Sermon Accountability

Sermon Accountability

Richard Baxter wrote: Remember that all these . . . sermons must be reviewed, and you must answer for all that yo have heard, whether you heart it . . . with diligent attention or with carelessness; and the word which you hear shall judge you at the last day.  Hear therefore as those that are going to judgment to give account of their hearing and obeying. David Clarkson stated: At the day of judgment, an account of every sermon will be required, and of every truth in each sermon. . . . The books will be opened, and all the sermons mentioned whcih you have heard, and a particular account required, why you imprisoned such a truth revealed, why you committed such a sin threatened, why neglected such duties enjoined. . . . Oh what a fearful account! quoted in Ken Ramey’s Expository Listening,...
Be Diligent to Listen to Sermons

Be Diligent to Listen to Sermons

The Westminster Confession Larger Catechism states: ‘It is required of those that hear the Word preached that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation and prayer; examine: What they hear by the Scriptures; receive the truth wiht faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives. quoted in Ken Ramey, Expository Listening,...
Preaching is Always Effective

Preaching is Always Effective

Even when preaching the Word of God does not soften and save and heal, it is not necessarily ineffective.  This preaching of the Word may be doing God’s terrible work of judgment.  It may be hardening people, and making their ears so dull that they will never want to hear again. . . . Don’t be cavalier in the hearing of God’s Word week after week.  If it is not softening and saving and healing and bearing fruit, it is probably hardening and blinding and dulling. John Piper, “Take Care How  You Listen,” Part 1, Part 2 – quoted in Expository Listening, Ken...
What Will I Preach? (part 2)

What Will I Preach? (part 2)

Here the rest of the mess I started on Tuesday – how do I determine what I will preach? 4. Topical Periods. I do recognize that the summer months and holiday seasons in American ministry bring great challenges to successive exposition. I do generally plan to preach through shorter series during these periods, addressing a number of topics that I feel are critical for the congregation’s understanding – issues of which we believe exhortation and action are needed. I generally preach a message on the importance of preaching at the beginning of every year. I try to address the subject of the Lord’s Supper (what, why, how, etc.) every year. I make it my aim every year to preach a message on how to listen to a sermon. This summer I plan to preach through some of the distinctive convictions we have as Baptists. There is a waning understanding and commitment to these convictions blowing in the wind, and I want to show from God’s word why they are significant. Sometimes, a passage will lend itself to a break from the exposition so we can focus on a subject. For example, I paused the series in Revelation after preaching chapters 4 and 5 to take 4 weeks and preach a series on corporate worship. 5. Preach the Paragraph. As a general rule, a paragraph tends to reveal a significant thought, or comprise a single argument, press an important emphases. I don’t stress peaching one verse at a time as much as I want to stress showing the main idea revealed in a pericope. So, I tend to want to...
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