Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Banner Ministers' Conference 2011 Episode IV

I know that these reports have been coming out in dribs and drabs over the last couple of weeks, and what happened at Banner is hardly hot news now, but there we are. In the olden days before the invention of blogging you'd have to wait for a month or so for reports of the event from ET or EN, so think yourself lucky providentially favoured. This last report has some notes on  Martin Holdt's addresses on the Ministry and the work of the Holy Spirit, and some other odds and ends.

I. The Holy Spirit in Preacher's Personal Life

 There is an urgent need for movement of the Spirit these days. The work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus, John 16:14. We need the Spirit's power in to make our  ministry more effective. Given the depravity and obstinacy of people in sin, they will not believe the gospel. Only the Spirit can change that. History needs to be repeated. We need another reformation and revival, Psalm 119:126.

It is will of God that men in ministry be filled with the Holy Spirit. Now we will consider our own relationship with the Spirit.

1. New birth

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We were sealed by the Spirit and baptised by spirit into Christ. This is an instantaneous work.

2. The need for filling with Spirit

This is a command, Ephesians 5:18, but what does it mean? A relationship, see  John 14. We may please or grieve the Spirit. We pronounce the benediction, 2 Corinthians 13:14, but what do we know of the communion of Spirit?

On this point, I think we should make a distinction between the command to be filled with the Spirit in Ephesians 5:18, which has to to with character formation and being filled with the Spirit for ministry. The latter is not so much a command to be obeyed as a promise to be sought, Luke 11:13, Acts 4:29-31.

3. We need to know how the Spirit thinks

2 Peter 1:21. Puritan teaching was full of Scripture. Scripture is all about Christ, Luke 24:25-56. Paul's desire, Philippians 3:10. To seek Christ it to be filled with the Spirit.

4. Practice

Ephesians 4:1-3. We need to beware of disunity and tensions between ministers and cultivate the  fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, also James 3:17-18.

5. Do not quench him

Be concerned to please him.

6. Walk humbly before him

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, James 4:6, Galatians 6:3.

How much do we know and love the Spirit? Know the Trinity and love each person. Listen to and obey the Spirit speaking in the Scriptures.

II. The Holy Spirit and Preparation for Preaching

This is where battle for pulpit begins. Preaching with anointing is costly. Spirit empowered preaching was never  more necessary.

 1. Takes time

Acts 6:4, 7. Don't be lazy pastors. Fight for your mornings in study.

2. Prayer before during and after

 Psalm 119:18, Ephesians 1:15-19. We will need enlightenment until our dying day. Pray Scripturally, show god his own handwriting. Seek Christ in all scriptures.

3. Read Scripture widely and well

The more we read the more we are aware of our ignorance. 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible is sufficient for every good work. Every Bible book a purpose. Romans 15:4, Joshua 1:8. The Bible is about God. Someone once complained that D. L. Moody's preaching lacked power. He gave himself to wide and deep Bible reading and his preaching was empowered.

Other books are also helpful, 2 Timothy 4:13. God gives gifts to commentators, e.g. Calvin. Books are to us what Philip was to the Ethiopian eunuch. Spurgeon read 6 volumes per week. John Wesley, rebuked a preacher for his lack of reading.

John Piper suggests that preachers read in 20 minute blocks. Then we we may read 15 average sized books a year. In 20 x 3 minute blocks more may be read. John Stott recommended reading for an hour a day. Read a book on the atonement a year.

With help of the Spirit prepare adequately. You will feel like preaching straight away. When helped respond by thanking God.

III. The Holy Spirit and Preaching.

Some key points:

1) Scripture is God's vital and living Word.

2) We need to pray for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.

3) We must not preach from paper. Don't be over reliant on notes.

4) Preach the second coming.

 True revivals are about Bible-centred, convicting preaching.

1. Preach biblically

At Pentecost as a result of Peter's sermon, 3000 were converted.

But it would not do simply to repeat Calvin's/Lloyd-Jones'/Whitefield's sermons. The effect would not be the same. What made difference with these men? The sacred anointing.

Acts 2:4 14. The fullness of Spirit and preaching of the Word. 1000's Converted by Spirit empowered preaching. What was preached?

1) Peter preached extempore

He did not preach from prepared notes, but spontaneously.

2) Scripture

Peter explained the outpouring of the Spirit in fulfilment of Joel 2 in Acts 2:17-21. He preached the resurrection of Christ from Psalm 16 in Acts 2:25-28, and his exaltation from Psalm 110 in Acts 2:34-36. Peter wielded the sword of the Spirit in power of Spirit.  Sermons which lack biblical content will not be owned by the Spirit.

3) Christ

Acts 2:22-24,  29-33, 36.

4) Sin

Acts 2:23, 37 cf. Micah 3:8

See also Acts 6:10 and Stephen's address in Acts 7:55 and you will see the same pattern:  Scripture, sin, Christ. And Paul's message in Acts 13:  Scripture, sin, Christ.

We must preach evengelistically to the lost and relate the evangel to all areas of the Christian life.

5) Preach Christ from all scripture

2. Make a personal plea to God for the power of the Holy Spirit

Luke 11:13. Entreat the Lord for Spirit. As Spurgeon ascended the pulpit steps at the Met Tab, he recited the words of the creed, "I believe in the Holy Ghost".

3. Teach our people to pray for us

The believers prayed before Pentecost, Acts 1:14, See also Paul's requests for prayer in Romans 15:30-33, Ephesians 6:18-20, Colossians 4:2-4, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2 Corinthians 9:12-14.

In Luke 4:18-27, we see that Christ needed anointing of the Spirit in order to preach. Jesus said, John 12:32. We need the anointing of the Spirit to lift up Christ so that all are drawn to him.


There were also a couple of brief, 15 minute sessions. In one, Geoff Thomas make a passionate plea for the free offer of the gospel and in another Ian Hamilton commended A. A. Hodge's biography of his father, Charles Hodge.

Although numbers were a little low and some of my old cronies were missing, Banner 2011 was nevertheless a good time of ministry and fellowship.

Banner 2012 will take place on 16-19 April. Speakers include: Alistair Begg, Maurice Roberts, Martin Downes, Matthew Brennan and Jonathan Watson.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great to see the picture too - thanks! db