Preach the Word of God
by Wil Pounds
To preach the gospel of the grace of God is the greatest and most wonderful and the highest calling in the entire world. There is nothing more rewarding than the faithful preaching the Word of God.
Preaching is essential and indispensable to Christianity.
The pastor who preaches must have the clear clarion call of God. “I can do this and nothing else, so help me God.”
DEFINITION OF PREACHING
Preaching is the authoritative proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.
“With preaching Christianity stands or falls, because it is the declaration of a gospel,” suggests P. T. Forsyth.
Romans 1:16 tells us the gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” It is to be proclaimed to all the world, “to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
The preaching of the gospel should be the highest priority of every God-called preacher. We believe in the centrality of preaching. Everything else takes second place.
God employs the message of the gospel to change lives. God uses His preached word to save souls. There is no greater challenge or opportunity than to open the Word of God and share it with mankind.
The apostle Paul said we are cracked pots. "But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us" (2 Corinthians 4:7, NET). God fills these old clay pots with Himself so that it becomes evident that it is not us, but the awesome greatness of the extraordinary power of God that changes lives. No preacher can glory in the preached Word. No man can take credit for the results. It is God who does the work with His message of the good news in Jesus Christ.
God seldom uses fine china. He uses fragile old clay pots so that He will get all the glory. God has entrusted the preaching of His Word to human vessels. He uses earthen vessels, vessels of clay, clay pots, in order that the excellency of the power of God may be of God, and not of us.
God has chosen to put His precious treasure of the gospel in vessels of clay. The treasure is what is glorious, not the man God uses. The gospel of grace is what we proclaim. The power of the preaching of the Word of God does not depend on the preacher. The power does not reside in the messenger, but in the gospel. How sad and tragic when the listeners and the public have their eyes set on the man, rather than Jesus Christ and His saving message.
The message is central, not the man.
“Preaching is divine truth voiced by a chosen personality to meet human need,” noted Andrew Blackwood, Sr. The preacher does interpret life today with light from the Scriptures so as to meet human needs, but it must be kept clearly in mind that the message comes from the Scriptures.
We cannot faithfully proclaim God’s Word unless we get into it and it becomes a part of us. Carefully and prayerfully study the Word of God. Be a man of the Book. Make no excuses for being a scholar, a dedicated student of the Bible, the Word of God.
Clarify in your own mind and heart the surety and certainty of the full inspiration and the infallibility of the Scripture. Take a public stand on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
How can you speak with conviction that this is the Word of God? It is the Word which is the power of God unto salvation. People come to be fed on His Word, not to be entertained.
THE METHOD OF PREACHING
Let it be very clear, we are to preach the Word of God, not the word of man.
There is no greater fear or challenge or opportunity than to handle the Word of God. In deed, it is a frightening challenge with a high responsibility. Yet there is nothing more rewarding in life than preaching God’s message to those who are hungry for a word from God.
The Holy Spirit uses His Word to enlighten men’s hearts and bring spiritual regeneration to lost mankind. God honors and uses His Word to the salvation of men’s souls.
Preaching of the Word of God is to proclaim a message that God uses to change men’s lives. We need to hear the message for salvation and sanctification.
Have you ever met anyone with a casual attitude toward the Bible who lived a holy life? If we neglect the Word of God we will never know scriptural sanctification. If the Holy Spirit has implanted in our hearts a deep desire for Christlikeness, then the Holy Spirit will lead us to make much of the Scriptures. We will feed our spiritual lives on the Word of God. No one can neglect the Bible and be a strong, holy Christian.
It is the authoritative proclamation of the Word of God because the Bible is the very Word of God in written form.
The preacher is a herald, who is called upon to proclaim the message or announcement of the king.
The herald announces good news. Preaching is essentially the proclamation or announcement of good news one has received from God.
We are heralds of the King of king.
What is the word of the king? Is it not what the herald thinks, but what has the king said that matters.
"We too constantly thank God that when you received God’s message that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human message, but as it truly is, God’s message, which is at work among you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13, NET).
The message they heard and believed was the Word of God through human messengers.
Do you believe with all your heart that the book you hold in your hands is “really the Word of God”? If you do not believe it is the fully inspired word from God, please go do something else with your life. Is there a sure word from God? Yes, there is. It is the word spoken with the authority of God. It has God the Hoy Spirit as its divine author. The sovereign God stands behind His Word.
We are God’s ambassadors declared the apostle Paul (2 Cor. 5:20).
We represent the King of kings. We go forth with the authority of the name of the Sovereign and every knee will bow to Him (Phil. 4:11).
Preaching is God’s method of making Himself and His will known to mankind.
"How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? . . . Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ" (Romans 10:14, 17, NET).
God the Holy Spirit uses His Word to bring conviction of sin, righteousness, judgment and regeneration (Jn. 16:8-11). It is the Word of God that He uses to make a man wise unto salvation. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in His work of regeneration as well as in His work of conviction (1 Pet. 1:23). The Word itself is the effectual means of regeneration. When the Word of God is preached in the pulpit, God the Holy Spirit does a mighty regenerating work in the soul of the listener.
Every preacher as he looks out over his audience ought to be asking, what is God doing now? Where is God at work today? Lord, here am I, speak though me.
Preaching is the work of the Holy Spirit as He applies His Word to the listeners.
RESULTS OF PREACHING
Two things are always taking place when we are faithfully preaching God’s Word. When the Word is preached in the power of God some will hear and be saved. When the Word is proclaimed the mighty regenerating Word penetrates the heart and causes the person to trust in the saving work of Christ. There will be those who will hear and be saved.
On the other hand, there will also be those whose hearts will be hardened. They listen to the same message and choose to reject the Word as coming from God.
The minister of the gospel is dealing in matters of eternity. There is no greater responsibility in all the earth. What am I doing here? What is God doing now? One day I have to give an account to God of everything I say in the pulpit.
Make sure you have experienced the truth of the Word of God for yourself. Feed your own soul from the Word so that you then preach from the overflow (1 Tim. 4:6). The power is in His Word. Let’s preach it with authority and confidence so that those who come asking, “do you have a word from God?” will listen and know that it is indeed the very Word of God.
Wil Pounds (c) 2005. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
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