Passion-Driven Sermon, Part 5

The Passion-Driven Sermon: The Passion-Driven Sermon: Practical Theology for Pastoral Preaching (Jim Shaddix).

  1. Preaching from a Biblical Perspective
  2. The Message of Preaching
  3. The Shepherd’s Stewardship in Preaching
  4. The Shepherd’s Power in Preaching
  5. The Shepherd’s Relevance in Preaching

The Shepherd’s Relevance: Application of Incarnation?

Haddon Robinson is quoted as saying, “More heresy is preached in application than in Bible exegesis.”

1. Reforming Application from the Outside In: we must look at the basic nature of God and the passage before we jump in to personal application.

Reclaiming the Relevance: application is not primarily about addressing perceived needs with practical advice but addressing real needs and restoring right relationships.

Redefining the Meaning: as we visit a doctor, we are prescribed medication, which we must apply in order to get better.

  1. Specific Application – involves linking truth with a current situation in the listener’s life.
  2. Stored Application – involves truth that is being deposited and kept for life situations that the listener has not yet fathomed.
  3. Subliminal Application – involves application made below the conscious level. Much of the Spirit is not understood but is truth that is stored below our consciousness.

Redeeming the Focus: what approach to application provides the preacher with the best chance of connecting eternal truth with the most number of listeners? The funnel of relevance narrows at each point.

  1. Theological Application is first – what does the text teach us about God and His relationship with people?
  2. Universal Application – timeless truth in any given passage that is applicable to all people of all time.
  3. Generational Application – which is for all people living on the planet at the time the message is preached.
  4. Cultural Application – which is germane to all people within a particular culture.
  5. Communal Application – involves the connection of truth with those persons whose lives are bound by some type of relationship.
  6. Individual Application – when the preacher seeks to identify and address the needs of individual listeners or selected groups.

2. Transforming Lives from the Inside Out: Christ is to be formed in the believers (Philippians 3:10, 21; Colossians 1:27)

Preaching for Christ’s Character: the target of incarnational preaching is the character of Christ within the believers. The concentric circles are:

  1. Christ in You.
  2. Conscience (mind, will and emotions).
  3. Conduct.
  4. Community.

Preaching for Christ’s Conscience: you are what you eat. A man is what he thinks (Proverbs 23:7). Conscience is general and broad and may influence many different situations. It is more effective than to just change a person’s conduct. Let this mind be in you (Philippians 2:5).

Preaching for Christ’s Conduct: the purpose of preaching ought to see faith expressed in the conduct as a result of character formation and conscience alteration.

Preaching for Christ’s Community: loss of community is one of the most overlooked realities of contemporary church growth. Fundamental questions for the faith community has always been, “Who are we and what do we do?” Many churches are trying to convince a listening audience that we are all on the same page (same language, same problems, on the same journey). Some avoid the language of the church to use the language of the culture. The terms will lose their meanings; terms that help define the community of faith. People are growing in biblical illiteracy.

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Passion-Driven Sermon, Part 4

The Passion-Driven Sermon: The Passion-Driven Sermon: Practical Theology for Pastoral Preaching (Jim Shaddix).

  1. Preaching from a Biblical Perspective
  2. The Message of Preaching
  3. The Shepherd’s Stewardship in Preaching
  4. The Shepherd’s Power in Preaching
  5. The Shepherd’s Relevance in Preaching

The Shepherd’s Power: Subjective or Objective?

One ingredient separates the preacher from other passionate speakers, it is the anointing of God, whereby the preacher is binding himself to the Holy Spirit and His power.

The Work of the Shepherd: he is interdependent upon himself and the power of God.

  1. The Influence of Persuasion – Paul often used this method (1 Corinthians 2:4, Acts 13:43; 17:4-5; 18:4;19:26; 28:24; 2 Corinthians 5:11).
  2. The Interdependence of Preaching – Bible writers spoke with the authority of God (2 Peter 1:19-21). Secular speakers depend on their skills of argument and persuasion, but the preacher must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian preacher must also assume that God will speak to his listeners through his preaching.

The Work of the Scriptures: God-breathed Scriptures are the only source of faith and practice; that will bring lasting life change.

  1. Completing the Pastor: Preaching for life change comes out of the role of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:14-17). It is a work of inspiration of God, that is for all people. It also equips the shepherd in that it completes him; he has everything he needs to fulfill his calling.
    1. The Bible provides wisdom for all godliness (2 Timothy 2:17) – pointing to justification and sanctification; growing in Christ-likeness.
    2. The Bible provides instruction for knowing godliness (2 Timothy 3:16) – profitable for doctrine, a complete body of divine truth.
    3. The Bible provides rebuke for straying from godliness (2 Timothy 3:16) – reproof means to convict of error in behavior or belief.
    4. The Bible provides restoration to godliness (2 Timothy 3:16) – correction is found only here in the NT, referring to restoring something to its original and proper condition.
    5. The Bible provides training for pursuing godliness (2 Timothy 3:16) – instruction is better rendered training or discipline. The idea is to build up.
  2. Changing the People: Joshua was challenging the people to remain in God’s Word if they wanted to experience success or prosperity (Joshua 1:8). The idea is not foreign to the Bible (Psalm 19:7-13); Providing spiritual cleansing (Psalm 119:9-11); inspiring wonder (Psalm 119:18); navigating life’s journey (Psalm 119:105); spiritual nourishment (1 Peter 1:22-2:2).

The Work of the Spirit: transformation is the goal of Christianity.

  1. The Spirit and the Work of God – like the Incredible Hulk, we are transformed through the process of metamorphosis into the likeness of Christ (Romans 12:1; Matthew 17:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Philippians 2:5). We will be like Him spiritually, bodily (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:49).
  2. The Spirit and the Word of God – Jesus’ prayer was that His followers be sanctified in the truth (John 17:17), and our ultimate transformation will be glorification. It is through the Word of God that we may be transformed (Romans 12:1-2).

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Passion-Driven Sermon, Part 3

The Passion-Driven Sermon: The Passion-Driven Sermon: Practical Theology for Pastoral Preaching (Jim Shaddix).

  1. Preaching from a Biblical Perspective
  2. The Message of Preaching
  3. The Shepherd’s Stewardship in Preaching
  4. The Shepherd’s Power in Preaching
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

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Passion-Driven Sermon, Part 2

The Passion-Driven Sermon: The Passion-Driven Sermon: Practical Theology for Pastoral Preaching (Jim Shaddix).

  1. Preaching from a Biblical Perspective
  2. The Message of Preaching
  3. The Shepherd’s Stewardship in Preaching
  4. The Shepherd’s Power in Preaching
  5. The Shepherd’s Relevance in Preaching

The Message of Preaching:
God’s Word vs. Man’s Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

The Preacher as Reporter: just the facts, ma’am.

  1. The Subject of the Report – We are to report the testimony of Scripture, or the mystery of Christ. This comes out of a study of God’s Word.
  2. The Significance of the Report – Isaiah and other writers often used the word “report” (Isaiah 53:1, Matthew 9:26, Romans 10:16, Luke 7:17). The report was about what God was doing, the good news about the crucified Christ.
  3. The Source of the Report – The author makes a point regarding a preacher delivering a message about God vs. a preacher delivering a message from God. Communicating God’s revelation is both about God and from God.

The Preacher as Reminder: like using the PDA feature.

  1. Task of Reminding – Scripture writers often did this as well (Romans 15:15, Jude 5, Philippians 3:1, 2 Peter 1:12-15, 2 Peter 3:1-2).
  2. Topic of Reminding – Paul’s message was Jesus Christ and Him crucified (2 Corinthians 1-2, Acts 2:37, Philippians 2:9-11)
  3. Tension of Reminding – The message was often a stumbling block. Reminding suggests repetition, and preachers often fear being repetitive; needing something new each time in the pulpit.

Preacher as Reflector: like stops signs and road markers.

  1. Reflection of the Cross – The preacher does not need to come up with the light, rather he reflects the light. The reflection does not come from the audience or culture. The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. What about “felt needs” preaching? This often addresses the listener’s questions but never introduces them to a holy God in Christ.
  2. Reflection on the Church – Every sermon need not be a salvation message. Paul always preached Christ, but his messages were not always evangelistic. Much of the NT is written to churches, and Paul did a lot of instruction in theology, too.
  3. Reflection of a Conviction – At Mars Hill, Paul did not change his style: First, he did not finish his sermon because he was cut off at the mention of the resurrection. Second, Paul began the sermon with a biblical presentation of creation and ended it with the resurrection. Third, some people believed that day and joined him. The preacher must make a willful decision to stick with the Book and its authority.

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Passion-Driven Sermon, Part 1

The Passion-Driven Sermon: The Passion-Driven Sermon: Practical Theology for Pastoral Preaching (Jim Shaddix).

  1. Preaching from a Biblical Perspective
  2. The Message of Preaching
  3. The Shepherd’s Stewardship in Preaching
  4. The Shepherd’s Power in Preaching
  5. The Shepherd’s Relevance in Preaching

Kim and I went to Music and Worship Week at Ridgecrest in 2006 and Dr. Jim Shaddix was the preacher for the event. I purchased his book and even bought the CDs of his main messages. Below are some notes regarding his book.

The forward by John MacArthur makes a comment about the decline of biblical preaching and a rise of great pulpiteers in modern society; a trend toward entertainment, oratory, people-centered messages. Popular books on preaching tend to emphasize meeting people’s felt needs, being relevant, being practical, being user-friendly, and being contemporary. He says modern preaching is self-consciously shaped to fit a pragmatic agenda of purpose-driven, rather than being compelled and tempered by a passion for faithful and courageously delivering the whole counsel of God. Shaddix gives us a biblical perspective on preaching; encouraging the preacher with a passion for God’s truth and advancement of God’s glory.

These posts are notes from the four sections I found most interesting (chapters one, four, five and six).

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