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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.


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


The Law of Christ, Part 1 by Charles Leiter

This sermon is well worth listening to.  It explains the Law of Moses in relation to the Law of Christ.

Audio of the sermon – Law of Christ pt 1  

Below is my transcribed notes from the sermon which will give you the gist of it.

The Law of Christ, Part 1 by Charles Leiter 

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 (KJV)
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Three sets of people here in this passage.

The Jews – under the Law, the Law of Moses

The Gentiles – without the Law, the Law written on the heart

Romans 2:14-15 (KJV)
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Acts 28:3-4 (KJV)
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

How did the heathen Gentiles know this verse?  Who is Vengeance or Justice?

Numbers 32:23 (KJV) But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

The Gentile without any Bible still has some of the Law written on his heart.  But essentially he is still without the Law.  The did not have the Law of Moses or the 10 Commandments.

The Christians – Paul himself

Notice what Paul says to the Jews “I became a Jew in order to win the Jews.”  Something tremendous happened to change Saul, the Pharisee, the Jew of all Jews, into Paul the Christian.  He says he became as those who are under the Law.  See he’s not under the Law any longer. 

To the Gentiles, he became as one without the Law. But just in case you think that Paul has gone wild, he points out that he still has the Law of God, I’m under the Law of Christ, yet he doesn’t use the term the Law of Moses.

Footnote: Notice that Paul used the term Law of Moses just a few verses earlier.

1 Corinthians 9:9 (KJV) For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?


What is the Law of Christ?  If we are believers we should be able to answer that question.

The Law of Christ isn’t:

The Law of Moses

Romans 6:14 (KJV) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 7:4-6 (KJV)
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Ephesians 2:14-16 (KJV)
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Colossians 2:13-14 (KJV)
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Galatians 2:19-21 (KJV)
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The Law of Moses was a mighty thing.  God even wrote the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone.  Yet, 900 years later the prophet Jeremiah said:

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (KJV)
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

You could be in the Old Covenant and not know the Lord, in fact most of them didn’t know the Lord.  Just look at what they did!   You could be a good Jew, keep your sacrifices – You’re born a Jew.  Born into that covenant without knowing the Lord.  This is why we do not baptize infants.  People say well look they circumcised infants, why shouldn’t we baptize infants?  They circumcised the infant because he really was in the Old Covenant by physical birth. 

We do baptize infants but they are spiritual infants.  Soon as someone is born spiritually they are in the New Covenant.  See we are talking about a Covenant where every single person knows the Lord. Do you know God personally?  Are you taught of God?

Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.  They are gone. Taken care of.  The Jews knew this Covenant was coming.  600 years later Jesus says this is the Blood of the New Covenant.  This is not the blood of bulls and goats, but the Blood of Christ.  This is the real Covenant, not a shadow or a type.  In Hebrews the writer says:

Hebrews 8:13 (KJV) In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

The Jews didn’t like that they said the believers must still keep the Law.  Once you add just a little bit of works in here, just a tiny bit, that is all it takes to put you in Hell forever!  This is a matter of Heaven or Hell.

How does Paul refute them?

What other Covenants were there?

The covenant with Abraham.

Before the Law of Moses there was a covenant made with Abraham.  It was a Covenant of Promise.

Galatians 3:15-29 (KJV)
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

What were the Promises to Abraham?

A seed – Isaac,

A nation – Israel,

Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV)
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  

A Land – the Land flowing with milk and honey

A Blessing – Abraham was blessed immensely.  Through you all the Nations of the world will be blessed.

Abraham received all of these in abundance.  But the things Abraham received were a type, a shadow, a figure of the real thing that was to come later.

A seed – The real seed was Christ.

A Nation – The real nation is a Spiritual nation the church

1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Matthew 21:43 (KJV) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Let’s look at the full context.

Matthew 21:33-43 (KJV)
33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The church produces the fruit of the Kingdom.

The Land – A Heavenly Country, a better country.  Abraham was not just looking for Canaan, but for a heavenly country and city.

Hebrews 11:13-16 (KJV)
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Romans 4:13 (KJV) For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

This is a promise, there is not something I must do to earn it, it a promise given. Not human performance.  By Grace. By Faith.

The Blessing – A spiritual blessing 

Galatians 3:7-14 (KJV)
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Blessed is the man to whom God will not impute sin.

Romans 4:8 (KJV) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Go to the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament!!!

What was the big stumbling block to the Jew?  A crucified Messiah!  He died as a criminal, cursed of God.  The Messiah has come and he has died!?!

Isaiah said He would die under a curse not His curse but my curse.

We learn that all along history has been moving toward Jesus Christ.

Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV)
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Israel is not a permanent nation, but just a step toward Christ.

The Law of Moses is given once the nation is established as a schoolmaster to get us to Christ.  The Law of Moses shows how sinful we are and how we need a Savior.  This is a shadow that gives way to reality eventually.  Israel is the Parenthesis.  God never goes backwards.  He has a true spiritual people now, not just people set apart by rituals and ceremonies.  There is reality and substance.

Now that the work is finished we are no longer under a tutor (The Law of Moses).

Nurse crop – When you planted alfalfa you planted another crop like oats.  The oats protected the baby alfalfa through the winter and then the oats died out in the spring so that the alfalfa could grow unhindered.

When John the Baptist came he said time for the nurse crop to die out.

The church is not physical or political, it is Spiritual.


Bible Study Christmas Present

The Logos 4 Bible Study Program has just recently come out. I’ve read several good reviews about the program from various sources.  Also I’ve used the reftagger almost since the beginning of the website. Reftagger is the method that allows the Bible verses entered to become a hyperlink with a pop up box containing the verse. Such as this Genesis 1:1.  If you have a website you might want to use reftagger which is free.

Logos and SermonAudioare now teaming up such that anyone with the Logos Software can have easy access and integration with sermons on SermonAudio.

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This will make a great gift for a Bible studying person or for your pastor, especially if they use SermonAudio also.


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.


Do You Remember Your Purpose In Life?

Are you teaching your children their purpose in life?

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him forever.[2]

[1] Psalms 86
1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.
7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.
8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seek my life, and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Isaiah 60:21 Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. ESV

Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. ESV

1 Corinthians 6:20 … for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ESV

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” ESV

[2] Psalms 16:5-11
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalms 144:15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord! ESV

Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” ESV

Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. ESV

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. ESV

Revelation 21:3-4
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Expositor’s Conference 2009 – Tuesday, Sept 28 Session 5 and 7

Expositor’s Conference 2009
The Sacred Desk:
A History of Expository Preaching from the Reformation to the Present

Session 5 – The Preaching of the 19th Century (Dr. Steven Lawson)

Liberalism and higher criticism attacked the Bible in the 19th Century. Karl Marx and Charles Darwin damaged the purity of doctrine. Charles Finney perverted the gospel. Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Unitarianism all took blows at Biblical preaching. Yet God also raised up an army of expository preachers from the Second Great Awakening.

The Preaching of Archibald Alexander

Archibald Alexander was a Presbyterian Preacher who became the first professor at Princeton Seminary – a preacher to train preachers.

What defines the preaching coming from Princeton Seminary in the 19th Century?

1. experiential preaching – we believe what we preach. A firm confidence in the reality of what we preach. A preacher is a living epistle of the word of God. We cannot impart what we do not own.

2. earnest preaching – no levity. But no coldness or indifference. No playing games. Not just a vocation.

3. practical preaching – application of commonly-received truths. Preaching to the whole man.

4. authoritative preaching – as an ambassador of Christ. But not overbearing or dictatorial. Speaking the very words of God Himself.

5. evangelistic preaching – preach with a love for sinners.

The Preaching of Charles Haddon Spurgeon

What can we say about the preaching of Spurgeon?

1. An unwavering commitment to God’s word – we need more of God’s word in every sermon. I have never had an original thought.

2. A burning passion for Jesus Christ – the best sermon is one that is the fullest of Christ. A simple sermon with Jesus in it cannot fail.

3. A complete reliance upon God’s Spirit – what the Spirit would do in him, through him, and to those who heard him speak.

4. A fervent passion in preaching – get on fire for God and people will come to watch you burn. It is our dull sermons that will haunt us on our deathbed.

5. A bold audacity in the pulpit – “I yield to none. I preach what I like, when I like, as I like.”

6. A fixed belief in God’s sovereignty

7. An evangelistic zeal for souls – “My main business is the saving of souls.”

8. A sober weightiness in his preaching – Spurgeon anguished over missing the mark even once in his sermons.

Session 7 – The Preaching of the 20th Century (Dr. Steven Lawson)

We have come to the final session of the conference – Tuesday night at 6:30 PM. It will be interesting to see if Dr. Lawson goes back and picks up any of the material from Session 5 (19th Century Preaching). If he does, it will be entered above where it belongs. The preachers included in the program were C.H. Spurgeon and Archbald Alexander (who I have never heard of). Holding steady at around 100 people. We begin with three songs. I have never heard any of these: “Because We Believe”, “Saved By Grace” and “Thy Grace Alone, O God”. The music leader is Keith Phillips, by the way. Reminds me somewhat of the music selections at Grace Life Shoals, but presented a bit different.

Dr. Lawson presented preachers from the 19th Century during this session. Notes are presented above in Session 5. Then after a short break, Dr. Lawson presented Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones.

The Preaching of Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

The preaching of Martyn Lloyd Jones is marked by deduction, argument and appeal. This is all part of expository preaching. Not just a running commentary. Not just word studies.

Keys to preaching as pointed out by Martyn Lloyd Jones

1. high view of the pulpit – something to which a man is called. It is forced upon you.

2. high view of the scripture – read your Bibles systematically, not just to find text for a sermon.

3. high view of God

4. high view of theology – preaching is theology on fire.

5. high view of the Holy Spirit – if there is no power, there is no preaching.

6. high view of logical order – a sermon should have a definite form, in the sense of a musical symphony. It should be differentiated from everything else. God is a God of order. Symmetry, balance, form.

7. high view of earnestness – a preacher must be a serious man. Nothing light, superficial, or trivial. But not dull or boring.


Expositor’s Conference 2009 – Tuesday, Sept 29 Sessions 5 & 6

The Preaching of George Whitefield

Dr. Lawson did not get to George Whitefield before lunch. So before beginning Session 5, Dr. Lawson spent some time discussing the preaching of George Whitefield. Footnote: Dr. Lawson spent the entire time on George Whitefield.

The doctrines of grace catapulted Whitefield into preaching in a powerful way. Other men existed, Whitefield truly lived.

What can we learn from Whitefield’s preaching? Where did the power of Whitefield come from?

1. singular devotion to Jesus Christ – Whitefield studied the scriptures on his knees

2. uncompromising gospel – he rounded off no corners

a. read “The Conversion of Zacchaeus” by Whitefield. This can be found at http://www.biblebb.com/files/whitefield/GW035.htm

3. a passionate fervor – he preached as no one else was preaching at that time. “The church is asleep. Only a loud voice will awake it from its slumber.” He introduced a new manner of preaching.

4. transcendent theology – no preacher can be stronger than his doctrine

5. an evangelistic thrust – not content to just plant or till. Calvinism and evangelism are not incompatible.

6. an indomitable spirit – out to the highways and hedges

7. a supernatural empowering – the ability was not in Whitefield. He was a weak vessel.

8. self-effacing humility – God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

9. The greatness of his godliness

God, would you raise up a George Whitefield one more time among us? And would we listen to him if you did?

Next year’s conference has been scheduled for September 27-28, 2010. Dr. R.C. Sproul and Dr. Steven Lawson will be the featured speakers next year. Early registration is $99.

Session 5 – The Preaching of the 19th Century (Dr. Steven Lawson)

Session 6 – Question and Answer Session
(Dr. Steve Lawson and Dr. Joel Beeke)
Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 PM was a question and answer session with Dr. Lawson and Dr. Beeke. Microphones were set up in the sanctuary for people to ask questions. This was after a song session which included a song I have never heard – “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken”, sung to the tune of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”.

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
O while Thou dost smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
Show Thy face and all is bright.

Man may trouble and distress me,
’Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

 Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o’er sin and fear and care
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
Think that Jesus died to win thee,
Child of heaven, canst thou repine.

Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide us there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

The first question was in regards to the recoveries made by New Calvinism. What else needs to be recovered? And what are the consequences of these not being recovered? Dr. Beeke answered this question by starting with the praise of recovering the five ‘Solas’, actually six, adding “Sola Spiritus”, “by the Spirit alone”. First, we still lack Calvinist reformed worship. Our worship needs to catch up with our soteriology. Second, we need more emphasis on holiness of life – spending too much time on things with too little profit. Third, we do not pray like the Puritans and Reformers. Fourth, we need to engage people one-on-one. Fifth, we need to adopt proper confessions of faith.

The second question was in regards that the way forward is by looking back. How can we properly attack reading the Puritans? And how can we delve into the Puritans with limited time issues? Dr. Beeke answered this question. A huge library is not to be threatening. Start by filing by subject. Set aside time each day for just reading – something meaty and weighty. And always be reading a biography. Dr. Lawson added an answer as well. He said that we should be reading in order to teach what we read to others. Dr. Beeke’s book “Meet the Puritans” would be a great place to start.

The third question regarded the qualifications for deacons. What does the “husband of but one wife” mean in regards to far distant past divorce? Dr. Beeke answered this question. He said the command was made because of polygamy. But today, we need to make application in this in regards to the issue of divorce and the lifestyle of the divorced party. Reformers stood by the innocent party, that they should never suffer because of actions of the guilty party.

The fourth question regarded doing the work of the evangelist and what the church needs to do today. Are we doing a good job? What should we be doing? Dr. Lawson answered this question. The gospels do not present a canned approach to evangelism. We need people to be acquainted with the gospel and we need people who are aware of whom they are talking to. We also need to do the work of the evangelist in our own congregations.


Expositor’s Conference 2009 – Tuesday, Sept 29 Sessions 3 & 4

Session 3 – The Preaching of the Puritans (II) (Dr. Joel Beeke)

Onto day 2 of the 2009 Expositor’s Conference. It’s 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, September 29. The crowd stands at about 100 this morning. We begin with three songs: “Thy Word is My Delight”, “Be Thou My Vision” and “How Firm a Foundation”. Joel Beeke began with a commercial for Reformation Heritage Books, Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth and the Puritan Reformed Journal.

Dr. Beeke began Part II of the Preaching of the Puritans with 2 Timothy 4:1-5. And then moved into more points beyond those he covered last night.

The Plainness of Puritan Preaching

This refers to very personal preaching, directed at every single hearer. As if their name was inserted in the sermon. Plain preaching is aimed at adults and children. Yet it still covers great theological terms. Arrows are never shot over heads, but at hearts.

A. Plainness involves organization of the sermon:

1. Give the meaning of the text in the context – exegetical

2. Teach the doctrine made known in the text – doctrinal

a. scripture must dictate the emphasis of the sermon

b. preaching must instill appreciation for every spiritual doctrine

c. preaching must cover a huge variety of topics

d. preaching should be didactic (teaching)

3. Make application to life – applicatory – how do we use the text?

a. no one should be able to escape the applications. Seven types of hearers:

i. ignorant and unteachable unbelievers

ii. ignorant but teachable unbelievers

iii. some knowledge but are not humbled (proclaim the law to these people)

iv. the humbled but unconverted (proclaim the gospel to these people)

v. believers (proclaim doctrines to these people)

vi. fallen believers (proclaim self-examination to these people)

vii. mixed group

b. countering error

c. exhortation – means and help to perform

d. rebuke sin, stir up hatred for sin, dread of the consequences of sin

e. comfort

f. self-examination of our spiritual condition

g. applying truths to the glory of God

B. Plainness involves plain delivery.

C. Plainness involves plain hermeneutics.

a. words

b. context

c. reasonable thinking

d. scripture interprets scripture

e. literal interpretation

f. proper handling of figures of speech

g. perspicuity of scripture

h. illumination of the Holy Spirit

D. Plainness involves dependency on the Holy Spirit.

E. Plainness involves personal holiness.

a. simple lives

b. lives devoted to God

The Program of Puritan Preaching

The Puritans had a five-prong program for powerful preaching:

1. The Preaching Itself

a. experiential preaching – helping the hearer to experience the text

b. discriminatory preaching – vital communion with Christ

2. Lectureships – people other than pastors who did nothing but preach and teach

3. Prophesyings – almost like a conference on a single biblical text (see 1 Corinthians 14:29)

4. Books of Sermons

5. Ministerial Training

The Passion of Puritan Preaching

1. Puritans loved the gospel and loved to preach the gospel.

2. Puritans loved to preach. They loved to prepare sermons.

3. Puritans loved the people that they preached to. “Both eyes fixed on the people, heart fixed on God.”

Session 4 – The Preaching of the Great Awakening (Dr. Steven Lawson)

1662 – The Great Ejection- 2000 Puritan preachers were ejected from their pulpits in England.

1730’s-1740’s – The Great Awakening. Preaching was the heart and soul of the Great Awakening. America was born out of the flames of the Great Awakening.

What were the distinguishing marks of the preaching of the Great Awakening?

1. High view of theology

2. High view of God (sovereignty)

3. High view of orthodox doctrine

4. High view of the Lordship of Jesus Christ

5. Low view of man (depravity) “What can a dead man do?”

6. Regeneration and the new birth

7. Salvation is of the Lord

The Preaching of Jonathan Edwards

What was it about Edwards’ preaching that caused such a response among the people who heard him?

1. God-centered obsession. Edwards had drunk deeply from the reformers.

2. Word-dominated message. Sola Scriptura. Always expounding a text from the word of God. The entire Bible brought to bear.

3. Doctrinally steep exposition – depth of his subject matter.

a. question and answer

b. thesis and antithesis

4. Plain preaching

a. distinctiveness and clarity of thought

b. remarkably compelling

c. sincerity

5. Burning intensity

a. deep solemnity

6. Practical application

7. Vivid analogies, images, similes, metaphors, illustrations

8. A constant gaze on eternity – the certainty of heaven and hell