Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Preaching The Word...

I have found myself sharing bits and pieces about my church and I would be remiss in my description without stating that it centers on the preaching of God's Word. Most churches would claim to do the same.

I have written a bit about why expository preaching of the bible is the best way, but John MacArthur makes such wonderful points here about why full proclamation is the "only right way".

I love absolutes.

Pulpit Magazine
(By John MacArthur)

For many reasons, faithful and full proclamation of the Word is the only right way to preach. First of all, such preaching lets God speak rather than man, because it declares God’s own Word. And it is an incredibly thrilling privilege to give voice to God!

Second, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it brings the preacher into direct contact with the mind of the Holy Spirit, the author of Scripture. It is for that reason that the preacher of the Word finds the process of study and discovery to be even more rewarding than the preaching that results from it, gratifying as that can be.

It is tragic and puzzling that so many preachers who recognize Scripture to be God’s own Word spend more time investigating and interacting with the limited and imperfect minds of other men than delving into the infinite and holy mind of God. Part of the reason, of course, is that many hearers do not really want to delve into the depths of God’s righteousness and truth, because it exposes their own shallowness and sin. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned his son in the faith about the danger of those who hold “to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Tim. 3:5). Later in that same epistle he would warn again that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;. . . and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3–4; cf. Acts 20:29–30).

Third, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it forces the preacher to proclaim all of God’s revelation, including those truths that even many believers find hard to learn or accept.

Fourth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it promotes biblical literacy in a congregation, not only through what is learned from the sermon itself but also through the increased desire to study Scripture more carefully and consistently on their own. The faithful pastor, and all other faithful believers, love to learn God’s Word because they love the God of the Word.

Fifth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it carries ultimate authority. It is the complete and perfect self-revelation of God Himself and of His divine will for mankind, which He has created in His own image.

Sixth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because only that kind of preaching can transform both the preacher and the congregation.

Seventh, the final and most compelling reason that preaching the Word is the only right way to preach is simply that it is His own Word, and only His own Word, that the Lord calls and commissions His preachers to proclaim.

Today’s post adapted from John’s commentary on 2 Timothy (Moody Press).

So does this mean we dismiss the call to evangelize because we are too focused on preaching God's Word?

No. Preaching God's Word does not offer exemption to the church from evangelism. On the contrary....

It does mean that the "only right way" to share the gospel is by faithfully testifying to the whole counsel of God's word and that must include the depravity of our sinful soul and our desperate need for redemption through Christ. We cannot resort to our pragmatic man-centered methods.

Does it mean that we are not called to love & serve?


I am so perplexed when I hear people say that doctrine is less important than loving our neighbor. What is love without the truth??? I dare say it is not love at all.

I hear this & read this countless times in the midst of growing churches today. Without God's word as the power to change hearts then the works of service are either non-existent or contrived by man. Love and service will exist where God's word is faithfully preached. I believe this because I trust that when God converts a man's heart he does not leave it the same. The man is changed and moreover will continue to change through the beautiful process of sanctification....

"Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." 2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJ)


Jenn said...

Well said...and I too love absolute truths!

Kim said...

I agree wholeheartedly.I'm so thankful for churches like yours and men who are called to *preach the Word*. I have the utmost respect for men who choose to do their ministry this way--it is not the easy way..but it is right. The text leads the message instead of the man...when we changed churches that was a must for us...the preaching ministry had to be expository! Even our student ministry pastor is a Master's Seminary graduate and teaches expositorally...the kids(and adults who help) are learning so much! He is going through Ephesians right now while the kids are memorizing it! Yes, my 2 oldest are memorizing all of Ephesians! I am so proud of their diligence!

We just passed our 4th anniversary of when we started Romans on Sunday mornings...4 years and we are on Chapter 15. We are almost there. It has been very rich and so helpful in our lives.

I'm so thankful for your church...I know you are,too!

Kelly said...

Love your thoughts. His Word is truth! I count it a tremendous blessing to have a pastor that preaches God's Word faithfully.

Tracy said...

I love this too. I am so thankful to go to a church where this is done. I love that when I pick up my dad's bible the pages are so thin and worn because he loves God's word so much and is in it all the time studying and reading.