What is preaching? Ours is a time when the word in many circles has less than positive connotations. Consider these 7 components of biblical preaching – preaching that honors God and shows real concern for the eternal welfare of people.
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION.
There is a message to be heralded, there are words to be proclaimed – and what a message and words we are privileged to deal with!
There is news to be shared, news of God and His will in Jesus for saving men from sin. We must never fail to appreciate the beauty, privilege, power and necessity of preaching in the plan of God (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18-25; Rom. 10:14-18). God is at the center of real preaching, for we deal with a message from the King!
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION OF DIVINE TRUTH.
Low views of Scripture do not lead to high views of preaching! We have a message from God and about God and the relationship He wants to have with us. The inspiration, authority and sufficiency of Scripture are respected by preachers of His word. Because heaven has spoken, we must speak (2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 4:11). How careful we need to be with the message we are privileged to proclaim! In great preaching, the preacher is at the mercy of the text, and not the other way around.
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION OF DIVINE TRUTH BY A MAN OF GOD.
The expression “man of God” carries with it the ideas of maturity, stability and ownership (1 Tim. 6:11-14; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The message (logos), character of the speaker (ethos) and emotion exhibited (pathos) should all convey God, His will and the desire to please Him (1 Thess. 1:5).
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION OF DIVINE TRUTH BY A MAN OF GOD TO PEOPLE.
We preach to people, and that involves patience and ongoing instruction (2 Tim. 4:2). We deal with lost people, hurting people, people needing encouragement and hope, people struggling with pride and sin, people needing God and His will in their life—people who may not even be aware of how desperately they need our Lord. Many a preacher loves God and His word, but they find it much harder to love the people Jesus died for and came to save. Too many preachers don’t know people. Preachers must be known for loving people!
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION OF DIVINE TRUTH BY A MAN OF GOD TO PEOPLE IN AN ENGAGING WAY.
Preaching by its very nature involves communication, and hopefully, good communication. We live in a time when what we say has never been more important; however, it is equally true that how we say what we say has never been more important either. As has been said, the choice between almost the right word and just the right word is a matter Gospel preachers must think about often. We deal with words. Most of all, we deal with God’s words. We do NOT want something to get lost in translation!
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION OF DIVINE TRUTH BY A MAN OF GOD TO PEOPLE IN AN ENGAGING WAY TO BRING ABOUT THE DESIRED RESULT.
PREACHING that aims at nothing is worth nothing. The desired result of each sermon surely must relate to the desired result of God in giving the text or texts in the first place!
Application, most experienced preachers aged, is one of the most challenging and satisfying aspects of real preaching. After all, God’s word is NOT merely to be spoken, studied, exegeted and discussed – it is to be done! (Matt. 7:24-27; Jas. 1:22).
PREACHING IS PROCLAMATION OF DIVINE TRUTH BY A MAN OF GOD TO PEOPLE IN AN ENGAGING WAY TO BRING ABOUT THE DESIRED RESULT TO THE GLORY OF GOD.
1 Corinthians 10:31 might be paraphrased, “whether you preach or teach, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” From initial preparation of a sermon all the way throughout its presentation, the glory of God is ever in view.
PREACHING God’s word IS an act of worship! It is all about Him and all for him too (all for His glory, that is.)
Whenever we understand the meaning of preaching, its preciousness and glory can’t help but make an impact. To preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ” is a blessing indeed! —Mike Vestal