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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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LOOKING FOR A PREACHER?

And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15 ESV)

Are you looking for a Preacher? Perhaps you are part of a Pastor Search Committee and you are looking for a godly man to fill that role. Maybe you are considering joining a new church because you have recently moved or you are making a commitment to attend church for the first time. If so, it is of utmost importance to have some knowledge of the preacher/pastor because he is the spiritual leader under Christ and the gospel to the congregation. (Hebrews 13:17 ESV) It is his responsibility, among many others, to preach and teach the uncompromised gospel of Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:14 ESV) Alistair Begg warns us:

There’s a way to preach the Bible unbiblically…You can use the Bible as the springboard for all kinds of ideas, can’t you? Look around in here and find something that fits your fancy and then launch a rocket off it. People say, ‘That was amazing, wasn’t it? Remarkable what he got out of that.’ Well of course it is because he put it in before he got it out. (Alistair Begg)

A true preacher preaches the Bible from the Bible and he preaches it from his heart and mind by the grace of the Holy Spirit. His preaching focuses attention on the glory of God and His Word, not on himself or his style of preaching. The true Preacher wants you to see Jesus. (John 12:21 ESV) Charles Spurgeon writes of his own preaching:

Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in Him are all things. (Charles H. Spurgeon)

As a shepherd demonstrates his love for the sheep by caring for them, the preacher must do likewise. He should not be seen by his congregation as a cold fish or indifferent. He must represent Jesus in his care and feelings for them. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives us this caution:

The trouble with some of us is that we love preaching, but we are not always careful to make sure that we love the people to whom we are actually preaching. If you lack this element of compassion for the people you will also lack the pathos which is a very vital element in all true preaching. Our Lord looked out upon the multitude and ‘saw them as sheep without a shepherd’, and was ‘filled with compassion’. And if you know nothing of this you should not be in a pulpit, for this is certain to come out in your preaching. (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers)

There has existed only one perfect Preacher and He is Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:23 ESV) Although we cannot expect absolute perfection in our preachers, we should expect them to strive for holiness in their personal lives. Spurgeon notes this qualification for preaching:

Whatever call a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students)

Preachers and their congregations often adopt a kind of “cultural holiness” based on the behavior of other Christians and the community around them. This attitude of conduct fails because the standard of holiness should be based on what God has commanded and not on the average behavior of the people around us. We are called to be like Christ which is not only the Preacher’s personal duty but also his responsibility to pursue. He must instruct his congregation in holy living according to the standard of God’s Word and the life of Christ. Such a Preacher will bring many souls to heaven with him.

Therefore, I recommend that you find a preacher who preaches the Word of God unashamedly, loves his congregation and their souls and unapologetically encourages them to pursue holiness. (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV) Pray for God to guide you in your search and pray that His Will is done. God knows what you need. (Matthew 6:8 ESV)

 

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One Response

  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

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