Preaching That God Blesses
Out of gratitude to God for our ministry partners who sacrificially give to keep us serving the Lord's church in the global missions of Jesus Christ through evangelism, discipleship and church planting in Italy, we like to share quality recommendations. We like to create and share quality content that is encouraging for your soul, as well as your living for the Lord in your context. Today we share with you a book recommendation - The Kind of Preaching God Blesses by Steve Lawson. If you don't know Steve Lawson, we definitely recommend you go check out his ministry, One Passion Ministries: numerous great books, lots of good teaching on what preaching is, biblical preaching, expository preaching, and Expositor Magazine that comes out every couple months as well (writing this reminds me that I need to renew my digital subscription now that I have an iPad that I can use to read and mark it up :-). Anyway, he's a great man, and I'm often encouraged by his ministry. At PMc, we highly recommend pretty much anything that he puts out.
With a focus on Biblical missions, we'll now give 3 reasons why we think this is a good book for you to read.
I) Faithful Preaching, Proclamation, and Teaching are at the Heart of Missions Work
If you don't understand what preaching is, how preaching works, and why preaching is necessary, your missionary efforts will come crashing down. At best, you'll be leading people to fruitless Christianity, and you yourself will be fruitless. At worst, you'll be leading people astray because you won't be preaching the whole counsel of God, or the true Biblical Gospel, or the true Jesus of the Bible. Many a preacher has gone out preaching and proclaiming all kinds of ideas and personal opinions, but not everything that comes out of a mouth, obviously, is good. Heretics preach constantly. Atheists are also preaching day in and day out. The preacher of the Word of God needs to understand clearly what preaching is, why we do it, how we do it. He needs to understand his role and how the Holy Spirit is the author of preaching and how He works through the proclamation of the God-breathed written word rightfully proclaimed by the preacher trusting in Him.
Paul the apostle taught very clearly in Romans chapter 10:14-17. He mentioned that people cannot believe unless they hear, and they cannot hear unless somebody goes and proclaims, and nobody can go and proclaim unless they're sent. He was talking about the missionary work of the church and how some need to be sent out, funded, and supported so they can go and proclaim. He said this because he knew that people will not be able to be saved unless they hear of their need for a Savior, unless they're brought to understand how they've transgressed God's law, how they stand condemned before a holy God, but how Jesus Christ, man, God, truly man, truly God came and lived in our place. He fulfilled the law of God, died in our place on the cross, taking our sins upon him, taking the wrath of God the Father upon him. He died in our place for our sins. Then He rose again, and was/is victorious. He's reigning and He's ruling. He's ascended. He's seated at the right hand of God the Father, reigning and ruling while putting every enemy under his feet. He's calling people unto Himself for salvation and growing his church. We need to understand the work of preaching and the gospel itself, what it is. Sadly, there's many false understandings, wrong understandings, and truncated understandings of what actually is the gospel. Truthfully, if you get either of these wrong, what preaching is or what the gospel is, missions are a failure. You need to have these two elements right. So one big reason we recommend this book is that the gospel message and it's proclamation are not always properly understood.
II) It Encourages Preachers of the Gospel to be Biblical Expositors
As missionaries, church planters, preachers, and evangelists we need to understand what our job is. We're not called to create our own ideas and be innovative. We're to faithfully open the Word of God before the people. Before we do that, we are to get into the context, understand who wrote it, why they wrote it, what was going on, what what it means, how it fits into God's redemptive plan, and how that applies to us in our context today, how we make practical applications to that today. Preachers are not needed to be cool or hip or any of this kind of nonsense. They need to be faithful to the Word of God. The power is in the Gospel itself. The Word of God is powerful, it's alive. It transforms hearts and minds. The preacher, in a real sense, needs to get out of the way and let the Word of God do its job. When we do expository preaching, it helps us to get in and get the text to the people so they can see it for themselves and understand it correctly. God sets the agenda, His word sets the agenda, and God the Holy Spirit works through His living Word rightfully proclaimed and taught. It's of utmost importance for preachers to understand this.
III) It is Encouraging and Important for Listeners, so That They Can Sit Under Real Preaching
If you read this book, you may realize you're not sitting under real preaching. You may realize that you're hearing motivational speeches on a regular basis. You may realize that you're hearing the prosperity gospel, a morality works-based gospel, or a 'woke' social gospel. In this book, the author, Steve Lawson, gets into the reality of what was happening in the Corinthian church. There were oratory masters who knew how to eloquently speak different things, but they were void of the gospel, likely not even born of the Spirit of God, not even actually saved or alive, spiritually speaking. These "super apostles", as Paul called them, said that Paul was nothing fancy... that there was nothing great about him. And Paul said in effect, "I came to you wanting to preach Christ and Him crucified. I don't depend on my own abilities. I depend on God, the Holy Spirit, who inspires the word and accompanies His word still today." A proper understanding of the context and culture of the Corinthian church really helps us understand these rich letters in the New Testament.
This book by Lawson does well to encourage listeners as well, not just preachers. So whether you're a preacher or you're not, it is very important to know what biblical sound preaching is, and to make sure you get yourself in a church or member of a church where real preaching happens. In this way, you can assure that your soul will be edified, you and your family can be built up, and you can be the person God has called you to be. When you are well-fed you will be growing in grace, growing in the knowledge of God, amazed by his word, amazed by his presence, and then able to take the gospel message to anyone in your sphere of influence, as well.
I just shared three important reasons why we want to recommend this book to you today. Now we're going to look at one page from this book so you can get a taste of what he deals with. My hope is that you'll go ahead, if you haven't read it already, and pick up a copy of this for yourself as well, for your own edification.
We read the following page 24 and 25:
That's just one excerpt from this book. It's full of wonderful things like this that will challenge you if you're a preacher or a listener to understand more fully the role of Biblical and faithful preaching of the Word.
HERE is the link to the book on Amazon if you want to get yourself a copy. If you do pick it up, be sure to share that with us and let us know your thoughts or how God used it to grow or change you!
Written by Jesse Schreck
Taken from PMc podcast Episode 252: Book Recommendation