Welcome to episode #47 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.
Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 which reads: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Our quote on preaching today is from Francis of Assisi. He said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
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.
Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 2” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.
A second world we must consider is the modern world. We must be aware of the currents swirling across our own times. Each generation develops out of its own history and culture and speaks its own language. We may stand before a congregation and deliver exegetically accurate sermons that are scholarly and organized, but they are dead and powerless because they ignore the life-wrenching problems and questions of our hearers. Such sermons, spoken in a stained-glass voice using a code language never heard in the marketplace, dabble in great biblical concepts, but our audience may feel that God belongs to the long ago and far away. We must answer not only the questions our fathers and mothers asked; we must wrestle with the questions our children ask. Men and women who speak effectively for God must first struggle with the questions of their age and then speak to those questions from the eternal truth of God.
A third world in which we must participate is our own particular world. A church has a postal code and stands near Fifth and Main in some town or city. The profound issues of the Bible and the ethical, philosophical questions of our times assume different shapes in rural villages, in middle-class communities, or in the ghettos of crowded cities. Ultimately we do not address everyone; we speak to particular people and call them by name. The Bible speaks of the gift of pastor-teacher. This implies the two functions should be joined, or else an irrelevant exposition may emerge that reflects negatively on God. As one bewildered churchgoer expressed it, “The trouble is that God is like the minister: we don’t see him during the week, and we don’t understand Him on Sunday.” J. M. Reu was on target when he wrote, “Preaching is fundamentally a part of the care of souls, and the care of souls involves a thorough understanding of the congregation. Able shepherds know their flock.”
Let’s Pray —