Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Three Elements of Biblical Preaching

Al Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, finished, yesterday, a three part series of articles on the development of a theology of preaching. In a day and age where preaching has continually been manipulated, watered down, and even done away with this was a much needed series.

Preaching within the church is not a suggestion, argues Mohler, it is a command. God ordained the preaching of His word and it should be the center of the Sunday morning gathering of the church. In this particular series Mohler listed the three essential elements to crafting a biblical theology of preaching.

1) Preaching is Founded Upon the Word of God- The Christian church preaches because God commanded it and because it is His word that we most desperately need. A preacher must preach, because God has said so. This puts the seriousness, and the awe of preaching back into place. Today the sermon is belittled, if not bodly condemned. Either preachers deny the significance of the preached word or they assert their own power in preaching it. Both of these extremes find no place when we realize that this is God's word and God's rule!

2) In part two Mohler established the second key to a biblical theology of preaching: Preaching is Centered on Christ- Every message, every sermon, indeed all of scripture focuses on Jesus Christ. Any sermon that ignores the truth of redemption accomplished in the death and resurrection of Christ is in fact not a sermon. The Gospel is the major theme of the whole scope of Scripture. If preachers do not call men and women to repentance and belief in Jesus Christ, if the aim is not to point to the cross and the glory of God displayed there, then they have failed in their task. Many men preach today on self-help, motivation, living up to your full potential, but they leave out the message of Christ. Preaching is to be Christ centered because self-help, motivation, and good lives mean nothing without the cross!

3) Finally, in part 3, Mohler states that Preachis is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit- It is not within the preacher to bring about change in his hearer's hearts. If we preach without the aid of the Spirit we merely speak dead words. If we forget the work of the Holy Spirit in preaching we will succumb to pride, ineffectiveness, and even sin. When we recognize the work of the Spirit in preaching, however, we find strength to speak the truth, a removal of the fear of failure, and a humility that honors God.

This is a great three part series that all Christian Pastors should read and be encouraged, edified, and corrected by. Biblical Preaching means preaching out of the Word, on the Person and work of Christ, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit. You can clearly see that it is a Trinitarian work!


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