THIS IS NOT HOW TO LOOK WHEN YOU ARE TEACHING A LESSON
Here's the answer J.I. Packer gives:
- What troubles us, I think, is a sense that the old evangelical tradition of powerful preaching--the tradition, in England, of Whitefield and Wesley and Berridge and Simeon and Haslam and Ryle--has petered out, and we do not know how to revive it. We feel that, for all our efforts, we as preachers are failing to speak adequately to men's souls. In other words, what lies behind our modern interest in expository preaching is a deep dissatisfaction with our own ministry.There is a delightful seventeenth-century tract by John Owen entitled The Character of an Old English Puritane (1646), in which we learn that such a man "esteemed that preaching best wherein was most of God, least of man."
Our own constant suspicion, I think, is that our own preaching contains too much of man and not enough of God.
- "We have an uneasy feeling that the hungry sheep who look up are not really being fed. It is not that we are not trying to break the bread of life to them; it is just that, despite ourselves, our sermons turn out dull and flat and trite and tedious and, in the event, not very nourishing. We are tempted (naturally) to soothe ourselves with the thought that the day of preaching is past, or that zealous counseling or organizing or management or fundraising makes sufficient amends for ineffectiveness in the pulpit; but then we reread 1 Corinthians 2: (NKJV)--"my speech and my preaching were... in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"--and we are made uneasy again, and the conclusion is forced upon us once more that something is missing in our ministry. This, surely, is the real reason why we evangelicals today are so fascinated by the subject of expository preaching: because we want to know how we can regain the lost authority and unction that made evangelical preaching mighty in days past to humble sinners and build up the church."
In Ryken and Wilson, Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching in Honor of R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway), p. 142.
When I read this today, I had to take a look at my preaching/teaching. I need to remember its God's power to change lives. Its all about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, not about me. Getting cute is not cool. But my speech and my preaching needs to be in demonstration of the Spirit and power.
I am not sure why preachers today believe they need to dress down in their looks, and speech. Its not in our appearance that the power reigns but in the word of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I really don't need to add myself into the conversation. I need to allow Christ to be the focus of the message. Really its not about me, I need to keep saying, its about Christ.
Expository Preaching, verse by verse preaching, keeps me on Christ.
Some preachers today believe if they use the harsh language of today, that there is some power in that. The power is not in our voice, or language, but in the Words of God.
Some even believe the power is in the language of the old 1611 or 1768 KJV. The power is not in the translated words, but in the power of God in the Word. The power to change lives is the work of the Holy Spirit.
There is no magic in the KJV, NKJV, NASV, ASV, or NIV, or RS, or the ESV. I don't care how simple you dress, or how simple your message is, its not its power. The effective work of the Holy Spirit in our spirit become the reason there is change in our lives.