CFCB Scripture Reading Challenge (#1)

Over the next 100 days, the congregation of Columbus First Christian Baptist is engaging in a Scripture reading challenge. We are using the Essential 100 reading guide by the Scripture Union. I am going to write a daily devotion that goes along with each of the readings. There are 50 Old Testament passages and 50 New Testament passages. I will share the passage for that day and my personal observations.  This purpose of these devotionals is to help the people at CFCB see the Scripture a little clearer and to invite others to join in on the readings as well.

Read Genesis 1:1-2:25

Creation, communion with God, and companionship with others are the topics covered in the first two chapters of Genesis. We start by reflecting on creation, a hotbed issue in society and the Church. Personally, I am a young earth creationist and also believes that science fully informs that direction of my faith. However, whatever your theologically bent is here, creation is beautiful. I remember in a trip to the western states that we had an opportunity to view the Grand Canyon. It was breathtaking. The world that God created is amazing. From our own bodies to the smallest single-celled creature. Psalm 19:1-6 speaks of the beauty of God’s creation. God’s presence is clearly seen in the intricacies of the created world.

God created humanity in His image.  There are so many avenues that we can travel down and explore exactly what the “imagio dei” (image of God) means to us.  However, it enough in this writing to note that God loves us and we are created with freedom of will to love Him back.  First John 4:19 reminds us of this simple truth, “We love him, because he first loved us.

God not only created in us the capacity to have a relationship with Him, but he also created us to have a relationship with others.  The depths of this first relationship is wrapped around human companionship.  I am very thankful for the companion that God placed in my life.  This reality may not be the case for everyone.  However, God has created us for in a web of relations, from which we are able to draw strength and receive encouragement.  So, we do thank God also for all those around us that support us and sharpen our character and faith as well.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

 “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” -Genesis 18:14

“Ye Lord God! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.” — Jeremiah 32:17

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”


The opening question is rhetorical in nature. The interesting point is that God is asking this question himself. The event that this phrase is nestled is centered around God’s promise to Abraham that him and his wife Sarah would have a child. Sarah, because of her age, laughs out loud. God confronted the outburst with a reference to His omnipotence.

The premier display of God’s power is interwoven with His love. The single act of power works its way throughout history, climaxes at the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and reaches throughout eternity. As Paul wrote, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

I am thankful for the power of God that is displayed in the world and in my life. He took my sins away. He has filled my life with the Holy Spirit and enabled me to resist temptation and endure trials. He has prepared a place of eternal bliss. Oh, what a great and glorious God we serve.

Christian Planning

The default Christian mixture of planning minimizes the role of people and lifts up our dependence on the leading of God.  The problem is when those that are carnal find themselves in positions of leadership and espouse a spirituality that is a cover up for a laissez-faire attitude toward any type of preparation and planning.   There are those who actually feel unspiritual if any kind of planning takes place in regards to worship or programs that would require planning.  Too much planning is believed to cut God out of the picture and elevates man’s locus of control.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, we see those that plan all the activities of the church in a way that could easily ease God out of the life of the church.

God wants us to search for His will

In First Chronicles 15:1-14 there is a record of David’s preparation for the ark of God to be brought to Jerusalem according to God’s Word.  David lived in a time where the past King (Saul) did what he wanted and had forsaken the counsel of God.  Alfred Edersheim wrote, “It was surely time to restore the ancient worship which had been so sadly disturbed” (Vol. 4, p. 170).  This was a massive undertaking for the new king and ended up being a failure on his first attempt.  This was mainly due to a lack of consulting the written law of God and relying solely on human effort.  David made a second and fruitful effort after seeking God’s will for handling the ark.

In the New Testament the same understanding of seeking God’s, will first before planning and doing.  However, it would also seem that there is still a significant focus upon human involvement in the planning of the life of the church.  As such, much of the New Testament shows that people from different cultures had different understandings of how to planning would take place in the early church.  Such as who should take leadership in the church and who should be taken care of (Acts 6 for example).  Ken Schenk shared, “It makes perfect sense that the concepts of order and peace would play themselves out differently in different cultures, as well as in various groups and denominations today” (p. 201).  Those approaches considered decent in one culture may not have been the case in another.  Culture seems to be an inevitable part of the human side in organizing the life of the church.

Led by the Spirit

Primarily concerning worship, John 4:23-24, transitions our understanding of the mixture of planning in the church by the Divine and human elements.  This passage sets up a strong implication that worship has a high degree of freedom in the Spirit.  Joseph Dongell pointed out that, “Only through divine assistance – through the Holy Spirit – may a person worship God appropriately” (p.80).  If we understand that all of life is worship to God, then the Spirit must also lead any time spent in organizing the life of the church.

What would this mean for an individual such as Charles Grandison Finney, who has made such an impact on the revivalist movement (he popularized the use camp meetings, revivals, choirs, and the altar call)?  Finney pointed out, “That a revival is the result of the right use of the appropriate means. The means which God has enjoined for the production of a revival, doubtless have a natural tendency to produce a revival” (part 1, paragraph 4).   He was intent on the human side of the mixture, maybe so much that it betrays His understanding that God was the instigator of movements whether they are a revival or other projects the church concerns itself with.

It would be interesting to have seen such an individual of Finney and his method of bringing revival and Anne Hutchinson, a puritan, that led a movement engrossed with the idea of simply being led by the Spirit alone.  Hutchinson wrote, “a believer possessing the Holy Spirit was not bound by laws of conduct but was moved by inner spiritual compulsions” (Noll).  Finney promoted a certain way of doing things and actions that had to complete to prepare the way for the Spirit to take control.  Hutchinson taught that actions flowed from being led by the Spirit.

Balance is the key

It would seem that a balanced understanding of the leading of the Spirit and the importance of human involvement is the necessary approach.  John Calvin wrote in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, “It was cold and lifeless to represent God as a momentary Creator, who completed his work once for all and then left it” (paragraph 1).  To leave God entirely out of the equation would be dangerous and foolish.  Therefore the organization of the life of the church has to be founded upon Him.  James 4:13-17 shares God’s frustration with those who plan and leave Him out of the process.  As it is written, “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:15).

Yet, it would seem fair to surmise from scripture that the human element of planning is entirely done away.  Our plans and preparations should be made but also allow for the spontaneous change of plans by the Spirit.  Such is the case of the Apostle Paul in Acts 16:6-10.  Paul had a desire to go one direction, but the leading of the Spirit pointed him toward another direction.   It would be essential for any Church leader is that planning is part of the calling but that it is subject to change by the leading of the Spirit.  The leading of the Spirit takes precedence over all organizing.

Conclusion

Saint Augustine wrote that we are to “Pray as though everything depended on God.  Work as though everything depended on you.”  The balance that should be sought in having the right mixture of divine and human elements is one hundred percent on both ends.  God is the author and finisher of everything that we do.  We ought to seek His will on all matters of life, especially as it concerns organizing and making decisions regarding the church.  We also understand that it is impossible to remove the human element of decision-making and even such things as the cultural context on the person.  It is also the will of God to use people to accomplish His divine plan for their life and the local congregational context.

Decisions making, planning and organizing rest upon the leading of the Spirit.  It is up to us as leaders to seek God’s will.  In times where He allows us to have a greater say in the matter, we still pray, “God this is how we see you leading us in the matter.  But, if you desire to change this, we pray that you change it up and lead us by your Spirit.”  There needs to be a confidence that God’s will is being accomplished, even when it seems that human minds and hearts have seemingly done a majority of the planning.  There must also be a surety that God’s ability to bless or change the agreed upon plans by people may come.

References

Calvin, John, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.iii.xvii.html

Edersheim, A. Bible History: Old Testament (Vol. 4, p. 170). Oak Harbor: Logos Bible Software. 1997

Finney, Charles, Lectures on Revival.  Accessed March 27, 2014, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/finney/revivals.iii.i.html

Noll, M. A. Hutchinson, Anne. In (J. D. Douglas & P. W. Comfort, Eds.) Who’s Who in Christian History? Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House. (1992).

Schenck, Kenneth. 1 & 2 Corinthians: A Commentary for Bible Students. Indianapolis, IN, Wesleyan Publishing House. 2006

Preach the Word

In 2011, the deacon of the church I pastor, Jack Roberts, received his eternal reward. He was a praying man, and he loved to pray for his pastor. Many times throughout a sermon, you could hear him praying for souls to be saved, believers to be strengthened, and for the sermon Holy Spirit to continue working through the minister as they preached. In many ways, he was a great encouragement to me in my early years.

When he finished his race, I had a great sense of loss. He was a partner in ministry that regularly lifted me up in prayer, and it made such a difference. I came to a place where a felt burnt out.  It seemed that no matter how much I studied, prayed, and preached, there was a barrier that could not be overcome. That continued for several months, and the Lord reminded me of Who called me to ministry and why. In a dark hour of the night, God illuminated His Word through a book I came across in seminary written by Peter Adams, “Speaking God’s Word.”  Now, I would like like to share my thoughts from Scripture and the theology of preaching with you.

First, God spoke (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Verse 21 is especially enlightening, “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Second Timothy 3:16 is also important to keep in mind, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Inspiration in the Greek literally means, “God-breathed.” We serve a God who speaks. Along with several of the Old Testament prophets, the Psalmist pointed out that a difference between the Christian God and the idols of the world is that our God speaks (cf. Psalm 115:3-8; Isaiah 41:21-23, 25-28).

Yes, we serve a God who speaks, and when He speaks, things happen.  This is important for preachers to remember.  The Apostle Paul worded it in 1 Corinthians 2:4, “And my speech and preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of Spirit and of power.” It is important for the minister to study and prepare their sermon, as to preach clearly and with authority.   Do not forget that “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

As the Word of God is proclaimed, work is being done in the hearts and lives of people. The minister is to be faithful to perform their God-given task. God will do the rest. Even as we preach to a congregation that seems unmoved, God is at work. When people are confronted by the Word of God, it penetrates deep into their soul. It brings them into the presence of God, and they will either rejoice, repent, or reject His Word. When God spoke, the world was created.  When Jesus spoke people were healed, and sins were forgiven. Today, God’s Word is still potent.  

It was written down (Jeremiah 30:2).

We do not preach our opinions and make religious speeches.  Preaching is the proclamation of what God has revealed to holy men of old. Paul wrote in Romans 15:4 that, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” The Bible is our preachment. God has given His Word authority over our lives.  Any sense of authoritative preaching comes from the power invested in the Word of God from on high. It is because God has spoken it and because it is still alive and active today.

God spoke and revealed Himself to specific people, in specific places, at specific times, for specific reasons. His revelation was written down to be preserved for future generations.

Scripture is full of God’s commands to write His Word down (cf. Exodus 24:4-7; Joshua 1:7-8; Isaiah 30:8; Jeremiah 36:2; Habakkuk 2:2; Revelation 1:11). When we preach, we may use our Words to interpret, contextualize, and teach, but it is God’s own Word that convicts and comforts the hearer. Though it was written down thousands of years ago, Scripture remains incredibly relevant.

Moses, the first writing prophet, and many other may have had their focus on their current situation, but God’s instructions to write down His Word was also intended for future generations. In other words, when the writing prophets and apostles received revelation from God, they may have thought they were receiving mail intended solely for them. Instead, the Word they received from God was our mail too. God spoke to their situation, and because that Word was written down, we know that it is for our time as well.  

The Bible is God’s very own Word. It is trustworthy as God has preserved it throughout the ages.  We can know beyond doubt that the Bibles that we hold in our hands and preach from is the Word of God. Jesus taught, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).  First Peter 1:2-4 and 25 states, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”  

As ministers, we are to submit to the authority of God’s Word.  We this because it is right but also as an example to our congregations. Many times the meaning of a passage of Scripture is plain and straightforward. Yet, preacher after preacher will undermine the simple teaching to change what was said.  The problem with a pure and simple meaning is that it often goes against our current lifestyle. Instead of submitting to the authority of God’s clear instruction, we change the Word by inserting wrong opinions and interpretations until Scripture agrees with us. Imagine that if this is taking place in the pulpit, what it does in the pew.  

Preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-2).

Paul’s charge to Timothy is something many ministers are familiar with from study and their own charge at ordination. Those three words, “Preach the word” are emblazoned on my pulpit as a reminder to the minister of the task before them. God has spoken, and it is written down forms the foundation for us to Preach the word.  The Gospel of Christ’s kingdom has been given, and we are the Kings heralds.  

We have discussed the theological foundations for preaching, but there is one thing to still add.  Preaching is a calling from God.  In my own experience, I had to remember that God is the one that called me to preach the Gospel. It was not the denomination that ordained me to preach, and neither was it the local church.  Our calling is not the result of a nightmare and should not be the result of selfish ambition. God calls us into the ministry and enables us to carry the Gospel, His spoken Word that was written down.  We are charged before God and man to bring God’s Word. Ministry is a high calling because it deals with eternal matters: the Word of God and the souls of men and women.

To preach the Word, once again, we must personally submit to its authority and power.  The Bible lays claim to us, and we are held accountable to it.  Whether we agree with that or not speaks volumes to how we will interpret the Bible. If we are prone to feel that the Bible has a divine authority over our lives, then we are more likely to live by its standards whereas if we feel that the Bible has no teaching rather than living accordingly to our fleshly desires.  

There are typically three views on the Bible as the Word of God.  There is the view that the Bible is the Word of God, another states that the Bible becomes the Word of God. The last says the Bible merely contains the Word of God. While Most Christians would agree that the Bible plays a unique role in connection with the relationship between God and man. They question what kind of role it is, and what the precise nature of the Bible’s consequent authority is. Depending on a person’s presuppositions will determine how they interpret and apply the Bible to their personal life, regardless of being a minister or laymen.

The view that the Bible just becomes the Word of God as we believe it or contains parts of God’s Word to us argues that the text is nothing more than another human writing. Another way of understanding this particular viewpoint is that the preacher or student of God’s Word takes it upon themselves to determine what passages are Scripture and what pieces are not. This view can only lead a person to wrongly dividing the Word (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15).

To view that the Bible is the Word of God gives the scripture great authority over our lives. If we think for a moment what we are actually saying when we use the phrase authority of scripture, we must surely acknowledge that this is a shorthand way of saying that power belongs to God and God has invested that power in scripture. The scripture has authority because God claims it as His Word.

So, what does this mean for me?

As we preach the Word as God’s Word, the authority has over our life is passed on to those who hear us. God’s authority lays claim to them, and they are responsible for their reaction to Him.  If we are not faithful to preach the fullness of God’s counsel from Scripture, the blood of people is on our hands. If we are faithful to preach the fullness of Scripture, the consequences of their response are upon themselves. This is a strong message from the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel (3:17-21, 33:1-9).

This responsibility upon the hearer is also recorded in the New Testament as Jesus concludes His sermon on the mount (Matthew 7:24-27). The story of the wise and foolish builders relay to us the importance of what we do with God’s Word. Those who do God’s Word are like a wise man that builds on the rock, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (vs. 25). Those individuals who hear the Word of God but do not obey are likened to the foolish man who builds his house on the sand, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (vs. 27). As far as we know, the two men used the same blueprints for their homes and were identical in every way except one, their response to God’s word (the foundation) was different. In the judgment, we will give an account to our response to God’s revelation of Himself through the written Word.  We will stand if we build on God’s Word, but we will fall if we do not.

Preacher, remember the Words of Paul to Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We can trust that God’s Word is His Word.  We can rest that as it was transmitted through the years that the Holy Spirit preserved it for us today. Hence, now to every preacher I say with the apostle Paul, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (2:1-2).

Related Posts

The Preacher’s Library

Studying Scripture and the role of the Holy Spirit

Reference

Adams, Peter (2004) Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching. InterVarsity Press.  Downers Grove, IL

Studying Scripture and the role of the Holy Spirit

Check out yesterday’s blog post on the preacher’s library.

The questions, “What is the place of Scripture in interpretation” and “What about the leading of the Holy Spirit leading the pastor” arise when talking about using preaching resources. To put it simply, the preacher must hold the Holy Spirit as the great teacher of the Holy Spirit.  Without either our preaching is nothing more than religious and moral talks.

The old saying in bible study is to “let Scripture interpret Scripture.” There are a couple of different things this statement implies.  First, each verse and passage find itself in the context of all scripture. When we read a verse, we must also pay attention to the verses immediately before and after.  Moving from there we look at the entire passage that is connected and later on the whole chapter.  Neighboring sections and the remainder of the book that the scripture finds itself in also play a significant role in interpreting scripture.

This leads to the second implication, that what ever interpretation we raise on a particular scripture must be in harmony with the larger teaching of scripture.  Scripture will validate itself and never contradict itself. So, when we begin to interpret what scripture is teaching it will not oppose instruction in another portion of scripture.  What will happen is that we will find the lessons of the scripture only become fuller in meaning and application as Scripture is “rightfully divided” (2 Tim. 2:15) and harmonized.

The last implication for the high place of scripture interpreting scripture is that while viewing context, we can learn the meaning of words and what their particular use is. While it is a valuable tool to know the original languages, we must also trust that God was heavily involved in the translation process. We must believe that God oversaw the process where we received the Scriptures in our own language and that it is possible in knowing what is meant by a plain reading of Scripture.

This is due to giving a high place to leading of the Holy Spirit when it comes to the Word of God.  Second Peter 1:21-22 reads, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”  The Holy Scriptures did not come by man but by the leading of the Spirit.  Moses could not have written about creation unless the Spirit showed it to Him.  John could not write about future events in such detail without the Holy Spirit leading him.  If the Scriptures could not be written down without the leading of the Holy Spirit, then it is impossible to think that interpretation of them can come without Him.

In so many passages of Scripture, the Word of God is united with Spirit and His work in making Scripture alive. It is the Holy Spirit that truly teaches the minister and any student of the Scripture its real meaning.  The Holy Spirit reveals the truth and illuminates it in our mind.  It is the Holy Spirit that drives those truths into our heart, convicting us and setting us free by God’s truth. It is the Holy Spirit that likens our own personal experiences to the truths found in God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit that makes preaching fruitful and full.

I believe that it is important for preachers to use every tool available in presenting the Gospel.  We must strive to preach with integrity, clarity, and conviction.  We can accomplish that only by utilizing all that God has given.

The Preacher’s Library

A common expression is that “leaders are readers.”  No outside reading satisfies the need for Scripture, but we must make an effort to read other valuable works.   The pastor does not escape this necessity.  Even the Apostle Paul had his own reading literature.  Second Timothy expresses Paul’s desire for it in a request, “The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (4:13).   It may be trivial to argue what documents Paul was reading but it certainly an important thing for pastors to consider of themselves.   Especially since not all writings are equal.  What are you reading and more specifically, what are you reading during your sermon preparations?

A preacher needs a robust library.  Even Paul asked for books and writings that were important to him (2 Tim. 4:13).  Scripture teaches the minister, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).  Reading newspapers and articles can keep us up to date on current events, but biblical commentaries are a central concern of pastors.  Still, the truth of the matter is that help from resources such as commentaries, articles, maps, and the such should be utilized to refine, not define our sermon preparation.

The first step in examining our reading and study material is to identify the value of a resource.  Not every book available is valuable to the pastor.  With the continual uprising of self-publishing and print on demand availability to everyone and anyone, we will also see the rise of material available to the pastor marketed as valuable for biblical study.  In keeping with Paul’s teaching we ought to, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).  We must learn to identify those materials available to us and whether or not they are worth purchasing or taking up limited shelf space.

Once we have gained a sense of valuable content, we then need to understand how to pull that value out to its greatest potential.  This requires our understanding of its purpose, especially biblical commentaries.  I divide my commentaries into three different categories.  These categories are exegetical, hermeneutical, and homiletical resources.

Exegetical Resources.

     Exegesis is the process where a person looks for the truth to arise out of the passage of scripture.  The opposite of this is eisegesis which is when a person projects their own meaning onto the text.  Therefore, when we say we need good, exegetical resources, we are implying that we need those sources that help us come to the plainest meaning of the text.

These resources do not concern themselves as much with interpretation as they do with grammatical and historical foundations of the book.  Understanding the original languages and the historical settings surrounding Biblical passages is incredibly beneficial to the preacher.  It is an aid to know what the text meant the initial receiving audience before attempting to interpret for the present audience of the scripture.

To help understand the original languages the preacher can tap into resources such as Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words(1996) or Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (2010). For a resource with the deeper grammatical depth, you can look for scholars such as William Mounce and their writings.

When looking for resources that provide a historical context for Biblical text look at resources like Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Manners and Customs (1999). A Bible atlas is also a good place to look, and some provide historical context like The IVP Atlas of Bible History (2006).

Hermeneutical Resources.

Most school’s for ministers will offer an entire course (or two) that focus on the subject of hermeneutics.  Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation.  In dealing with the Bible, it is the center of how one studies the Bible and interprets it along theological principles. In other words, hermeneutics is the lens through which people view the scriptures. There is nothing wrong with this as long as the theological principals and presuppositions they hold are biblical.

In this section of resources, we find those that are most readily available to and used by preachers. Commentaries by such writers as Matthew Henry and John Wesley are some of the most noted hermeneutical resources. While they may not be entirely focused on exegetical correctness, they do place greater emphasis on interpretation of the scripture text in a theological spectrum. Such commentaries like the Pulpit Commentary set (over 20 volumes) provide resources for both exegetical and hermeneutical purposes.

Homiletical Resources.

The final section of available resources can be categorized as homiletical resources. Homiletics is the area that focuses on the different styles of preaching delivery. While there are various publications available that deal with writing sermons, that is not the purpose of this section.  Homiletical resources for preaching will not deal with the detailed part of a particular Biblical text but rather provide a clear, powerful rendering of those truths in relevant and practical ways.

Max Lucado provides excellent resources that take these truths while at the same time helping understand how these truths can be applied to our present day situations. Other various devotional books provide homiletical lessons for the preacher, such as My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

Other Available Resources.

While it is possible to place most published resources into one of these three categories, it is also important to briefly acknowledge other places where valuable resources can be found to aid the preacher. The internet has provides a treasure trove of resources at the preacher’s finger tips.  Websites such as blueletterbible.org provide many of the resources mentioned above can be found on any web browser.  Computer programs such as Logos (expensive) or E-sword (free) are also excellent to use. It is also great to listen to other preachers and websites such as sermonaudio.com are good resources to do just that.

It is important at this time to warn against plagiarism, the use of someone else’ material, especially when focusing on internet resources.  It is a sad reality that some preachers would just copy a sermon from another preacher without acknowledgment or personal study.  The temptation to cut corners is real for the pastor that is rushed or has not developed proper sermon preparation routines.

 

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