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A Ministry Update! Preaching and Teaching and Editing, O My!

The Lord is so good! He is keeping me busy during my early days of retirement. After I was downsized from my teaching position at CIU, He provided a fourteen-month position as preaching pastor at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Augusta, Georgia.

After they called their next senior pastor, I began to wonder how the Lord would use me.  A church in New Jersey, Cedarcroft Bible Chapel, brought me up last week to do some ministry with them.  I preached both Sundays (New Year’s Eve and Jan. 7), gave an overview of the book of Acts for their mid-week Bible study, spoke at a men’s breakfast, surveyed I-III John for Sunday school, and consulted with the elders on a variety of subjects.  I’ll be finalizing a position paper on marriage, divorce, and remarriage for their consideration over the next month.

They’ve invited me to come back in April and I will speak on two consecutive Sundays (April 15 and 22), conduct two Sunday school classes, and lead a half-day seminar on preaching for area lay preachers.  I’ll use my Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better! as well as a workbook for those men.

My larger projects are producing two online courses for Emmaus Bible College, editing a manuscript for a Scottish publisher, getting ready for my two messages for Biblical Eldership Resources in Rochester, NY, in March, and preparing for a three-week teaching ministry in Myanmar in August!  I’m not letting any moss grow under my feet!

I’m also open to conducting my “Theology Matters” conferences and have a brochure I would be glad to mail to you and your church for your consideration.

Again, I’m so grateful for the opportunities HE is giving me to serve Him.  Please lift me up in prayer, would you?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2018 in ministry

 

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Ministry Update — Sure Appreciate Your Prayers!

Some of you faithful readers might be interested in my ministry schedule for the next few months. The old word “covet” comes to mind. I’d sure covet your prayers for these upcoming opportunities:

Dec. 28 through Jan. 8
— Linda and I will be in NJ visiting her 91-year-old Mom. I’ll be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel on those two Sundays. I’m looking forward to working with their leadership over the next few months. I’ll meet with their leadership team on Tuesday Jan. 2 to discuss a position paper on Marriage and Divorce, lead a midweek Bible study on Acts on Wednesday, Jan. 3, speak at a men’s breakfast there on Jan. 6, teach a Sunday School class on I-III John on Sunday, Jan. 7, then preach that Sunday’s message! Please pray that we work well together during that week and for my next scheduled visit to them (April 15-22).

The New Year: I will be working on developing two online courses for Emmaus Bible College. They are both on areas of theology and I am looking forward to contributing to their program. Please pray for clarity and wisdom as I work on these.  I’m also quite excited to work with Biblical Eldership Resources in March and will be presenting two sermons on the preacher and the Holy Spirit!

Missions:  I’m looking forward to teaching at South East Asia Bible College and Seminary in Myanmar (Burma) in August.  We’ve not yet finalized the date.  Please pray for that wonderful opportunity for me to contribute to their ministry and the education of their students.  Their website is found at: https://www.southeastasiabiblecollege.org/

Writing:  My retirement is giving me time to work on several projects.  I’ve just finished my little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!  Send me a check for five bucks and I’ll get one right out to you.  Send me a note via snail mail telling me what you like about my blog and I’ll send you one for free!  Address: Dr. Larry Dixon, 117 Norse Way, Columbia, SC 29229

I’m working on other projects which I’ll probably inflict on (I mean share with) you in a later post.

Theology Matters Conferences:  I’ve developed a brochure on these weekend conferences.  Topics include “Unlike Jesus:  One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel”; “Insight from a Blind Man: A Study of John 9”; “Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die!  A Study of John 11”; etc.  Drop me an email (with a post office address) if you want some brochures to pass on to your church’s leadership team.

Again, thank you for reading my blog.  May the Lord encourage you in your projects!

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in ministry

 

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The Spirit, the Preacher, and the Word (Part 12 conclusion)

One of the disciplines that is helpful to me as I approach a preaching or teaching assignment is to blog on that topic, if possible, months before that engagement. I’m thankful that the folks at Biblical Eldership Resources (website: biblicaleldership.com) have asked me to speak at their simulcast conference in Rochester, NY, on March 24th.

The topic given me is “Faithful Preaching and the Power of the Spirit.” This will be two parts and will be incorporated into the BER website’s curriculum.

Some questions that occur to me that I’ll need to work on include . . .

1. How is the Spirit’s work different for the preacher than it is for the “average” Christian?

2. How does one know when one is preaching in the Spirit’s power?

3. What constitutes powerful preaching? A strong voice? Enthusiastic gestures? A British accent?

4. Should a preacher be able to say post-sermon, “My, the Spirit was in that!” or “I think the Spirit stayed home on that message.”

5. What differences does the Spirit of God make in our preaching? He is the Unseen Teacher. What evidences ought there to be that He has been involved in the entire process from preparation to delivery?

6. The Holy Spirit’s “illumination” ministry — How does that relate to the preacher? To his hermeneutics? To his efforts to apply what he sees in the biblical text?

7. How does one preach “in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (I Cor. 2:4-5)?

8. If the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, when can I as a preacher be confident I am proclaiming the truth? Are there levels of confidence? What’s the place of being dogmatic in my declarations?

9. What’s the relationship between human skill (oratory ability, hermeneutical acumen, vocal effectiveness, illustrative wisdom, etc.) and the Spirit’s empowerment?

10. Other Scriptures to examine: I Corinthians 2 regarding human wisdom and the demonstration of the Spirit; texts where the Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin such as Acts 2; I Thessalonians 1:5 (“because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.”), etc.

Are there questions that you can think of which I ought to consider?  (I’ll let you know how my work progresses on this topic).

 
 

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The Spirit, the Preacher, and the Word (Part 11)

Friends: We are almost finished with our study of the Holy Spirit and the preacher as seen in the Upper Room Discourse. There are several other texts which we will look at in our subsequent posts, but we have been concentrating on John 14-16.

We learn a great deal about Jesus’ sending the Spirit as His replacement and as our Teacher. We see in John 14 that the Holy Spirit is a gift to the disciples, requested of the Father by the Son (14:16). He comes to help and to indwell Jesus’ followers (14:16) as the Spirit of truth (14:17). He is the manifestation of the absent Christ to them (14:18) so that they will not be orphans.

Sent from the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, will teach the disciples all things and will remind them of all Jesus had taught them (14:26).

In John 15 we learn that the Spirit of truth whom Jesus will send from the Father will testify about Christ (15:26). That is His curriculum. And the disciples are to pass on that testimony (15:27).

John 16 has the most information about the Spirit of God and the disciples. We learn —
1. It is for the disciples’ benefit that Jesus is going back to the Father, for “unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you” (16:7). The Holy Spirit’s presence necessitated Jesus’ absence.
2. The Spirit’s work will be that of proving the world wrong! The world is wrong regarding sin and righteousness and judgment (16:8). Each of these areas is explained: the world is wrong about sin because people don’t believe in Jesus; about righteousness because He is going to the Father where the disciples can see Him no longer; about judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned (16:9-11).
3. The Spirit’s guidance is promised — “He will guide you into all the truth” 16:12). He won’t speak on His own but will only speaks what He hears and will tell you what is yet to come (16:13). There is on-going communication between the members of the Trinity!
4. We learn that the Spirit’s role is to glorify the Son (16:14). Jesus says, “He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you” (16:14).

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in God the Holy Spirit

 

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The Spirit, the Preacher, and the Word (Part 9)

The American humorist Will Rogers once said, “I refuse to accept my religion from anyone who earns his living only by the sweat of his jaw!” Preaching is incredible risky business. We want to be Spirit-led, Spirit-enthused, and Spirit-pleasing, don’t we?

Jesus’ Upper Room Discourse tells us some of the ministries of the Third Person of the Trinity. But how does He relate to our preaching? Let’s look at our section of that discourse one more time . . .

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. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. . . . 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 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. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 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.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2017 in God the Holy Spirit

 

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The Spirit, the Preacher, and the Word (Part 8)

How is the Spirit of God involved in the preacher’s study, preparation, and delivery of sermons today? There is no instrument that tells us that if we shout more, or wave our arms enthusiastically, or tell tear-jerking stories we will have the assurance that the Spirit is actively working in our sermons. So how can we know that He is involved? Let’s ponder this passage from the Upper Room Discourse once more time . . .

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. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. . . . 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 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. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 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.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in conviction of sin

 

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The Spirit, the Preacher, and the Word (Part 7)

If you are reading these posts on the Holy Spirit and preaching, thank you! These give me the opportunity to think my way through some critical questions about how the Spirit helps us preachers in our preparation and delivery of God’s Word. Let’s read over these verses in John 15 and 16 once more . . .

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. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. . . . 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 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. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 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.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2017 in the holy spirit

 

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