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Preaching: How to Preach Biblically (MacArthur Pastor's Library) (John MacArthur Pastor's Library) Hardcover – August 21, 2005
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About the Author
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, president of the Master's College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry. In more than four decades of ministry, John has written dozens of bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, and Slave. He lives in Los Angeles.
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I. the Priority of Expository Preaching (Chapter 1-3)
II. Preparing the Expositor (Chapters 4-6)
III. Processing and Principalizing the Biblical Text (Chapters 7-11)
IV. Pulling the Expository Message Together (Chapters 12-16)
V. Preaching the Exposition (Chapters 17-19)
I further categorize the content of this book into two broad, overarching questions:
1.) What is Expository Preaching? Chapters 1-3
- Expository preaching is "the explication of Scripture" (Calvin) (pg 9). It is the presentation of biblical truth derived from a historical, grammatical Spirit-guided study of a passage in its context (pg 7). It focuses predominantly on the text(s) within the context(s) (pg 8). An expository message will find its sole source in Scripture, will be extracted from Scripture through careful interpretation, and apply the Scriptural meaning for today (pg 10) (c.f. Neh 8:8, Acts 20:26-27).
2.) How should it be done? Chapter 4-19
- The biblical expositor should be dependent on the power of God. Prayer is absolutely necessary. Many preaching books fail to emphasize this point. The apostles were devoted to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). This chapter traces the biblical precedents for dependence on prayer in delivering God's message. As Spurgeon said, "all our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with our closets." (pg 60) - Chapter 4
- "We must never study a passage to find a sermon. We must study a passage to see completely the truth the Lord is teaching in it." (pg 71)
- The man of God must be marked by what he flees from (love of money), what he follows after (righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness), what he fights for (the faith), and what he is faithful to (the complete, revealed Word of God) (1 Timothy 6:11-14) - Chapter 5
- Old Testament narrative is not just examples of obeying or disobeying God's law. It should be used to teach broad theological concepts and implications that are God exalting and Christ-centered (c.f. Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell) (Chapter 15)
- In the logical flow of the message, MacArthur often states his main idea in the form of a question or compelling theme and shows how a passage answers it. People should be shown enough of the interpretive process to show them how reasonable that interpretation is (pg 237).
- When cross referencing, start with books by the same author, then to the same testament, and then to the whole Bible as necessary (pg 239)
- Be prepared, interesting, biblical, prayerful, enthusiastic, authoritative, and relevant (how timeless truth applies to today) (pg 243-246)
- Be careful of making too specific applications...you may place unnecessary restriction and run the risk of eliminating many other applications to the lives of the hearers. Be content with general application (pg 246).
- Preach to: honor God's word, reach the unconverted, please God, equip Christians, lift the downhearted, bring conviction of sin, refresh the weary, exalt Jesus Christ (pg 271)
- "Stay in your study until you know that the Lord will gladly accept what you have prepared to preach because it rightly represents His Word." (pg 285)
Finally, I recommend the list of 850 books for bible expositors (pg 145-170). It is an excellent resource for building your bible study library. It is also available at the Master's Seminary website. As a complement to this list, I also highly recommend Rosscup's book, Commentaries for Biblical Expositors.
Given that the book has multiple authors there was some variation, expectedly so, in the manner they with which they approached the subject matter of their particular chapter. Additionally, the clarity with which they dealt with their assigned topic varied. As someone who has only been preaching weekly for two years and made the move to expositional preaching one year ago I found that some topics were covered in an uneven manner, so that I didn’t really learn well of the topic at hand.
A marked strength of this book were the chapters written by MacArthur. He wrote a number of chapters, one for nearly every main section of the book. While I rarely listen to MacArthur preach I found the chapters he wrote to consistently be the best of the book, both in practical terms of the material covered as well as in the ways he continually sought to nurture preachers in the expositional method of preparing and delivering sermons. Overall, I would rate this as a very good book and worth the time spent reading it and in incorporating it's teaching into my own growth as an expositional preacher.
Why would you trade your SOUL for eternity for gain in this world even if you lived to be 300?
This book will show you exactly what it means to be a Pastor as well as HOW to be a Pastor that is truly preaching God's Word and not a twisted version from man, like you see if so many TV "ministries".
I BEG you to purchase this one and I think you may find you are either truly called or you are not. Either way you should NOT stop sharing Christ with the lost, instead you should ALWAYS do so with or without the License on your wall. However make SURE you are sharing THE Word of God because if you teach even ONE thing that is not of God you are preaching ANOTHER GOSPEL and WILL be held accountable for it.
MacArthur and the others that wrote this book NAILED IT. Pick it up NOW PLEASE.