A Brief Thought on Using Church History in Preaching

On Saturday, one of the students in the History of the Baptist course which I am teaching at SBTS this semester asked for examples of using church history in preaching. I answered in some way, but I do not remember what I said. Yesterday, at the church where I pastor, the guest speaker was unable to make it to our church service due to inclement weather. Naturally I thought of the events surrounding Spurgeon’s conversion and the text God used to bring him to faith, so I pulled an old sermon which I had preached before from my files and preached it. As I thought about it this morning, I realized that the sermon is an example (but not a typical one) of using church history in preaching a sermon. Here’s a link to my notes which I posted on my blog this morning. An audio version has also been posted.

Again this sermon is not typical, but I think something like this can be done occasionally on special occasions. Thus, I believe it serves as an illustration of using church history in preaching. Of course, I believe that this can be done on a much smaller scale on a more regular basis (perhaps as a short illustration or introduction to a sermon). If you do this, you will not only be providing your congregation with an illustration of the text you’re preaching, but also providing a much-needed introduction to many of the great examples of faithfulness to God found in church history.

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