Posted by: theedwardsfam | November 16, 2011

Spirit Empowered Preaching – Art Azurdia

I read Art Azurdia’s book Spirit Empowered Preaching a couple months ago and wanted to share the highlights of the book with you. I would encourage you to read it all!

“The churches in the West are currently in confusion about the way to make preaching spiritually significant for the modern congregation, and are treating the problem as primarily one of devising appropriate techniques. Technique is, of course, necessary in preaching….But the Puritans themselves would be the first to insist that there is more to significant preaching than mere technique, even applicatory technique.” Richard Baxter (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 13)

“No human eloquence or rhetoric can convince men dead in sin of the truth of God.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 13)

“The great want of today is a holier ministry. We do not need more stalwart polemics, more mighty apologists, or preachers who compass a wide range of natural knowledge, important though these be. But we need men of God who bring the atmosphere of heaven with them to the pulpit and speak from the borders of another world.” Presbyterian minister (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 16)

“The Spirit of the living God came to indwell these disciples [Acts] and furnish them with the necessary power to accomplish the work that Jesus Christ had burdened them to do.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 26)

“We must never forget that the Christian Church always advances from a position of human weakness, not human strength.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 27)

“Ministers are no longer exhorted to pray and fast and preach for conversion. They are challenged to market for it.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 30)

“It is possible for a Christian to possess a vast amount of biblical and theological knowledge while at the same time being altogether devoid of spiritual maturity.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 37)

“We must look for the Spirit of the living God at work in, with, and through the written word of God.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 39)

“The Old Testament was written Christologically.” Bernard Ramm (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 55)

“I have become convinced that preachers can rightly anticipate the Holy Spirit’s power only when they are resolutely wedded to the Holy Spirit’s purpose. What is His purpose? To glorify Jesus Christ through the instrumentality of the Old and New Testament scriptures, both of which point to Him.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 59)

“At this vital point [referring to Luke 24:46-49], three essential principles of apostolic ministry converge: the message, method and means for ministry ordained by Jesus Christ. The divine message? Jesus Christ. The divine method? Authoritative proclamation. The divine means? The power of the Spirit of God. The vitality of the Spirit is His effectual work of glorifying Jesus Christ through fallible men who faithfully proclaim the Christocentric scriptures.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 61-62)

“Preach Christ Jesus the Lord. Determine to nothing among your people, but Christ crucified. Let his name and grace, his spirit and love, triumph in the midst of all your sermons. Let you great end be, to glorify him in the heart, to render him amiable and precious in the eyes of his people, to lead them to him, as a sanctuary to protect them, a propitiation to reconcile them, a treasure to enrich them, a physician to heal them, an advocate to present them and their services to God, as wisdom to counsel them, as righteousness to justify, as sanctification to renew, as redemption to save. Let Christ be the diamond to shine in the bosom of all your sermons.” Bishop Reynolds (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 76)

“The preacher must surrender to the lordship of the gospel. It must reign supreme. Its message must be so deeply incarnated into the man of God that not only will it permeate everything he says, its very scent will be evident in his manner of communicating it.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 82)

”Christian preaching demands a holy correspondence between message and method.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 89)

“Today, missed some fine opportunity of speaking a word for Christ. The Lord saw that I would have spoken as much for my honour as for His, and therefore, He shut my mouth. I see that a man connot be a faithful, fervent minister until he preaches just for Christ’s sake, until he gives up trying to attract people to himself, and seeks to attract them to Christ. Lord, give me this.” Robert Murray McCheyne (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 91)

“The aim of Christian preaching is the glory and honor of Jesus Christ through the means of the saving and sanctifying of sinners.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 115)

“The Messiah, by His own admission, was given the Spirit of God for the purpose of carrying out His ministry of proclaiming the gospel.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 116)

“The gospel is preached in the ears of all; it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher; otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it would consist in the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as to preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.” C.H. Spurgeon (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 125)

“Study without prayer is atheism. It is a denial of the need of the Spirit’s intervention for spiritual understanding. But prayer without study is presumption. It is the resting of confidence upon a hope never given by God.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 139)

“If human weakness is the channel through which God most readily communicates His power, Paul was prepared not only to affirm his weakness, but to revel in it.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 142)

“All God’s giants have been weak men.” Hudson Taylor (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 142)

“God will have no competitors. For this reason he manifests His power through weakness.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 143)

“The preacher himself must be a man of relentless prayer. He must give himself indefatigably to the study of the scriptures. He must recognize, and even revel in, his own obvious inabilities.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 148)

[In order to not grieve the Holy Spirit] “the congregation must consciously refrain from any kind of attitude or activity that might contribute to a withholding of the effects of the Holy Spirit.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 150)

“It is not enough for the congregation to possess a proper view of inspiration. They must gather on the Lord’s Day expecting to hear the voice of God through the proclamation of the scriptures. They must bring an eagerness to hear, a readiness to submit, a predetermination to obey.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 155)

“The congregation must earnestly take up its mandate to make intercession for the effects of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the word of God.” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 164)

“During the Great Awakening it was the practice of a Welsh pastor to teach the following prayer to new converts: ‘Unless I have the power of heaven in the Word of Life I shall die.’” (Spirit Empowered Preaching. Pg. 167)

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