Preach the Word 2013: Textual Preaching || Tony Merida

bookI’m at the Preach the Word conference through Acts 29 today and as always, posting my notes to the sessions I attend.

Tony Merida is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church. He also serves as Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written two books — Orphanology and Faithful Preaching, as well as numerous articles. Tony has a Ph.D. in Preaching and a masters of theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelors degree in education from the University of the Cumberlands, where he played baseball. Tony and his wife, Kimberly, have five children.

Tony spent his talk looking at 2 Timothy chapter 3:14 – 4:4 and how to keep your finger on the text in preaching.

Here are some thoughts from his talk on “Textual Preaching”:

  • Too many people try to preach without a bible or counsel without a bible. It’s like playing football without a ball. 
  • Throughout 2 Timothy, Paul contrasts guys who are faithless and tells Timothy to be different.
  • Continue in the word personally. 
  • You can’t share something you don’t know and feel personally.
  • Paul tells Timothy, “Don’t ever stop studying the scripture, be consumed with the Scriptures.”
  • Paul is at the end of his life and he still is studying the Bible and he wants community.
  • Don’t just study the Scripture, we need to continue to believe the Scripture. Continue believing what you have always believed, don’t adjust the Scriptures.
  • Trust the Scriptures.
  • The bible doesn’t answer all the questions we’ve ever had, but answers all the questions we need to know.
  • People are in serious debt because they can’t interpret the old testament.
  • The Bible is a book about Jesus, that’s it.
  • Study the Scriptures to see Christ.
  • The Scriptures makes us wise for salvation.
  • Make the hero of the Bible the hero of every sermon.
  • To hear the voice of God, we open the word of God.
  • You show what you believe about the Bible by how you use the Bible.
  • The word should lead us to the pulpit, the pulpit should not lead us to the word.
  • Preach the word pastorally. 
  • We preach in the sight of God. No preacher ever goes unnoticed by God.
  • Every preacher gives an account to God for how he stewards his gift of preaching.
  • He is to preach on God, for God.
  • When the word of God is truly preached, the voice of God is truly heard.
  • Preaching is saying what God has said in his word and declaring what God has done in Christ. 
  • Ranting is not preaching.
  • More heresy is preached during application.
  • Preach the word consistently. 
  • Be willing to preach when you don’t feel like it or when it is hard.
  • Preach the word comprehensively. 
  • Some people need rebuke in preaching, some encouragement, some challenge.
  • Some need to be convinced in preaching or exhorted or edified.
  • Preach the word patiently. 
  • Sanctification is a slow process, not an instantaneous result.
  • There is a cumulative effect to your preaching, stick with it and be faithful over a series of years.
  • One of the ways we are patient is when we realize how patient God is with us.
  • Preach the word theologically. 
  • Preaching is different from teaching.
  • Preaching evangelizes, the gospel is tied to preaching but teaching does not always do that.
  • Preaching involves exhortation where teaching is not always doing that.
  • Preaching involves exultation, we are reveling in the Bible and the truth that we see here.
  • You need teaching when you preach because you have to explain things to people, teaching is explanation.
  • We have to do the teaching part so that our preaching is clear.
  • Pray for your people. 
  • Pray that your people would enjoy sound doctrine and good gospel preaching, that they would not come to evaluate a performance but be an active participant.
  • Pray that our listeners would hear hard truth humbly, they would not go looking for teachers who have softened the gospel or diluted it.
  • Pray that people would be eager to hear the gospel which alone can satisfy their passions.
  • Pray that people would repent when they hear truth.
  • The context of 2 Timothy is present suffering that will give way to future glory. That is very applicable to preachers. You must take a long view of your ministry of the word.
  • When Jesus appears, you will not regret expounding the word faithfully as a pastor.
  • Underneath the overwhelming challenge of preaching is God who is faithful.

Tony’s session was a great reminder that all we have and all we need as preachers is the Bible. It is beautiful and amazing and we need to know it in our head, let it penetrate our hearts so that we can preach it to our churches.

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