Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today's Biblical Preacher: A Servant

“Preachers are specially exposed to the danger of flattery. I fear the whole frame of mind in which some Christian people go to church is wrong. They do not go to worship God or hear God’s Word. They go to hear a man. So it is not the message to which they listen, but as if they relished some tasty morsel in their mouths. They say afterwards how much they enjoyed or did not enjoy it. But sermons are not intended to be ‘enjoyed.’ Their purpose is to give profit to the hearers, not pleasure. Sermons are not artistic creations to be critically evaluated for their form. They are ‘tools, and not works of art.’ A sermon is never an end in itself, but a means to an end, the end being ‘saving souls’… What matters, therefore is Christ Himself who is proclaimed, and not the men who proclaim Him. To think or act otherwise is not only to usurp God’s glory, but to jeopardize the preacher’s whole ministry, brinigng it first into discredit and finally to ruin.”

John Stott, Biblical Preaching Today, quoting Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching.

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