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The Institute for Expository Preaching – May 20-22, 2013 – Sproul Q&A

Somehow I missed posting these, maybe because the past few months have been way too busy!

 

Questions and answers with R.C. Sproul

 

Q. The difference between preaching and teaching?

 

The difference goes back to the NT, the difference between proclamation and explanation. Teachers cannot help but preach and preachers should also be teaching. Preaching needs to have exhortation. Preachers need to explain the meaning of the text.

 

Q. How do you prepare an expository sermon?

 

Preparation begins a long time before the sermon preparation begins. But then there is immediate preparation. Start a week beforehand. Written sermons and outlines sometimes get in the way of communicating with the hearers. Immerse yourself in the text. Commentaries, word studies. Existential approach – look for the drama in the text. Significance of the application of the text as it relates to the hearers. Lose a few vocabulary words.

 

Q. What advice for young men in the ministry for preaching?

 

Commit to expository preaching. Preach through whole books of the Bible. Spend as much time in the gospels as possible.

 

Q. Advice for older preachers?

 

Same as above. You will never run out of material. Don’t beat the same drum over and over again. Preach the whole counsel of the Word of God. You never have to worry about what to preach next.

 

Q. Tie in expository preaching with evangelistic preaching?

 

Calling for response and conversion – do this as the text allows. Do it on a regular basis. This is not the primary purpose of Sunday morning preaching. Sermons should not be tailored to unbelievers.

 

Q. In sermon preparation and delivery, how to enjoy and not stress out?

 

Sermon preparation should be a delight because you are in the text. Delivery can be a stress, but that stress is from yourself. Depend on God. It is not uncommon to feel stress before you speak. It often goes away when you start to speak. Look away from ourselves, look to the lord, look to the people whom we are speaking to.

 

Q. Reading commentaries on difficult passages they often differ. How much attention should I give to them.

 

Refer to commentaries very infrequently. Exegesis is not preaching. Do not just repeat what you have been learning. A sermon is not a lecture. You may what to mention briefly that there are various viewpoints.

 

Q. What should be learned about preaching from Martin Luther?

 

Preaching doctrinal issues from the Scriptures, especially controversial issues of the day. The gospel preached boldly will inevitably lead to conflict. Do not try to correct or improve on the Word of God.

 

Q. How to get to the next level as a preacher?

 

Read Stephen Nichols biography of J. Gresham Machen. The basis of Christianity is doctrine. Dig deeply into orthodox Christian doctrine. There is no dichotomy between doctrine and practice.

 

Q. Reformed theology taking hold among African-American churches?

 

Very encouraged that this is occurring. Returning to the Bible, biblical teaching, and biblical theology. Theology does not prohibit passion and experience in worship. The truth of God is an emotional thing. The rest of the church could learn from this.

 

Q. Charismatic/Pentecostal backlash in areas of the country which are not biblical?

 

The charismatic movement is too dependent on direct leading of the spirit. A tendency to neglect the content of the Scriptures. The Spirit works in the Word and through the Word. The Holy Spirit and his work is foundational to reformed theology. We hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in the Word.

 

The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series

 


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The Truth of the Cross [Kindle Edition]

The Truth of the Cross [Kindle Edition] by R.C. Sproul

Dr. R.C. Sproul surveys the great work accomplished by Jesus Christ through His crucifixion the redemption of God s people. Dr. Sproul considers the atonement from numerous angles and shows conclusively that the cross was absolutely necessary if anyone was to be saved. Opening the Scriptures, Dr. Sproul shows that God Himself provided salvation by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross, and the cross was always God s intended method by which to bring salvation. The Truth of the Cross is an uncompromising reminder that the atonement of Christ is an absolutely essential doctrine of the Christian faith, one that should be studied and understood by all believers.

Free kindle book for a limited time.


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Forgiveness – R.C. Sproul Quote

A favorite saying of R.C. Sproul’s was brought back to my mind today.

What do you do with the person who says, “I’ve asked God to forgive me about this, but I still feel guilty”? I hear that statement over and over again. I usually say to these people, “If you still feel guilty, then pray to God again. But this time don’t ask Him to forgive you for the sin that is haunting you. Rather, ask Him to forgive you for insulting His integrity by refusing to accept His forgiveness. Who are you to refuse to forgive yourself when God has forgiven you? When God promises to forgive His people when they repent, He is not playing games. If He says He will forgive you, then He will forgive you. And if God forgives you, you are forgiven.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

R.C. Sproul

The corollary also applies:

Whom have you not forgiven yet God has forgiven?

Many still punish and hold against another their sins even though the Lord has forgiven them. We cannot be a higher judge than God is; demanding more repentance than God does.


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Regeneration – Sproul Quote

It is critical to understand that regeneration is something that the Holy Spirit does that really and truly changes a person; it changes the very disposition of his soul. If a person is truly regenerate and manifests faith, it is impossible for that person not to bring forth some measure of obedience.

~~~~~~~

R.C. Sproul, Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?


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Free Kindle Books

Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts with Bonus Content [Kindle Edition] by Jerry Bridges

In an effort to strengthen his own trust in God during a time of adversity, Navigator author Jerry Bridges began a lengthy Bible study on God’s sovereignty. The revelations changed his life.

In Trusting God, he shares the scope of God’s power to help you come to know Him better, have a relationship with Him, and trust Him more—even when unjust things happen. Tragedy, grief, loss, and death are part of life. Discover how Trusting God can reveal biblical truths about God.

Includes bonus chapter taken from More Than Ordinary by Doug Sherman.

Trusting God is a very good book one of the best I’ve read over the past few years.

 

God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children [Kindle Edition]

An in-depth look at a God who not only loves, but is love.
 
Love has come to mean many things. It’s used to describe emotions. It’s the glue for relationships. It frames countless stories.
And the greatest of these stories opens before time began and echoes throughout eternity. It’s the story of God’s unrelenting, overwhelming love for His people. Yet the truth of love is even more majestic, more staggering, and more extraordinary than we can understand: God doesn’t just love us. He is love.

Renowned theologian and teacher Dr. R.C. Sproul takes a remarkable look at this most profound truth. God’s Love delves deep into Scripture to explore this dynamic attribute of God, which finds its ultimate expression in His Son. Dr. Sproul also examines seeming paradoxes of God, such as a loving God and divine hate, and how love coexists with His sovereignty. Practical, insightful, and revolutionary, God’s Love compels and calls us to reflect His nature of unconditional love.

Remember you do not have to own a Kindle to enjoy the free Kindle books. There are several Free Kindle Apps available.  Using those apps you can read Kindle books on your phone, iPad, tablet or online at the computer.

 


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The Holiness of God

The Holiness of God – Free Kindle Book

by R.C. Sproul

 

Ligonier

“When people ask me to name the Ligonier teaching material they should use to help them grow; I tell them, ‘You should start with The Holiness of God.’”
—R.C. Sproul

Now celebrating 25 years of publication, this classic can help you better understand the biblical picture of God’s awesome holiness and why it is so foundational to God-centered, God-honoring theology and Christian living. In The Holiness of God , R.C. Sproul demonstrates that encountering God’s holy presence is a terrifying experience. Dr. Sproul argues that this struggle is nonetheless necessary because it is the only way to cure our propensity to trust in ourselves and our own righteousness for salvation.


“This book is a game-changer! Everything in our lives and ministries begins and ends with a soul-gripping awareness of God’s infinite holiness. These dramatic chapters, written in high-impact fashion, reveal what the holiness of God is and how it should revolutionize our lives.”
—Steven Lawson


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What Do John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul Have in Common Beyond Theology?

On Tuesday I asked “What do John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul have in common beyond theology?”

Both were involved in very serious and potentially fatal transportation accidents in Alabama while traveling through the state.

From John MacArthur’s biography John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock:

At the end of his first year at Bob Jones, John, bound for home, shared a car with five other students as they drove through Alabama.  While proceeding at speed, the driver lost control; a door burst open as the car turned over, and John was thrown out.  He was to land in a seated position on the asphalt road and slide for over 100 yards.  Nothing was broken but third degrees friction burns took the flesh off his back, and embedded asphalt in what remained.  One hand would be scarred for life.  …

Three months of hospital and skin grafts had a huge impact on MacArthur as a college student.

R.C. Sproul was involved in a potentially fatal train accident in Alabama in 1993.  The Big Bayou Canot train wreck killed 42 people and injured hundreds.    Both R.C. Sproul and his wife were on that fatal train.  They were uninjured but often you will hear Sproul speak about that train wreck in his lectures and sermons.

From Train Wreck:

Often the language of the reporters when they comment on such accidents includes references to the “ill-fated train,” or the “ill-fated plane.” I hope this is merely a manner of speaking and that the reporters do not really believe that the destiny of human beings is in the hands of “fate.” The fates were part of the mythological system of the ancient world, and they were depicted as arbitrary, capricious, and mischievous sub-deities who wreaked havoc among people. Today fate is sometimes seen as a blind force of nature that causes horrible things or good things to happen to us.

The doctrine of the providence of God leaves no room for fate, blind or otherwise. God is not blind; neither is He capricious. For Him there are no accidents. With God there are no cases of chance events.

Now you know.


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Ligonier Conference Live Stream

This weekend, March 24–26, 2011, the Ligonier Conference will be live streaming.

You can listen to R.C. Sproul, Steve Lawson and John Piper.  The cost for the live stream is a donation of any amount.

The topic will be “Light and Heat: A Passion for the Holiness of God“.

Click here for the planned schedule.


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