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Session 8 – The Power of Jesus’ Preaching – His Proclamation of the Word

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 8 – The Power of Jesus’ Preaching – His Proclamation of the Word (Steve Lawson)

This is Part 2 of the sermon begun in Session 1.

Text: Luke 4:14–21 (NASB95)

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.

15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Without the power of the Holy Spirit in our preaching, our preaching is dead. The power of the Spirit is not incidental, it is fundamental.

1.  The Spirit-filled preacher is rooted and grounded in the text of the scripture.

A.  Jesus was a Spirit-anointed preacher.

i.      In verses 18-19, we see God the Father anointing God the Son with God the Spirit.

B.  Jesus was anointed as a preacher to:

  i.      Preach the gospel to the poor, that is, the ones absolutely destitute spiritually

ii.      Proclaim release to the captives, that is, those in spiritual bondage to their sins

1.  This is the antitype of the year of Jubilee in the Old Testament

2.  This (today) is the favorable year of the Lord

3. “Release” is also translated “forgiveness”

iii.      Proclaim recovery of sight to the blind, that is, those who are blinded by Satan

iv.      To set free them that are oppressed

v.      To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. Verse 21 tells us that this was fulfilled in their hearing on this day.

1.  Application: there is a sense of urgency in this verse.

2.  The pronouncement of the Lord

A.  Jesus stops reading half-way through the verse.

B.  Jesus sits down to teach, to expound upon, what he has just read.

i.      Read the text

ii.      Explain the text

iii.      Exhort with the text

C.  The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Jesus. What will he say? What will this hometown boy say about this text? Does he address the text in the past? No. Jesus addresses the here and now. Jesus proclaims that this scripture has been fulfilled in their hearing. HAS BEEN. When? Just now.

i.      The free offer of the gospel has just been extended to the hearers.

a.  They were poor, blind, captives, oppressed. The gospel has just been proclaimed to them.


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Session 7 – The Effects of Pentecost Preaching – The Salvation of Sinners

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 7 – The Effects of Pentecost Preaching – The Salvation of Sinners (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: Galatians 4:1–6 (NASB95)

1 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

 

Text: Romans 8:9–32 (NASB95)

9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—

13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

 

Romans chapter 8 is the great chapter in the Bible concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The language here is rich with the imagery of family – brothers, sons, adoption, children, heirs. Comparing Galatians 4 and Romans 8 we see a subtle difference in the cry “Abba, Father”. In Galatians, it is the Spirit who cries “Abba, Father”. In Romans 8 it is the spirit of adoption as sons in us which cries “Abba, Father.”

Adoption is the highest of our present privileges. The apex of the ministry of the Spirit in the believer is this gift of the spirit of adoption as sons.

1.  When the Spirit comes, He produces in us family likeness to the Son of God (v.13)

A.  Ongoing destruction of sin

B.  Ongoing construction of holiness

2.  When the Spirit comes, He brings assurance of our adoption of sons.

A.  This is the common experience of all believers.

B.  The Old Testament scriptures do not speak of God as Father of the believer.

C.  The New Testament scripture reveals God as the personal Father of the believer.

D.  This is done practically by the Spirit witnessing with our spirit.

i.      The evidence is our crying out “Abba, Father.”

a.  The cry here is the shriek of a child for help.

b.  This is not the evidence of a super-mature Christian, it is the nature of every Christian, newborn and mature. It is instinct. It is because of the Spirit in us.

3.  When the Spirit comes, he teaches us that there is significance and meaning in our suffering.

A.  We who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly waiting for our adoption as sons. We long for that day when this adoption is fully realized.

B.  The Spirit does not release us from the sufferings and groanings. We groan because we already have the Spirit. We groan because we are not completely there yet.

i.      We groan because of suffering.

ii.      We groan because of our sins.

iii.      We groan because we have not yet been resurrected. We are not yet whole. There is a home-sickness in every believer.

C.  We endure the suffering in order to share in the glory. It is the suffering that results in the glory. It is not a now-then construction. It is a now-now construction – suffering now, glory now.

4.  When the Spirit comes, He gives us supernatural help in our weakness (v.26).

A.  “helps” contains two prepositions – “sun” and “anti”. “Sun” indicates someone who is with us. “Anti” indicates someone who stands alongside us.

B.  The Spirit knows how to pray for us in our weakness. The groanings of the Spirit are the deep-seated cries of our soul. God is able to interpret the groanings of the Spirit.

5.  When the Spirit comes, He comes as the agent which transforms us into the likeness of the Son.

A.  The Father promised the Son that He could send the Spirit into those who would be adopted as sons.

B.  One day through the ministry of the Spirit we will be just like our elder Brother.

C.  The deepest desire of the Trinity is that we will all be family.


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Session 6 – Question and Answer

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 6 – Question and Answer (Sinclair Ferguson and Steve Lawson)

Q.           How much does preaching in the power of Holy Spirit have to do with the amount of time the preacher spends in prayer?

A.            Preparation and prayer are interrelated. But power in preaching is absent apart from the Spirit. Disciplined study includes prayer as part of the preparation. We must be careful not to allow our preparation fill just the remaining time. We are told that there was prayer in the upper room before the day of Pentecost came.

 

Q.           What was the relationship of the Holy Spirit to Jesus as Jesus hung on the cross and said “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

A.            Jesus was highly exalted by his death on the cross, and in that the Father was pleased in the obedience of Jesus Christ. On the cross Jesus was sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit in the sense that the abandonment of God did not overwhelm him, but he was sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit. The garden of Gethsemane shows us that Jesus did not desire to experience this divine desertion. But he remains faithful in choosing the cross so that he might gain the bride.

 

Q.           What advice would you give to young pastors training up young men? How can churches better train up men for ministry?

A.            Here is the question – What minister has invested themselves in your life? Ministers today are preparing themselves to be ministers but not servants, because they have never been served. Ministers today are preparing themselves to lead without ever having themselves been lead. The minister must allow the younger men to get near enough to them “smell” what ministry is all about. Younger men need to see and feel, not just hear, what ministry is all about. Preparation for the ministry is becoming very expensive. The people of God need to be encouraged to provide for those who are preparing for ministry. Young men are drawn to the strong preaching of the word of God. Intentional discipleship in theology, history, and the doctrines of grace is also important.

 

Q.           Opinion of covenantal baptism as compared to other forms of baptism in the Presbyterian Church.

A.            The mode and time of baptism is generally not part of the confession of faith for members. But this is different for officers. The theology will affect the atmosphere of the church. There are people who are drawn by the particular idiosyncrasies of a church. We must not be driven to be different from everyone else as the only goal for ministry. Being argumentative is a biblical disqualification from leadership.

 

Q.           Why did God create Lucifer knowing he would become Satan?

A.            There is a big answer – God does everything for his own glory. Another answer is that there is a display of God’s character in the judgment of evil. However, the ends do not provide a full explanation. We must appeal to Deuteronomy 29:29 in this matter. We would have to understand God as God understands himself to answer questions such as this. We must not feel any personal constraint to know every answer to every question. There is an answer to every question, but we will not know the answer to every question, or we would be God. The wisdom and knowledge of God is beyond our ability to comprehend. The sin of Adam and Eve was this desire to have the knowledge and wisdom of God.

 

Q.           The work of the Spirit in regeneration – what is the difference before and after Pentecost?

A.            The same methods were at work for Old Testament believers as for New Testament believers. Both are regenerated in the same way. This continuity is undergirding. The same fruits of the Spirit are seen in the lives of Old Testament believers as in the New Testament. Old Testament saints are regenerated in light of what Christ will do. New Testament saints are regenerated in light of what Christ did. The Old Testament is a progressive revelation of Jesus Christ – the seed of the woman, the offspring of Abraham, the son of David, the suffering servant, the lamb of God. We now live in an epoch of which John the Baptist could only dream of. We have a much greater revelation of the trinity now than the Old Testament believer had. We have this same experience now in the increasing maturity of the believer. The Spirit never gets ahead of Jesus in this progressive revelation. Consideration the narrative in Galatians 3 about the law being the pedagogue to bring us to Christ. Looking back from the position of being in Christ, Paul says that being under the pedagogue was like being a slave. However, before Christ, those who were under the pedagogue delighted in being under the law. It is a matter of perspective from your point of revelation.

 

Q.           How do I know if I have studied and prayed enough for this Sunday’s sermon?

A.            There is no set answer to this question to be found in the Bible. It differs from person to person and occasion to occasion. It does require a life dedication to both study and prayer. We probably have never studied enough or prayed enough. You know it is time to stop studying and praying when someone knocks on the study door and tells you it’s time to preach.  There is a maddening disconnect between our preparation and prayer and the power of our preaching at times.


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Session 5 – The Trumpet Blast of Scotland – The Preaching of John Knox

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 5 – The Trumpet Blast of Scotland – The Preaching of John Knox (Steve Lawson)

John Knox was first and foremost a preacher. Even though he was a writer, a theologian, a reformer, he was first and foremost a preacher. He was a preacher throughout the entirety of his converted life.

Born in 1514. Went to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Entered the ministry as a personal bodyguard of a preacher who was eventually martyred. Began teaching in St. Andrews Castle. Was taken captive by the French in 1547. Is eventually exchanged and began to preach in England. Made one of the king’s chaplains and sent throughout England to spread the reformed faith. Forced into hiding in 1553 and then flees to France and then to Geneva. Then goes to Frankfurt to pastor a church and returns to Geneva. Works on the Geneva Bible. In 1559 Knox returns to Scotland and helps establish the Church of Scotland. Has a confrontation with Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. John Knox preaches against the idolatry of the mass. Is put on trial for treason against the Queen. He continues to preach against the Queen. Mary abdicates the throne. Civil war between the Protestants and the Catholics breaks out. Knox moves back to St. Andrews and preaches the rest of his life there and in Edinburgh. Dies in 1572.

Knox led the charge to turn the nation of Scotland around for the gospel. What was it about Knox’s preaching that made this happen? We only have 2 or 3 of Knox’s sermons. What can we know about Knox and his preaching?

1.  God-called. He knew he was called of God to preach. He could not have lived through the crises he faced unless he had been called by God.

a.  This call was made manifest in public when he first began to teach.

b.  He turned down higher positions which would have taken him away from preaching.

2.  God-fearing. Knox feared no man because he feared God.

a.  Knox’s fear of God lead him to respect the stewardship of the word of God that was entrusted to him.

b.  In an interview with Mary, Queen of Scots, Knox said “Madam, in God’s presence I speak.”

c.  No scripture was withheld from John Knox’s preaching.

3.  Text-Driven. Knox had a high view of preaching because he had a high view of scripture.

4.  Sequential Expositor. Knox preached consecutively through complete books of the Bible.

a.  Scripture was to be read in order.

b.  Preaching was to be from one place in scripture – no skipping and no deviating.

5.  Well-Studied Student. His knowledge came out in the pulpit. And he was always learning and reading.

6.  Plain Interpretation of Scripture. Preaching was to be according to the plain and natural reading and interpretation of the scripture.

a.  The Holy Spirit never contradicts himself.

b.  The scriptures are clear and lucid.

7.  Christ-Centered. The person, offices and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

a.  He directed the Church of Scotland back to its proper head – not a bishop, but Jesus Christ.

b.  No emphasis on sacraments, all emphasis on Christ.

8.  Justification by Faith Alone in Christ Alone by Grace Alone. He was committed to the reformation.

a.  Knox preached against the Catholic Church at its very root.

9.  Sovereign Grace. The absolute supreme authority of God over all things.

a.  Sovereign election – God is the initiator.

b.  Knox’s first work on returning to Scotland is 1559 was publishing a work on the doctrine of predestination.

10.  Polemic Defender of the Faith. He refuted those who contradicted sound doctrine.

a.  The word of God damns Catholic ceremonies and traditions.

11.  Extemporaneous Preacher. Knox preached without a manuscript, just a few notes in the margin of his Bible.

a.  However, there was great preparation in his preaching.

12.  Passionate Delivery. The pulpit was the magnifying glass for Knox.

a.  Knox’s preaching resulted in either antagonism or agreement.


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The Significance of Pentecost Preaching – The Coming of the Spirit

Expositor’s Conference 2013

The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Session 2 – The Significance of Pentecost Preaching – The Coming of the Spirit (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: John 14:15–31 (NASB95)

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

19 “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.

26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

28 “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.

30 “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;

31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in preaching. We live in personal communion with the Holy Spirit. He is ever present in our ministry. This communion is distinctive from the communion we have with the Father and with the Son. It is heresy to confuse the distinctives of the various forms of our communion with the members of the Trinity among the members of the Trinity. We never express our communion with God the Father as the one who died on the cross for our sins. That is our communion with only the Son. We must be aware of what is the nature of our specific communion with the Holy Spirit. It is He who sanctifies, it is He who illumines, it is He who comforts, it is He who empowers the preaching.

We must first be aware that it is the Son who sends the Holy Spirit to be with us. We know so much about the gifts of the Spirit, but we are so unaware of the person of the Spirit.

John 16:7 – this is a striking verse. How could it be advantageous for the disciples for Jesus to go away? It is ridiculous. The Christian would chose for Jesus to remain. That is because the Christian does not know the person and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The text we are considering is the chief text of the existence and the application of the Trinity.

Jesus is going to send another comforter. The word “another” here is “allos”, meaning “another of the same kind.” He will be of the same kind as Jesus. Explore what this means:

1.  The Holy Spirit would be a teacher in the same manner as Jesus (v.25-26)

a.  Jesus came as a teacher from God, teaching the very words of God.

b.  Paul writes that the Spirit will teach the deep things of God. This is what we see in verse 20. When the Spirit comes, we will not know less, but more. Specifically, we will be taught more intimately about the nature of Jesus Christ.

c.  The Holy Spirit allows us to see the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son. Even the angels cannot look into the face of God the way the Son does.

d.  The Holy Spirit reveals the depth of the grace of God. We are part of the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son because of the work of the Holy Spirit.

e.  The Spirit teaches us the glory of the Trinity.

f.  Where are we to learn these things? The Spirit will remind us of what Jesus has already said.

i.      He reminded the Apostles of what Jesus said, and they in turned preached these words and wrote about these words.

2.  The Holy Spirit would be a counselor in the same manner as Jesus (v. 16)

a.  Jesus has been the counselor of the disciples for the last three years.

b.  The word “counselor” or “comforter” here is to be taken in the sense of the legal setting. One who comes alongside for the means of defense.

c.  The Holy Spirit came as a defender of Jesus Christ and of His followers.

d.  The Holy Spirit came to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment. He prosecutes sinners. But He defends the saints.

e.  The paraclete was traditionally the longest standing and best friend who would be called to bear witness for the accused.

i.      The Holy Spirit is this paraclete for Jesus Christ

ii.      The Holy Spirit would empower the Apostles to be paracletes for Jesus Christ.

f.  The same Holy Spirit that filled Jesus Christ is the same Holy Spirit that fills each believer. The disciples would have known this Holy Spirit because they had seen Him working through Jesus and He had been with them from the beginning.

3.  The Holy Spirit would be a home-maker in the same manner as Jesus (v.18)

a.  We are very familiar with Jesus as a home-maker as revealed in John 14:1-4.

b.  The Holy Spirit comes so that we are not left as orphans.

c.  In verse 23, we see that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that the full Trinity makes their home within us.

d.  The passion of the Holy Spirit is to make the Christian a fitting home for the Father and the Son.

e.  The children adore the home-maker. The home-maker is the teacher. The home-maker is the counselor. The home-maker explains the Father.


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The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Expositor’s Conference 2013

The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Session 1: The Power of Jesus’ Preaching – His Anointing by the Holy Spirit (Steve Lawson)

 

This is Part 1. Part 2 will be in Session 8.

We must adopt the view that there are (or should be) two people standing in the pulpit when preaching – the preacher and the Holy Spirit. There is no power in the preaching of the word apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. The evidence of the power of preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit is seen by the outworking of the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the preacher and the hearer. For instance, consider the events of the various revivals – it is fueled by the fire of the preaching of the word of God but it works greatly in the lives of the hearers.

The power of the Holy Spirit in the preacher requires a complete transformation of the mind and heart of the preacher.

Text: Luke 4:14–21 (NASB95)

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.

15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Preaching without the power of the Holy Spirit is not preaching at all. The sovereign power of God in the proclamation of His word is lacking in preaching today. Great preaching comes only with great power (see 1 Cor. 2:1-5). Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit for the preaching of the gospel. Jesus Himself preached in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. The power of the Spirit (v.14)

a. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.

i.      There is at least a year between v.13 and v.14. The events of John 1-4 occur during this time.

                  ii.      The fame of Jesus had spread throughout Galilee.

b. Luke 3:21-22 records the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus, marking the beginning of His public preaching ministry.

 i.      Heaven was opened – this is an indication that God is going to reveal something to men.

ii.      The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus to anoint Him with power.

iii.     The Father speaks to confirm His pleasure of His Son. This is a direct revelation of the identity and mission of Jesus Christ.

iv.      Should we expect any less if we are called to preach?

c.  We see this idea of the power of the Holy Spirit empowering Jesus Christ continued in Luke 4:1.

i.      The Spirit leads (or compels) Jesus into the wilderness.

ii.      The power of the Holy Spirit would be crucial in Jesus facing the temptation of Satan (vv.2-12).

d.  As Jesus returns to Galilee in v.14, we see that His preaching, His ministry, His miracles healing, casting out demons are all empowered by the Spirit. This empowering of the Spirit would even be there when He went to the cross to make the sacrifice.

i.      And should we expect any less for our ministry?

ii.      There is not a person who does not need the power of the Holy Spirit when preaching the word.

2.  The priority of the Word (v.15)

a.  Wherever there is the power of the Holy Spirit there will be a priority given to the Word of God.

i.      The book of Acts shows how the person filled with the Holy Spirit cannot help but preach the very Word of God.

ii.      The most common title given to Jesus Christ in the book of Luke is “teacher.”

b.  Jesus came into Galilee and taught in their synagogues. Of course He did. The power of the Holy Spirit always results in the priority of preaching the Word of God.

 i.      Jesus was constantly and continually preaching and teaching the Word of God.

c.  Application – if we are to be constantly preaching and teaching, then we must be constantly learning from the Word of God. We must always be reading, listening to the truth. You cannot teach that which you do not know. The day we stop learning is the day we stop preaching. The well must be dug deeper every day.

3.  The pattern on the Sabbath (v.16-17)

a.  Our attention turns to Nazareth, where Jesus was raised. Scornfully, we are told that nothing good comes out of Nazareth. Jesus is the exception. Verses 23-29 shows the true character of Nazareth.

b.  Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Notice that this was His custom.

c.  Then we see that Jesus has built some reputation as a teacher, because He stands up to read.

d.  Jesus is given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah to read.

i.      The reading of the Word of God was central to worship in the Jewish synagogue.

e.  Jesus unrolls the scroll to the exact right scripture to read for this particular moment in time.

i.      Jesus is the master of the Word of God not only because He is the author of the Word of God, but He is also empowered by the Holy Spirit in the use of the Word of God.

ii.      The book of Luke alone proves that Jesus believed the entirety of the Old Testament scriptures and used them as a master.

iii.      Application: We must likewise become a master of the Word of God, and this is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

iv.      Application: If we want more power in our preaching, then we must have more scripture in our message. We must be leashed to the text. The points of the sermon must come from the text. Our illustrations must come from parallel scriptures. Our applications must come from the text.

v.      Application: God will not give the power of the Holy Spirit to the man who is attempting to build his own kingdom. Sacrifice of self is of paramount importance. Look at how Jesus sacrificed Himself.

vi.      Application: the Holy Spirit will only empower a holy vessel.


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Expositors Conference – Session 1 – Preaching the Glory of God (Steven Lawson)

Berean Husband is blogging almost live again this year from the 2010 Expositor’s Conference at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. This is the second year I have attended this conference. Last year the speakers were Steve Lawson (pastor of Christ Fellowship) and Joel Beeke, noted author on the Puritans. This year the speakers are Steve Lawson and R.C. Sproul. This is the only conference Dr. Sproul is doing outside of Florida this year. Session 1 begins in about five minutes. The attendance this year is excellent. There was no parking left in the parking lot and there are probably 350 to 400 here in the sanctuary.  The give-away bag is excellent this year. There are five full-length books, including Sproul’s new book on the Gospel of John. I almost ordered this book a few weeks ago…glad I waited.  The theme of this year’s conference is “The Glory of God in Preaching.” The conference guide says that the conference audio will be available shortly after the end of the conference at www. Christfellowship.cc. Sermonaudio is also live video webcasting the conference. Check for a link on the homepage. The conference begins with some congregational singing and a choir anthem.

Session 1 – Preaching the Glory of God (Steven Lawson)

The text for session 1 is from 1 Peter 4:10-11. These verses instruct us that those who God calls to preach have been gifted to preach the word of God. Therefore, every preacher must be a good steward of this gift of preaching. There will be accountability for this stewardship. The chief end of this stewardship is the glory of God.

1. The gift of preaching. Every believer is given a gift. The gift is to be employed in serving one another. The gift is solely from the grace of God and not based on natural ability. In verse 11 we see two categories of these gifts: speaking and serving. The gift of speaking involves both teaching and preaching. Preaching includes teaching and something more. The “more” is the public proclamation of the word of God. Preaching is accompanied by extraordinary power (c.f. the power of the preaching of Paul and Peter).  Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6 that this gift of preaching must be fanned into a flame. There is no room for timidity in preaching.

2. The gravity of preaching. Preaching is a sacred call. Verse 11 calls our preaching the speaking of the oracles of God. That is, God’s words spoken through the preacher. We cannot take any part of ourselves into the pulpit. The words must be all God’s words, none of ours. The preacher should have nothing to say apart from the word of God. The preacher must be under the authority of the word of God. More so, when the preacher is preaching the word of God, it is as if God himself is present in the midst of the congregation. The gravity of preaching also arises from the fact that the preacher is a steward. The word of God is entrusted to the preacher to use it wisely for the glory of the master. The steward acts on behalf of the master with the best interest of the master in heart. See 1 Corinthians 4:1-5. The steward will be accountable to be faithful with the gift of preaching. And this accountability is not to man, but to God. We are not even accountable to ourselves. Also see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. The preacher must skillfully lay the foundation of Jesus Christ. So many preachers are busily and skillfully laying a foundation, but the foundation is not Jesus Christ. And so many preachers are busily and skillfully building on the foundation, but are using hay and stubble. All these works will be tested by fire. A handful of gold is worth far, far more than a truckload of hay. We will not know who are the really great preachers until we see what remains after the work has been tested by fire. And see 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. We must give our all in order to win the prize at the end of the race. So many preachers are running aimlessly with no goal, and the punches that they throw don’t count, don’t make a difference. We must also make sure that we live in the same manner as we preach to others to live.

3. The goal of preaching. The goal of preaching is that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. We are to glorify God in our preaching and lead others to give glory to God through what they hear preaching. We need to take care that we receive no glory from what we preach. The gift of preaching that God has given to a person is to end that God himself may be glorified.



I would recommend that anyone who thinks that they have been called to preach should listen to this sermon, particularly the part about the gravity of preaching. How often do we build with hay and stubble when we have the chance to build with gold and silver?


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Is Christ In It?

A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he went to the old minister, and said, “What do you think of my sermon?” “A very poor sermon indeed,” said he. “A poor sermon?” said the young man, “it took me a long time to study it.” “Ay, no doubt of it.” “Why, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?” “Oh, yes,” said the old preacher, “very good indeed.” “Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn’t you think the metaphors were appropriate and the arguments conclusive?” “Yes, they were very good as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon.” “Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?” “Because,” said he, “there was no Christ in it.” “Well,” said the young man, “Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text.” So the old man said, “Don’t you know young man that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?” “Yes,” said the young man. “Ah!” said the old divine “and so from every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business is when you get to a text, to say, ‘Now what is the road to Christ?’ and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis—Christ. And,” said he, “I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it.”

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

Charles Spurgeon from “Christ Precious To Believers“,

preached March 13th, 1859


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David Miller – The Wonder of Unconditional Love

First sesson of the True Church Conference 2010 “The Quagmire of Hyper-Calvinism”  was led by David Miller.

David Miller’s text was Malachi 1:1-5. The world needs to experience God’s unconditional love for sinners.

The first point: Jacob have I loved

The second point: and Esau have I hated

1. Jacob Have I Loved

By an act of God’s will, he singled Jacob out and set him as the object of divine affections. And if God loved Jacob, then he might love me too. After all, look at who Jacob was. His name means “supplanter.” But in Malachi’s day, the Israelites (Jacob) wanted proof of God’s love.  And God gave them proof by showing the desolation of Esau (Edom) as compared to the restoration of Jacob. And even we today question God’s love for us and want proof. Is not our current circumstances proof of God’s love?

How did God love Jacob? What was the manner of his love?

a. God loved Jacob sovereignly and freely. Not what was deserved. He loves because He wants to.

b. God loves Jacob with selectivity and favoritism.

c. God did not see something special in Jacob. Nothing in Jacob’s life commended him to God.


2. Esau Have I Hated

Esau had an awesome heritage, great privileges, advantages. He was as much a gift to Isaac and Rebecca as Jacob was. He was the first born. He was destined to be the leader of the family.  The promises and the covenant should have been his. He was his father’s favorite. He was a man’s man. But just one problem. God hated Esau.


What does it mean “Esau have I hated”?

a. It does not mean a relative comparison of God’s love for Esau was just less than His love for Jacob. This does not fit the context.

b. It does not mean that God just passed over Esau. That does not fit the context.

c. It does not mean that God loved Esau but hated his sin. That does not fit the context.

d. It means God had a settled opposition, a disdain, antagonism against Esau. That fits the context.


God hated Esau because:

a. Esau sowed to flesh

b. Esau hated what God loved

c. Esau wanted the praise of man

But there is a problem. Jacob was the same way. God had as much reason to hate Jacob as He had to hate Esau. And the same is true of everyone. Even the elect.

So why did God love Jacob and hate Esau? Because that’s what God decided to do.


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A Different David and Goliath Lesson

Lessons to Learn from David and Goliath {Sorry link no longer available}

Today we’re going to look at the familiar story of David and Goliath. But since we’ve all probably heard that story many times, we’re going to look at it from a different point of view. We’ll look at the story as a foreshadowing of our Lord Jesus Christ, particularly the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In the elements of the story of David and Goliath, we can learn many valuable truths about Jesus and his work of salvation for us.


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