Dear Grace family,
Jon and I are reading a book on preaching by Dr. Tim Keller, “Preaching– Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism”. He is one of the clearest thinking preachers/ writers of our day. He says “Expository preaching should provide the main diet of preaching for a Christian Community.” Expository preaching means preaching through books of the Bible so the people of God receive the whole counsel of the Word of God. There are times when I preach topics, but I prefer to preach through books simply because this keeps me or any preacher from preaching on favorite topics, without addressing many other passages which the people of God need to grow in faith. You have no doubt noticed that I like to read longer sections of Scripture on Sunday and preach from them, so you have the context for what the Word of God is saying. As the Word of God becomes flesh in us, meaning a part of our hearts and lives, then we are changed by the power of God’s Word.
There is great power in God’s Word as we read it ourselves, or listen carefully as it is preached. The power lies in the Word of God and not in the preacher. Of course, a gifted preacher like Dr. Keller is able to communicate the Word of God more clearly than others who seek to do the same thing. And it is also true that the Spirit of God empowers the Word of God to accomplish the purposes of God.
The great preacher from the past, Charles Spurgeon gives the analogy of the Word of God being like a lion. He says we do not need to worry about defending the Bible when people seek to attack. He suggest we simply need to open the door and let the lion out, and he will take care of himself. “The way to meet infidelity is to spread the Bible. The answer to every objection against the Bible is the Bible.” This is right. Our role is to speak the Word of God to those around us in many different ways– through song, through simple conversation, through formal preaching and teaching, and through leading our families to read the Bible together. We do this with those we know well, and with those we meet for the first time. There is impact!
As I have shared with you, I am currently president of our Home Owner’s Association. When I write e-mails to other members on the board, I always use a closing salutation similar to what I use with you all, “Delighted to be in His grace” or something similar. Over the last year, I have seen much more of a God consciousness when the board meets together. I do not do a devotion when we meet, but I often speak a quote or paraphrase of a passage from the Bible as we meet. I know the Spirit of God is at work all around me all the time. As I speak the Word of God in this and other settings, God uses His Word in all kinds of ways.
Let me encourage you to continue in your personal study of God’s Word, to use what you are reading and studying as you meet with others in the normal course of your life, and to ask God to give to you opportunities to speak His Word to others. Our commitment to each of you is to feed you well through discipleship opportunities we offer and through Sunday morning worship.
Delighted that God has given His powerful Word to us
so we might know Him better!