Sunday, March 05, 2006

Steve Lawson on Preaching

posted by Paul
As promised today I will begin to post some of my notes from the Shepherd’s conference. This past week was an incredible week because the Word of God was proclaimed. There was a common theme that came up among the keynote speaker, particularly in the Q&A session. The theme was that they did not know anything that someone else had not taught them. Particularly they did not know anything except for what Scripture had taught them. This is an honorable goal, to never have an original thought. So many time men see the ministry as their ministry. They think that if they can just come up with a new dynamic approach, or reduplicate something that someone else has done they will be successful. The problem is that we never see this model in Scripture. Think of the life of Moses. His job was not to come up with inventive ways to motivate the people, and inspire them to follow God. Moses was the mouthpiece of God; his job was to proclaim the Word’s of God. Moses did not have a “dynamic” approach to ministry that focused on putting people in the pews. Think about what one of the most well attended services in Moses’ life was.

Exodus 32:1-10 (NASB95)

1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
2 Aaron said to them, “Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.
4 He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
5 Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.”
6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom ayou brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.
8 “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ ”
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are ban obstinate people.
10 “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”

Aaron had a new idea!

The point of all this is that we need to give people the Word. Whether you’re a pastor, husband, father, wife, mother, or whatever your ministry your primary tool must be the Revealed Word of God. This is exactly what God has called us to do. Look at one of the greatest biblical examples of this type of expository ministry.

Nehemiah 8:1-12 (NASB95)

1 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel.
2 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
3 He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
4 Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam on his left hand.
5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.
6 Then Ezra blessed the LORD the great God. And all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place.
8 They read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.
9 Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep." For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved."
12 All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them.

Ezra preached the Word to the people. This is exactly what Steve Lawson did on Friday night. My recommendation would be to find the audio. I will, however, provide the notes.

Bring the Book
Nehemiah 8

vs. 1 The Call for Biblical Preaching
-Every reformation or awakening begins with the Word!
-Ezra was a man given to the study of the Word (See Ezra 7).

vss. 2-8 The Character of Biblical Preaching (5 Traits Every Sermon Should Have)
1. A Biblical Reading (vs. 3)
2. A Lengthy Treatment (vs. 4)
3. An Authoritative Posture (vss. 5-6)
4. A God Exalting Thrust (vs. 6)
5. An Explanation of the Text (vs. 7-8)

vss. 9-12 The Consequences of Biblical Preaching
-Their first reaction to Biblical Preaching was repentance, not fulfillment (etc.)!
- Once the recognized their sin they were able to understand God’s Grace.

Even if you are not a Preacher you can see the impact of this passage; call for the Word to be taught. If you are Preaching then Preach the Word!
If you are unfamiliar with Steve Lawson he is the Preaching Pastor at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, AL. He is a faithful brother who has been through a lot during his ministry. You can learn more about his ministry at the CFBC website.


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