Exhortation: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

 |  September 26, 2016

While a student at the Moody Bible Institute I was challenged by Dr. George Sweeting in the area of preaching. He said, “Do not fill them with the Word, thrill them with the Word.”

Preaching should pack a spiritual punch. It’s not a talk, a speech, or simply a lesson. The preacher stands as God’s representative to deliver a message from heaven.

The Apostle Peter gives us a tremendous example of passionate preaching in the second chapter of Acts. He shows us that passionate preaching is:

Enthusiastic Preaching

In verse 4 he “stood.” The ancient rabbis would sit while teaching but this was something new. He stood up and he spoke up. He lifted up his voice with authority and fearlessly proclaimed God’s Word.

Expository Preaching

Someone wisely said, “An empty wagon rattles the loudest.” God’s Word is where the power is. Not human opinion but God’s holy, inspired Word. How can a preacher say he believes he is preaching God’s very Word and be so dull and boring? I personally believe the best preaching is to let the text suggest the message and then deliver it in the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter’s message was rooted in God’s Word.

Evangelistic Preaching

In the great Pentecost sermon Peter preached the Gospel. It was clear and convincing. He made much of Jesus Christ. He spoke of His Incarnation (vs 22), His Crucifixion (vs 23), His Resurrection (vs 24 & 32), and His Ascension (vs 33). When I ponder the work of Christ on Calvary how can I not be passionate? The Gospel not only saves the lost but it stirs the preacher and sets our soul on fire.

Peter’s awesome message closed with passion. The lost were convicted and at least three thousand were converted. We are aiming at the salvation of the lost. We are rescuing the perishing. How can you not be passionate when you are preaching for the salvation of souls?

For 37 years I have preached God’s Word in a local, New Testament, Baptist Church. For the last 25 years I have preached the Word here at North Jax Baptist. I believe that staying passionate is a result of staying right with Christ, staying in the Word of God, and staying on the highway of holiness.

Every Lord’s Day I think of Richard Baxter’s ideal of preaching: “To preach as though he’d never preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”

I believe the great need of this desperate hour is passionate Bible preaching.

With all of the technology and programing of the modern church there is still something moving about a lone man standing in the pulpit with an open Bible preaching his heart out.

When a preacher is filled with the Holy Spirit, the Word of God burns like fire in his soul. The passion I speak of is not mere emotionalism but a consuming urge to deliver God’s message with heavenly authority. It’s what Paul was talking about when he said, “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.”

While others give talks, lessons, and speeches, I challenge you to preach with passion.

Remember: “Do not fill them with the Word, thrill them with the Word.”

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