Monday, November 22, 2010

Here are some lessons I learned from Paul as he spoke at the seminary and at our church last week.

1. the radical depravity of man.

You will never appreciate the love of God and the gospel of God until you recognize your utter wickedness and that you are absolutely heinous in God's sight.

2. the supernatural power of God.

God moves through the preaching of His Word. His message and His Word are powerful. Don't neglect the daily reading of Scripture either.

3. how does the death of the Son of God lead to my forgiveness? The great problem is this: if God is just and good, then he cannot pardon you! Most people don't understand the gospel. Sure they can recite the words: "Jesus died for me" but then how does his death apply to your being pardoned? We have made the gospel today a simple thing that we use to move on to bigger and better things. We must always preach the gospel.

4. be a man of prayer. Pray often. Pray much. God has decreed everything — he is sovereign. Yet I have not because I ask not, Scripture says!

There is purpose in prayer. We are to cry out and ask God for our requests. God, you will do something when I pray — and He will! You cry out and don't know what you'll get. But God will answer you. But note this, my flesh hates prayer more than anything. If you are called to be a preacher, you are called to be a man with God. Preaching is where the preacher knows God's Word and he knows what God wants to say and he stands and says it. When was the last time you turned before God in prayer? Be careful lest you get all the tools in seminary and you don't know the God of the Bible!

Don't preach to amaze people's minds but preach to their conscience.

Pray and read through the Bible. Ask yourself, can you be alone with God? Prayer is something you must work for. You must be a fruit-bearing man and fruitbearing in the Scripture is normally in contexts of prayer (John 15; Col.1).

5. pray in faith. God always says yes in prayer. I must be believing in firm biblical promises. God will reward my praying. I don't know how but I believe that He will hear and He will answer my prayers. Something is going to happen because of my praying. We are to pray and believe that God will hear and answer.

6. don't forget your wife and children. Preaching begins with washing your wife with the Word. We are called tow ash our wives with the cleansing fountain of God's Word. The best seminary in the world is the family. Train your children in the faith. We are called to educate our children in theology. God has given children so we can train them, catechize them, and train them up in the ways of the LORD.

7. don't just preach a text. Let the text work on you before you preach it to others. Don't just prepare for a sermon, you must prepare yourself. Meditation is mandatory. Meditation is thinking and mulling over a text time and time again until it owns you. Let it possess you.
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