November 9, 2006
Pastor Rickey Armstrong (of Glendale Baptist Church, Miami) has assembled a great group of speakers for the Miami Pastor’s Conference this year. I got in tonight, and found myself sitting behind Tom Ascol. We were treated to great messages by Ken Jones and Thabiti Anyabwile. More on that in a moment. Tomorrow and Saturday (Lord willing) will be fellowship with more of the brothers here, and teaching by Sinclair Ferguson, Kevin Smith, Michael Leach, Anthony Carter, and, our host pastor, Rickey Armstrong.
Glendale Baptist Church is lovingly hosting this event, which began this evening with 2 excellent addresses. Both Ken Jones & Thabiti Anyabwile spoke to us from Luke 24, Ken doing the more expositional treatment of parts of it, Thabiti giving us more a summary address.
Ken spoke on the Necessity of Christ-Centered Preaching. He first explained how the disciples Jesus encountered on the Road to Emmaus couldn’t comprehend the nature and extent of Jesus’ prophetic office, the work of God in the death of Jesus, the necessity of suffering in accomplishing redemption and therefore were set up to miss the fact and significance of the Resurrection itself. Jesus rebuked them for their foolishness, their slowness to believe, and their not seeing the correlation of Christ’s suffering and glory. Five lessons for the other disciples from all of this: 1) they must understand that Jesus’ words and works were in conjunction with the Scriptures; 2) that they fulfilled the Scriptures; 3) that Scripture explained His suffering and ours; 4) Our preaching consists of presenting Christ in all of Scripture; 5) the promise and power of the Spirit is in conjunction with proclaiming Christ from all of Scripture. Ken concluded by exhorting us that if we’re to have the right questions asked from our preaching (What must we do to be saved?) the right message has to be preached.
Thabiti spoke on "Preaching Christ from the Law." He noted that this was a timely topic for all of us (addressing ways this is especially useful for African-American preachers, because of the way both Black Theology and word-faith stuff will use the Exodus/Deliverer imagery from the OT, but will do so only by bypassing Jesus. And this, of course, is never right. The main body of Thabiti’s address dealt with how we should preach Christ from the Law. 1) Preach Christ in creation and re-creation. Thabiti rehearsed some of God’s perfections, and then showed us how Christ was the fulfillment of all of this. 2) Preach Christ as the Second Adam who reverses the Fall. 3) Preach Christ as the righteous fulfillment of all the Law’s demands. (Some good stuff here on the role of the Law!) 4) Preach Christ as the fulfillment of the Exodus narrative. Jesus seems to re-enact and complete Israel’s calling. 5) Preach Christ as the embodiment of the Old Testament covenant. All its sacrifices and priesthood pointed to Christ. All the promises of the Law are fulfilled in Christ.
Both these talks were specifically applied to African-American and Evangelical churches. They were received well. And I’m looking forward to the fruit of these in the lives and ministries of those of us there who preach.
May God continue to grow all the stewards of His Word in our understanding and faithfulness to His Word, and so bless His people and glorify Himself.