Inspiration from John Owen to Diligently Preach the Gospel

| February 13, 2015


The Word is like the sun in the firmament. . . . It hath virtually in it all spiritual light and heat. But the preaching of the Word is as the motion and beams of the sun, which actually and effectually doth communicate that light and heat unto all creatures. — John Owen

The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the flock by diligent preaching of the Word. — John Owen

John Owen once said to King Charles II, “Could I possess the tinker’s abilities, please your majesty, I would gladly relinquish all my learning.” This “tinker” Owen was referring to was none other than John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress. The anecdote is revealing, for it displays not only Owen’s high regard for those whom God had gifted in preaching, but also Owen’s great esteem for the proclamation of the Word of God itself.

An excellent avenue into Owen’s thinking about preaching can be found in a sermon he delivered at an ordination service on September 8, 1682, which is titled “The Duty of a Pastor.” The sermon text was Jeremiah 3:15, “And I will give you pastors according to my heart, which shall…


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