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The 5 most influential sermons I’ve listened to:

August 21, 2008

I believe in the ministry of the word. I believe in preaching. Many no longer do and seek to replace preaching with other things. Preaching often gets a bad rap and rightfully so. But true biblical preaching, faithful to the meaning of the Scripture and faithful to Christ, is needed all throughout the world.I have been fortunate to sit under the exposition of Peter Somervell and while he does not feature in this list, that prolonged exposure has ultimately been the most beneficial for myself.

However, sometimes one hears a message and it stirs something inside. At times the Holy Spirit uses faithful preaching mightily to accomplish His purposes. I would expect that all these preachers below would admit that if their sermon brought widespread change, it was because of the Spirit, not their eloquent language or individual brilliance.
5. A Call to Anguish by David Wilkerson
Wilkerson, from New York, preaches on Nehemiah 1 in this moving message. I don’t know how to explain what he says, except that you NEED to listen to this. I don’t agree with all of his theology, but his faithfulness leaves a lasting impression on me. This is a call to anguish in the church and an attack on easy-believism.
Exert:

“I see more of the world impacting the church, rather than the church impacting the world. I see the music taking over the house of God, I see entertainment taking over the house of God. A hatred of correction, a hatred of reproof, nobody wants to hear it anymore… when was the last time you heard a message come forth that so burned in your soul you knew it came from God. I hope you hear it here. Whatever happened to anguish in the house of God?”
link to message
4. Slaves for Christ- John Macarthur
Those at Shepherds conference 08 heard Macarthur preach arguably one of his best messages ever. He literally hit this one out the park. Speaking on the usage of two Greek words, kurios and doulos in the New Testament, Macarthur illustrated the truth that biblical language students have known for centuries; that the Christian is a slave to Christ. Our English Bibles constantly translate doulos as servant, which is not actually an option. It should be translated as ‘slave’. With the knowledge that kurios (Sovereign Lord) when combined with doulos, uses undeniable master-slave terminology, one gains a much fuller understanding of the NT. Macarthur then gave a survey of the New Testament which gave a deeper understanding of our relationship with Christ.
 
Exert:

“How do you think that flew in a slave world? This is so missing from Christian vocabulary. But once you get it, when the Bible says you were chosen, you say, “You mean like when a master went into a slave market and chose a slave? And then you were bought like when a master paid a price for the slave? And then you were owned, subjected, called to account; but also protected, provided for and rewarded.” That’s all slave talk! The gospel is a call to slavery. We just have to decide whether you’d rather be a slave to Jesus Christ or the devil.”

 
 

 

 

link for transcript:
Currently this message is not available for free download, though you can find a shortened and similar version here:

3. Salvation- True Gospel series- Paul Washer
Washer preached this 90minute sermon as part of 6 message series. I found it well hidden on the sermonindex site, but am incredibly grateful for it. Those who know of Washer (he’s growing in popularity, rightfully so), usually listen to his more popular messages, easily available on Youtube or other sites. This one, initially based on Ezekiel 36:22-28, is an attempt to understand salvation and comes after a few messages on repentance. His passion is evident and while it’s not extremely ‘polished’, I’ve found it necessary to listen to it around 10 times.
Exert:
We need to understand that salvation is more than a tiny human decision. It is a supernatural work of God. We must understand salvation. I am so sick of our proclamation of the gospel that is so stupid. I am so sick of our view of salvation that is damning more people to hell than anything the world can muster.”

link

2. Ten Shekels and a Shirt- Paris Reidhead
To say this message is powerful, would be an understatement. The late Reidhead opens Judges 17 with the story of Micah and his priestly duties for 10 Shekels and a suit of clothes, following with his move to the tribe of Dan for a greater sum. Reidhead then talks about expedient Christianity and humanistic religion- religion existing primarily for the happiness of man. Paris attacks this forum of ‘Christianity’ that has infiltrated churches and affected so much of our thinking. I cannot recommend this message enough, purely because it is God-focussed and not man-focussed. This truth has the potential to rip up our comfortable churches and be used by the Spirit to align our thoughts and worship towards God, not ourselves. 
Exert: I’m not giving you one. You need to hear it all. Yes, it’s from the 60’s, but it’s gold.
link, audio and transcript
I’ll save the number 1 for another time. Watch the anticipation grow… 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2008 12:40 pm

    Can’t get the formatting to work properly. Will try again in the morning.

  2. August 21, 2008 11:05 pm

    Nice list. Fun idea.

    Man, when I try to recall sermons that have impacted me to a great extent it’s very hard to… I guess for me it’s been more about the gradual shaping week-to-week.

    Anyway, I’m going to make a list off the top pf my head of sermons which stand out in my mind for impacting me at the time. Some of them I dissagree with now but I remember them impacting me. In no particular order…

    David Pierce at Easter Camp (around 2003?)… this was more a testimony than a sermon but I remember the “punk fish” illustration vividly. I just remember finding this inspiring.

    Mick Duncan at BYM Camp (2002? 2003?)… Mick talked about how the only things we could cling to as “Christian soldiers” were “heaven” and the fact that “God loves us”. Mick was basically presenting the idea of open theism.

    Mark Driscoll… A sermon call “unlimited/limited atonement”. Rarely has 60 minutes gone by so far. I won’t say I bought into everything 100% but it was a great sermon and very entertaining too. But most of all informative.

    Rob Bell… a sermon from 2008 titled “What had happened to me?”. Bell actually acts as Paul in this sermon. But I didn’t figure it out til 5 minutes in. The best example of a sustained narrative sermon I’ve ever heard.

    Charles Hewlett.. a sermon from 2007 in the Carey chapel. Sort of a testimony regarding his work with disabled children and a challenge to appreciate our lives. Totally moving.

    Brett Jones… the lampstand sermon. From 2005? This was my own pastor preaching about letting the light of the church shine without masking it with an ugly lampstand. So, a call to relevance and not putting unneeded barriers in front of people when it comes to church.

    Mark Dever… listened to this just this week. This guy talks about the gospel. Simple. Really good and a challenge to those who want to dilute it.

    C.H Spurgeon… A Defence of Calvinism. Only read it in transcript form. Obviously mp3 wasn’t fully developed in his day. Any Spurgeon, really… he is a master.

    Tim Palmer… I heard this 3 weeks ago in Preacher’s corner on a Tuesday morning at Cession. Best sermon I’ve heard this year. The events following Jesus’ ressurection from a narrative perspective. Really opened my eyes to the effectiveness of the narrative sermon.

    So my list isn’t nearly as good as yours. I’ll have to listen to some more sermons! But there are the ones that come to mind without too much deep thinking.

  3. August 21, 2008 11:11 pm

    That’s the kind of comment I can dig! My friends know that I’m a nut for giving them good sermons, so hopefully I’ll hand out a few more to you over time.

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