The Importance of Faithful and Sound Biblical Preaching in the Church
General Statement on Preaching: As a pastor, I am first and foremost a preacher called by Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word of God and to exalt the name and glory of Jesus Christ. Preaching is the primary means of grace and salvation, and the bulwark of reformation in the church and the nation. You can easily tell the strength of a people by the preaching! I am therefore committed to faithful and Biblical preaching. And so we believe that the preaching of the Word of God in the morning and the evening services of worship are central to true worship, to glorifying God, to a believer’s sanctification in Christ, and to the reformation of the church. We are a reformation church in truth and are not interested in being reformed in pretense. I am a preacher in the same mold as the Reformers and Puritans of old: John Calvin, John Knox, and Jonathan Edwards. And I have no interest whatsoever in compromising the Word of God or dummying it down for an ignorant and disobedient generation that is offended at strong Biblical preaching. It is my solemn commission and calling from Jesus Christ the Lord of glory to faithfully proclaim His word without compromise. The apostasy of Evangelical and Reformed churches over the last generation and the breakdown of so many Christian families is a direct result of the superficial preaching in the churches as well as a number of other evils.
*In 2 Tim.4:1-5 the apostle Paul says to Timothy: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves (false) teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you, be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
To that end I have devoted myself to preaching the Word of God and expounding Scripture verse by verse in a Reformed and Puritan style that is at times demanding on the hearer, and yet at the same time deeply Scriptural, doctrinal, and Christ-centered, as well as thought-provoking, instructing, sanctifying, motivating, and inspiring. You will likely hear over 20 passages of Scripture quoted in every sermon as well as 10 other quotes from the Early Church Fathers, the Reformers, and the Puritans. My preaching style is very unique and unlike anything that you have heard before. And I always aim to expound the truth without compromise, to glorify Christ and to point others to Him, to instruct, sanctify and comfort believers, as well as to promote revival and reformation in the church to the glory of God.
On Preaching the Whole Counsel of God: Over a 25-year preaching ministry I have preached all different kinds of sermons: expository sermons, textual sermons, doctrinal sermons, devotional sermons, apologetical sermons, polemical sermons, practical sermons, as well as political sermons. These categories do overlap, but each of them emphasizes a different and important aspect of Biblical preaching, as they are all essential for the growth and sanctification of believers, the reformation of the church, and advancing Christ’s glory in the world. To that end, we are committed to preaching the whole counsel of God without compromise to the glory and honor of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the great evils in Evangelical and Reformed Churches today is this lack of diversity and commitment in sound Biblical preaching, and the unwillingness of pastors to faithful preach the Word of God by preaching doctrinal sermons, apologetical sermons, polemical sermons, or political sermons. I hope to remedy this problem in the church today and to provide pastors and Christian leaders a pattern for true Biblical preaching after the pattern of the Reformers and the Puritans.
1. I am committed to Expository preaching. The primary method of preaching is expository preaching where a pastor preaches through a book verse by verse consecutively expounding the text, forming doctrinal points, and applying the passage to the Christian life. This has been the pattern since the Early Church fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, and the many Reformed expositors of the 19th century. This is the reason for the widespread making of Biblical commentaries today. This is what makes Matthew Henry’s Commentary an essential part of Biblical exposition and Christian devotion. To that end, most of our preaching at Emmanuel Grace is expository preaching, in the Puritan style. I have preached 450 sermons on the Gospel of Matthew, 180 (so far) on Acts 1-12, 80 on Galatians, 140 on Ephesians, 50 on Philippians, 60 on Colossians, 40 on Titus, 20 on Philemon, 100 on various Psalms, 50 on the Song of Solomon, 50 on James, 30 on Jude, as well as many others from other passages of Scripture. I have also written expository sermon outlines for every book of the Bible.
*In 2 Tim.2:15 Paul says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
2. I am committed to Doctrinal preaching. Biblical preaching should also be doctrinal, in that preaching should expound with great clarity the whole counsel of God, especially the fundamental points of Christian doctrine. Good preaching is always doctrinal preaching, even when it expository preaching. To that end, I have preached nearly a whole Body of Divinity over 25 years of ministry, on every subject of Systematic Theology, including several series of doctrinal sermons such as: 50 sermons on the Doctrines of Grace; 40 sermons on the Five Solas of the Reformation; 20 sermons on the Godly Pursuit of Reformation; 12 sermons on the Wrath of God; 30 on the Glory of Christ; 20 on the Crucifixion of Christ; 30 on the Resurrection of Christ; 30 on the Law of God; 20 on the Second Coming of Christ; 20 on the Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation; and 150 on the Christian Life, called Learning Christ and Living for His Glory; along with many others.
*In 1 Tim.4:6 Paul says, “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.”
3. I am committed to Practical preaching. Practical preaching is also a very important part of Biblical preaching. This is especially true on account of the serious lack of practical godliness among many Christians today and the breakdown of the Christian family. Practical preaching focuses on all the various aspects of living the Christian life; including prayer, worship, fasting, giving, helping the poor, marriage and family life, as well as taking up the cross and learning to keep God’s Commandments. To that end, I have several series of sermons directed this way: 150 sermons on Learning Christ and Living for His Glory which is a voluminous series on the Christian Life, 50 sermons on Biblical Principles of Marriage and the Family; 80 sermons on the Sermon on the Mount; and several other smaller series on Discipleship and the Christian Life.
*In Col.1:28 Paul says, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
4. I am committed to Evangelistic preaching. Every sermon should, in fact, preach Christ and the way of salvation through Him. But there are also sermons that should be directed to bring those who are lost in sin, idolatry, and unbelief to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And so we believe that along with preaching Christ as the only Lord and Savior in every sermon, we also preach evangelistic sermons that expound in great clarity the terms of the Gospel and the nature of saving faith in Jesus Christ. The fact is, there are many professing Christians in the world who attend Evangelical and Reformed churches who are unsaved. They may be under conviction. They may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. They may be influenced by a false Gospel. They may have wrong views about the Gospel. These are all common problems in the church today as a result of the widespread influence of false doctrine and bad preaching. There are also many children in Christian families who have not come to repentance and saving faith in Christ. For this reason, I will often preach a decidedly evangelistic sermon that explains the Gospel and calls people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
*In Luke 24:46-47 Jesus said to the apostles, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
5. I am committed to Devotional preaching. We also strongly believe that preaching should be at times centered on our personal devotion to Christ and the great love that God has for His people. It has therefore been my constant joy to regularly preach devotional sermons, especially when serving the Lord’s Supper. I have preached over 40 sermons on Christ’s saving love for His people, often taken from a larger series that I have written on the Song of Solomon. But there are many passages in Scripture which are surprisingly and unsuspectingly inspirational. Devotional preaching is especially for the Christian life, especially when we go through trials, to remind us of God’s saving love and the free forgiveness of sins that we have through Jesus Christ. Matthew Henry rightly said, “We may behold the manner of which Christ loves us when we behold the manner in which He died for us.” To that end, I preached a series of 80 sermons on Loving God and Knowing that You are Loved by Him.” It is my favorite series. I have also preached over 40 Communion sermons on the nature and purpose of the Lord’s Supper, most of which are both devotional and theological. You may want to listen to my sermons: God so Loved the World; Weak Grace Victorious; the several sermons on Christ’s Saving Love; the Saint’s Refuge; or even, Christ Glorified in Peter’s Protection from Herod. You will be surprised by what the Lord is teaching us from this very brief historical passage.
*In Eph.3:8 Paul says, “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
6. I am committed to Apologetical preaching. Apologetical preaching is rare today in most churches, but it is essential for believers as well as church officers to be able to defend the Christian Faith against the opposition of atheism, false religions, cults and deviant forms of Christianity, and modern Liberalism. To that end, I have preached several series of sermons on Apologetics: 50 on Defending the Faith called Apologetics to the Glory of God, 30 on Refuting False Religions of the World; 20 on Stephen’s Apologetical Address from Acts 7; 20 on the Resurrection of Christ; and several other smaller series that are related to defending the faith. My lectures on the Old Testament and the New Testament are also filled with important lessons on defending the faith. You may also want to listen to my sermon Atheism and the Making of Stephen Paddock. Sadly the FBI is still blindly ignorant of the plain truth behind the motivation of Paddock’s mass murder spree in Las Vegas – Atheism and the influence of the demonic Liberal agenda!
*In Col.2:8-10 Paul says, “Beware lest anyone spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ; for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power.”
7. I am committed to Polemical preaching. This is another aspect of preaching that is seriously neglected in the church today. Polemical preaching has to do with the refutation of false doctrine within the church, including deviant forms of Christianity such as Classical Liberalism, Roman Catholicism, Arminianism, Antinomianism, Neo-Orthodoxy, Broad Evangelicalism, and the dangerous influence of C.S. Lewis and N.T. Wright. all of which promote a false Gospel. I also expound upon the destructive influence of dangerous and subversive movements in the Church including Pentecostalism, Dispensationalism, Neo-Calvinism, Cheap Grace Presbyterianism, and the Federal Vision theology. Christians need to be warned also of the deceitfulness of false teachers in the church that prey on the ignorant and the gullible. In some of my sermons, I aim to show the destructive nature of false doctrine on the church and the Christian life even among those who are Christian. It is my duty as a pastor and theologian to preach against false doctrine and misguided views of Scripture, and especially to expose false teachers and their corrupting influence upon the church. You can see this kind of preaching in the OT prophets, Jesus rebukes of the scribes and Pharisees, as well as all the NT epistles including Galatians, Colossians, Hebrews, 1 John, James, 2 Peter, and the book of Jude. To that end in preaching through these books, I often spend time expounding in detail on the various theological errors in the church today that pervert the Gospel, profane God’s holy name, undermine sound Biblical doctrine, hinder a believer’s growth and sanctification in Christ, and obstruct true Biblical reformation. I have several series of sermons on all of these subjects.
*In Titus 1:9-11 Paul says, “A pastor must hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict those who contradict; for there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.”
8. I am committed to Political preaching. We also believe strongly that is essential to a faithful and Biblical preaching ministry to often preach on political subjects and defend Christ’s sovereignty over civil government, to expound on the civil and political duties of magistrates and Christians for the advance of reformation, civil and religious liberty, and Christ’s glory in every nation. The OT prophets, the NT apostles, the Early Church fathers, the Protestant Reformers, the English and Colonial Puritans, and many others rebuked sin and idolatry and false political ideologies in their sermons as well as giving counsel to kings, princes, magistrates, and judges. To that end, I have preached several series on political topics, including a 20 part series on Christ’s Sovereignty over Civil Government, a series of 12 sermons on Biblical Reformation and the Election of 2016: In Defense of President Trump. There are other sermons such as: The Obama Nation and America’s Desolation; Crooked Hillary Clinton: the High-priestess of the Demonic Party, The Heresy of Neo-Orthodoxy and the Making of James Comey, as well as God Glorified in the Downfall of Wicked Magistrates. It is a sign of apostasy in modern Evangelical and Reformed churches when pastors are not faithful in taking up the cross to expose and rebuke political ideologies that are demonic and anti-Christian, such as the ideology of the Democrat Party in America.
*Psalm 2:10-12 says, “Now, therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
My aim is to preach the whole counsel of God from Scripture and bring all things captive in obedience to Christ. And I hope to influence other pastors to be faithful in their calling as Christ’s ambassadors. The church needs preachers like the prophets and apostles of old, and like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Manton, Watson, Edwards, and the many great Puritans that preached the Word of God with light and heat, passion and conviction, and for the glory of God and for revival and reformation.
My personal conviction is that most preaching today in Evangelical and Reformed churches is not Biblical at all but too soft, effeminate, superficial, doctrinally weak, and therefore nearly worthless for a believer’s growth and sanctification in Christ. Such weak preaching has moreover the tendency to promote sin, idolatry, sexual immorality, religious hypocrisy, spiritual apostasy, as well as a host of other evils in the Church and in the Christian family. God have mercy on His church and people! I love the saints, but I generally despise and abhor most modern preaching. I pray many will listen and hopefully learn from my preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God, and keep it.”
Some Thoughts on Preaching:
*Martin Luther said, “Strong Biblical sermons make for wise and godly Christians, just as good and strong bricks make for sturdy buildings.”
*John Calvin said, “The preaching of the Gospel is all about Christ and His glory, and not ourselves. And so we aim to make disciples of Christ, to form Christ in the hearts and lives of those who hear the Gospel.”
*Augustine Marloratus said, “Scripture is the life and light of the Church, and the Church is the guardian of Scripture. When the Church is strong, Scripture shines forth the glory of Jesus Christ the Savior through faithful preaching and teaching; but when the Church is sick, Scripture is imprisoned by ignorance, unbelief, and false doctrine. And thus Scripture and the Church exhibit together the appearance of health, or of sickness; so that the treatment of Scripture in preaching and teaching corresponds with the state of the Church.”
*J.C. Ryle said, “There can be no true revival in the church apart from the faithful preaching of the Gospel in the church.”
*Matthew Henry has written, “We preach Jesus Christ as Lord; for God has prepared Him a throne in the heavens; and if we would have any benefit by that, we must prepare Him a throne in our hearts, and be willing and glad that He should sit and rule upon that throne.”
*Thomas Manton said, “All reformations begin with the faithful preaching of the Gospel and sound doctrine.”
*Matthew Henry said, “God’s design for instructing His people and reforming them by His word is through the faithful preaching of the Gospel.”
*George Whitefield said, “It is the duty of pastors to preach the whole counsel of God, and not to compromise the truth before the great and powerful men of the world; and this especially in the preaching God’s judgment on the wicked and unbelieving; for in order for sinners to be saved by Christ and for the countries morals to be preserved, sinners need to know that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”
Brett Woody, Pastor-Teacher