“The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1
On Saturday, 28 September, we had our fourth and final FIRE preaching workshop for the year. In our previous workshops, we focused on Genesis, Judges and Psalms. We discussed the development of God’s plan to save mankind from sin and the intimate relationship between God and His Covenant people. The focus for our most recent workshop was, preaching from the Gospel of Mark.
Mark is a power-packed Gospel filled with the actions and miracles of Jesus, climaxing in His suffering, death and Resurrection. This Gospel is clear, vivid and to the point. It is like reading the sermon notes of a street-preacher who demands that we believe in a powerful Saviour, imitate His servanthood and obey His Lordship.
The day began with an overview of the Gospel of Mark, a Bible study on Mark 8:27-38, exegetical practicals on Mark 9:1-8 and finally, sermon preparation on the Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:1-8).
The passage on the Transfiguration ignited an important discussion on ancestral veneration. How do we preach about Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah when there are people in our church who come from a background of ancestral veneration and communication with the dead? We concluded that beginning with the intention of Mark, before seeking validation of our cultural practices, will determine an accurate understanding of the Text. Mark is demonstrating Christ’s fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. He is not validating witchcraft, ancestral mediation, nor consultation with the dead.
Another central discussion was about the nature of Christ. In the Transfiguration, we learn that Christ is both the King of Glory who is meant to be honored and obeyed and He is the suffering Servant who promises suffering to His followers. Christ’s suffering, before glory, confused His disciples and even confuses us today. We want power and prosperity, but Christ offers us hardship and suffering before we inherit our eternal rewards in Heaven. Are we obedient and fully submissive to Christ and His Kingdom even when we face hardships in the process?
Since this was the last preaching workshop for the year, many of the participants were sad to see it end, but grateful for all they could learn until now. We received many a “Thank you!” from all who participated. A group of men and women, who always attended together, told us that they are consistently refreshed because we do not speak to them about money and titles. We simply stick to the Word. Another woman told me that these workshops have helped prepare her for lay-ministry. Some of the men reported that they have been taught to always go back to God’s Word.
At the beginning of 2019, we were impressed with the great need to equip men for ministry in the pulpit. We had hosted several preaching workshops in the past, which seemed to meet a felt need in many ministries. Thus, we decided to host a series of Preaching workshops with the focus of accurate interpretation and application of different Bible passages and genres, teaching sound doctrine, practical steps for sermon preparation and networking with experienced preachers.
The responses from every workshop we hosted indicate that people were learning exactly what we set out to teach. Some preachers re-evaluated their preaching practices. Some used the sermons which we prepared together to preach in their churches. Others were happy to simply learn how to interpret and explain God’s Word to others even if they were not preachers themselves. We are grateful to God for all that we could learn and teach. We are grateful for everyone who faithfully attended these workshops and are trying to make a difference in their local churches and we are grateful for everyone who has been keeping these workshops in their prayers.
For those who are interested in the presentations from the workshops, you can listen to the Gospel of Mark here. Click on our SermonAudio link to listen to Genesis, Judges and Psalms, here and here. Click on our Vimeo link to see videos of the following workshops: Genesis, Judges and Psalms. The Gospel of Mark will be uploaded onto our Vimeo soon. PowerPoint presentations of each workshop can also be found on our Slideshare link.
An Audio and Video Boxset on these Back to the Bible FIRE Preaching Workshops on Genesis, Judges, Psalms and Mark will be available soon from Christian Liberty Books.
As myself and my family are relocating to the States, next year, Hunter Combs will continue the Biblical Preaching Workshops, with a focus on the Prophets, History and Epistles.
“Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” 2 Timothy 4:2.
For His Glory
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa