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The Sermon Must Be Alive

The Church is God’s witness to each generation, and her ministers are her voice. Through them she becomes vocal. By them she has spoken always to the world, and by them God has spoken to the church herself. … By gift and calling the minister is a man apart.

It is not enough, however, that the man of God preach the truth. He has no right to take up a man’s time telling him what is true merely. It is a doubtful compliment to any preacher to nod the head and say, “That is true.” The same might properly be said if he were doing no more than reciting the multiplication table. It also is true.

A church can wither as surely under the ministry of soulless Bible exposition as it can where no Bible at all is given. To be effective the preacher’s message must be alive; it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God’s present voice to a particular people.

—A. W. Tozer
Of God and Men (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1995), 23–24.