NOTE: This article is an excerpt from an excellent little book on preaching, The Expositor in the Pulpit, by the Greek scholar Marvin R. Vincent. The book is the content of his lectures given to students at Union Theological Seminary in 1884. The book is a must read for expository preachers and teachers. This section appears on pp. 38-39.
You will readily perceive that I have but touched some outlines of a very large and prolific subject; and now, in conclusion, let me say that with all your critical study, with the largest and most accurate knowledge of the matter and style of Scripture, you can never be good expositors of the Word without a genuine experience of its divine, saving truths.
It will not be enough for you to give the people the Word in the form in which you have received it from these teachers; it must be translated into your own hart life. The Word of God demands usury of every soul which it enters. Doctrines thus held in contact with experience come forth glowing evangels, speaking as with tongues of fire, and promises which had seemed meant only for some ideal, millennial time, pour out their sweetness for workday lives and shed their healing on world-worn feet.
Pray over the Word. You who are soon to be entrusted with the awful task of expounding the oracles of the living God to men, be often in close converse with the Author of the Word. He can best expound His own meaning to you. And it shall come to pass as you walk and talk with Christ along the path of your pastoral life, that He shall open unto you in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself, and your hearts shall burn within you as you walk. And thus you will speak to men’s hearts out of your own heart, testifying of what you know, and the word which goes forth from your mouth shall be “in demonstration of the Spirit and with power.”
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