Friday, June 19, 2009

The Holy Spirit in Preaching

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.--John 16:7-15

It is to our advantage that the Helper come. Don't miss the audience here. Jesus is standing in front of the disciples who have spent the last three years with Him. Imagine the joy and the growth that would come from traveling with Jesus for three years and observing His service and ministry. However, Jesus says it is better that He leave and send the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is commissioned by the Son. The Spirit does not descend to fill a vacuum. He is sent by Jesus and His instructions to the disciples help us see how the Spirit's commissioning is connected to the disciples' commissioning.
and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. "You are witnesses of these things. "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."--Luke 24:46-49
The gospel was to be proclaimed to all nations, as recorded throughout the Old Testament. Jesus is going to use His disciples to accomplish this task. However, before their commission begins, they are to wait for the Holy Spirit to come.

Conviction comes from the Spirit. Though the preacher is to share the Word of God, the conviction itself flows from the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit will teach His saints. Jesus stood before the disciples and did not find it profitable to teach them all things, not because they didn't need to know, but because He did not believe there would be benefit unless the Spirit come and disclose it!

The Spirit does not have a private unique agenda. His ministry is not born out of His own initiative, but He desires to fulfill that which He has heard Christ speak.

His desire is the glory of Christ! He is not aiming to exalt Himself, but is seeking the glory of Christ.

Clearly, the preacher must humble himself and realize that the power of the preaching will lie in the working of God. He must see his need for the Holy Spirit's active work!

This will lead to his petition for the working of the Holy Spirit. The preacher will call upon the Spirit to actively work through the Word to the purpose of the glory of Christ.

Finally, the preacher needs to preach Christ. Rather than focussing on the "shock and awe" factors that are often associated with the Holy Spirit's work in preaching, one should think about the work of the Spirit. When you preach from the Bible, you are using the book the Spirit wrote. When you exalt Christ from any portion of Scripture, you seek to glorify the One to Whom the Spirit directs glory. When you preach the gospel in the midst of exalting Christ from the Text, you proclaim the message by which the Spirit loves to create life.

Exult Christ by celebrating the gospel on every page of Scripture. In so doing, the Spirit is delighted to work, and without His working, your preaching is in vain.

No comments: