Today finds Norma Jean and me in Denton, Texas, where I’ll be preaching in a meeting at the Eastside Church.
We’re returning to an area where we lived and worked with the brethren at the West Main Church in Lewisville. This will be my third meeting with Eastside. So, the week promises wonderful opportunities for reuniting with many brethren we’ve known and loved.
But the purpose in coming is to preach the gospel. That’s why we’re here. That’s my main focus this week. That’s what I’m called to do.
Preaching has fallen into disrepute in some circles. I appreciate and commend those who’ve elevated our song worship. And definitely applaud efforts in many churches to raise our awareness and give greater attention at the significance of the Lord’s Supper. However, let’s not devalue and diminish the place of preaching.
The Bible places great importance on preaching.
- John, the forerunner of Jesus, came to preach repentance, and point people to the coming of Christ (Matt. 3:1).
- Jesus came “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Matt. 4;23).
- The apostles were commissioned to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk.16;15).
- On Pentecost, Peter and the apostles preached that Jesus was the Christ and commanded the people to repent and be baptized “for the remission of sins (Ax. 2:38)
- Saul of Tarsus was converted and called to “preach Christ crucified (1 Cor. 1:17-23). Now, as he’s known as the apostle Paul said, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel (1 Cor. 9:6).
- Paul encouraged and commanded his young protege, Timothy to “preach the Word”(2 Tim. 4:1).
Preaching is important. But not just any kind of preaching. Preaching is about proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Not opinions, politics, or social inequities.
Preaching should be based on “sound words” (2 Tim. 1″13). Divine wisdom (1 Cor. 2:1-5). And revealed Truth (Eph. 3:3-5).
Gospel preaching is balanced with instruction. Warning. Rebuke. Encouragement. And edification.
G. Campbell Morgan once offered this summary of a good sermon: “If I am asked to condense into words the essentials of a sermon, I do it with these three: Truth, Clarity, Passion.”
In Common Sense Preaching, Dee Bowman wrote, “Preaching that does not storm the will is not good preaching.”
“The task of the preacher,” once quipped Vance Havner, “is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.”
Today, on the Lord’s Day, let us not minimize the value of gospel preaching. Nor neglect to apply it to our lives.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman