By Abbey LeRoy
CIU Student Writer
Columbia International University concluded its annual Authority of Scripture Week by hearing from pastor, author and professor Dr. Sinclair Ferguson. Ferguson is senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C., a faculty member at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, and the author of over two dozen books ranging from works of scholarship to children’s books.
Ferguson addressing the CIU student body in Chapel, then met with local pastors, CIU faculty members and interested students at a luncheon.
In his Chapel message from the first chapter of James, Ferguson explained how God produces maturity in the Christian life.
“One of God’s chief instruments of producing spiritual maturity is the trials which, at first glance, seem to be the enemies of our faith,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson encouraged students to see trials as a reason to rejoice, not because suffering is enjoyable, but because it is through trials that faith is proven, confirmed and developed.
Meanwhile, at the luncheon, Ferguson’s topic was "The Art and Practice of Expository Preaching." In his own words, he defined expository preaching as “the Spirit-enabled exposition and application of all of the Word of God to all of the people of God so they may be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ and touch the world for His glory.”
Ferguson also made a distinction between preaching a sermon and expounding on the Word of God.
“I never think of myself as preaching a sermon,” Ferguson said. “At the end of the day, my responsibility is to be expounding the Word of God. It’s really all we have.”
Drawing from the apostolic pattern in Acts, he emphasized the importance of exposing congregants to Scripture in its entirety.
"If all of the Word of God is inspired, it logically follows that the whole of the Word of God can and should be preached," Ferguson said.
Ferguson's focus on expository preaching was coupled with an exhortation to pray for the ministry of the Word. Using the early church as an example, he demonstrated how fervent prayer should precede preaching.
"Expository preaching is not a style of preaching that is absent from a style of prayer," Ferguson said.
To hear the Chapel message from Dr. Sinclair Ferguson visit: