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Paradigm for Pentecostal Preaching

Believers obtain the mind of Christ (or God) by the agency of the Spirit beginning at conversion, but that mind can expand. Godet provides a helpful analogy: “The minister of a sovereign could say, after an intimate conversation with his king, I am in full possession of my master’s mind. From this moment, therefore, to criticize the servant is to criticize the master.”84 By spending time in prayer and the Scriptures, ministers can improve their understanding of God’s mind or will. Then, they can speak with an exceptional sense of divine authority.

Phillip Yancey points out how animals have means of interacting with the world that humans know nothing about. For instance, bats locate insects by sonar. Pigeons fly by magnetic fields. And bloodhounds detect smells we never notice. But how do Christians pick up on the things of God? The mind of Christ.85


In summary, the overall context of the Bible suggests several general principles for Pentecostal preachers to follow. Their preaching should be expositional, illustrative, kerygmatic, and didactic. The unique content of 1 Cor. 2:1-16 provides specific guidance as to the material and means for Pentecostal preaching. The material derives from a Christo-centric mystery, message, and methodology. The means include Spirit-inspired wisdom, Scripture, knowledge, discernment, and minds. If Pentecostal preachers are to preach in the power of the Spirit, they must follow these principles in the preparation and delivery of their sermons.

Pentecostal preachers may very well incorporate the rules of logic and rhetoric in their discourses. But, their ultimate effectiveness for the kingdom of God depends upon the extent of their focus and reliance upon the authority of the Father, the atonement of the Son, and the anointing of the Spirit.
1 Frederic Louis Godet, Commentary on First Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1977), 130.
2 Fred B. Craddock, Preaching (Nashville: Abingdon, 1985), 35.
3 All scriptural quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible.
4 Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 138.
5 David H. Bauslin, “Preacher, Preaching,” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 4, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), 2434
6 Robert H. Mounce, The Essential Nature of New Testament Preaching (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960), 151-59.
7 F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), 248.
8 James A. Davis, Wisdom and Spirit: An Investigation of 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:20 against the Background of Jewish Sapiential Traditions in the Greco-Roman Period (New York: University Press of America, 1984).
9 Wilhelm Wuellner, “Haggadic Homily Genre in 1 Corinthians 1-3,” Journal of Biblical Literature 89 (June 1970): 199-204.
10 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 90.
11 William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians: Translated with an Introduction and Interpretation, 2d ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1956), 26.
12 Leland Ryken, Words of Life: A Literary Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), 131.
13 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1993), 457.
14 Michael A. Bullmore, St. Paul’s Theology of Rhetorical Style: An Examination of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 in Light of First Century Greco-Roman Rhetorical Culture (San Francisco: International Scholars Publications, 1995), 220-21.
15 A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman, 1934) 85.
16 J. Goetzmann, “Wisdom,” in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 3, ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 1031.
17 Leon Morris, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958), 51.
18 Fritz Rienecker, A Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament. ed. Cleon L. Rogers, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980), 390.
19 Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975), 545.
20 Max Zerwick and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1981), 500.
21 J. Sidlow Baxter, “The Staggering Miracle of Christ,” 1; available from; Internet; accessed 5 April 2004.
22 Barclay, 26.
23 John Calvin, Commentary on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker, reprinted 2003), 97.
24 Ibid., 100.
25 Bruce, 245.
26 Oswald Chambers, “God’s Supreme Love,” 1; available from; Internet; accessed 5 April 2004.
27 Morris, 52.
28 Keener, 457.
29 D. R. de Lacy, “Corinthians, Epistles to the,” in New Bible Dictionary, 2d ed., ed. J. D. Douglas et al (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1982), 232.
30 Godet, 127-28.
31 Barclay, 27.
32 Calvin, 101.
33 Godet, 128.
34 Zerwick et al, 501.
35 E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968), 657, 666.
36 Donald Guthrie, New Testament Theology (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1981), 550.
37 Calvin, 100.
38 Fee, 95.
39 Robertson, 1206.

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Spring 2010

About the Author: Steve D. Eutsler, D.Min. (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary), M.Div. (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary), M.A. Biblical Literature (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary), B.A. Bible (Central Bible College), is professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Global University in Springfield, Missouri. He has extensive experience as a pastor, evangelist, and educator and is the author of numerous articles and books. Email

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