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Christ Centered Preaching 101

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2023 7:00 pm

Christ Centered Preaching 101

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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November 22, 2023 7:00 pm

Stu interviews Ian Hamilton. Listen as he shares how Christian leaders and pastor can refocus on the central meaning and lesson of the Gospel.

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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Who is Ian Hamilton? Well, Ian Hamilton is a Scotsman, married to Joan.

We have four children, six grandchildren. I serve as the president of Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary in England. Until recently, I served on the board of the Banner of Truth Trust. And I'm also an adjunct professor at Greenville Presbyterian Seminary in South Carolina. I'm from the city of Glasgow in Scotland and had no Christian background whatsoever. My mum was a lapsed Roman Catholic, a lovely mum.

My dad wasn't anything. No Bible, no church. And the Lord graciously, wonderfully brought me to saving faith in Christ through hearing someone preach on John 3.16. The first sermon I ever recollect hearing was on John 3.16 and that transformed everything in my life. That's that verse that we often quote really, really fast, Ian Hamilton, but we don't always understand its deep meaning. Yeah, it is the gospel in a nutshell, but when you unpack it, it's profound. God, the eternal God, the living God, the creator of all things, so loved the world. Why would he ever love this fallen, sinful, rebellious world that he gave his only begotten son?

Why would he ever give up his own son in our flesh to be a sin atoning sacrifice in our place and for our sake and through him give us eternal life? It's a glorious verse, but it's one of the profoundest statements that you could find in the whole Bible actually about God and about the gospel of his salvation. And we are here to give folks listening to context. I'm honored to be sitting down with you and I've already messed some things up on our diet with those really good apple fritters that we brought, but we got to bless our speakers because you're here speaking at this conference at Twin City Bible Church in Winston-Salem, encouraging pastors on a hermeneutic or a homily, all their teaching and their preaching and their study on Christ-centered preaching.

Can you talk a little bit about the importance of that and why that's a sweet spot for you as you speak at this great conference here in North Carolina? Well, the calling of every Christian pastor is to do precisely what the Apostle Paul says we should do, Colossians 1 28. Him we proclaim. Jesus Christ is to be front and center. He's never to be a mere application.

He is the one. He is the gospel. I think that's one of the most important things for Christians to understand, that he doesn't just bless us with salvation. He is the salvation of God. He is the eternal life that we are united to through faith alone in him. It is in Christ that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. And so pastors, we really need to understand that we don't proclaim the benefits of Christ, all the blessings of Christ, but Christ himself, Christ himself, in whom are all the blessings of God. And so the calling of pastors as they preach the word, wherever they preach it, in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Ezekiel, I'm preaching a series on Ezekiel in my own church in Scotland or in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is front and center. He is the seed of the woman who has come and crushed the head of the serpent.

He is the one who will consummate all things when he comes again in power and in great glory. And so I know that my great need is constantly to be reminded, Ian, preach Christ, Christ and him crucified, which is of course offensive to the world, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God for salvation. Wow, you've read his books, you've heard him preach, maybe you've studied under him. He is, Ian Hamilton also has authored books, The Faith Shaped Life, The Gospel Shaped Life, Let's Study the Letters of John. He's got all kinds of books published through The Banner of Truth, Trust and other great outfits. And this book, I'm holding the Words from the Cross.

I'm excited to dig into this, Ian Hamilton. So many folks listening, there's a struggle, there's a battle. The church is being attacked on so many fronts. We've got the prosperity stuff coming in, you're looking for your great deliverance and all this connecting wealth and all this nonsense. Then we've got legalism attacking the God, you got to work and perform your way to heaven. God's not going to like you if you don't do more for him.

And then we've got the license. Well, just go live it up and do whatever, antinomianism, hitting everybody. How do we find that balance maybe somewhere in this message you're sharing with these pastors? With all the COVID and the wokeness, the political correct, pastors now confused, pastors, church is confused about gender and all that stuff.

Give us some hope and maybe some encouragement. Well, yeah, we are living in dark and darkening times. But the first thing we need to remember is that the Lord is sovereign and he's not being caught unawares by the tragedies, the confusions, the chaos, the absurdities of the times. He is working out his purposes often bewilderingly to us.

We see through a glass darkly, but one day face to face. So we need first to remember that the Lord is sovereign. We need secondly to remember that the Savior will not lose one of those for whom he shed his precious blood, that none of the redeemed will be lost. I think we also need to see that the times we live in is the Lord sifting the church, humbling the church. I think times of crisis help the church to see where it really is. And sometimes it takes crisis and trials and tribulations for the church to realize that perhaps many, who knows, many are not where they thought they were and that some people will fall away. But God is looking always to purify his church. There's always a remnant according to the election of grace. But we should be of great heart because nothing is too hard for the Lord. The wokeness, the absurdities that pass for normality today.

C.S. Lewis has a great statement where he says fads and fashions come and go, but they mainly go. And if you look at church history, you find that no matter what the devil no matter what the devil raises against the church, he's always confounded. He never wins. Christ has triumphed. And the book of Revelation, however you understand it, at the heart of it is saying Christ has triumphed. He is the King of Kings. He is the Lord of Lords. And that's why we need to have the Savior front and center in church life and preach the glory of Christ, the triumph of Christ, the preeminence of Christ and the return of Christ. I know I don't think as much as I should about the glorious prospect of the Son of God descending from the heavens with a shout and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. So we can be of good cheer because the Lord God omnipotent reigns.

That's the voice of Ian Hamilton. I'm Stu Everson, host of Truth Talk, honored to sit with him today visiting at this wonderful church conference here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he is one of the keynote speakers. A lot of pastors are here. They're eating this up. Man, the pastors are hungry.

The people are hungry. You're closing parting word to pastors and the need for a true fidelity to God's word, to study God's word, to preach God's word instead of all these other gimmicks. Would you close us with that? And then as you're saying that, your word to people looking for a good church. I mean, the church is God's plan A.

You know, that hadn't changed. Would you give us a word to pastors and a word to people, what kind of church they need to be attending? People listening all over the world to this podcast and broadcast.

Ian Hamilton, take us out of here. Well, Paul's final words to Timothy at a time when there was defections within the church and opposition without the church, preach the word, literally herald the word, the riches of the gospel in season and out of season, literally in good times and in bad times, whether people want it or not, whether they'll praise you or not, preach the word, be faithful, live your life, pastors, quorum deo, before the face of God. And for people looking for a church, you know, isn't rocket science. The early church devoted themselves to the apostles doctrine, to the prayers, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and where you see those four elements front and center. That's the church you should go to. You know, we shouldn't think first and foremost, denominationally. We should think first and foremost is Jesus Christ being set before me as prophet, priest and King.

There you can be nourished and grow up into Christ. Amen. Wonderful. Thank you for the encouragement. Ian Hamilton, good to sit down with you on Truth Talk. Please download and share this podcast with all your friends and pastors. And one little bonus, if you ever can sit under a pastor that has an accent like this guy, it's always an extra bonus. It's just lovely to hear you. So rich, so encouraging. But thank you for hanging out with us today. What a blessing. My great privilege, Stu. Thank you for having me. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 22:54:01 / 2023-11-22 22:58:21 / 4

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