In his book on Biblical Preaching, Haddon Robinson includes a quote from Matthew Simpson that all of us who teach and preach the Word of God would do well to heed:
His throne is the pulpit; he stands in Christ’s stead; his message is the Word of God; around him are immortal souls; the Savior, unseen, is beside him; the Holy Spirit broods over the congregation; angels gaze upon the scene, and heaven and hell await the issue. What associations, and what vast responsibility!” (Lectures on Preaching, New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1879, p. 166).
Having served at Boone’s Creek Baptist Church for 3 1/2 years, I am just now beginning to understand the vast responsibility I have in being not only their pastor but also their preacher of the Word of God. I hear of people who, after having a particular issue come up in their life, say that the Word of God addresses that issue clearly and completely. “It was as if you were speaking directly to me!” Well, I wasn’t, but God was through me.
Is there any way to plan something like this? No way! Is there any way God sovereignly know about this? Absolutely! And so my responsibility is to first know God through His Word, and thus He will help us know our people through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit — “the tie that binds!” The terror and the triumph of pulpit ministry — what an amazing God who calls us in Christ!
(Originally posted in 2007 at a former blog.)