Lectures on Preaching

Dr. Mark Dever, Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D. C., speaking at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky

1. The Symbol and Significance of Preaching

2. The Use of Preaching

3. The Art of Preac…

Resources for Studying the Law and the Gospel

Adapted from Jon English Lee

A proper understanding of the relationship between the law and the gospel is crucial for any minister hoping to be effective in his preaching and counseling. Indeed, a flawed understanding of the relationship between law and gospel leads to all sorts of problems:

Errors in this doctrine have spawned dispensationalism, theonomy, the New Perspective on Paul, hypercovenantalism, legalism, antinomianism, shallow evangelism, shallower sanctification, worship errors and unbiblical mysticism.

Regarding the importance properly understanding the law and the gospel, Charles Bridges once wrote in his excellent work The Christian Ministry that:

The mark of a minister “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,” is, that he “rightly divides the word of truth.” …This revelation is divided into two parts—the Law and the Gospel—essentially distinct form each other; though so intimately connected, that an accurate knowledge of neither can be obtained without the other.”[2]

Because such a proper understanding is so important, and because there is such a lack of teaching on the subject in both seminaries and in many churches, below I have compiled a list of resources for those seeking to grow in this area. If you have others to suggest, please list them in the comment section. Happy Reading!

Law/Gospel Resources:

Why Don’t Christians Follow Old Testament “rules” Such as Abstaining from Shrimp?

Visitor: Some people quote Old Testament “rules” about some things while they sit there on the Sabbath eating shrimp while wearing blended fiber clothes that cover a cute tattoo of an American flag. All of those things being forbidden by the same book they’re using to condemn something else…..

Response: Forbidding the eating of shrimp was one directive for the Jews to be set apart from the unclean Gentiles as God’s holy people. Jesus fulfilled the law and now He includes Gentiles, incorporating them into God’s kingdom as well. When Jesus was crucified all that separated Jew and Gentile was done away with including these theocratic laws to separate them from Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11-20). Gentiles are accepted now in Christ, having been formerly unclean …. recall Peter’s vision on his rooftop seeing the sheets of animals come down (Acts 10:9-16) which God said he could now eat … because God was showing him that He now accepted Gentiles coming into the kingdom. God declared “What God has made clean, do not call common.” (Acts 10:15). So understood properly there is very good reason these practices were changed. Gentiles were unclean and are now included among Abraham’s offspring because of Christ (Acts 9:28; Galatians 3:29). Without understanding this background to your statement it just sounds like some arbitrary change of law. But It actually has deep significance for the New Covenant which the Old Testament itself promised all along (Genesis 22:18; Ezek 36:26) God did not change. This was his redemptive plan through the whole bible from the beginning.

How to Love your Spouse by the Grace of God

by Paul David TrippLove is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.What does this look like in a marriage?

A Vision for Biblical Literacy in the Next Generation

by David and Sally Michael

Here are is an exhortation from David and Sally Michael from their conference message, “A Vision for Biblical Literacy in the Next Generation”: (MP3)

Exposure to the whole counsel of God is vital, but children must also be taught to rightly understand the Word. Our children and young people need the same prodding that Paul gave to his spiritual son:

2 Timothy 2:15—Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

In a postmodern culture where it is acceptable to define your own truth, children must realize that truth is not “what a Bible verse means to me,” but rather that truth is found in discovering the author’s original intent interpreted in light of the whole message of the Bible, leading to the God-given meaning of the text. Therefore, we must guide the next generation to be students of the Word who have the necessary tools to interpret Scripture correctly, as Paul did for Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:7—Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Start with simple questions about texts as children are young, and give them more tools as they mature. This is in direct opposition to what is happening in our culture as we move from a language-based system of learning to an image base.

It will be very difficult for children to become serious students of the Word if they are used to a steady diet of sound bite technology. Over exposure to sound bite technology will reap a crop of students who are incapable of serious, careful Bible study, who will not be equipped and competent for every good work.