It takes a Dead Preacher to Preach a Living Sermon

christian living homiletics Nov 18, 2023

 

It takes a dead preacher to preach a living sermon.

Many people wonder why some preachers have this "X" factor when preaching...

It is like there is something they can't quite explain... but they sense when it is on a preacher and know when it is not.

Some call it unction.

I don't disagree...

But how do we preach with Unction...

The secret is DEATH.

Don't believe me?

Let's grab a coffee and chat for a moment.

1. Why Death is the Secret to Living Sermons.

Preaching is a superb privilege...

It is when God allows a man to speak in His stead...

But there are guidelines to follow if it is to be truly preaching.

1. The Preacher must preach God's Words and Ideas... not His own.

The call to preach is a call to be a herald.

The preacher is called to declare what God had already said.

I mean, think of an ancient Herald...

Their job was to represent the will and words of the king.

They did not go there to give their opinion on the Law... They went to declare it.

In the same way a preacher must value God's thoughts above his own and take great efforts to clearly communicate God's truths.

2. The Preacher must believe what He preaches.

The worst preachers in the world are hirelings.

  • The preachers who only preach for money, clout or fame.
  • The preachers who were called by someone... but not God.

They view preaching as a job.

As a skill only and not a calling.

Therefore they often use their intellect to discern the meaning of a passage and then get up and use their Rhetorical Prowess to wow the people...

But that X factor is missing.

Here's the Secret...

Friend, if you don't believe what you are preaching... 

  • No matter how much zeal... 
  • No matter how accurate your exegesis
  • No matter how impeccable your sermon structure is...

Something will seem to be missing... and the audience may not be able to tell...

But if you don't believe what you are saying... 

Why are you saying it at all.

Take great pains to make sure the truth is ablaze in your spirit before you ever open your mouth on behalf of the Creator.

3. The Preacher must be Dead.

I am not saying that the preacher should be "Dead Boring."

I am not saying that the preacher should leave his mind and personality at the door...

In fact, in our "preaching and teaching made simple" course, we talk about properly using your personality...

But you must die.

If you want to preach living sermons... you must die.

This point is so hard to explain... But I'll try.

Too many preachers are "alive" when they preach...

- They have not been broken...

- The old man has not been crucified...

So they preach in the flesh or from the soul (the shell)... but their spirit is all but hidden... locked away like a kernel in the shell.

The shell can't give life... only the seed can...

God wants our flesh do be crucified and our soul submitted to His Spirit.

This is death.

And it is this death that produces living preaching...

I am amazed at how you can tell when someone is dead... their preaching rings with more power... with more conviction... and they might not even be that dynamic of a preacher...

But they have died...

And they are preaching in the power of Galatians 2:20... not I but Christ... because I am Crucified with Him...

If you are interested in going deeper into this concept of death and brokenness, my favorite book on the matter is "The Calvary Road" by Roy Hessian.

This post was not a "How to" more of a "You should..."

The Calvary Road will provide deeper insights on Dying to Self on the daily basis.

There is no better life than the crucified life... the life of brokenness... 

I pray you walk the way of the cross.

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