Archives For Adrian Rogers


I recently read about the construction of a town hall building in a small northern Pennsylvania town. The citizens of this town were quite proud of their little red brick building. It represented a long-awaited dream for them.

However, a few weeks after moving into the building, strange things began to occur. Several doors failed to shut completely and windows were not opening or closing smoothly. After a few more months, the front door would not shut at all and the roof had begun to leak.

An intense investigation was launched to try to determine what was causing the problems with this little town hall building. It revealed that deep, underground blasts at a mine several miles away were sending shock waves that were weakening the earth beneath the building. It was almost imperceptible, but it was slowly happening – one little shudder after another (Stephen Davey).

Problems in the marriage can be like shock waves to the foundations on which a marriage is built. The shock wave of selfishness, for example, can erode a marriage.

One couple went to a marriage counselor who had been arguing over which direction the other put the toilet paper on the roll. One wanted the sheets to come off the front side and the other wanted the sheets to come off the backside. They also were upset over where the other squeezed the tube of toothpaste. One squeeze it the middle and the other at the end.

In Ephesians 5:18-33, Paul describes a Spirit filled marriage. What are the unshakable foundations of a Spirit filled marriage?

1. Salvation by Grace through Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)

In 1 Corinthians 7:39, Paul commanded,  “marry only in the Lord.” With equal authority, Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14 admonished, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”

Since I was a youth, I have heard the advice: Date individuals whom you would marry. Be the kind of person another believer could date.

Something our youth did not face is on-line dating. 50 million people are e-dating. There are couples who have met at e-Harmony and are happily married. But there are some dangers.  Of course, now there are on-line dating apps for your little smart phone. You don’t have to wait to get back to your office or home to find out if you have a date. For example, there is Crazy Blind Date phone app. This mobile app arranges blind dates with just a few hours’ notice.

What are some of the dangers. As many as ninety percent of online daters are lying about themselves. One researcher wrote, “For men, the major areas of deception in an on-line relationship are their income, height, and marital status; for women, the major areas of deception are weight and age.” At least twelve percent of online male suitors are already married.

The ability of two people living together each day for the rest of their lives is as Bill Cosby admitted is “undoubtedly a miracle the Vatican has overlooked.” That is why you and I need God’s salvation to make it.

2. Service to the Lord (Ephesians 4-5)

In the practical section of Ephesians, Paul says five times we are to walk with the Lord. In our service to Christ, however, we don’t walk alone. Amos the prophet asked, “Can two walk together except they be agreed.” Some call it the principle of magnetism: Who we are is who we attract. This principle is seen in Proverbs 27:19: “As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.” A still body of water was the mirror to the ancient people of God. You look into the mirror and you see yourself. This is also true with our friends. We look at our close friends and we see who we are.  Are our close friends, believers who love the Lord? How can we get better friends? Become better believers! If we want to attract godly mates with whom we can serve the Lord, we must be godly.

3. Submission to God and One Another (Ephesians 5:21-33)

Submission means “to put oneself under a leader” as in 1:22. Submission takes humility and is the result of being Spirit filled. Lucifer took himself out from under God’s rule because of pride. Spirit filled submission in marriage is described in 5:22-33.

A. The Wife submits to Her Husband’s Loving Leadership (5:22-24)

One counselor said all some husbands need is a Golden Retriever. Just someone to fetch what they need.

Headship means leadership. Leadership does not mean superiority as 1 Corinthians 11:3 teaches. Adrian Rogers said marriage is like a football team. The husband is the quarterback. This does not mean he is superior to the running back. The running back may have a higher I. Q. but the quarterback has the responsibility of leading the team. Adrian Rogers, for example, said his wife, Joyce, took care of the check book and the finances. He, of course, led in what the budget should look like.

B. The Husband Loves His Wife (5:25-33) 

1. His love is sacrificial (5:25)

You might be thinking, my mate does not deserve my love. I deserve better than my spouse. Did we deserve God’s love? Did we merit Christ dying for our sins? Did we earn our forgiveness of sins? NO!

Can a Christian who loves God with all his heart, soul, mind and body ever say, “I do not love that person.” Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus also said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

2. His love is sanctifying (5:26, 27)

One day Christ will present His Bride to Himself at the Judgment Seat without spot because He has cleansed her with His preached Word. God wants us to present our brides to Him at the Judgment Seat the way she looked on our wedding day in her pure, white wedding dress. We husbands can accomplish this by getting our wives under the preached Word. Romans 10:17 tells us how, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (preached) Word of God.”

3. His love is Protecting (5:28, 29)

1 Peter 3:7 says the wife is the weaker (physically) vessel not the inferior vessel:

“Likewise you husbands dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life.” She is not inferior spiritually, she is an heir as is the husband.

Adrian Rogers again made an insightful comment, “Which is weaker, silk or blue denim, which is better? Which is weaker gold or steel? Which is better? Which is weaker a porcelain cup or a sledgehammer? Which is better?

We husbands protect our wives from every thing and every one that would harm them physically and spiritually.

We love our wives by committing ourselves to them (5:31). According to Genesis 2:24, we become one at marriage. Like these laminated arches overhead. The individual boards are now one. There is strength in that unity.

Robertson McQuilkin, was the former president of Columbia International University. Robertson’s wife Muriel was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease when Dr. McQuilkin resigned his presidency to take care of her. For nine years he cared for her and led as president. Sometimes even taking her to class with him. Finally, it became impossible to both be his wife’s full-time care provider and president. Here is his letter of resignation that he read to the faculty, staff and student body at Columbia:

My dear wife Muriel has been in failing mental health for about eight years. So far I have been able to care for both her ever-growing needs and my leadership responsibilities at Columbia. Recently it has become apparent that Muriel is contented most of the time she is with me, and almost none of the time I am away from her. It is not just discontent; she is filled with fear, even terror that she has lost me, and she always goes in search of me when I leave home. It is clear that she needs me now and she needs me full-time. This decision was made, in a way, forty-two years ago when I promised to care for her “in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. So, as a man of my word, I will do it. She has cared for me fully all these years. If I cared for her for the next forty years I would not be out of debt. Duty, however, can be grim and stoic. There is more – I love her. I do not have to care for her – I get to.


We all know that good sermons are turned into great sermons with vivid illustrations. ( Tony Merida, (2009-10-01). Faithful Preaching (p. 107). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition).

Illustrations Help Clarify

James Braga defines an illustration as “a means of throwing light upon a sermon by the use of an example” (How to Prepare Bible Messages, 231). Continue Reading…

This is what Andy Stanley calls “a one point message” in his book Communicating for a Change. If a sermon has multiple points, Stanley says, this is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant: “You’ll drown yourself before you ever manage to swallow.” Stanley makes another accusation that in my opinion does not have to be true: “If life change is your goal, point by point preaching is not the most effective approach.” Wow! Does mean that all the preachers in the past and in the present who preach with points have been or are ineffective in maturing the saints? What about points preachers like Adrian Rogers, John Piper, John MacArthur, etc.

When Stanley says one point message, he means “every message should have one central idea, application, insight, or principle.” One problem, Stanley is trying to solve, is too much information in sermons unloaded on our listeners. “One of my favorite communicators told me that on several occasions his wife has turned to him after a message and said, ‘I really enjoyed the sermons.'”

There are three steps in developing a one point message.

1. Dig until you find it.

What Stanley calls a one point message, is called propositional preaching by others. The two, however, are not exactly the same. The one point in a propositional sermon is the proposition or the sermon reduced to a sentence. The difference is finding how many developmental truths are in the text about the one proposition. Each developmental truth (point) is then explained, argued theologically, illustrated, and applied. But still there is just one point or proposition.

2. Build everything around it (the one point).

A helpful contribution here is this question every preacher needs to ask himself: “Does this really facilitate the journey or is this just something that will get a laugh or fill time?” If it is not pertinent to the main point or text, leave it on the cutting room floor.

3. Make it stick.

“Take time to reduce your one point to one sticky statement.”

Stanley says the one point of the sermon is what his dad, Charles Stanley, calls the preacher’s “burden.” “You can tell when a communicator is carrying a burden versus when he is simply dispensing information.” Stanley says, “At some point in the preparation process, you must stop and ask yourself, ‘What is the one thing I must communicate? What is it that people have to know?'”

So, the one proposition from the text must become the burden of the preacher. “The sermons that have put you to sleep were delivered by men with information but no burden. A burden brings passion to preaching.”

Old-BookFirst, it is important to start early in your planning. Six months in advance will give you time to start reading through the book and even having your devotions from the book from which you will be eventually preaching. This is method of Jim Rose and I believe Ezra. Ezra 7:10 gives me Biblical justification for this approach. Like Ezra, we read the Book, mediate on the Book, apply the Book, fall on our knees in confession because of the Book, and are changed by the Book long before we preach the Book to others.

Also, this will give you time to order audio, video sermons, and listen to podcasts on the book and listen to some of the great preachers and teachers on your subject. Not only will you gain great content but hopefully some of their preaching skill will rub off. Augustine, who wrote the first book on homiletics, taught his students to listen to great preaching and read great sermons to become better preachers. One time in preparation to preach through Nehemiah, I order audio sermons by Warren Wiersbe, Adrian Rogers, and John Whitcomb on Nehemiah. I was chomping at the bits when it came time to start the series. A source for sermons that I have recently discovered has been Stephen Davey’s sermons found at Wisdom for the Heart. These sermons are well researched with great explanations, illustrations, and applications.

I like to balance exegetical commentaries with expostional. The combination of these commentaries helps the preacher to answer the four rhetorical questions that your listeners are asking while you preach:

Explanation: “What do these verses mean that the preacher just read?”

Argumentation of the explanation: “How does he know that is the meaning?” (The Expositional and Exegetical commentaries help answer these questions).

Illustration: “What does that explanation look like?”(The sermonic commentary will help answer this question and the Application question).

Application: “What does all this have to do with my life?”

Before I delve into the heavy exegetical commentaries, I like Donald Sunukjian’s suggestion, that the preacher start with the expositional or synthesis commentary which “will quickly give you the large units of thought and the lines of argument of the text” (Invitation to Biblical Preachingpage 25). For my series on Ephesians, I am using The Bible Knowledge Commentary for this purpose.

After I get the big picture from BCK, then for the explanation of the text I reach for the exegetical or critical commentary.  These are usually the hardbacks that give you “sticker shock.” On the series on Ephesians that I am curently preaching, I am reading Harold W. Hoehner’s Ephesians: An Exegetical CommentaryThis scholarly work of over 900 pages, in my opinion, is the standard for Ephesians. Hoehner will give you about 20 pages of exegesis on each paragraph in Ephesians. This volume gives the preacher the explanation of the text. If you sentence diagram and block outline, Hoehner can help. I am using other exegetical commentaries as well.

There is a third kind of commentary that the preacher needs. In addition to the expositional or synthesis commentary and exegetical commentaries, the preacher needs the sermonic commentary. To balance Hoehner’s heavy exegetical work, I am reading John MacArthur’s sermonic commentary on Ephesians. MacArthur first preached this material to his congregation and therefore he provides application and occasional illustrations which, of course, Hoehner does not.

The order of the commentaries I have discussed is the order you should follow. Here is Sunukfjian wise advice: “Study thoroughly in the first two catergories before you read the third. If you start with sermonic commentaries, you will be tempted to prematurely conclude, ‘That’ll preach!’ without first determining whether the printed sermon accurately reflects the meaning of the biblical author” (page 25).

When I am preaching through a book like Ephesians where a doctrine is prominent such as the Church is in Ephesians, I like to read, in addition to good commentaries, related books such as Driscoll’s book on the doctrine of the Church, Vintage Church, Mark Dever’s book on what marks a healthy church, What is a Healthy Church? and The Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and John S. Hammett’s book on ecclesiology, Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches. Driscoll’s, Dever’s and Hammett’s books give relevancy to my preaching. Their books help me make current applications to the church in our generation and culture.

I just read chapter eight, “How is Love Expressed in a Church?” in Vintage Church. Driscoll builds this chapter on the Trinitarian community of God in which the three Persons of the Trinity have loved each other for eternity and since we are created in their image so should we love each other in His church. This is helpful because Paul mentions the Trinity eight times in Ephesians to bolsters his theme of Unity.

I have read Mark Dever’s little book, What is a Healthy Church?  in which Dever gives nine marks of a healthy church. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is a much more in-depth treatment. The first three marks Dever categorizes as essential: Expostitional preaching, biblical theology, and biblical undestanding of the gospel. The balance of the marks is important but not essential: A biblical understanding of conversion, a biblical understanding of evangelism, a biblical understanding of membership, a biblical understanding of church discipline, biblical discipleship, and growth, and biblical church leadership.

For the essential doctrines, Dever says, there must be complete agreement for a healthy church. On the important doctrines, there does not have to be complete agreement. “Churches without these important marks can be places to pray, to be patient, and to set a good example by your own life.” When preaching on “the unity of the faith” in Ephesians 4:13, this insight will become invaluable to my congregation.

These are some practical tips for series preaching through a book of the Bible that has helped me. I welcome any input you have found beneficial in your series preaching through a book.

Read about Calvin’s commitment to preaching through books of the Bible.

knockout-muhammad-aliThe Book of Habakkuk opens with the prophet sparring with God. Habakkuk is verbally battling with his Creator. Questioning Him! Complaining to Him! Habakkuk, however, finds out that his arms are too short to box with God. Continue Reading…