Position on Preaching
We affirm and practice Bible preaching bearing the following marks:
- Loving: the sermon is preached out of love for God driving love for the listener;
- Expository: the main points of a sermon are main points of a Bible portion on which the sermon is based;
Gospel-revealing: aspects of the Gospel explicitly found in the text, alluded by the text or specifically relevant to the text (when considered in its biblical context) are highlighted;
- Christ-exalting: Christ is exalted, as the sermon's Gospel highlights lead to reflect on Christ's wonderful life, attributes and work;
Kingdom-proclaiming: the sermon exposes aspects of the Bible text related to Christ's supreme and progressively revealed rule over all creation;
- Listener-aware: the sermon exposes the Bible text, bearing in mind the listeners' diverse backgrounds, including, e.g., their faiths, cultures, family backgrounds, professions and levels of education;
- Heart-aiming: the sermon exposes aspects of the Bible text which speak to heart-level (i.e. volitive, affective, emotive and cognitive) issues in the life of listeners;
- Transformation-seeking: the sermon exposes aspects of the Bible text which can help listeners be transformed by God in their understanding, affections, decisions or actions; and
Response-eliciting: the sermon calls listeners to intentionally respond to the Bible text.
To understand a Bible text, we typically strive to pray and study to understand:
- the relationships between all of its words;
- the relationships between the text and its chapter and book;
- the relationships between the text and the Gospel, i.e. creation, fall and redemption (including justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification);
- the relationship between the text and the life of Jesus Christ;
the relationships between the people of text (e.g. characters of the text or intended recipients of the text) and contemporary life (e.g. my life and that of others);
- the main spiritual conditions addressed by the text (e.g. sins, feelings or spiritual thoughts);
- how the text addresses these spiritual conditions; and
how the text shapes my understanding, feelings, decisions and specific behaviors.
Once we are able to summarize our understanding of a Bible text in a few carefully chosen and memorable words, we feel we can pass on our understanding of the text.