Preacher’s Toolkit: What Role Does the Spirit Play in My Preaching?

Dave Harvey | March 23, 2017

The moment arrives. Whispering a prayer for grace, the preacher stands and moves toward the front. He assumes a designated preaching spot—on a platform, behind a pulpit, adjacent to a table—it hardly matters. What matters is that he is not alone. The Holy Spirit is there.

But in what way? For what purpose? How does God’s Spirit work during a sermon? What should the preacher and people expect from the Spirit?

He Gifts the Preacher

Preacher, you are gifted. If that swells your head, you’ve missed the point. Gifts magnify the Giver, which in this case is the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7, 11):

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God. (1 Pet. 4:10)

And the Bible says your gift comes with instructions, two in particular:

1. Use it only to serve one another.

Preaching serves others when God is exalted and the listener receives grace—not when the gift is exalted and the preacher receives praise. This makes you a “good steward of God’s varied grace.”

2. Preach “as one who speaks the oracles of God.”

God’s Spirit has graced some to proclaim God’s Word…

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