpful for many reasons. Here are a few reasons why you should read this book.
Continue reading “Nothing In My Hand I Bring by Ray Galea”

Putting Your Past in Its Place by Steve Viars

Title: Putting Your Past in Its Place: Moving Forward in Freedom and Forgiveness
Author: Stephen Viars
Publisher: Harvest House, 2011
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN: 0736927395

Everyone has a past and many people struggle to rightly deal with their pasts. Pastor Stephen Viars takes aim at this problem in his new book, Putting Your Past in Its Place: Moving Forward in Freedom and Forgiveness. After twenty years of pastoral ministry and countless cases of biblical counseling, Viars is well-qualified to write on the subject of handling the past through the gospel.

Viars’ Purpose
Viars’ main purpose is to develop a biblical theology of the past that is practical, helpful, and down-to-earth (18). With an eye on readers who are stuck in the past of past suffering and sin, the author presents biblical hope and help. Yet, the book is not about a step by step process, but a Person-God Himself. Viars writes, “My greatest concern is not that you learn a series of biblical principles or even take a few steps of behavioral obedience. Ultimately, God offers us the possibility of experiencing a vibrant, joyful relationship with Him. Unfinished business in the past will rob us of the delight we can find in Christ” (202). He masterfully shepherds readers toward lasting change; putting the past to work for good.
Continue reading “Putting Your Past in Its Place by Steve Viars”