Lecture 6 – Application in Preaching

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4. The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths with specific references to the thinking, behavior patterns, affections, conscience s, and wills of your hearers must constitute your continuous practice.

a. A description and definition of application in preaching

1) “Application is the highway from the head to the heart.”

John A. Broadus, On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005), p. 246.

The Directory for the Publick Worship of God” in Westminster Confession of Faith (Glasgow: Bell and Bain Ltd., 1997), p. 380.

John A. Broadus, On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005), p, 245.

Henry C. Fish, Power in the Pulpit, (London: Banner of Truth Trust), pp. 8-9.

Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976), pp. 270-273.

Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. IV, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980), p. 23.

Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. III, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980), pp. 218-219.

Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. I, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980), p. 439.

It is the bridge from correct notions of biblical truth to proper affections and right volitions in the light of the truth established. Application is that aspect of your preaching in which your hearers are made to know and to feel that you are not only, or merely, stating true and good things, but that you are proclaiming vital things to their hearts. If truth is the nail, application is the hammer by which the truth is fastened in the hearts of your hearers.

2) Qualification: Not inferring that God only applies the truth when we do.

b. A demonstration of the scriptural basis of application in preaching.

1) 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 4:2

2) Recorded sermons of the prophets, apostles and our Lord

Isa. 1
Mt. 23
Amos 1
Hosea
Dan. 4:35
Jn. 14-16
Isa. 40
Rev. 1-3

Summary – What is said of Jesus’ teaching should be true of ours.

Mt. 21:45

Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976), p. 271.

3) Church history

James I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990), pp. 286-287.

The Larger Catechism Question 159 in Westminster Confession of Faith, (Glasgow: Free Presbyterian Publications, 1997), pp. 251-252.

Edmund P. Clowney, Called to the Ministry, (Phillipsburg, NJ:Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co, 1964), p. 60.

4) Refutation of the objection that application is a work of the Spirit

Nicholas Murray, Preachers and Preaching, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1860), pp. 101-103.[/ref]

It is the work of the Spirit to make the application spiritually perceived, morally effective, and more extensive. But to deal in vague generalities and to trust the Spirit is to be guilty of presumption.

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