Preacher, what do you depend on?

I often feel inadequate as a preacher.    I don’t know if this is because of being dyslexic in a word ministry. It is very easy to convince myself that non-dyslexic preachers must have it much easier than me. In some ways that’s true, there are extra steps I need to take in preparation of an expository sermon but I know I’m not alone.

I have begun to read the Free Church of Scotland’s formed Chair of Systematic Theology (1946-1966), R. A. Finlayson’s Reformed Theological Writings

Finlayson was evidently a very capable preacher, theologian and writer and yet, on the inside front cover of his book he confesses a similar sense of inadequacy and dependence on the sovereignty of divine grace:


Let me give a word of personal testimony. It is that in a ministry of 50 years, in many hours of conscious weakness and inadequacy, and indeed of well-nigh despair, in going to deliver my message I felt strengthened and indeed emboldened by the consciousness that if I was in the will of God at the task that He entrusted to me I was fulfilling the eternal purpose of God to some soul in my audience, and that even through my inadequacy it would prove the power of God unto salvation to that soul by the grace and wisdom of Him who when He appointed the end also appointed the means. That, brethren, was where I fell back right gladly on the sovereignty of divine grace and the certainty that His eternal purpose of mercy must receive fulfilment. It was the warrant of my office and the sheet anchor of my authority and confidence.
R. A. Finlayson

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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2 Responses to Preacher, what do you depend on?

  1. The faithful preacher is a drainpipe. Grace pours in at the top and out at the bottom. The drainpipe does its job.

  2. neilrobbie says:

    Thanks John, a very helpful illustration.

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