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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner


Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is ‘an ambassador for Christ’. That is what he is.

He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there—and I want to emphasise this—to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people.

He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, or only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life.

Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner.

There is the type of preacher who obviously depends upon what he reads in the newspapers for his message on Sunday; and he just makes comments on this. That is what is called topical preaching.

Then there are others who seem to think that a sermon is a moral essay or some kind of disquisition on ethical principles, with an appeal, and a call, and an urging to a certain type of ethical behaviour.

Martyn Lloyd Jones, Preaching and Preachers

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