Tag Archive | Sermon

Expositor’s Conference 2009 – Monday, Sept 28

Expositor’s Conference 2009

The Sacred Desk:
A History of Expository Preaching from the Reformation to the Present

September 28-29
Christ Fellowship Baptist Church
Mobile, Alabama

Pastor: Dr. Steven J. Lawson


Dr. Steven J. Lawson
Dr. Joel Beeke

Berean Husband is reporting back “almost” live from the 2009 Expositor’s conference at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. We have wireless internet access in the sanctuary here, so I’m typing notes into Word and then emailing them back during the breaks to Berean Wife to post. The program says that the conference audio will be available for download shortly after the completion of the conference at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church.

It’s Monday night just before 6:30 p.m. The sanctuary here seats about 600 comfortably, plus a choir loft of around 30 seats. Nothing contemporary here. There are stained glass windows, pews, a cross over the baptistery. The program says there will be a song service before each session. The first song is ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God.’ It’s about three minutes until the first session begins. There are around 150 or 200 people here in the sanctuary. They still use an organ and piano here.

Session 1 – The Preaching of the Reformers: Martin Luther and John Calvin (Dr. Steven Lawson)

The best way to learn expository preaching is to learn from the examples of great men. That is the purpose of this conference – reformers, puritans. To examine the preaching that sparked the Great Awakening.

The Reformation of the 16th Century was the greatest historical event since the foundation of Christianity. The Reformers went back to the sacred scriptures – Sola Scriptura. Preaching was the gas that fed the fire of the Reformation, a relationship of mutual dependence.

The Preaching of the Reformation

Broadus notes four marks of Reformation preaching:

1. A revival of preaching itself – bringing back the centrality, the primacy, of preaching

2. A revival of Biblical preaching – clear exposition of scripture. Calvin exposited the Bible like no one had for 1000 years.

3. A revival of controversial preaching – the totality of the scriptures were being preached. No doctrine left untaught, and that brings controversy. Living faith and definite truth brings controversy when living side by side with evil. Sacred cows were slaughtered in the pulpit. Every true revival is born in controversy and leads to more controversy.

4. A revival of preaching on the doctrines of grace – all in-depth expository preaching of the Bible inevitably leads to the doctrines of grace – Sola Gratia. A resurgence of inerrancy of the scriptures inevitably leads to a resurgence of the doctrines of grace.

The Preaching of Martin Luther

First of all and chiefly Martin Luther was a preacher. Spurgeon says “Why stoop to be a king when God has called you to be a preacher?” The Reformation completely changed the public worship service. And the primary change was to bring the sermon to the forefront of worship.

What are the marks of Luther’s preaching?

1. Any teaching that does not square with scripture must be rejected – Sola Scriptura. Invest everything in God’s word. It is disgraceful for a preacher to desert his text.

2. Plain delivery – easily understood by the common man. An eye for the young people, for children, for servants.

3. Fiery passion – this was Luther’s temperament. Luther said “The gospel should not be written but screamed.”

4. Unflinching boldness – did not worry about what might make him unpopular.

5. Compelling rhetoric – airtight logic

6. A guardian of the gospel – a preacher must be both a soldier and a shepherd.

7. Systematic preaching

The Preaching of John Calvin

John Calvin was the exegete of the Reformation. He was the king of commentators. But chiefly, Calvin was a preacher. But he was totally different from Luther. He was shy and retiring, but was thrust into the spotlight by the providence of God. Theodore Beza said of Calvin “his every word weighed a pound.

What are the marks of John Calvin’s preaching?

1. Biblical preaching – Sola Scriptura (see James 3:1) – and nothing but the Bible

2. Sequential preaching – expository, verse by verse, phrase by phrase, the full counsel of God. Difficult doctrines could not be overlooked. Long books were covered by upwards of 200-300 consecutive sermons.

3. Lively preaching – with energy. Calvin preached only with a Hebrew and Greek text before him.

4. Exegetical preaching – historical context, original languages, direct interpretation

5. Relevant preaching – preaching to real people with real needs – edify with the Word of God. Practical preaching.

6. Evangelistic preaching.

7. Doxological preaching. Go to the last paragraph of most all of Calvin’s sermon – “Let us fall before the majesty of our great God.

Session 2 – The Preaching of the Puritans (I) (Dr. Joel Beeke)

Puritan writings are, for the most part, repackaged sermons. The 16th-17th Century was the “golden age” of preaching. There is a hunger for the preaching of the Puritans today. Puritans were those ejected from the Church of England or who worked to reform the Church of England to embrace the doctrines of grace. Puritan preaching aims directing the whole word of God to the whole of a person’s life.

What drove the need for Puritanism?

1. The need for Biblical preaching

2. The need for personal piety

3. The need to restore simplicity to the Church

The Primacy of Puritan Preaching

1. The character of preaching – changing thinking and altering wills to convert sinners and sanctify saints. “Every sermon must be dressed in the mirror of the word of God.”

2. The necessity of preaching – how to preach and how to listen to sermons. Preaching is God’s grand converting ordinance. Seldom is anyone saved apart from preaching. We must preach or perish.

3. The dignity of preaching – a mere man can be the ambassador of the Almighty. And that man must be called by God.

4. The momentousness of preaching – each sermon should be the best sermon ever preached. Every sermon puts a man closer to heaven or closer to hell.

The Power of Puritan Preaching

How Puritan preaching differed from Anglican preaching:

1. Anglicans disdained the importance that Puritans placed on preaching. Anglicans placed importance on other means and ordinances, such as homilies and scripted prayers.

2. Puritans preached to the whole man – mind, conscience, heart.

a. The mind – rational, biblical logic. A mindless gospel fosters a spineless gospel.

b. The conscience – beat every bush behind which the sinner hides

c. The heart – ruling the heart passionately.



Warning to Professing Christians – Albert Martin

Matthew 7:21-23
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’


The Guilt and Consequences of Parental Unfaithfulness

The Guilt and Consequences of Parental Unfaithfulness by Edward Payson
Read by Michael Gaydosh

1 Samuel 3:13-14
13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.
14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”


On the Most Important Relative Duties

Edward Payson


Anguish of Parents at the Perverseness of Children

Anguish of Parents at the Perverseness of Children by Edward Payson
Read by Michael Gaydosh

2 Samuel 18:33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” ESV

Edward Payson preached this sermon on a National Day of Fasting and Prayer around 1820.

On the Most Important Relative Duties
Edward Payson


Our English Bible – Elder Zack Guess

The following sermon is by a Primitive Baptist Church elder who attended the Conference on the English Bible. He expresses how moved he was to be able to hold some of the early English Bibles that many men and women died for so that we can have one to hold.

There were pastors and members, that I know of, from Presbyterian, Baptist, Reformed Baptist and Southern Baptist, in addition to Primitive Baptist, at the Conference on the English Bible.


That the Word of God be not Blasphemed

Titus 2:1-6
1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded

Why is it in Titus 2:1-5 there are instructions for the older men, older women, young women and the young men but only the young women are warned specifically about their behavior blaspheming God?

Did anyone else notice that?

After reading and pondering that for a while I’ve determined that it is because the young women are in an area of more influence than any of the others. Young women are training the future generations and their teaching might last for three to four generations whether it is good or bad. Then guess what, the young women very quickly become older women responsible for teaching other young women. It is a very important cycle according to God’s Word.

Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.‘ ESV

Deuteronomy 5:9-10
9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Our disobedience does not only affect our generation of children but the third and fourth generations of our children. But our obedience may affect thousands or thousands of generations.

So is the price of disobedience worth it?

John MacArthur

After spending the majority of his sermon discussing Feminism and its effects on women and society in general, MacArthur points out that feminism, homosexuality, and family breakdown is leading us to Romans 1:18-32 yet the church is going right along with it. Notice this sermon was done in 1997! Just add 12 more years to the equation.

“The Character of a Healthy Church” Part 3 Younger Women Part 1 Titus 2:4-5

Undiscerning Christians falling victim to these hellish heresies, the destruction is not restrained by the church, the church has joined it.

There is no doubt about what a woman’s role is, there’s no doubt what a man’s role is. Look at our text again. What has God designed for a woman? Verse 4, “To love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be dishonored.” That’s very clear.

You can get in a lot of trouble by suggesting that kind of stuff. Try standing up in this culture and saying, “Women, you’re commanded to love your husband and to love your children and to work at home and to be subject to your husband.” You’ll get screamed down. I mean, you can be in deep trouble just reading that let alone commenting on it.

It’s been amazing since people knew I was approaching this text, they’ve been telling me, “What are you going to say about this? This is going to be very controversial. Boy, we can’t wait till these tapes come out. What’s going to happen then?” Well just to mitigate that a little bit, I’ve said what I’ve said, this morning, so that if you get upset you know whose side you’re on. (Applause) God has laid out His standards. They’re not negotiable. And I’ll tell you this, if the church doesn’t wake up soon and obey the Word of God, all is lost. We don’t need to fall victim to this stuff. You don’t need a Master’s Degree to figure out what it means to love your husband, love your children, and work at home. How hard is that? By the way, there are no qualifiers there, no caveats, no footnotes. It’s just what it says. Go home, submit to your husband, have children, raise them in godliness, take care of your house. And that’s what older women are to teach younger women, they’re to teach it not only with their mouth, they’re to teach it with their life.

I’m telling you, what I said a few weeks ago now is becoming so vividly true. We are living in Romans 1, aren’t we? What’s wrong with America? God’s wrath is wrong with America. God’s let us go and we’re plunging down the path and the evidence of it is this reversal of sexual roles that Paul talked about in Romans chapter 1 verse 26.

Macarthur © 1997 Grace to You http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/56-14.HTM or http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/56-14

“The Character of a Healthy Church” Part 4 Titus 2:3-5 by John MacArthur

In our culture what is being said in these verses to young women is the very opposite of what young women are being taught. Young women today are being taught to love whoever they want, farm their children out to somebody else, don’t worry about being sensible, do whatever pleases you. Don’t worry about being pure, fulfill your physical and lustful desires. Don’t work at home, work outside the home. Don’t worry about being kind, you do whatever you want. You grab your moment in the sun. Take care of you, not somebody else. And by all means, don’t be subject to your own husband.

When this comes into the church it therefore dishonors the Word of God. I mean, even an unbeliever can read those verses. The most unschooled non-believer can read that the Word of God says young women are to love their husbands, love their children, be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, and subject to their own husbands. And if he can read the Bible and look at the church, he can make a very simple conclusion…you Christians say you believe the Bible, why don’t your women live like this? You see, it brings discredit on the Scripture to say we affirm the Scripture but we live however we like. Or worse, we live however the culture being basically controlled by Satan, the prince of the power of the air, dictates us to live.

But young women have always needed instruction, just like young men and older women and older men do. And so here the Word of God is at stake…the honor of the Scripture and the glory of God and the silencing of the opponents of the gospel. In other words, this simple set of commands has immense implications, has far-reaching ramifications for the Kingdom. If you love Christ, if you seek to honor God, if you want to lift up and exalt the Word, if you want to silence the critics, you will be eager to obey these commands. If you want to do what the society says, if you want to fulfill your own fleshly desire, you will disobey them. Jesus said it simply and concisely in the summary statement, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” And here are some of His commandments given to us by the Holy Spirit through the pen of the Apostle Paul.

And then he says, “Workers at home.” And here’s the one that gets all the heat nowadays because women don’t want to work at home. Frankly, they’re not at all interested in working at home if they can help it. Forty-five percent of the American work force is women. Megatrends 2000 says in the past 20 years US women have taken two-thirds of the millions of new jobs and that will continue. By the way, that directly contributes to continued male unemployment in the inner city, according to Harvard University report done by a man named Harris because people will hire a woman before they’ll hire a male black, sometimes even a Hispanic black male, a Hispanic male rather, or a black male. And so what happens is two our three new jobs are taken by women because they’d rather deal with women than men and that contributes to a rise in unemployment of the men. Fifty-six percent, says Megatrends, fifty-six percent of mothers with children under six work outside the home. Seventy-three percent of mothers with children six to 17 work outside the home. By the year 2000, that’s in six years or so, seven years, ninety percent of women between 16 and 65 will be at work outside the home. Nobody will be home…nobody.

Women don’t want to be workers at home. Why? Because Satan sells the system on that. Why? Because it’s anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Bible and it devastates the testimony of the church. The word “workers at home,” one word in the Greek, oikourgos, from two root words, ergon, which means work, and oikos which means house. It’s simply the sphere of a woman’s life is her home, that’s her domain. It doesn’t mean she has to be there 24 hours a day and can never leave. What…I’m not saying that because you don’t want to lock her up with soap operas either, but what it does mean is that is the sphere of her life. That is her domain. It is not that she is simply to be home, but that the home is her sphere. The woman in Proverbs 31 left home when she needed to to buy a field, she left home to prepare that field, she left home and went afar to find things that would help the family. The woman did what she needed to do but the focus of everything was the home. And that’s where she poured her life and she got up early and she went to bed late for the sake of the home. She is to be a home keeper, that’s the sphere of her responsibility, that’s her place of employment, that’s where she should pour her life. For a mother to get a job outside the home and send the children to some kind of daycare place is to shirk her God-given responsibility. It also is failure to understand that her husband is to be the provider, as Ephesians 5 makes very clear. Even if you wanted to work outside the home to pay for your children to go to a Christian school, you made a big mistake. Better that you should stay in the home and raise your own children to be godly then to pass it on to somebody else.

Why do they [feminist] care? You tell me, why does some feminist woman care whether you’re a homemaker? Why does she care? I’ll tell you why, because her agenda isn’t her agenda. It’s the agenda of the enemy, it is an anti-God agenda intended to destroy the credibility of the church because if you can get women who claim to be Christians to abandon the home, then you can pick up a Bible and stick it in their face and say, “You say you believe this? I don’t think so. And therefore it must not be believable because you know what it says and you’re not interested in believing it and you claim to be a Christian.” The agenda is…they don’t care…they don’t know what they’re doing but they don’t care really whether you work, Satan cares to discredit the Bible, that’s the issue. That’s the level of the attack. See it for what it is and don’t become victimized.

John MacArthur © 1997 Grace to You http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/56-15.HTM or http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/56-15

Did you notice how feminism is encouraging women to blaspheme God’s Word?

It’s the agenda of the enemy, it is an anti-God agenda intended to destroy the credibility of the church because if you can get women who claim to be Christians to abandon the home, then you can pick up a Bible and stick it in their face and say, “You say you believe this? I don’t think so. And therefore it must not be believable because you know what it says and you’re not interested in believing it and you claim to be a Christian.”

See also:

Why Do We Focus on the Exceptions?

Wives – Keepers at Home or Blaspheming God’s Word


SBC Convention: Five Motions Involve Mark Driscoll

Motions: Messengers endorse GCR task force, criticize Driscoll’s entity influence

Two motions were referred to all SBC entities:

— that “all SBC entities should monitor” funds spent in “activities related to or cooperative efforts with Mark Driscoll and/or the Acts 29 organization” and entity heads should submit a report of expenditures to appear in the 2010 Book of Reports, submitted by Kent Cochran, a messenger from Calvary Baptist Church in Republic, Mo.

— that SBC entities avoid “inviting event speakers” who “are known for publicly exhibiting unregenerate behavior … such as cursing and sexual vulgarity, immorality, or who publicly state their support for the consumption or production of alcohol,” submitted by Ida South, a messenger from First Baptist Church in Mathiston, Miss.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Order of Business, Hunt ruled several motions “not in order.”

The committee chairman’s, Render, said three resolutions were not in order because of reflecting harshly on particular individuals.

— that author Mark Driscoll’s books be removed from LifeWay Christian Bookstores because of his “reputation for abusive and ungodly language and … promotions of sex toys on his church web site,” submitted by Jim Wilson, pastor, First Baptist Church in Seneca, Mo.”We need to live holy lives and bringing this man to our college campuses and promoting his books in the bookstore … I believe is a violation of Scripture.”

— that messengers encourage all SBC entities “to refrain from inviting event speakers” who engage in “cursing and sexual vulgarity, or who publicly state their support for the consumption or production of alcohol,” submitted by Larry Reagan, pastor, Adams Chapel Baptist Church in Dresden, Tenn.

A motion by Brian LeStourgeon, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Camp Verde, Ariz., sought to have Mark Driscoll “address the concerns of his accusers” at the 2010 annual meeting. Render said the committee declined LeStourgeon’s motion since it could have put the Convention in the role of exercising church discipline.

At least some are seriously questioning Mark Driscoll and his language in the pulpit. It is a shame though that nothing will be done until next year. What is there to think about?  Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call to Mark Driscoll and his church.

Where are the men like this taking a stand for their Lord and their families I’ve had it with Mark Driscoll and his mouth. Now it’s personal!

If only the SBC would take a stand.


What Are You Bringing Those Starving For God?

“In the days of Nero there was great shortness of food in the city of Rome, although there was abundance of corn to be purchased in Alexandria. A certain man who owned a vessel… noticed many hungry people straining their eyes toward the sea, watching for the vessels that were to come from Alexandria with corn. When these vessels came to the shore, one by one, the poor people wrung their hands in bitter disappointment, for on board the galleys there was nothing but sand which the tyrant emperor had compelled them to bring for use in the arena. Then the merchant… said to his shipmaster, ‘Take thou good heed that thou bring nothing back with thee from Alexandria but corn; and whereas aforetime thou hast brought in the vessel a measure or two of sand, bring thou not so much as would lie upon a penny this time… for these people are dying, and now we must keep our vessels for this one business of bringing food for them.

Alas, I have seen certain mighty galleys of late loaded with nothing but mere sand of philosophy and [entertainment], and I have said within myself, ‘I will bear nothing in my ship but the revealed truth of God, the bread of life so greatly needed by the people. “


Charles Spurgeon as quoted in Our Sufficiency in Christ by John MacArthur


Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

An evil resides in the professed camp of the Lord so gross in its imprudence that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate evil for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a more clever thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ That is clear enough. So it would have been if He has added, ‘and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel’ No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Then again, ‘He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry.’ Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? ‘Ye are the salt,’ not sugar candy—something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’ He was in awful earnestness!

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His mission, He would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear Him say, ‘Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!’ Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.

In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel amusement. Their message is, ‘Come out, keep out, keep clean out!’ Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, ‘Lord grant Thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are.’ If they ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They ‘turned the world upside down.’ That is the difference! Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to affect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy-laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.


This sermon exert is typically attributed to C.H. Spurgeon, but finding it in his works has proved difficult.

Archibald Brown was a student of Spurgeon and his sermon The Devil’s Mission of Amusement: The Church’s Task – Entertainment or Evangelization? is the mostly likely original source.