Our Scripture verse on preaching is Mark 1:14-15 which reads: "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."
Our quote on preaching today is from E.M. Bounds. He said, "A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon."
In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon; "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs; and "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson.
Our first topic is titled "The Minister's Piety Must be Vigorous, Part 4" from "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:
Thirdly, let the minister take care THAT HIS PERSONAL CHARACTER AGREES IN ALL RESPECTS WITH HIS MINISTRY.
We have all heard the story of the man who preached so well and lived so badly, that when he was in the pulpit everybody said he ought never to come out again, and when he was out of it they all declared he never ought to enter it again. From the imitation of such a Janus may the Lord deliver us. May we never be priests of God at the altar, and sons of Belial outside the tabernacle door; but on the contrary, may we, as Nazianzen says of Basil, "thunder in our doctrine, and lighten in our conversation." We do not trust those persons who have two faces, nor will men believe in those whose verbal and practical testimonies are contradictory. As actions, according to the proverb, speak louder than words, so an ill life will effectually drown the voice of the most eloquent ministry. After all, our truest building must be performed with our hands; our characters must be more persuasive than our speech. Here I would not alone warn you of sins of commission, but of sins of omission. Too many preachers forget to serve God when they are out of the pulpit, their lives are negatively inconsistent.
Our second topic is titled "The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 11" from "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE A MAN OF PRAYER (PART 2)
2. Our encouragement in prayer.
The Word of God is united in its testimony to the necessity for and the great value of prayer. Every believer is both urged and encouraged to pray. Each Christian should therefore be prayerful:
(1) Regarding every detail of his life. Nothing is too insignificant as a subject for prayer. Our heavenly Father “knoweth that we have need of all these things,” and has promised to supply them “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.
In fact we are told to “Be careful [full of cares, anxious] for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, that passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". An old saying has it that “prayer changes things”; but it does more than this: it changes Christians!
Our third topic is titled "What’s the Big Idea?, Part 2" from "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:
The Importance of a Single Idea
Students of public speaking and preaching have argued for centuries that effective communication demands a single theme. Rhetoricians hold to this so strongly that virtually every textbook devotes some space to a treatment of the principle. Terminology may vary— central idea, proposition, theme, thesis statement, main thought— but the concept is the same: an effective speech “centers on one specific thing, a central idea.” This thought is so axiomatic to speech communication that some authors, such as Lester Thonssen and A. Craig Baird, take it for granted:
"Little need be said here about the emergence of the central theme. It is assumed that the speech possesses a clearly defined and easily determined thesis or purpose: that this thesis is unencumbered by collateral theses which interfere with the clear perception of the principal one; and that the development is of such a character as to provide for the easy and unmistakable emergence of the thesis through the unfolding of the contents of the speech."