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Considering the relationship between preaching and discipleship

Posted by on May 18, 2011 in blog links | 38 comments

Considering the relationship between preaching and discipleship

Charles at “In the Storyline” has written a very good post called “Is Preaching Overrated?

Now, the good thing about this post is that Charles has not made up his own mind, and he’s good asking questions.

He says he’s found an increasing dissonance concerning preaching. Here are the reasons he gave:

1) Many of the disconnected adults I’m living among are increasingly skeptical of listening to a single individual who presumes to speak authoritatively to them

2) If I’m honest, preaching in my experience does not equip people to follow Jesus at the deepest levels.

3) The approach to preaching in the scriptures seems significantly different than the way we practice it now.

4) The contemporary practice of preaching has contributed to an unhealthy consumer orientation and celebrity culture in American Christianity.

Charles explains each “reason” and gives further information in his post. You should read his post and interact with him there.

What do you think about preaching in the modern definitions of the word? Do you think it is overrated?


38 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-18-2011

    Totally sharing this.

  2. 5-18-2011

    We who preach like to think we are the main event. I believe this flows from a conviction about the sufficiency of the Word of God. However, I think preaching in some circles is over-rated and we (preachers) give ourselves far too much credit and take ourselves far too seriously.

  3. 5-18-2011

    Preaching is diffintly overrated.
    When someone other then me is doing the preaching. ;-)

    When I’m the – Pontificater – in a proper Pulpit – Preaching – to People – in Pews
    it’s just fine – for me. ;-)

  4. 5-18-2011

    P.S.

    I can’t seem to find “Discipleship” in my antiquated KJV. ;-)

  5. 5-18-2011

    Jeph,

    Awesome!

    Scott,

    Yes, whenever I talk to someone who hold preaching in very high regards, the person always falls back on the word of God. Of course, preaching isn’t the only way to hold the Scriptures in high regards.

    A Amos Love,

    Preachers usually love preaching more than the audience. :)

    “Discipleship” = making disciples.

    The word “trinity” isn’t in your KJV either.

    -Alan

  6. 5-18-2011

    Alan, thanks for sharing this and pointing me to Charles’ post!

  7. 5-18-2011

    Alan, I have yet to see a relationship between preaching a sermon and discipleship in today’s tradition. In my world that means the proverbial professional, pontificating from the proverbial pulpit to passive people in pews. :)

    If we are truly seeking for a means of biblical discipleship then the sermon should go the way of the dinosaurs. I just don’t see any examples of the modern sermon in the bible.

    If I don’t have anything else to do and I am driving, I don’t mind listening to a sermon on the radio. I certainly can learn something. But when it comes to real discipleship it takes hard work and daily relationship to disciple. Teaching comes in many forms, but the sermon in it’s current form should be the exception not the rule.

  8. 5-18-2011

    an

    “You write…
    “The word “trinity” isn’t in your KJV either.”

    You’re correct. That’s why I no longer use the word. It’s NOT in the Bible.

    Now, I do believe The Father is God, Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

    BUT, which “trinity” are you talking about?
    There are quite a few versions. ;-)

    Some talk about a “trinity” with three persons. That’s NOT in the Bible either.
    And making God into a person sounds so… eerrr… human. AAARRRGGGHHH ;-)

    NO – God is Spirit, God is Love, God is Light.

    Can’t find anything in my KJV calling Theos, Elohiym, Jehovah, three persons.
    But I coulda missed it. ;-)

    Then there is the “trinity” where there is “hierarchy” in the Godhead.
    And a “trinity” where there is “NO hierarchy.” ALL in the Godhead are equal.

    And a “trinity” where Jesus the Son doesn’t become God till He’s 30,
    till the Spirit, like a dove, falls on Him, at the baptism of John.

    And a “trinity” where…
    Well… the list goes on… and on… and …

    NO – “trinity” is NOT “in the Bible.”

    I have a hard enough time understanding what IS “in the Bible.”

    And where does it say in the Bible – Discipleship = making disciples?

    If “Discipleship” is NOT in the Bible: How do we know what it means? ;-)

  9. 5-18-2011

    A. Amos Love,

    You’re kinda off topic. But to advocate what you do about the Trinity is to disregard 2000 years of church teaching and tradition. Trinity is not as difficult and confusing as you are making it.

  10. 5-18-2011

    Randy,

    Good. I hope you enjoy it.

    Jack,

    I would agree on your points. 1) We don’t find someone preaching to the church in the NT. 2) People are not matured through preaching. I think there are a few other good reasons to question the priority that it typically placed on teaching also.

    A Amos Love,

    I told you how I was using the term discipleship, so you don’t have to worry about that now.

    Scott,

    (I agree that this is off topic… but) The concept of the trinity is difficult, if we mean examining God and his mutual relationship within himself. We just can’t do it. However, I’m not opposed to using the term trinity to mean God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    -Alan

  11. 5-18-2011

    Scott

    I think “Discipleship” is found in the Title of this post. That’s why the P.S.

    Am I still “off topic” if I respond to what’s in the title of the post? ;-)
    And; Why is it bad if we go off topic? ;-)
    It didn’t seem to stop you from explaining your position. ;-)
    Which is cool by me…

    I would agree that “Preaching being overrated” is the main topic.

    BUT, IMO – “The Doctrines of Men,” “The Commandments of Men,” “The Traditions of Men,” *that nullify the word of God,* (Mark 7:13) are “preached” from today’s pulpit on a regular basis about the “trinty” and “discipleship” and are very overrated and mostly inaccurate.

    In my experience… In my opinion… these words, “trinty” and “discipleship”
    are often explained and taught according to the denominations understanding
    and tradition and NOT from the Bible. :-(

    And when Alan (Who I respect, and enjoy discussing difficult topics with.) uses another word NOT in the Bible to make it okay to use the first word NOT in the Bible, I kinda laugh to myself and I thought it only proper and polite to answer Alan’s responce to me. And explain to him why I NO longer use the word 1- ”trinity” and 2 – “Discipleship.”

    1- “trinty” has many versions.
    2 – And – if “Discipleship” means making disciples; I can find nothing in the Bible about “Making” disciples either. Jesus asked “His Disciples” to go and “Make” disciples. Teaching them to observe what-so-ever I have commanded you.

    Best I can figure “Disciple” means – learner, pupil. If we’re a “Disciple of Christ” we learn directly from Jesus. NO middle man. Just like 2000 years ago. Jesus taught “His Disciples” then, And Jesus teaches ‘His Disciples” now.

    You either IS “His Disciple” – learning from Jesus and being His pupil.
    Or, You AIN’T “His Disciple” – NOT learning from Jesus and NOT His pupil.

    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, “Every One of You” hath a psalm, **hath a doctrine,** hath a tongue, **hath a revelation,** hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
    1Cor 14:26

    Seems to me Jesus can teach “Every One of You” doctrine and revelation.
    And ALL can, and are expected to, share what Jesus teaches “His Disciples.”

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    And if you are “Making a disciple” how do you know when he’s made? :-)

    Jeremiah 50:6 KJV
    **My people** hath been **lost sheep:**
    **their shepherds** have caused them to go astray… (Mostly thru preaching today. Yes?)

    1 Pet 2:25*
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  12. 5-18-2011

    I’m with Amos.

    Being a disciple = following Christ internal motivation an divine enabling of the Holy Spirit.

    The purpose of gathering around Christ as His church/Body is to build each other up in the faith by encouraging each other to follow Christ.

    Preaching is great if it’s the preaching we see in the NT scriptures, presenting Christ to unbelievers.

    The paid public speakers of today and the presentations they deliver referred to as preaching is not only useless in my opinion but actually harmful to the church.

    We have the Master Teacher, Father and Leader and He is more than sufficient to disciple us as we follow Him.

    In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. – Hebrews 1:1-2

    While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” – Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35

    For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. – Acts 3:22-24

    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 29:19-20

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. “He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. –John 10:1-16

    Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. – John 14:22-24

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—John 14:15

    If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.-John 15:10

    “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: – Matthew 7:24
    “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: – Matthew 7:26

    “Come and See.”

    “Follow me.”

    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

    Repent and believe the good news!”

    “Come, follow me,”

    “Don’t be afraid.”

    “Follow Me”

    “But I tell you, do not swear an oath/do not make a vow at all:”

    “Simply say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’;”

    “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.”

    “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

    “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”

    “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”

    “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

    “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

    “Love your enemies”

    “do good to those who hate you”

    “bless those who curse you”

    “pray for those who mistreat you”

    “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.”

    “If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.”

    “Give to everyone who asks you.”

    “..if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”

    “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

    “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”

    “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.”

    “when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.”

    “when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    “when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.”

    “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    “when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

    “forgive other people when they sin against you, and your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

    “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting,”

    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

    “You cannot serve both God and money.”

    “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.”

    “do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. “

    “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (food, drink, clothing) will be given to you as well.”

    “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

    “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

    “do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”

    “do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.”

    “seek his kingdom, and these things (food, drink, clothing) will be given to you as well.”

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.”

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

    “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

    “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.”

    “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.”

    “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

    “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
    “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.”

    “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

    “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

    “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

    “be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

    “Be on your guard;”

    “when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say”

    “do not be afraid of them”

    “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”

    “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

    “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

    “Be on your guard against the yeast/teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

    “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast/teaching of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

    “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”

    “Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

    “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

    “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them”

    “‘You must be born again.’”

    “…you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone …”

    “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

    “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God”

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

    “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – “Do this and you will live.”

    “But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”

    “Be on your guard against the yeast/teaching of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

    “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

    “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

    “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

    “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”

    “But seek his kingdom, and these things (food, clothing) will be given to you as well.”

    “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

    “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”

    “…be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

    “As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

    “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

    “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.”

    “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

    “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.”

    “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

    “You cannot serve both God and money.”

    “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, let them be to you as a pagan or a tax collector.”

    …“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”…“I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

    “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

    “what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”

    “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. It shall not be so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    “when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

    “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

    “…you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

    …do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”

    “ Nor are you to be called instructors/teachers, for you have one Instructor/teacher, the Messiah.”

    “…clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

    “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

    “…keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

    “… you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

    “keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

    “‘Watch!’”

    “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

    “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

    “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.”

    “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

    “believe in God; believe also in me.”

    “If you love me, keep my commands.”

    “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.”

    “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

    “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

    “Now remain in my love.”

    “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

    “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

    “This is my command: Love each other.”

    “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

    “…take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

    “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

    “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

    “Put your sword away”

    “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

    “Follow me!”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Those who are Born Again are led by the Spirit they are divinely enabled and motivated by the Indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit:

    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.-John 3:3

    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”-John 3:5-8

    Those who are born again/born of the Spirit are indwelt by the Holy Spirit called by Christ as our Advocate/Counselor-the Spirit of Truth:

    …I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans;… -John 14:16-18

    But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.-John 14:26

    “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.-John 15:26

    …Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” –John 16:7-15
    Where does the Holy Spirit lead me?

    John testified that Jesus would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit:

    Matthew 3:11-“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Mark 1:8- I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 3:16- John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    The LORD Jesus Christ informs us that if/when we are persecuted that the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say:

    Matthew 10:20- for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Mark 13:11- Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Luke 12:12- for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

    Jesus drove out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit indicating that the Kingdom of God has come upon His followers:

    Matthew 12:28- But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

    Only those who are born again/born from above/born of the Spirit enter into the Kingdom of God:

    John 3:5-8: Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

    The time has come when only those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit both Jew and Gentile in Christ can acceptably worship the Father in truth:

    John 4:23-Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

    John 4:24-God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit gives me true life:

    John 6:63- The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

    The Spirit was given to Christ followers after Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection at Pentecost:

    John 7:39-By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

    As a Born Again Follower of Christ, the Spirit of Truth lives with and in me:

    John 14:17-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit teaches me all things and reminds me of the things that The LORD Jesus Christ has said:

    John 14:26- But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit testifies to me about the LORD Jesus Christ:

    John 15:26- “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.
    The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit guides me into all the truth and tells me what is yet to come:

    John 16:13- But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit makes known to me what the LORD Jesus Christ has said:

    John 16:15- All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

  13. 5-18-2011

    Sorry, make that: Being a disciple = following Christ through the internal motivation and divine enabling of the Holy Spirit.

  14. 5-18-2011

    Hutch

    Thanks for all the scriptures.

    It was cool reading them that way.

    They blessed me. :-)

    The support was also appreciated. Thanks.

  15. 5-18-2011

    Hutch and A. Amos Love,

    I agree that all growth comes from God. However, God often works through others to initiate and even encourage that growth. There are too many “one anothers” in Scripture to assume that God only works in the heart of an individual without using other people.

    The question of this post is this: Is preaching (in the modern sense of the term) effective at helping others grow in maturity toward Christ?

    -Alan

  16. 5-18-2011

    I thought I answered that. No, it’s harmful.

    Gathering together is important, but I would not call it discipleship.

  17. 5-18-2011

    Well, there is Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Of course, praedicate or κηρύξατε can be translated as “proclaim”.

    I think preaching is necessary, even commanded by Christ. But in some cases, perhaps the issue is that people have fallen into a rut when it comes to how they preach. For example, in our church, deacons preach along with the priests, and recently a newly ordained deacon was giving his first homily. I was looking forward to it, and it turned out to be disappointing. I asked a friend of mine who is in formation to be a deacon about it and his reply was, “Oh, he was just following the form.” Evidently in seminary the deacons are taught preaching sermons according to a “form.” Yawn.

    Ultimately, the preacher needs to be connected with the Lord. It cannot be about social justice or dogmatics or doctrines or “the teachings of Jesus”. It needs to be completely grounded in the Lord Jesus himself in order to make disciples. We don’t have a relationship with social justice or dogmatics or “the teachings of Jesus.” We have a relationship with HIM. When that relationship is forged, then all the other pieces fall into place, and we become effective in making disciples.

    Brian

  18. 5-19-2011

    Brian, is Mark 16:15 a picture of preachers preaching a sermon on Sunday morning to the church or is it a picture of Christians taking the Gospel out to the world, where the unbelievers are, to proclaim Christ?

  19. 5-19-2011

    Alan

    You write…
    “The question of this post is this: Is preaching (in the modern sense of the term) effective at helping others grow in maturity toward Christ?”

    At one time I thought it was effective. But NOT anymore.
    Now I see it as a very subtil form of “Spiritual Abuse.”

    It’s like locking a child in a closet.
    They get NO light. — NO direct revelation from Jesus. :-(
    They get NO exercise — NO chance to find out about or practice spirtual gifts. :-(
    That’s left to the Paid Professionals. Most just become Pew Potatoes. ;-)

    Now that’s abuse to me.

    Seems most Paid Professional Pastors are content to let us Pray – Pay – and Obey. :-(

    When you disagree, or ask tough questions as we often do here,
    you’re asked to submit to your authority or you’re asked to leave. :-(

    NO – IMO – Today’s “Abusive Religious System” is totally corrupt.
    For the last 1,700 years. ;-)

    Thanks – I’ll stick with Jesus being responsible for transforming me into His image.

  20. 5-19-2011

    Arthur, I certainly don’t think it excludes preaching in the church.

  21. 5-19-2011

    Brian

    It might not, although when you take into account the absence of any example or command in the New Testament to preach a traditional, monologue sermon, it seems pretty apparent that Jesus wasn’t speaking of sermons in the church at all.

  22. 5-19-2011

    Yes. Some questions raised would be these: In the NT, if preaching was for an unbelieving audience, then how did the church speak with one another? If it was different in the NT, are we missing something today?

    -Alan

  23. 5-19-2011

    Arthur,

    By the same token, there is no prohibition of preaching a traditional monologue sermon, either. I never meant to imply that preaching be limited to in church, monologue, “traditional”, or anything else. Jesus simply said, “Go therefore into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone.” I don’t see anything in that statement that Jesus excluded preaching sermons in church. If anything it would include this along with everything else.

    Brian

  24. 5-19-2011

    Alan,

    I am not sure that we can know with any certainty the answers to those questions. Our militant secular world is increasingly more and more like first century Palestine and Asia Minor, yet there are still differences. Most peop,e the apostles encountered werin just being introduced to the Lord. People today, at least in the west, know at least somewhat who he is. So I think it is becoming more urgent that we formulate answers to the questions which while being grounded in scripture (of course) should probably be tailored to a group of people who have learned about him from folks who would just as soon he go away.

  25. 5-19-2011

    Brian,

    I still think you’re mixing audiences. Look at your last comment. You are talking about people who “would just as soon he go away.” That’s not the church. Yes, the way we proclaim the gospel will have to change based on the culture around us (while the gospel itself does not change).

    But, what about when we are with the church – people who are already part of God’s family – who do not want him to go away? Why would the Scriptures not inform us as to how the apostles and others interacted with other Christians when they met together? Why would we not follow what Scripture shows us by example and command when we meet together?

    -Alan

  26. 5-19-2011

    Alan,

    The point being that many people that need to be reached would define themselves as Christians and members of the church, yet they receive a lot of their knowledge about Jesus from people who want him to go away. It is important that the message of the gospel be reinforced in an age where secularism is becoming more and more militant, almost evangelical, in its tactics.

    Does that make sense?

  27. 5-19-2011

    Brian,

    I think that if the church lived as the church is supposed to live (with and among one another), those who “define themselves as Christians” (but are not) would soon understand the difference. Then, we can probably begin with them at the gospel. However, if we continue to treat everyone as if they need the basics of the gospel, then the church will never mature… which is what we’ve been seeing for a long time, I think.

    -Alan

  28. 5-19-2011

    Alan,

    I agree, but build on the basics, don’t abandon them. It’s what I try to do in my interactions with folks,

    Brian

  29. 5-19-2011

    Brian,

    I’m not talking about abandoning anyone. I’m talking about treating unbelievers as unbelievers – they need to hear the proclamation (preaching) of the gospel. And treat believers like believers – they need to mutually encourage and teach one another.

    -Alan

  30. 5-19-2011

    I meant don’t abandon the basics. I know what you are saying. I happen to think that preaching still has a role even for those who are believers precisely by encouraging and teaching,

  31. 5-19-2011

    Brian,

    Yes, that’s the question raised by this post: Does preaching actually encourage or teach believers?

    -Alan

  32. 5-19-2011

    Alan,

    It should. In many cases it does. In some cases I am sure it doesn’t. In a perfect world it always would.

    Brian

  33. 5-19-2011

    Brian,

    So why do you think we don’t see preaching (monologue) to the church in the NT? Why do you think the descriptions and commands that we have concerning communication among the church is always mutual (dialogical)?

    -Alan

  34. 5-19-2011

    Alan,

    Give me an example of what you mean.

    Brian

  35. 5-19-2011

    Brian,

    David Rogers does a great job of stepping through a few of the examples in Scripture in this comment from just a few minutes ago.

    -Alan

  36. 10-20-2011

    Could it be that the reason we do not see `monologue` sermons in the NT church is that the church was just forming and the writers were spending most of their time defending doctrine? Peter, Paul, and Stephen seemed to preach monologue sermons in Acts, but they were to non-believers. Jesus preached a monologue in Matthew 5-7. Maybe we just do not have enough info to be conclusive. But all were very effective.

    I think preaching is very important to the church today. Monologue is fine as long as it is grounded in the word and points people to Jesus. But, there seems to be many other types of preaching that involves more than one person. So, I think it depends. Most of my discipleship (being made more and more in the image of Christ – discipleship is so much easy to say, even though it is not in the Bible :-) ) comes from hearing a message preached, then taking the principles of the word and putting them to practice. So, good preaching is only as effective as the listener being willing to listen to the Spirit of God in the message. Now, the message can come by the Sunday sermon, or in a conversation standing in line at McDonalds (love that new 1967 burger). We should not cut either form or say monologue messages are of no use today (by the way, nice monologue Hutch). I messing with you, dude.

    I think we add too much between the lines of the NT if we say preaching in Scripture was one way or another. I think they probably used many forms in many kinds of circumstances (in the church or in evangelism – sorry another one of those non-bible words). But, the purpose was always to help people grow closer to Christ. Many monologues do not do that today (unfortunely), but that does not mean we toos them out. We help. I am grateful for the elders in my church who help me in my monolgue preaching. Their insight helps me stay focused on the main goal: Jesus.

  37. 4-27-2012

    Discipleship-not sure but I think it is the process of being discipled (See-the Great Commission)

    Preaching-well, Jesus did that, so I figure it probably needs to be continued today. Whether or not what happens in the pulpit today is helpful is another matter. I think Jesus preaching had a certain amount of teaching to it-so I guesss we should consider preaching that includes some teaching.

    Somebody seemed to be saying that preachers don’t let people read their Bibles at home (said something to the effect of they get no light of revelation or something like that because of preachers). I have not heard a preacher say that before-could you point me to one who does? My pastor seems to think that I should be reading my Bible at home.

    Dan Kitinoja

  38. 4-27-2012

    Dan,

    Thanks for the comment. It’s good to hear that you are studying and learning on your own. Are you also given the opportunity to share what you learn with the church so that you can edify others?

    -Alan