Sunday, June 5, 2011

Preliminary Thoughts

I suddenly realised that it's not quite as easy as all that to simply commence a blog documenting a whole heap of sermons I'm going to preach to myself! There are questions to be answered.

Sadly I don't have a spiritual father in the faith such as David Holden had in Terry Virgo, or the Dunstable students had in Stanley Jebb, or Josh Harris had in C J Mahaney. I hoped desperately and prayed for a father at times and like a tease God has at times seemed to almost bring one - like Peter Cockrell for a season back in 2000-2001 or Stanley Jebb for a time when I was in Bristol. But it's all just never quite happened. So I must imagine a spiritual father is asking me about my preaching and teaching me.
So here's some questions and my answers;

1. What "kind" of preaching are you going to attempt?

Many of my heroes preach in various ways. Stanley and Ern and Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Terry Virgo and so on preached expository preaching wonderfully. Other heroes like Rob Rufus vary somewhat. I found David Pawson gave a really helpful chapter in "Preach the Word!" (and lecture at the 'Preach the Word!' school) which was a personal testimony on the variety of preaching methods he has attempted. But it actually sums up well the variety of preaching methods around - here's some of the ones I may use:

A. Testimony Preaching (often see it used by men used mightily of God - "I saw God do this").

I won't use that for a number of reasons - God hasn't yet used me mightily in signs and wonders so I haven't got much to say! Of course I have a testimony and it may be useful at times to share it but rarely.

B. Topic Preaching (e.g marriage or teens or so on) and Burden Preaching.

Absolutely - at times. For example I really want to get into the Person of the Holy Spirit using Gordon Fee's "God's Empowering Presence". But always based in understanding a text of Scripture. Pawson talked about "Burden Preaching" in the context of his heart for the Islamic world but I think it applies here. I find "burdens" come on me such as hearing John Macarthur ask a question like; "Has the church forgotten the Holy Spirit?". That burdens me! To hear a cessationist like him say that - challenges me as a charismatic!

C. Passage Preaching (e.g expository).

That's where David Pawson spent the majority of his preaching ministry and will probably be mine - because that's my background and experience and where I'm most comfortable.

2. So why the Person of the Holy Spirit and Galatians or Philippians?

To me first and foremost the Person of the Holy Spirit is an issue that is a "burden" to me. Here in the UK - we are just not getting it. We have seen renewals to be sure but we played around with tongues and prophecy and now we have re-settled back down into "boring" charismatic life. Church isn't exciting. And that has happened because I think we've boxed the Holy Spirit in and are not allowing Him to do what He does best. I want to get to know God in me.

And Galatians (I think I've settled for) - because the other great concern on my life is getting rid of legalism and the ties of my past. And what greater book that Galatians? There are some great commentaries on this wonderful book too that will be an awesome help. Thomas Schriener's most recent commentary on Galatians is just out (December 2010) and C J Mahaney's assistant found and gathered some sermons Schriener preached here:
  1. The Gospel: Our Life (1:1–9)
  2. The Supernatural Gospel (1:10–24)
  3. The Freedom Of The Gospel (2:1–10)
  4. Public Church Discipline (2:11–14)
  5. Faith In Christ (2:15–21)
  6. Don’t Be Foolish (3:1)
  7. Faith From First To Last (3:1–9)
  8. Not By Law (3:10–14)
  9. Blessed With Abraham (3:10–14)
  10. Promise, Not Law! (3:15–20)
  11. The Role Of The Law (3:21–26)
  12. Freedom From Ourselves (4:1–11)
  13. Words For A Friend (4:12–20)
  14. Citizens Of The Free City (4:21–5:1)
  15. Faith Alone (5:2–6)
  16. Comfort In Trouble (5:7–12)
  17. True Freedom (5:13–18)
  18. Life In The Flesh And Life In The Spirit (5:19–26)
  19. Bearing Burdens And Examining Your Work (6:1–5)
  20. Keep Sowing To The End (6:6–10)
  21. Our Last Time (6:11–18)
3. So what's the first sermons to be prepared today?

As I mentioned in the first post yesterday - I want to try and prepare two sermons a week as inspired by my senior pastor Dr Stanley Jebb. If this works well then I may add another sermon in (pretending I am speaking at a mid-week meeting).

So Galatians:

I am going to follow Schriener's model and look at Galatians 1:1-9.

And the Holy Spirit:

Using Gordon Fee's model of "God's Empowering Presence" - I am going to be looking at:

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6.

They will be up on the blog this time next week.

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