Some brethren from the Westcountry Reformed Minister's Fraternal
I often post some notes on papers delivered at Minister's Fraternals (click on 'Fraternals' label below). But it's not so easy to take notes when you are the speaker. My subject was Word and Spirit in Preaching, something that I have often discussed on this blog. In fact some of the material published here fed nicely into the paper. My final conclusion was,
The Spirit's empowering presence enables preachers to proclaim the Lord Jesus with boldness, liberty and life-transforming effectiveness. His presence makes preaching an event where the God of the gospel is encountered in all the fullness of his grace and power.
Rather than give a precis of what I had to say, I thought that I would give you a flavour of the discussion that followed my address. Several issues were raised. One brother wanted to know how we can "tighten the net" in our evangelistic preaching. We need to bring people to the point where they cry out, "What must I do to be saved?" Men and women will not turn to Christ unless they have a sense of the seriousness of sin. We must preach the law and the reality of God's judgement so that sinners are awakened to flee from the wrath to come. As far as preaching to the saints is concerned, we talked about the importance of application in preaching. Our chairman, Fred Serjeant produced the aphorism, "No exhortation without application". That was helpful. We not only have to exhort our people to live in the light of Scripture, we need to get down to detailed application of the Word of God. We talked about the relationship of prayer to study and preparation. Sometimes it is so east to get lost in sermon prep that we forget to give ourselves to prayer for preaching. Part of the answer to that is that we should prepare and study prayerfully. Certainly, all seemed to agree that we need to experience more of the Spirit's power in our preaching.
If you would like to read the paper, drop me an e-mail, and I will let you have a copy by e-mail attachment (Word document).