1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake".
The subject of preaching is as vital for the church, as it is interesting. I would love these blog posts to cause a lively interest in the matter of preaching. There is a lack of true preaching and worse still there is a lack of desire for hearing true preaching. Preaching is the means by which the Lord has always primarily used to advance the church. Therefore the more we understand about it the better.
I myself am a preacher and I feel I have so much to learn. Want to be a better preacher and I lament the poverty of my own preaching currently and I would love to know something of the anointing of God in a fuller way when preaching. Paul reminds the Thessalonians of five marks of the preaching they heard at the first:
1. Our Gospel
2. Came not only in word
3. But in power.
4. And in the Holy Spirit
5. With full conviction (with fulness)
One of the classic books on preaching in print today, by a preaching maestro is "Preaching and Preachers". May I exhort all preachers to read this book or to read it again if you did so years ago. I am currently going through it again.
Chapter 6 is a "must-read" for those who are considering the ministry. Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) clearly does not believe in lay-preachers because the task is too important, I agree. MLJ explains in the first few chapters not only about the primacy of preaching but that there are two aspects to preaching: The preparation of the sermon and the delivery of the sermon. The two are distinct but obviously related.
Above all else, may we pray for Holy Spirit empowered preaching, a recovery of the sermon and the centrality of the pulpit in the church and full churches that honour the preaching of the Word of God. Let us also pray for the next generation of preachers in line with command of Jesus. Matthew 9:37-38 'Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" '.