The Passion of Biblical Preaching: An Expository Study of 1 Timothy 4:13-16 -- By: Steven J. Lawson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 159:633 (Jan 2002)
Article: The Passion of Biblical Preaching: An Expository Study of 1 Timothy 4:13-16
Author: Steven J. Lawson


The Passion of Biblical
Preaching: An Expository
Study of 1 Timothy 4:13-16*

Steven J. Lawson

* This is article four in a four-part series, “A Passionate Call for Expository Preaching.”

Steven J. Lawson is Senior Pastor, Dauphin Way Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the famed pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel, wrote, “The work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called.”1 This is true, not because there is anything special about the messenger, but because there is everything glorious about the Lord who summons men to preach. Because the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of the living God, the call to proclaim the Word is the highest calling known to humankind.

Such a high and holy commission requires nothing less than the wholehearted devotion of all who answer its sacred call. Only an absolute abandonment to God’s work will successfully fulfill the rigorous demands of biblical preaching. Focused intellect, exhausting study, fervent heart, draining concentration, long hours, intense spiritual warfare, personal fortitude, soul-searching prayer, and more are all required to give birth to a sermon.

As Winston Churchill so passionately offered on his country’s behalf, the preacher must bring nothing less than his blood, toil, tears, and sweat to the pulpit if he is to deliver expository messages that infuse divine life into the souls of his hearers. Biblical preaching requires the heart, soul, mind, and strength of the one

called to preach—the totality of his life.2

But unfortunately many men enter their pulpits each Sunday without feeling the eternal weight of glory resting on their shoulders. In what more resembles “sermonettes for Christianettes,” casual discourses are becoming increasingly focused on massaging “felt needs” rather than allowing the biblical text to expose real needs. In light of this disturbing trend pastors must return to preaching that is “Bible-based, Christ-focused, and life-changing … marked by doctrinal clarity, a sense of gravity, and convicting argument.”3 Passionate preaching that is thoroughly biblical must be recovered.

A Divine Manual For Preaching

Perhaps no portion of Scripture is more germane to the subject of biblical preaching than 1 and 2 Timothy. Written by the apostle Paul to h...

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