We have just added a new sermon called Portrait of a Godly Pastor. Here’s an excerpt about the importance of repetition in our preaching:
Someone has said that repetition is the first law of teaching. Few of us master a truth the first time we hear it. We do better if we hear it a second time. Repetition in a sermon is like jogging in place. By rephrasing a point, it gives people a chance to catch their breath. Then you can move on to new truth.
But this is more than a preaching method. This is God’s plan for spiritual growth. We must tell people the great truths of Scripture, and then we must tell them again. Once is never enough.
We must tell them who God is. Then we must tell them again.
We must proclaim the truth about Jesus. Then we must tell them again.
We must show men their sin. Then we must show them again.
We must tell them that they are hopelessly lost. And we must tell them again and again.
We must let them know that God loves them. This we must say many times.
We must proclaim the wondrous news that God sent his Son to save us from our sins. And tell it again and again and again.
We must call men to faith and repentance. And call them again.
We must show them how they can be saved and find assurance of forgiveness. And then we must show them again.
We must proclaim the great truths over and over again, in many different ways, from many different texts, proclaiming all the doctrines of grace with all the power and strength and wisdom and winsome courage that God gives us.
And then we must do it again!
Here is the pastor’s plan. He reminds his people of great gospel truth over and over again so that their hearts may be established in grace so that they might become strong in their faith so that they know what they believe and why they believe it so that they can tell others who don’t know these things so that they can bring some to Christ so that God may be glorified by a church full of people who live to the praise of the glory of the One who saved them because they had a pastor who day in and day out, in season and out of season, preached the Word, prayed to God, and reminded them of things they already knew so that they might be fully established in all things.
This work is never fully done. Some people need more reminding than others, and the pastor will find that some are spiritually dull while others grow quickly in the faith. And even when the work is done well, there remains much land to the conquered for the Lord.
God bless those pastors who do not endlessly chase after new ideas and the latest fads but faithfully and creatively and repeatedly, with love and courage and wisdom, remind their people of those great gospel truths that save the soul, nourish the heart, and renew the mind so that the church is full of transformed people.