by Wil Pounds
Preaching is not merely talk about God. It is God
Himself working through the message and personality of the preacher
confronting men and bringing them to Himself.
Power exists in the spoken word. “For I long to see
you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that
is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and
mine” (Romans 1:11-12 NET).
Effective Biblical preaching brings about change in
people’s lives. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in the Greek city of Thessalonica: “For
people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from
idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from
heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus our deliverer from the coming
wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 NET). That is what happens when you receive the
Word of God.
It is not a “happy talk” at the Christian happy hour on
Preach the word.
Preachers are to “preach the word” meaning “to cry out,
herald or exhort.” The apostle Paul has in mind in 2 Timothy 4:2 that the
message should so stir the man of God so that it must be poured out with
passion and zeal.
The preacher is a herald of the Word of God. Anything
less cannot be called preaching. The cry must be the Scriptures, not man’s
opinions, philosophy, current fads, or psychological self-help.
God speaks through the Scriptures.
The Bible is the tool He uses to communicate His
message to men. It gives the preacher the truth to proclaim.
Preaching to be effective must always be deriving its
message from the Scriptures.
The most critical question is: “Does the preacher
subject his thought to the Scripture, or does he subject the Scripture to
Much contemporary preaching uses the Scriptures only as
a quote now and then to support a humanistic pep talk.
Biblical preaching sees the text as the essence of the sermon
to be proclaimed. This is the message with authority that is urgently needed
in the pulpit.
Biblical preaching guards the messenger against false
teaching. The listeners hold the preacher accountable to God’s Word. He
Biblical preaching forces the minister to address many issues
in life that he otherwise would not.
With Biblical preaching the sermon is a model for effective
The listeners learn the Bible as they listen and interact with
the preacher. They are stimulated to use the same methods modeled for them
in their own study.
Biblical preaching forces the preacher to grow and mature as a
believer. You can never stay the same if you have an encounter with God’s
Word on a weekly basis. The Holy Spirit uses His Word to search the
preacher’s heart. “The Bible is the supreme preacher to the preacher,” says
P. T. Forsyth.
The Holy Spirit uses the message of the Bible to change
people’s lives and eternal destiny. He applies His Word to change our
attitudes and behaviors.
Every Sunday people are asking, “Is there a word from
God for me today?”
King Zedekiah cried out to the prophet Jeremiah: “Is
there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah replied, “There is.” Oh man of God,
tell us what God says! That is what we long to hear. That is what we need to
hear. That is what we want to hear. And if the man of God is faithful, that
is what the people will hear.
We honor God and His Word when the subject and
substance of the sermon are directly from the Scriptures. Then we alone can
say, “Thus saith the Lord.”
True Biblical preaching is what the Holy Spirit
promises to use.
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.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations
designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical
Studies Press, L.L.C.
http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.