Thursday 21 December 2017

John Calvin and Preaching

If you are not a preacher you may wonder, what has this post got to do with me? The answer is a whole lot. The primary activity of the Christian church, according to the Bible is the act of preaching and the listening rightly to the Word of God being preached. We are all to be engaged in praying for the fruitfulness of the act of preaching of right doctrine. We are all to be involved in praying for preachers to be raised up to pastor the flock of God (Matthew 9:38-39).

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.” Matthew 9:37-38.

Furthermore, we are to listen rightly to the Word of God being preached and not simply having a critical spirit about the every detail of the way the Word is preached so that we cannot receive the Word with joy.

One of the best works on preaching that I have read this year is by Joel Beeke called "Calvin and Preaching: The Power of the Word" and it is published in a book called "Calvin: Theologian and Reformer" by Reformation Heritage Books. I commend this essay for preachers and hearers alike, and if you get hold of it, it should be read more than once for maximum impact. Beeke writes that: "Calvin provided nine reasons why faithful, Spirit-anointed preaching is powerful. They are:

1. It allows the Word of God to set the agenda
2. It proclaims the Scripture authoritatively
3. It co-labours with the Holy Spirit
4. It guarantees the Church's Fruitfulness
5. It impacts the nations
6. It moves people to truly hear God's Word
7. It is experiential
8. It promotes piety
9. It aims for God's glory

If you get a hold of this book, do convert your enthusiasm for preaching with prayer for your pastor's sermon preparation, the delivery of preaching, and that your hearing and receipt of the Word of God would be in a godly fashion.

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