John MacArthur preached his first sermon in 1959 outside a bus depot in South Carolina. He was 19 years old.
Today, John is grateful there’s no recording of that sermon. Ten years later, in February 1969, he preached his first sermon at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Thankfully for the world, that sermon, along with the vast majority of his sermons since, are recorded and curated by his media ministry, Grace to You.
At Grace Church, John committed to preaching through the Bible verse by verse. Over the next 40 years, he would take his growing congregation through the entire New Testament. He finished in May 2011.
Today, after 52 years in the pulpit, John MacArthur’s name has become synonymous with expository preaching. His approach is simple. He lets the text speak for itself. That’s because John has an unshakeable confidence in the authority and accuracy of Scripture. He is an honest and patient exegete who draws the message out of the text, rather than imposing his ideas into it. The result? Listeners understand what the Bible means by what it says. But if John’s approach is so simple, so unremarkable, why do people listen to him? Preaching scholar Hughes Oliphant Old asked that question, then offered a fascinating answer:
Why do so many people listen to MacArthur, this product of all the wrong schools? How can he pack out a church on Sunday morning in an age in which church attendance has seriously lagged? Here is a preacher who has nothing in the way of a winning personality, good looks, or charm. Here is a preacher who offers us nothing in the way of sophisticated homiletical packaging.
No one would suggest that he is a master of the art of oratory. What he seems to have is a witness to true authority. He recognizes in Scripture the Word of God, and when he preaches, it is Scripture that one hears. It is not that the words of John MacArthur are so interesting as it is that the Word of God is of surpassing interest. That is why one listens.
John MacArthur’s preaching stirs his hearer’s affections, draws them closer to Christ, and equips them to understand the Bible for themselves. John’s 3,500 sermons are the foundation of his best-selling and highly acclaimed MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series, which takes you verse by verse through all 27 books of the New Testament. He is also the author of the bestselling MacArthur Study Bible and dozens of books, nearly all of which are based on his sermons.