How to Listen to an Expository Sermon

I remember studying in Bible college and when I first started preaching that “everyone” told me two things

    1. you need to keep your sermons to no more than 30 minutes or you will lose folks attention  
    2. you need to preach on relatable things to keep folks coming back

I being the rebellious type that I am basically ignored (although I did and do attempt to set a point of application to each sermon) their advice. I believe God alone sets the sermon, it comes from His word, it should be logical and expository. That is verse by verse, book by book (with few exceptions Weddings, Funerals, Special Events) and expounding or as one of my friends and favorite Pastor Don says “unpacking” God’s word. 

As for 30 minutes go luck I have never been under 45 and average nearer and hour. Most puritans preached nearer to 2 hours some 3. REMEMBER it is not you, it is GOD and His Word so do not be afraid to Preach it. 

For those who have long winded preachers her is my advice:

    1. Pray God will keep you focused on Him and not the world
    2. Use helps and methods like those suggested in the article below
    3. Remember God’s Word should be a JOY and Help daily

 

The Master's Seminary Blog

How to Listen to an Expository Sermon

Reagan Rose | 

The last couple of decades have seen a resurgence in expository preaching in churches—sermons which truly explain and apply the biblical text. But an expository sermon is hard work to prepare. That’s why Paul writes that faithful elders, and especially those who labor hard at preaching and teaching, are worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17). With all that effort from faithful preachers, is there more that those of us in the pew can be doing to ensure we are being faithful listeners?

Some pastors spend upwards of 20–30 hours per week preparing the Sunday message. How sad it is, therefore, that so much of his preparation—effort intended to feed our souls—is often lost on inattentive listeners. What’s worse, the Lord has designed the ministry of the preached Word to be a special means of sanctification to His people (Isa. 55:10–11)…

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5 Questions Your Listeners Will Have When They Hear You Preach

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As a preacher, your aim is to please God and God alone. But that doesn’t mean it is entirely unhelpful to consider what questions your audience may have when they listen to you preach. This is especially true for new preachers or when you’re preaching to an audience for the first time. Considering what questions your hearers will have will help you to better connect with them.

5 Questions Your Listeners Will Have When They Hear You Preach

Much has been written about questions to consider when preparing a sermon, but I’ve seen little about which questions your listeners will have when they hear you preach. Preachers tend to think about exegesis, appropriately relating the text to Christ, contextualization, and so on. This is all so very important. But most of your listeners don’t look for these elements; instead, they have much more simple and practical things on their minds.

Having preached and listened to many sermons myself, below you will find a few questions that I think may enter the minds of your hearers. This list, like most lists, is not exhaustive. And they are primarily (but not exclusively) intended for new preachers or those preaching to a new audience.

1. Can I trust you?

The biggest thing people want to know when they hear you preach is whether or not they can trust you, whether you are a sincere person, or whether you are trying to act like somebody you’re not. Yes, homiletical competency is extremely important, but people can overlook a little bit of weakness in preaching skills for a godly, genuine preacher. On the contrary, no amount of speaking ability can make up for a lack of trust.

No doubt, some are wolves and won’t trust you no matter what. They not only want you to fall but actively try to consider how they can take part in it. But for a genuine believer who desires to grow in godliness, trustworthiness ranks among the top of the traits they look for in a preacher.

Is this person genuine? Can I trust them? Do I get a sense that he cares for me? That’s what your listeners will ask.

2. Why should I listen to you?

By this, I don’t mean flexing all of your theological credentials or resume experience. Instead, I mean letting people know why what you’re about to say matters to them.

Sermon introductions and opening remarks in a sermon are crucial. Don’t squander it. While you want to avoid gimmicks, it is not a bad idea to consider how you can quickly capture the attention of your audience. This is less important if you have built-in relational capital with your hearers, but it still can be helpful nevertheless. People often ask, “What’s in it for me?” They shouldn’t. But they do. Let them know why what you’re about to say matters.

3. What in the world are you talking about?

It is hard to overemphasize the importance of clarity in the pulpit. Some are more talented than others, but clarity in the pulpit { by teachers and preachers} is often aided by knowing your subject material exceptionally well, writing a word-for-word manuscript, practicing or verbally reading your sermon aloud multiples times, and experience. It takes effort. Some of us are more advanced than others, or wired differently. So you are free to come up with your own system. But all preachers would do well to consider how they can be crystal clear.

As the old saying goes, tell people what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said. That may not always be transferrable in preaching, but people won’t be helped if they don’t know what you’re talking about. Repetition in writing is boring, but powerful in the pulpit.

Here are some keyword phrases I sometimes use in my sermons to capture attention and promote clarity:

1. “The big idea of this text is . . .”
2. “Here’s the theme of this passage. . .”
3. “So how can you apply this to your life? I’ll show you four ways from this passage. First, . . .”
4. “Let me tell you a story that illustrates this.”
5. “How do I know that the point of this text is worship? Look with me in verse two . . .”

You don’t want to talk down to people or come off as insulting, but figuring out ways to say things with clarity is critical.

4. Are you trying to show off?

No one would argue, of course, that explaining what redemption and salvation and propitiation means in a sermon when it arises in a text is crucial in Christian preaching. But this always must be done in a clear, accessible, and easy-to-understand way. Being smart is good, but it does no good if your knowledge can’t be passed on to others. Worse, it is a sign of pride when you are trying to show off. People can generally sniff out a preacher who’s more concerned with looking smart than being helpful.

One of the worst compliments I can receive as a preacher is, “Boy, you’re so knowledgable.” I’m encouraged that my hard work is shown, but I am discouraged that I may have not done a good enough job of being accessible. On the flip side, the best thing — or one of the best things — people can tell me is that they understand me, that I am clear. The point of your hard work in your study is not so that people will be impressed by you, but so that you can explain, illustrate, and apply the text in an accessible manner.

5. Why are you not looking at me?

Some preachers hardly look at their audience when they preach. They rightly believe the efficacy of a sermon is not the result of their engagement with the crowd, but with the Spirit using the Word. Others would agree with this sentiment, but take pains to show eye-contact since it is a sign of affection. What should you do? This is the dilemma when taking preaching advice.

I’m in the camp that believes eye-contact is important. This is particularly true during your introduction, conclusion, when you relate the text to Jesus, and when there is a line or two that you really want to stick with your people. I don’t think you have to memorize your entire sermon manuscript, but surely people will connect with you more if you actually look at them. Sermon content is more important than sermon delivery, but sermon delivery is crucial.

These are some questions that people may have when they hear you preach. Your desire should be to be faithful to the passage at all costs, but understanding what goes through the minds of your hearers will help you in that endeavor.

Source: 5 Questions Your Listeners Will Have When They Hear You Preach

Sunday’s Sermon Series

Image result for "ROMANS 7:21"

Así que, queriendo yo hacer el bien, hallo esta ley: que el mal está en mí. 22 Porque según el hombre interior, me deleito en la ley de Dios; 23 pero veo otra ley en mis miembros, que se rebela contra la ley de mi mente, y que me lleva cautivo a la ley del pecado que está en mis miembros. (RVR 1960)


Carnal Man: 3) The Battle Within – Romans 7:21-23

Audio MP3 by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.

 

Two other Sermons in series:

What is Expository Preaching?

One of the BIG issues (in my opinion) in the Church today is the lack of substantiate preaching. In other words we get a whole lot of fluff and very little stuff from the pulpit. Even if there is a long winded (I have no issue like some with a 45-60 minute sermon, if you are a child of GOD then you should desire to listen to HIS Word preached correctly) preacher many have not a clue what or how to preach in order to provide evidence to support or prove the truth of scripture and share Christ. If you are not in a church that is doing this, I would suggest you pray God sends you to one that is.- Mike

by 

what is expository preaching

Expository Preaching is a form of preaching that people talk about in books, at conferences, and online. But it’s become one of those things that’s often described but rarely defined. I’ll ask: What is the definition of expository preaching?

What Is Expository Preaching?

It’s important to note that “expository” is not a distinctively Christian term. “Expository” is often used in other forms of communication like expository writing or expository essays and so on.

It’s also worth noting that “expository” is often used interchangeably with the word “exposition” and sometimes “exegetical.” Before we can say what expository preaching is, we must define what “expository” means.

In the American Dictionary of the English Language, we find this:

Expository: “Serving to explain; tending to illustrate” (pg. 78).

Not a bad start, but I think the definitions for “exposition” sheds more light for our question.

Exposition: “A laying open; a setting to public view.” Or: “A situation in which a thing is exposed or laid open, or in which it has an unobstructed view . . .” And finally: “Explanation; interpretation; a laying open the sense or meaning of an author, or of any passage in a writing” (pg. 77-78).

In the Greek, the word expository comes from the Greek word ek which means “out of” or “from.”

Expository preaching, therefore, is a style of preaching in which the preacher aims to lay open the original meaning of a particular Bible passage, ensuring the main points of his sermon comes from the text upon which he is expounding.

That’s my technical definition.

To simplify, expository preaching is all about the text. It’s about unpacking the passage. It’s about going through a text, often verse-by-verse, and explaining, illustrating, applying, and defending from the passage. The expositor’s great aim is to be faithful to the text.

You may also like: 

  1. How to Write An Expository Sermon
  2. Expository Sermon Example

 

FROM FSM ARCHIVES: 


Source: What is Expository Preaching?

How and What are we to Preach?

Logos.com

que prediques la palabra; que instes a tiempo y fuera de tiempo; redarguye, reprende, exhorta con toda paciencia y doctrina. (RVR 1960)

This is a very well known verse that has been used in thousands of sermons over the years but what is Paul really saying to Timothy here? Lets break it down.

First CONTEXT; Paul has just finished in Chapter 3 telling Timothy of tough times (struggles) that may be coming. There will be persecutions, false teachers, etc. Yet he has something greater that he can rely on 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God[a] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (CSB) So Paul begins Chapter 4 with a charge for Timothy to begin his ministry in verse one and then we get to our text. 

In Season – simply put be ready to preach when you are supposed to. When there is no reason not to, when there is no danger in doing so. If you are a Pastor/Elder Sunday morning 15 minutes before worship service is not the time to prepare your sermon.

Out of Season – we must be ready to share the Gospel when it is inconvenient, not practical and maybe even dangerous.

Reprove – Correct those in error. What you mean I am to judge others, YES! Paul is telling us to us a LOVING RIGHTEOUS judgement to correct others errors. Yet like Christ warns be careful how you go about it. Wrongly and that big log in your eye may bet twisted.

Rebuke – For a long time I did not see a difference here, let me try and make sense of this we reprove a fellow Christian and rebuke error in non-Christians. An example might be if you hear a brother curse you would want to say something to him (Reprove) speaking out and condemning abortion (Rebuking) is something every true Christian should be doing.

Exhort – real simple here encourage fellow believers, provide comfort, support and assistance as needed. Quoting the Beatles “I can get by with a Little Help From my Friends”

Patience – all preachers must be patient, in fact all of God’s children must be Patient. Our Christian walk is not easy, but if we have good fellowship with God and like minded believers it is much more pleasant.

Teaching: preaching for the sake of speaking is pretty much useless as far as I am concerned. Paul is telling Timothy that a practical application of God’s word (teaching) should be a part of every sermon.

Why is is it so important how and what we preach? Paul follows our main text with this:

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 

Porque vendrá tiempo cuando no sufrirán la sana doctrina, sino que teniendo comezón de oír, se amontonarán maestros conforme a sus propias concupiscencias, y apartarán de la verdad el oído y se volverán a las fábulas.

It is the preaching of SOUND Doctrine that will help make mature (Sanctification) Christians. 

 

Called to Minister., Really?

So you think you have the call to the ministry. Are you sure? Have you really checked all the boxes on the checklist. God has some very strict expectations and standards for His servants in this capacity. Should it be anything less, after all is you are a Pastor/Elder He has given you charge (care) of His flock (local church).

Logos.com

We as believers know that we are not exempt from judgement (2 Corinthians 5:10) but how much more so will God judge those who teach the Holy Word of God? With all the false teachings being spewed from pulpits today many have nothing to look forward to but the wrath of God come judgement day.

Image result for James 3:1

Below is an article and audio file from John Piper on the subject

How Are Teachers Judged More Strictly?

Other Resources:

How Does a Man Know if He is Called to Pastoral Ministry?

Lessons Learned as I Wait to be Called as a Pastor

Only Men May be Pastors

 

Is the Social Gospel the Whole Gospel?

Another in the Frequently Abused Verses Series 

by Cameron Buettel /  Monday, July 22, 2019

In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. Of our previous blog series, none better embodies that emphasis than Frequently Abused VersesThe following entry from that series originally appeared on October 7, 2015. -ed. (For other articles in this series just type Frequently Abused Verses into the search bar on the right). 

Is the Social Gospel the Whole Gospel?

You wouldn’t tell your children, “Bathe regularly; if necessary, use water.”

Nor would you advise a friend, “Be a faithful husband; if necessary, love your wife.”

Those redundant instructions defy logic. They also beg the question about what other means you would employ to accomplish those goals. You might as well tell someone, “Stay alive; if necessary, breath oxygen.”

And yet many Christians rally around a similarly illogical statement when it comes to evangelism. “Preach the gospel; if necessary, use words,” is a mantra that is a darling of social gospel activists. That quote, wrongly attributed to Francis of Assisi, is wielded when it’s time to poke zealous evangelists in the eye, or rebrand social work as a form of evangelism. Social gospel advocates like Rick Warren [1] and Jim Wallis [2] love to use it.

And let’s face it, there is a winsome ring of truth to the idea that my lifestyle can be a testimony of God’s saving work. Moreover, there is a built-in rebuke of evangelists who fail to walk their talk. Their hypocrisy—faith without works—is a reproach on God, His Word, and His people (James 2:14–17). But it’s absurd to turn that hypocrisy into an argument for the primacy of good works apart from the clear proclamation of the gospel.

The Necessity of Words

Paul never said, “How will they see without a preacher?” He said, “How will they hear without a preacher” (Romans 10:14). That is because every time the word “preach” appears in the New Testament it refers to vigorous verbal proclamation. It is verbal in its testimony of the works of a Savior who fulfilled the law that we have continually broken (Matthew 5:17–18; Romans 3:23), suffered the punishment that we could never bear (Isaiah 53:4–6; 1 Peter 2:24), and defeated the grave (2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14).

And because Christ’s people depend entirely upon His unique work done on their behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21), there is no way to fully demonstrate it through actions alone. As Voddie Baucham points out: “For me to think that I can live the gospel is to put myself in the place of Christ.” [3]

So where does that leave works of social justice such as feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and caring for the oppressed? No one would argue that they are bad things to do. Indeed James defines them as integral to pure religion (James 1:27). But do those acts of mercy have any role to play in a person’s salvation?

Advocates of the social gospel argue yes, and appeal to Matthew 25 as their apex argument:

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.” Then they themselves also will answer, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?” Then He will answer them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:34–46)
Was Jesus saying that our eternal destinies hinge on feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, clothing the naked, and visiting the oppressed? And how would that square with salvation by grace through faith apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9)?

The Whole [Other] Gospel

Tony Campolo is one of the most prominent advocates for the social gospel. His handling of Matthew 25 typifies the wider movement. While not explicitly denying the gospel of grace alone, he argues that it is our treatment of the poor and oppressed that will determine our eternity:

I place my highest priority on the words of Jesus, emphasizing the 25th chapter of Matthew, where Jesus makes clear that on Judgment Day the defining question will be how each of us responded to those he calls “the least of these.” [4]
The recently closed Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), of which Campolo was founder and president, clearly defines who he thinks “the least of these” are:

That Jesus was homeless and taught that we may encounter Him in “the least of these”—the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, widow, stranger and imprisoned (Matthew 25:35-40), is the basis of what Tony calls the Whole Gospel and informs EAPE’s holistic ministry.  And it raises questions for the Church and every Christian: what should be our response to the homeless and to “the least of these”? [5]
Note Campolo’s use of the term “Whole Gospel.” He is implying that proclamation of the good news is only a partial gospel and must be accompanied by social action in order to become a complete or “whole” gospel. But his imbalanced emphasis betrays his mishandling of Matthew 25:35–40.

The Bible repeatedly teaches that good works are ultimately God’s works because they are the natural fruit of salvation; never the cause (cf. Ezekiel 36:25-27; James 2:14–17). And in Matthew 25you don’t see judgment based on works, you see works revealing who is truly saved by faith. John MacArthur is emphatic on this point:

The good deeds commended in Matthew 25:35–36 are the fruit, not the root, of salvation. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that they are not the basis of entrance into the kingdom. Christ will judge according to works only insofar as those works are or are not a manifestation of redemption, which the heavenly Father has foreordained. If a person has not trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, no amount of seemingly good works done in His name will avail to any spiritual benefit. [6]
Who’s Who Among the Judged

Another critical issue in understanding Matthew 25 is to recognize that the division Christ makes is not between the church and the pagan world, but between true and false Christians. While the pagan lives in open unbelief, the false Christian is an impostor who has blended in among God’s people. False Christians are the recipients of Christ’s most terrifying judgment:

So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:20–23)
Matthew 25:34-46 makes a similar division between those who have genuine faith and those whose faith is false, according to the evidence of their works. Note carefully that both groups of people think they are Christians because they address Jesus as “Lord” (Matthew 25:37, 44). Both groups are also surprised by the verdict. The surprise reveals humility among Christ’s people (“when did we,” Matthew 25:37–39) and self-righteousness among those who are faking it (“when did we . . . not,” Matthew 25:44).

Who’s Who Among the Lowly

Finally, the beneficiaries of these good works are not the disenfranchised people of the world, as Campolo suggests. The word “brothers” (Matthew 25:40) is vital to understanding where our benevolence is to be directed. Jesus is saying that the fruit of genuine faith is evidenced in the way we care for fellow believers who are suffering (cf. John 13:35; 1 John 3:10–11). MacArthur brings this point home:

The King’s addressing these people as brothers of Mine gives still further evidence that they are already children of God. . . . Because of their identity with Christ, they will often be hungry, thirsty, without decent shelter or clothing, sick, imprisoned, and alienated from the mainstream of society. [7]
Conclusion

This is not to deny any duty we have to love the disenfranchised people of the world. But if proponents of the social gospel were serious about Scripture, they would target passages that refer to loving our neighbors—even loving our enemies (Matthew 22:39; 5:44). Christ’s words in Matthew 25 have nothing to do with the social justice they advocate.

Matthew 25:34­–46 was never written as a blueprint for salvation through social work nor should it be employed as such. It’s not an argument for preaching the gospel through our actions alone, but rather that our actions authenticate the gospel we preach. And those actions must be prioritized towards our suffering fellow believers. So please, care for other believers because Jesus commanded us to. Realize that a lack of care may point to a lack of saving faith. And preach the gospel with words because they’re always necessary.

SOURCE

 

Edwards Preached on Sinners in God’s Angry Hands

If you have never read this classic, I highly recommend you use the link I provided to do so. – Mike

Dan Graves, MSL

Edwards Preached on Sinners in God's Angry Hands
Edwards Preached on Sinners in God’s Angry Hands

All you that never passed under a great change of heart by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin…you are thus in the hands of an angry God; ’tis nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction.” These words are from one of the most famous sermons in American history. It was preached on this day, July 8, 1741.

Edwards was a Calvinist, ordained to the Christian ministry in a Congregationalist church in Northhampton, Massachusetts in 1727. He was a man who had given “all that I am and have to God, so that I am not in any respect my own.” Edwards directed his whole intellect to working out the implications of faith and supporting true piety. Although most often remembered for his hellfire sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Edwards was ordinarily no hellfire preacher. He carefully prepared his sermons with detailed logic and read his messages to the congregation. They were all the more powerful because of their calm and well-reasoned exposition of scripture. He examined and explained the implications of the thought of his great contemporaries Newton and Locke, showing that their discoveries pointed to God, not away from him.

Edwards was well equipped to do this. As a youth he gained proficiency in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Youthful scientific essays show acute powers of observation. He also wrote works seminal to the field of psychology and, while still a teenager, worked out an idealism similar to Berkeley’s.

People were brought under conviction precisely because they recognized truth in the clarity of his words. Salvation is not by works, he taught, but by the grace of God acting in a heart. It depends upon faith in God’s work in Christ on the cross rather than on our works. Under his teaching, waves of revival swept through his community and spread outward in the Great Awakening. With keen insight, he dissected religious experience and distinguished between true and false religious phenomena.

If Edwards sometimes preached of hell, he also displayed before his listeners the glories of Heaven and of the God who had made the universe. He appealed to them to seek holiness. His uncompromising rebukes against sin and his refusal to permit the unconverted to partake of the Lord’s supper led him into difficulties with his congregation. Unwilling to walk all the way with him, they dismissed him in his twenty-third year of service with them.

In face of this blow, Edwards trusted God. He had been ordained to preach the gospel, and preach he did–to the Housatonic Indians and a small white congregation. Later College authorities asked him to head the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), and accepted the job. He never fulfilled the task, dying within a month of his call to the post when a vaccination went bad. He who had preached, “Therefore let everyone that is out of Christ now awake and fly from the wrath to come,” died in good conscience.

SOURCE
PDF Link to the Full SERMON

Today In Church History

1st of Many George Whitefield Sermons

Dan Graves, MSL
1st of Many George Whitefield Sermons

George Whitefield made it his business to find salvation for his soul. He joined a group of like-minded men, the Holy Club, to which John and Charles Wesley also belonged, and exceeded the other members in zeal and good works. He was a familiar visitor of prisoners. For long hours he studied religious works. He fasted until his health broke. He prayed on his knees under a hedge in the cold. For all his hard work his soul was unsatisfied.

He would have despaired, except he felt the Lord had promised him he would yet be saved. The Wesleys sailed to Georgia on a futile mission. They, too, would find peace only when their hearts were warmed by the Holy Spirit. This did not come about until each recognized that salvation was by grace, a free gift through Jesus Christ rather than by works. To live a life of faith was to be born again; it was to be “in” Christ and have Christ in oneself. Once Whitefield grasped this, peace flooded his heart.

He returned to school, pouring out this truth to others. As his health recovered, he trained toward being ordained so that he could enter full-time ministry. His efforts at private evangelism continued. What before had been labor was now an act of joy. But as ordination neared, he trembled. Despite having studied the scriptures line by line on his knees, he felt unprepared. As the day for ordination approached, he found relief in prayer. In May he was publicly examined by men who desired to embarrass him.

Bishop Benson believed Whitefield was the kind of man the church needed. To quiet the young man’s mind, he promised there would be no public examination at his ordination. June 20, 1736 came. “I attempted to behave with unaffected devotion, suitable to the greatness of the office I was to undertake.” He read over Paul’s advice to Timothy and determined to let no one to despise him for his youth.

A week later, on this day, June 27th, 1736, Whitefield preached his first sermon. He took as his topic the need for Christians to help one another. At first he was awkward, for his mother, his brothers and sisters, and many who had known him as a youngster were in the audience. As he proceeded, the Spirit filled him. Those who came to listen were so moved by the authority of his words that parishioners complained to the bishop that some had gone “mad.”

Whitefield himself wrote, “Glory! Glory! Glory! be ascribed to an Almighty Triune God.” He went on to preach thousands more powerful sermons. He became a force in the Great Awakening which brought fresh life to America’s churches. His last sermon was preached in 1770. He was then desperately ill but, mounting a barrel, urged his listeners to examine themselves whether they were in the faith. To be saved, they must be born again, he urged. The following morning he died.

Christ’s salvation

Image result for Matt 7:23
This graphic makes for a good emotional response, but not necessarily for a true salvation and regeneration response. What is being preached on your pulpit?

The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from Hell rather than a Savior from Sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.

Author: A.W. Pink