The Power of the Word Preached

John Piper's church.
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I don’t know about you, but I have often been guilty of underestimating the capability of the Holy Spirit to make the preached Word effective. I’ve done this by placing stories or jokes at strategic places throughout my sermons in order to keep people’s attention. I’ve done this by occasionally using video clips to “add power” to the sermon. I’ve done this, on a couple of occasions, by enlisting people to help me dramatize a point.

I saw a clip this morning of John Piper responding to a question about the use of video & drama in Church services: have a look.

For sure the Church should encourage the Arts (but probably not on Sunday morning). For sure people don’t find preaching as easy to digest as movies (but “he commanded us to preach” – Acts 10:42, not “to entertain”!).

Paul told Timothy to “preach the word”. But actually he did more than tell Timothy to do so: he commanded Timothy to do so with all of his apostolic authority and on the authority of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ whose Kingdom is coming!



2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV 2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound1 teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.




Sometimes it feels like preaching is “out of season”. But I guess that’s when preachers need to remember two things: 1) preaching of God’s Word is especially needed when it is “out of season”; 2) preaching of God’s Word is not optional for preachers, it is our duty as surely as Christ Jesus is our Lord. Which gets back to method. It makes sense to me that preaching while relying on the Holy Spirit’s power for effectiveness exalts the Lord who gave us the Spirit.

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