[The preacher is] the man of God who is set on fire with the truth of God, who believes that he is called by God and equipped by the Spirit of God to speak to the minds of his hearers in such a compelling way that he must have an audience.
The preacher’s task is to declare what God has said, explain the meaning, and establish the implications so that no one will mistake its relevance.
Preaching is that wise means of God by which the wisdom of the world is shown to be foolishness, and the folly of the gospel, as the world conceives it, is shown to be true wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:21).
[Preaching is] truth mediated through personality.
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is ‘an ambassador for Christ.’ That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people.
What is preaching? Logic on fire! Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.
Preaching is a spiritual event that is intended to grip your heart and shake you loose from your comfort. It is designed to take you where you haven’t gone in terms of your thinking and understanding of the Word of God. It is intended to create a spiritual response that very moment and to deposit seeds that will shape, over a long period of time, a fixed set of convictions in the fabric of your life.
[Preaching is] a manifestation of the Incarnate Word, from the Written Word, by the Spoken Word. [It is] a most solemn act of worship, in which the thing given – the Gospel of the Son of God – overshadows and even transfigures the preacher by whom it is declared.
Preaching is not just morally edifying speech. It is not simply a pep-rally to excite the listeners to a day or two of penitential service. It is taking the dominion of God and placing it within the deepest reaches of the soul of those He is ministering to. It is screwing truth into men’s minds in such a way as to enthrall the heart with more of Jesus Christ. Preaching is a spiritual infection which ought to impregnate the hearer with the life of God and Christ.
The pulpit is the place where the voice of God is heard. The clay pot of the minister is used by the Holy Spirit in such a way as to communicate the rational Biblical message which has been burning in the bosom of that preacher’s heart night and day all week long. It is the place where God speaks to His people in a unique manner. The Word of God is audibly expressed and expounded by careful and responsible exegesis to God’s chosen people.
Preaching is unleashing the mind and character of God.
Preaching appears in the Bible as a relaying of what God has said about Himself and His doings, and about men in relation to Him, plus a pressing of His commands, promises, warnings, and assurances, with a view to winning the hearer or hearers…to a positive response.
[The heart of all preaching is] to preach one Christ, by Christ, to the praise of Christ.
Preaching is God’s appointed means for the conversion of sinners, the awakening of the church, and the preservation of the saints. If preaching fails in its task, the consequences are infinitely terrible.
[Preaching is] a public interpretation or dividing the Word, performed by an ambassador or minister who speaks to the people instead of God, in the name of Christ.
To teach is to inform! To preach is to move!
Preaching means, “to cry out, herald, or exhort.” Preaching should so stir a man that he pours out the message with passion and fervor. Not all passionate pleading from a pulpit, however, possesses divine authority. When a preacher speaks as a herald, he must cry out “the Word.” Anything less cannot legitimately pass for Christian preaching.
A sermon should be a bullet and not buckshot. Ideally each sermon is the explanation, interpretation, or application of a single dominant idea supported by other ideas, all drawn from one passage or several passages of Scripture.
[The preacher’s] throne is the pulpit; he stands in Christ’s stead; his message is the word of God; around him are immortal souls; the Savior, unseen, is beside him; the Holy Spirit broods over the congregation; angels gaze upon the scene, and heaven and hell await the issue. What associations, and what vast responsibility.
Your task, O preacher, is to make sure that you are faithful to the text, that you are faithful to the proclamation of that gospel, that you are faithful to set forth the whole counsel of God, and then step back and let it happen.
Preaching is more than the regurgitation of your favorite exegetical commentary, or a rather transparent recast of the sermons of your favorite preachers, or a reshaping of notes from one of your favorite seminary classes. It is bringing the transforming truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ from a passage that has been properly understood, cogently and practically applied, and delivered with the engaging tenderness and passion of a person who has been broken and restored by the very truths he stands up to communicate. You simply cannot do that without proper preparation, meditation, confession, and worship.