The Passion-Driven Sermon: The Passion-Driven Sermon: Practical Theology for Pastoral Preaching (Jim Shaddix).
- Preaching from a Biblical Perspective
- The Message of Preaching
- The Shepherd’s Stewardship in Preaching
- The Shepherd’s Power in Preaching
- The Shepherd’s Relevance in Preaching
The Shepherd’s Stewardship: Good Stuff or God Stuff?
Many conservatives have championed biblical inerrancy, however they are often functional errantists (by the way they handle the Bible in their preaching, like it was entrusted to us for any and every use under the sun).
Exalting God, Not Resourcing Man: it is the testimony of God
- The Essence of the Bible – People are weary of sermons listing only historical facts and no connection to real life. The Bible has a most important quality, its divine feature, that it is God-centered and not man-centered. The shepherd is to speak God-stuff (thus says the Lord) and not just good stuff.
- The Agenda of the Bible – The beginning and the end of the Bible are similar, a creation with a garden and the Tree of Life. On the journey between the two we are called to conform to the image of His Son. The shepherd and sheep must align themselves with God’s agenda.
Explaining Revelation, Not Revealing Information: new vs. existing revelation; God told me…
- A Revelation About Revelation – The author received a comment about not getting his messages from God, since he preached through books of the Bible. He was preaching the next passage that followed rather than listening to God and preaching what God wanted. Preachers cannot say, “thus says the Lord” if they are getting information from non-biblical sources. Are they heralding heresy or transmitting truth? God has revealed through His Word, new revelation from God would mean that Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell might be right.
- An Explanation About Explanation – Preaching has evolved from being revelatory to being explanatory. Post-apostolic preachers began explaining that which God has already revealed and persuaded men to act upon it. The Bible is our only source of knowledge of God’s truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 2:2). Today, people are more interested in personal experience, emotional feeling and pragmatic application than explanation of the biblical text.
- An Understanding About Understanding – Explanation is not an end unto itself but a means to an end, which is understanding.
In Nehemiah 8, those who could understand gathered at the revival event. First, they read directly from the book (Nehemiah 8:8). Second, Nehemiah gave it sense, likely it was translated from Hebrew into Aramaic (Nehemiah 8:8). Translation is not as effective as interpretation.
The Emmaus Road experience we see something similar, they did not have proper understanding (Luke 24:25, 27, 32). Paul challenges us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2).
The preacher is not to give opinions, indirect implications or extra-biblical principles, but instead to reveal the Spirit’s intended meaning in Scripture; to help their lives to transform.
Edifying Churches, Not Reaching Seekers: Although we are to be all about evangelism, being seeker-sensitive is not the same.
- The Savior on Church Growth – Jesus mentioned building His church on the Rock (Matthew 16), and that all that the Father gives Him will come to Him (John 6:37). Human efforts produce human results. The early church had the Spirit growing the church (Acts 2:39, 2:47, 5:14, 11:24, 13:48). Church growth is His doing, not any strategy, method, principle or program.
- The Shepherd in Church Growth – We are to be equippers of the saint, for the work of service (Ephesians 4:11-16). The shepherd is to build up the body, teaching gifted men who can teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
- The Stewardship of Church Growth – Seeker-sensitive services boast about making it casual for lost people, but where is the highest percentage of lost people, inside or outside the church? Most lost people never darken our doors. So, it is better use of energy and resources to build up the body to impact their believers’ circles of influence. The Great Commission uses a term, “as you are going…” like along the way, make disciples.