Arminian Today

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Distinctives of Martin Luther’s Preaching

The following are points made by Dr. Steve Lawson at a recent conference that I attended on preaching and preachers.  These are points that Dr. Lawson said that made Luther a great preacher.  I believe that modern disciples of Jesus could learn from the examples of Luther, Calvin, and Arminius in preaching.  We could also learn from the passionate examples of men who loved souls such as John Wesley or Charles Spurgeon.

So what distinctions can we learn from Luther?

1.  He was a biblical preacher (sola Scriptura).  Luther was first and foremost a Bible preacher.  He always used the Bible and preached directly from the Bible.  He allowed the Bible to dominate his preaching.

2.  He was a well-studied preacher.  He would devote hours to studying the Word of God.  He would meditate on the Scriptures to grasp their central truths (Psalm 1:1-3).

3.  He was a veracious student and reader of God’s Word.  Luther studied the Bible in the original languages including both Hebrew and Greek.  He also could read Latin.  Luther held to a literal interpretation of Scripture as far as the text would allow.  He strongly believed in divine illumination (John 6:45).

4.  He was an expository preacher.  Luther would preach books of the Bible.  His famous commentaries on Romans or Galatians come to mind.  These came out of his preaching.  He would preach verse by verse through the Word of God because he preached sola Scriptura.

5.  He was a Christ-centered preacher.  Christ was his passion and his delight.  He wanted to exalt Christ.  He believed that Christ was to be found all through the Scriptures and was the central theme of the Bible.  Therefore the preacher should exalt Christ above all else.

6.  He was a plain-spoken preacher.  He would take the deep truths of the Word of God and make them clear to his hearers.  Luther believed the Word of God could be clearly understood by the people of God through preaching and reading.

7.  He was tireless preacher.  He would preach nearly everyday.  He would teach theology classes, teach the catechisms, lecture on books of the Bible. and still pray for hours.  He once commented that he had so much to do that he must rise early in the morning before the sun rises to pray for up to two hours a day.

8.  He was a passionate preacher.  The reason the Reformation spread like fire was because Luther was on fire for God.  He loved Jesus and His Word and wanted all to hear the gospel of God’s grace given to us in His Son (Romans 1:16-17).

9.  He was a fearless preacher.  He didn’t fear the Pope.  He didn’t fear the Catholic cardinals or bishops or priests.  He only feared God (Luke 12:4-5).  The Spirit of God gave him boldness in the face of fierce opposition (Acts 4:29-31).

10.  He was a polemic preacher.  He didn’t mind preaching on controversial issues.  He would not avoid, as in our day, issues such as homosexuality or other sins.  He would preach with passion against heresy and against the popular Roman Catholic Church.  Luther would preach against the pope or against good works as leading to salvation.  He would preach against any and everything that came before him as he studied the Word of God.  So should we.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/07/2012 at 1:39 PM

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