24 June 2013

Lawson and Luther on the Preacher's Study of Scripture

As Luther was committed to studying the Scriptures, so must all be who preach God’s Word. Each one who steps into the pulpit must be in humble submission to the lordship of Christ. In this lowly posture, he must engage in much Scripture reading, practice a literal interpretation, and make use of the original languages in the study of the text. Further, he must be in complete dependence on the Spirit of God to illumine his understanding of Scripture. Each one of these components is essential for grasping the true meaning of God’s Word.

It is the God-given duty of each preacher to proclaim what he has come to understand in his study. Luther wrote, “He communicates to others whatever good God has given him and in this way helps to explain the Scriptures.” Each man that stands before an open Bible in public must first meet with God in secret as he pores over the biblical text. When he faces his congregation, he declares what he has privately discovered in the Scriptures.

Luther testified of God’s Word, “It is a well of such a kind that the more one draws and drinks from it, the more one thirsts for it.” This shows that Luther was such a prolific preacher because he was such a prolific student of sacred Scripture. Only as the preacher is saturated with biblical truth can he effectively minister the Word to others. In other words, he must preach the Scriptures out of the abundance of his own heart. Like Luther, the more he learns, the more he will desire to learn.

As it was for Luther, so it must be for each preacher. He must have a relentless drive to plunge deeper into the Word. Then, he must hold forth the precious jewels that he has discovered in the biblical text. It should be his joy to showcase before the watching eyes of his congregation the gems of God’s sovereign grace.

– Steven J. Lawson, The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther, (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2013), 58–59.

Further Reading
A True Christian Loves the Word of God
Guest Post: Bible Study in a Morgue?
A Better Sacrifice, an Eternal Redemption

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