How About the Manner of the Sermon

Think back to the pastor you sat under as you grew up in church, or the first pastor you had as a young Christian.

Charles 1`

Piper John 1

preaching John MacArthur 1

Now think of your view of God.

Related aren’t they?

Our view of God is not just determined by our pastor’s message but by our pastor’s manner.

  • If our pastor’s preaching is academic, above-our-heads, heavy in facts and light on feeling, then we’ll view God as a distant professor who finds it hard to come down to our level.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is harsh, demanding, and condemning, etc., then we’ll view God as an unyielding judge who’s never satisfied with our best efforts.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is jokey, humorous, and laugh-a-minute, then we’ll view God as a circus clown who’s just out to make us His buddies.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is touchy-feelly, weepy, and emotional, then we’ll view God as a soft-hearted weakling who’d like to help but just can’t.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is argumentative, belligerent, and combative, then we’ll view God as a pugnacious debater who wants to win an argument rather than our souls.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is confused, inconsistent, and rambling, we’ll view God as a befuddled and bewildered senior who’s seen better days and really can’t be trusted.
  • If our our pastor’s calls to faith in Christ are rare, half-hearted, or always dry-eyed, we’ll wonder if God really wants us to be saved.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is long, boring, and repetitive, we’ll think God is similarly laborious and unappealing.
  • If our pastor’s preaching is joyless, morose, and gloomy, we’ll view God as a cranky and pessimistic killjoy.

Yes, people’s view of God is impacted by our message, but also (equally?) by our manner.

What a responsibility! How much we need the Holy Spirit for message, method, and manner.

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