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Sermons & Study Guides

Directory For The Publick Worship Of God Pt. 6 - Of The Preaching Of The Word. (part 2.)

James Dodson

Directory For The Publick Worship Of God

Of The Preaching Of The Word. (part 2.)

Question 1.—Is the minister not to rest in general doctrine but to proceed to special use, by application to his hearers? Answer.—Yes. Eccl. 12:9-11.  The Word of God is likened unto a hammer and ought to be wielded with precision, Jer. 23:29.  Its message should be pointed, not dulled, Matt. 3:7. Question  2.—Ought  he to  do  this,  though  it  prove  to be  a  work of  great  difficulty  to himself? Answer.—Yes. 2 Tim. 2:15; Jude 3.  The Apostle Paul holds forth the great difficulty of fulfilling  the  ministry,  1  Cor.  9:24-27.    He  proved  himself  an  exemplar  of  this  selfless approach  to  the  ministry,  for  he  thought  it  a  small  thing  to  be  even  in  chains  for  the advancement of the Gospel, Eph. 6:20; Col. 4:3; Philemon 10. Question 3.—Should this be done in such a manner, that his auditors may feel the Word of God to be piercing and discerning? Answer.—Yes. Heb. 4:12.  It is the duty of the preacher to press the matter at hand so that the auditors are cut to the quick by the Word of God, Acts 2:37; 5:33; 7:54. Question  4.—Should he seek to do it in such a way that any unbelievers or ignorant persons present may give glory to God? Answer.—Yes. 1 Cor. 14:8, 9, 16, 23-25.  The minister ought to seek to study great plainness of words that will convince and convict those who hear, 2 Cor. 3:12; Tit. 1:9. Question 5.—May he in the use of information in the knowledge of some truth, confirm it by a few arguments from the text in hand, and other places of Scripture? Answer.—Yes.  Rom.  3:10-18.    Christ  and  the  apostles  often  begin in  one  place  of Scripture and find out more places to expound and confirm the doctrine being taught, Luke 4:17-27; Acts 2:14-16, 25; 13:16-21, 33, 35. Question  6.—Should  he,  in  the  confutation  of  false  doctrines,  raise old  heresies  or mention blasphemous opinions unnecessarily? Answer.—No. 1 Tim. 6:20.  While it is the duty of the minister to confute false doctrines and  corrupt  practices,  Tit.  1:9-14;  it  should  be  done  apart  from  raising  unprofitable questions anew, Tit. 3:9. Question  7.—Should  he,  in  exhorting  to  duties,  teach  also  the  means  to  help  in  the performance of them? Answer.—Yes. Ps. 25:4, 5.  God’s people not only need to know what is the right way, but they have great need of being shown the means to help them in it, 1 Cor. 4:14-17; 11:1. Question  8.—Should he, in dehortation, reprehension and public admonition, not only discover the nature and greatness of sin and its misery, but the remedies and best ways to avoid it? Answer.—Yes.  Dan.  4:27.    Preaching  requires  the  discovery  of  the  exceeding sinfulness  of  sin and its  attendant  miseries,  Ezek.  9:9;  Rev.  21:8.    It  also  requires  the remedy for sin to be proclaimed, 1 Cor. 2:2-5; Eph. 1:7; as well as, to set forth the best ways to avoid sin, Ps. 119:9. 
Question 9.—Should the minister, in applying comfort, be careful to answer the objections of troubled hearts and afflicted spirits? Answer.—Yes. Eph. 6:21, 22; 1 Thess. 3:2.  Christ himself was very careful in this matter of great concern, John 14:1-3.  So too, were his apostles concerned that comfort be applied to those in need, 1 Thess. 5:14. Question 10.—Is it sometimes requisite to give some notes of trial, whereby the hearers may  be  able  to  examine  themselves  whether  they  have  attained  those  graces,  and performed those duties, which he exhorts, or be guilty of the sin reprehended? Answer.—Yes. 2 Pet. 1:4-10.  Oftentimes it proves a help to those hearers to make a trial by holding forth such notes or marks of graces attained or duties to be performed or sins to be reprehended that those who hear may examine themselves, 2 Cor. 13:5. Question 11.—Should he wisely make choice of which doctrines to prosecute based upon the need of the flock? Answer.—Yes. Heb. 5:13, 14.  Consideration ought to be had both to the audience, and to the times, Prov. 15:23.  Paul addressed the Jews in the synagogues in one manner and those on Mars’ hill in another altogether, Acts 13:16 with 17:22. Question  12.—How should the servant of Christ, whatever his method be, perform his whole ministry? Answer.—The minister of Christ should perform his work: 1.) Painfully, not doing the work of the Lord negligently, Jer. 48:10.  2.) Plainly, that those of meanest capacity may understand, John 16:25, 29.  3.) Faithfully, looking to the honour of Christ, the conversion, edification, and salvation of the people, not to his own gain or glory, 1 Cor. 4:2; 1 Thess. 2:5, 6.  4.) Wisely, framing all his doctrines, exhortations, and especially his reproofs, in such a manner as may be most likely to prevail, Prov. 16:20; Luke 16:8.  5.) Gravely, as becomes the word of God, 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 2:7.  6.) With loving affection, that the people may see all coming from his godly zeal, and hearty desire to do them good, Acts 20:18-25, 31;  Gal.  4:18.    7.)  As  taught of  God,  and  persuaded in his  own  heart,  that  all  that  he teaches is the truth of Christ, Gal. 1:12; Eph. 4:21; Tit. 1:9. Question 13.—Where there are more ministers in a congregation than one, and they of different gifts, may each more especially apply himself according to the gift wherein he does most excel? Answer.—Yes. 1 Cor. 12:1, 4-7.  The symmetry of the Church consists of a manifold unity when the variety of gifts is directed to the same object.  Hence it is befitting that there should be a distinction of gifts as well as of offices, and yet all harmonize in one, Rom. 12:6-8.