- Having to document my preaching either manuscipt, video or audio, help me better understand the dynamics of a sermon.
- Listening how one preach help track changes both in content and in form. At the same time, it also provide insight on how the same content is delivered and received differently by a congregation.
- I remember preaching the same sermon to three different churches yielding to three different results.
- How is this so?
- Paul offered any inspired explanation to this when he wrote to the church at Corinth saying: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18
- The preaching of the gospel is accompanied by two unique realities: 1) The illuminating power of the Holy Spirit; 2) The authoritative Word of God. The first ensures conversion while the second guarantees illumination.
- In the end, we know only the Word and Spirit create the church and it alone converts. This is why we know God’s people will be converted to faith and repentance. This is how we can be confident the church of Christ will persevere unit the end.
- Our preaching this afternoon will examine the first gospel preaching recorded by Luke in the book of Act by Peter.
- We will expose each section to cover our first point then for our second point, we will explore how this informs our understanding of the some dynamics of the relationship between the preacher and the community of believers.
- Before we begin, let us pray: Send your Spirit among us, O God, as we meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Prepare our minds to hear your Word. Move our hearts to accept what we hear. Purify our will to obey in joy and faith. This we pray through Christ, our Savior. Amen
The Eschatological Spirit and The Incorruptible Word of God
- F.F. Bruce comments: The early apostolic preaching regularly comprises four elements (not always in the same order): (1) the announcement that the age of fulfilment has arrived; (2) an account of the ministry, death, and triumph of Jesus; (3) citation of Old Testament scriptures whose fulfilment in these events proves Jesus to be the one to whom they pointed forward; (4) a call to repentance.
The Preacher and the Community of Believers
- The relationship between the preacher and his congregation comes with subjective perceptions and often affected by differences in personality and temperaments
- However, the authority of the Word is the only objective standard where both parties must adhere to. It is the only arbiter of both doctrine and life.
- Preachers who are prophets in Christs are mere mouthpieces of God. While their personalities and temperament come with messenger, he does not proclaim his own voice. Christ is the only shepherd’s voice heard by his flock. All his servants are mere undershepherds. The only Alpha to follow by everyone in the church is Christ. And by the way, he is also the Omega.
- Now this does not come without any obligations for both the preacher and his congregation. Both are called to uphold and recognize the authority of Scripture.
- We are all prophets in Christ as part of our general calling and as kings in Christ, we are called to fight sin daily in our lives. This makes the work Spiritual and since it is by the nature Spiritual, it can only by performed by those led by the Spirit. Only true believers can fulfill this tasks.
- Sanctification comes with truth and only God’s Word leads to all truth in all our lives. Maturity is never attained by learning less. Following Christ means fellowshiping with the saints and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we do not follow the following of men. This is how cults. are made and it leads blind obedience and creates apostate churches. Hypocrites and unbelievers follow themselves and human authority. For believers, we follow the following of those who follow Christ in his Word by the Spirit. This is how we know churches will prevail in the end.
- The Spirit of God converts and matures his people. So let us continue to abide by his presence which he guarantees in his Word.
Rev. Lance Filio is a minister of the Word and Sacraments at Zion Cornerstone Reformed Church (Imus). He finished his Bachelor Degree in Electronics Engineering at Mapua Institute of Technology and He is currently taking his Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) at MINTS. He lives in Taguig City, Philippines with his wife and three children.