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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Christmas on the Isle of Patmos: "A Christmas Revelation" | Main | Book Review: The Future of Justification, by John Piper »

    Spirit Empowered Preaching

    “When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power."

    In order to get this book into the hands of as many preachers as possible we are reducing Arturo Azurdia's Spirit Empowered Preaching to the lowest price ever - a 40% discount. The supplies at this price are limited so get them while you can. We cannot recommend this book too highly - In our estimation this book lives up to its' hype.

    Some of the questions this book answers

    • What is the overarching storyline of the Bible?

    • What is the Holy Spirit’s new covenant ministry in relationship to Jesus Christ?

    • How are we to understand the nature of the Holy Spirit’s relationship to the Scriptures?

    • What kind of preaching is the Holy Spirit most inclined to empower?

    • Is the ministry of the Holy Spirit confined to preparation for preaching or is it something that occurs during the actual preaching event?

    • What is the responsibility of the preacher in Spirit empowered preaching? What is the responsibility of the congregation?

    Some quotes from the book

    "A major step toward experiencing the power of God necessitates a thorough-going recognition of our lack of it" (p143).

    It must be understood that the preacher does not share, he declares. It is for this very reason that small group Bible studies can never replace the preaching of the gospel. Preaching is not a little talk. It is not a fireside chat. To substitute sharing and discussion for preaching is to risk the integrity of the gospel itself (p88).

    The preacher brings to a fallen humanity the very testimony of God centered on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, a work which by nature shatters all human self-sufficiency. To then attempt a proclamation of that message in a manner that relies upon methods reflecting the wizardry of men is to eviscerate the gospel of its own content. The cross . . . not only determines the substance of the preacher's message, it dictates the manner in which preachers communicate it; in a way that rivets the attention of people on the beauties of Jesus Christ rather than on the comparatively paltry gifts of the preacher (p91).

    The greatest impediment to the advancement of the gospel in our time is the attempt of the church of Jesus Christ to do the work of God apart from the truth and power of the Spirit of God.” (pg. 29)

    There can be no confusion regarding these words [John 14:26, 15:26, 16:13-15]. Jesus will be the sum and substance of the Spirit's revelatory ministry. The predominant work of the Holy Spirit is the reveal and glorify Jesus Christ, a fact we must never lose site of if we are ever to anticipate the Holy Spirit's power. (p50)

    “In a single statement, the vitality of the Spirit is His effectual work of glorifying Jesus Christ through fallible men who faithfully proclaim the Christocentric scriptures. This is ministry distinctive to the new covenant people of God: Christ is our message, preaching Christ from all of the scriptures is our method, and the attending power of the purchased Spirit of God in our means.” (pg63)

    A major step toward experiencing the power of God necessitates a thorough-going recognition of our lack of it. . . . The preacher must recognize, and even revel in, his own human inabilities (p143).

    recommendations

    Arturo Azurdia believes that much of modern preaching is powerless. Sadly, he is right. He is also convinced that the reason for this tragic truth is an absence of the unction of that only the Holy Spirit can bring, and in a searching and warm-hearted analysis he shows how the situation should and can be remedied. Were this book to be read, absorbed and acted upon by all involved in the preaching - and hearing - of the Word of God there would be a revolution in the Christian church. I wholeheartedly commend this splendid publication
    - John Blanchard

    Directed at preachers, this is a most competent, humbling and forceful book. Arturo Azurdia has been the minister of a growing church in San Francisco for over ten years and here he brings to the reader the fruit of both his study and experience. Basing his argument on a sound Reformed view of God and of fallen human nature, the burden of his message is of the absolute necessity of the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the purpose of preaching. The book begins by showing us the Spirit as the divine communicator whose great work is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ - not the preacher. Preaching, in its various forms, has always been God's method of bringing salvation. The message of the cross is foolishness to blind, spiritually dead sinners, and only the Spirit can open their eyes and bring life in Christ. Along the way, the author makes some telling points against gimmicky evangelistic methods. The issue is 'the radical inconsistency between the message of a bloody cross and the slick, sophisticated, Spielberg-like methods of communicating it.' In the Acts, it was the Spirit who empowered the apostles to speak with boldness, clarity and effectiveness. With this in mind, Mr. Azurdia directs us to three simple but profound principles. First, the preacher must devote himself to a consistent pattern of fervent intercession. Prayer is half a preacher's ministry (Acts 6.4). Second, the preacher must prepare himself by diligent study of the Scriptures. Scripture will equip the man of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3.16-17). Thirdly, and perhaps this is the most telling point, the preacher must recognise and even revel in his own human inabilities. It is in weakness, not confidence or arrogance, that God's true power is seen (1 Corinthians 2.3-5). If there is a weakness, in the book, it is where the author seems to set the Spirit over against apologetics - but the Spirit, the great witness, can be an apologist too. But this is a terrific book full of Scripture and Scriptural argument. It overflows with penetrating and encouraging quotations from preachers ancient and modern. This is not simply a book to be read, but a book for preachers to pray over on their knees.
    - Dr John Benton

    Available for a limited time at a 40% discount from Monergism Books

    Posted by John on December 12, 2007 06:22 PM

    Comments

    Wonderful book and wonderful man of God! To hear the principles of this book lived out through preaching, make sure you stop by his web site, SpiritEmpoweredPreaching.com, and listen to God proclaim the message powerfully through this dear brother.

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