Mark Dever points out a statement from David Well's book "Above All Earthly Pow'rs" David made a statement in the book about the centrality of the Word in the weekly congregational sitting which is worth pulling out and considering.
How central was God's Word to your service this past Sunday? How central was it in the sermon?
Here's what David says: "This Word of God is the means by which God accomplishes his saving work in his people, and this is a work that no evangelist and no preacher can do. This is why the dearth of serious, sustained biblical preaching in the Church today is a serious matter. When the Church loses the Word of God it loses the very means by which God does his work. In its absence, therefore, a script is being written, however unwittingly, for the Church’’s undoing, not in one cataclysmic moment, but in a slow, inexorable slide made up of piece by tiny piece of daily dereliction."" David Wells, Above All Earthly Pow’’rs (2005), p. 9.
- When Charles H. Spurgeon died, Joseph Parker wrote a tribute to him that was published in The Times of London. What do you suppose Parker regarded as Spurgeon's most outstanding feature? It was Spurgeon's unbending commitment, throughout his entire ministry, to the same doctrines he had preached at the start. Parker wrote:
- "The only pulpit name of the nineteenth century that will be remembered is no longer the name of a living man. His simplicity, his constancy, his stand-stillness, won for him, through many difficulties, a unique and invincible position in Christian England. Mr. Spurgeon had but one sermon, and it was ever new. Other young preachers are naturally great in the treatment of Biblical narrative and anecdotes. They can handle drama better than doctrine. Mr. Spurgeon boldly went at once to the deepest and greatest themes. At nineteen he preached to countless thousands from such texts: "Accepted in the beloved"; "No man cometh unto me except the Father draw him"; "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." Some men have never ventured to take those texts even after a lifetime of service. Mr. Spurgeon took them at once, as the very seven notes that made all God's music, and he did so by Divine right and impulse. As he began, so he continued: he never changed; he never went in quest of the fourth dimension or of the eighth note; his first and his last were one.That great voice has ceased. It was the mightiest voice I ever heard: a voice that could give orders in a tempest, and find its way across a torrent as through a silent aisle. Very gentle, too, it could be, sweet and tender and full of healing pity.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Phil Johnson October 24, 2006
If I have in Christ accomplished any thing, the one thing I would want to be known as having done well. "He taught the Scriptures, he was not afraid to take on any text to study and preach."
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant