Category Archives: preaching

Audio Sermons Added

Some people have kindly asked to listen again to some of the sermons that I have preached whilst at Macquarie.

MAC is currently working on a system to host all of their library of recorded sermons, which will be a great thing. I’ll let you know when it happens.

Until that day, I’ve managed to find a way to list some of them here.

I’ve just uploaded last Sunday’s sermon on Mark 10.13-16 (see post below). You can finding it by looking below right under ‘Audio Sermons’.

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Preaching Whilst Sick

…is not much fun at all.

Today I had to do it twice, speaking on Mark 10:13-16. It was supposed to be three times, before my boss graciously stepped in for me.

The worst of it – my head was really fuzzy (despite the drugs I had taken to counter that), so I had no idea what was coming out of my mouth. I could hear myself talking, but just couldn’t reach out and grab the words to make any sense of them.

It is then that I am really glad that I use fullish notes. God bless the church today for their graciousness in putting up with me.

One of the really cool things that I noticed in the preparation was the use of the key word ‘receive’ in both stories that feature little kids and Jesus (Mark 9:33-37 and Mark 10:13-16) – NIV unhelpfully translates the Mark 9 version as ‘welcome’, which masks the parallel). So you get these two stories about ‘receiving’ children and ‘receiving the kingdom like a child’, then starkly contrasted with the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-23), who wants to earn rather than receive.

Others have probably noticed it before, but I thought it was clever. Again made me appreciate the wonderful literature that is the bible, and how its comes together to teach us.

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The Top 12 Failures of Preaching

Found this great and incisive piece on the SMBC website:

In 1980, Dr Samuel Logan Jr. (editor of Preaching – The Preacher and Preaching in the Twentieth Century) wrote to several of his ministerial colleagues asking them to list what they saw as the ten most serious failures of the Christian pulpit. One of the replies he received, from Rev. John de Witt, was published the following year 1. Here are the twelve failures that de Witt listed:

1. the pre-eminent failing: a misunderstanding of the true nature of preaching and what it is that happens when the Word of God is preached;

2. the great want of ministerial earnestness in preaching;

3. the insistence on ‘the conversational style’ and the equal insistence that enthusiasm, vehemence and rhetorical skill in preaching are wrong;

4. the lack of warm, pointed, incisive, personal application;

5. the loss of the discipline and instruction of the seminary classroom once a person’s training is completed;

6. the lack of ability to apply the gospel ‘down the line’ in every single sphere of life;

7. the ministerial assumption that those to whom we preach have already come to be disciples of Jesus Christ, and the consequent loss of boldness and directness in preaching;

8. the tendency to despise the ‘form’ of the sermon and the need for hard work in writing clear, interesting, gripping, well-organised, and persuasive sermons;

9. the lack of knowledge, among those who preach, of the arts, history and philosophy i.e. of the things that put the preacher in touch with culture and the social order and lay those things at his disposal;

10. the congregations’ indifference toward preaching and their satisfaction with mediocrity in the pulpit;

11. relational, psychologizing, soul-bearing ‘preaching’ that robs the preacher of his authority, which is derived directly and solely from the fact that he is a herald of God;

12. the lack of emphasis on the preachers’ personal holiness and the recognition that a great part of his power is lent to his ministry by his holy, godly character and his ability to say, as Paul did, ‘Brethren, be followers together of me.’ (Phil.3:17)

deWitt concluded his letter by saying his list could probably be expanded!

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Preaching Quote #2

“Many a preacher has been ruined by his congregation. Their praise, their encouragement of him as a man, has almost ruined him as a messenger of God, and he has become guilty of laying up treasures on earth. He tends almost unconsciously to be controlled by the desire to have his people’s good opinion and praise, and the moment that happens a man is laying up treasures on earth.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Preaching Quote #1

From time to time, I hope to share some thoughts about preaching from some of the great ones. Here’s the first:

If God is not supreme in our preaching, where in this world will the people hear about the supremacy of God? If we do not spread a banquet of God’s beauty on Sunday morning, will not our people seek in vain to satisfy their inconsolable longing with the cotton candy pleasures of pastimes and religious hype? If the fountain of living water does not flow from the mountain of God’s sovereign grace on Sunday morning, will not the people hew for themselves cisterns on Monday, broken cisterns that can hold no water . . .?

John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching

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