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The Holy Spirit and Preaching

2 February 2008

One of the books that kept appearing on "the best of…" lists for preachers from 2007 was "Spirit Led Preaching" by Greg Heisler. It received rave reviews. And so, I recently picked it up and am well into it. So far so good…Spirit led Preaching

Heisler gives a kind of outline of what he is going to be discussing for the rest of the book in the first chapter, "What Spirit-Empowered Preaching Looks Like."

While he doesn’t follow the outline point for point throughout the rest of the book he does so in big broad brush-strokes. The specifics that he is using for the book he labels as "Ways the Holy Spirit is at Work in Preaching:

  1. The Spirit’s inspiration of a biblical text
  2. The conversion of the preacher to faith in Jesus Christ
  3. The call of the preacher to preach the Word
  4. The character of the preacher to live the Word.
  5. The illumination of the preachers heart and mind in study
  6. The empowerment of the preacher in proclaiming the Word.
  7. The testimony to Jesus Christ as Lord and mediator.
  8. The opening of the hearts of those who hear and receive the Word.
  9. The application of the Word of God to the listeners’ lives.
  10. The production of lasting fruit displayed in the lives of Spirit-led believers.

I like this list because it fleshes out what it really means for the Spirit to work through preaching. Too often what is meant by Spirit-led preaching is spontaneous, off-the-cuff preaching that is generally shallow, repetitive and filled with jargon.

Coming from a fellowship of churches that has always been a little suspect of the Spirit (we were cessationists who also often limited the Spirit to speaking only through the written word); and then coming of age during the days of the controversies over the Holy Spirit and "charis-mania" in the 60’s and 70’s, I will admit that a thorough thinking of the role of the Spirit in my preaching has been lacking. I am already gaining from my time in this little book (only 153 pages). I expect to gain much, much more. I’ll let you know…

Holy Spirit, Preparation

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