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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever


Finding the Point of a Passage

“How do I find the point of a biblical text?”

This is a question I often hear from small group Bible study leaders and student leaders in the church where I serve. And nothing would give me greater pleasure than telling them (and you) that I have a magic formula that will take them from their text directly to its point, or better yet, its application.

Preaching to Women Who Work in the Home

Pastors should treat women in the congregation like family. That seems to be the lesson of 1 Timothy 5:2: “Treat…older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters.” But does God say how they should preach to women?

Preaching for Better Affections

In his sermon The Expulsive Power of a New Affection, Thomas Chalmers (no relation to Mario) expounds on I John 2:15, where it says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (ESV)

Who Would Dare to Preach?

Preaching is a strange business. It requires you to stand up and speak with authority and pointed passion to people who may well be your intellectual and spiritual betters. But a man who has confidence in the word of God has everything he needs for the task. Here’s how Herman Bavinck put it:

God Accepts Even Your Mediocre Sermons

I recently heard Phil Ryken talking about preaching.  He told a group of ministers that as long as he had been faithful, he didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not it subjectively felt like his sermon had gone well.

He pointed to the Westminster Larger Catechism, question 55:

Q: How does Christ make intercession?

What You Reeeally Want in a Pastor

There are a lot of things a church should look for in its next pastor. But as your church considers different pastoral candidates, I want to make sure this is toward the top of your list: a supernatural faith in the power of God’s Word.



I’m not talking about a man who simply checks the belief box on the “authority” or “sufficiency” or “power” of the Bible.

The Value of Repetition

I tend to underestimate the power of repetition.  Repetition can be a useful rhetorical device in a sermon, I often try to come up with a key phrase that summarizes the point of the sermon and repeat it several times in the course of a message. 

Preaching and Prayer

To preach the word, therefore, and not to follow it with constant and fervent prayer for its success, is to disbelieve its use, neglect its end, and to cast away the seed of the gospel at random.

                                                 -- John Owen, Works, Vol 16, page 78

Encouraging humility from one of the great preachers of the 20th Century

In preparing for a preachers' class tonight, I was reviewing some material from Stott's excellent,"Between Two Worlds"

This is how he begins....