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Sermon Series on the Doctrine of Preaching

Paul Preaching in Athens by Raphael, 1515-16 (click to enlarge)

Paul Preaching in Athens by Raphael, 1515-16 (click to enlarge)

As I’ve been thinking about the sermon last Lord’s Day, specifically about the keys of the kingdom of heaven, I decided that I should expound more about why preaching is an indispensable key. So this Lord’s Day, May 27, I will start a new sermon series about preaching. The series will be an adaptation of Chapter 3 of Dennis Johnson’s Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2007), 62-97. The chapter is based on Colossians 1:24-2:7, and I will base most of the sermons on the same pasage.

The preaching of the gospel is vital to salvation:

Heidelberg Catechism Q &A 65: Since, then, we are made partakers of Christ and all His benefits by faith only, where does this faith come from?
A. The Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts[1] by the preaching of the Holy Gospel,[2] and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.[3]
[1] Jn 3:5; Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 2:10-14; Eph 2:8; Php 1:29; [2] Rom 10:17; 1 Pt 1:23-25; [3] Mt 28:19-20; Rom 4:11; 1 Cor 10:16

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 89: How is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching, of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.

The preaching of the gospel is one of the keys of the kingdom of heaven:

HC 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the Holy Gospel?
In this way: that, according to the command of Christ, it is proclaimed and openly witnessed to believers, one and all, that as often as they accept with true faith the promise of the Gospel, all their sins are really forgiven them of God for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary, to all unbelievers and hypocrites, that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation abide on them so long as they are not converted.[1] According to this testimony of the Gospel, God will judge men both in this life and in that which is to come.
[1] Isa 58:1; Mt 16:19; Jn 3:31-36, 8:24, 20:21-23; Acts 10:43; 2 Cor 2:15-16

It is one of the three marks of a true church:

Belgic Confession Article 29:2: The true church is to be recognized by the following marks: It practises the pure preaching of the gospel.[3] It maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them.[4] It exercises church discipline for correcting and punishing sins.[5]
[3] Gal 1:8; 1 Tim 3:15. [4] Acts 19:3-5; 1 Cor 11:20-29. [5] Mt 18:15-17; 1 Cor 5:4, 5, 13; 2 Thess 3:6, 14; Tit 3:10

It is one of the elements in the public worship of God on the Lord’s Day:

Westminster Confession 21:5: The various elements of the ordinary religious worship of God are the reading of the Scriptures with reverence; the sound preaching and conscientious hearing of the Word in obedience to God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; the singing of psalms with grace in the heart; and the proper administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ.


Date Sermon Title Text Old Testament Reading
May 27 The Purpose: To Make Known and to Make Mature
1. To Make Known Among the Gentiles
2. To Make the Saints Mature in Christ
Col 1:21-23, 26-28 Isa 12:3-6
June 3 The Content: “Him We Proclaim”
1. We Proclaim the Lord of Creation
2. We Proclaim the Lord of Redemption
3. We Proclaim the Lord of Glory
Col 1:28 Gen 3:15
June 24 The How: “Warning and Teaching… with All Wisdom”
1. Warning Everyone
2. Teaching Everyone
3. With All Wisdom
Col 1:28 Prov 9:7-12
July 8 The Servant Who Preaches: The Three Marks of a True Minister of the Gospel
1. Preaches According to God’s Stewardship
2. Suffers, Struggles and Toils
3. Energized with Christ’s Power
Col 1:24-29 Num 27:18-23


I will publish the Old Testament readings and outlines during the weeks before each sermon.