Sunday, July 1, 2012

God's Command to Preach the Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Yesterday we dealt with the first reason why preaching matters: because of the character of scripture itself.  Today we want to explore the second reason for preaching, namely because it is.....

COMMANDED BY GOD 2 Timothy 4:1-2

We read in this text of Paul “solemnly charging Timothy”.  I’ll never forget over 20 years ago experiencing a dramatic move of God in my own life.  In my room in rural Pennsylvania God had been dealing with my heart.  As I searched the scriptures, I came across this text.  When I read verses 1 and 2, especially where we read “preach the word”, my heart was arrested.  I knew then that the Sovereign Lord was addressing me. 

If for no other reason, preaching is necessary because God has commanded it.  Acts 10:42 describes the conviction of the Apostles - “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.”  When I as a preacher stand up to proclaim God’s Word, and when His church gathers to hear the proclamation of God's Word, we are as it were gathered in the presence and the court of heaven itself.  1 Timothy 5:21  tells us plainly - "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”  It is in these same words that Paul communicates his words in 2 Timothy 4:1-2. 

What the church over history has believed about preaching
Preachers of the past have recognized this particular point as the chief motivation in preaching.  Richard Baxter, a 17th century Puritan pastor, once stated – “I preach as never sure to preach again and as a dying man to dying men.”  Steven J. Lawson, a Southern Baptist Pastor, has said in a recent book “Famine in the Land”- page 62, : “One God called man armed with one God sent message committed to one God sent method – preaching – is always sufficient for any situation.”
So preaching matters because of the character of scripture and the command of God.  More tomorrow!

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