Biblical Preaching

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Discipleship, Pastoral Ministry

Paul urged his young protegé preacher, Timothy, saying, “Guard the deposit entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20, ESV). He called the Scriptures, the source of true biblical preaching, a deposit that had been entrusted to Timothy. Paul intended Timothy to view the truth of God’s Word something that must be guarded as one would guard or protect money or valuables. As a preacher of God’s Word, I belong of a company of servants (actually, Paul used metaphors like single-minded soldiers, disciplined athletes, and hard-working farmers) who must preserve and pass on God’s truth to the next generation. Paul challenged Timothy, “…what you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses pass on to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2, ESV).

Understanding my main responsibility — to preach the biblical message — keeps me faithful. Temptations abound for me to copy the styles of others who draw large audiences with a more entertaining, albeit “watered-down” approach. Knowing that God called me to faithful and not famous keeps me focused on Him, His Word, His calling on my life, and even His mission. Obviously, my personality will come through as I preach; however, the focus of my preaching must always reflect my calling to proclaim God’s message and not to draw attention to me.

God-centered preaching means that the preacher proclaims the biblical message in a responsible, passionate, and authentic declaration of the inspired Word, in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. That means that biblical preaching, by definition, will declare the counsel of God — not merely the ideas of man. Additionally, that means that biblical preaching will not seek to declare certain subjects as “off-limits” or “no longer fitting for our culture.” The biblical preacher will seek to understand the biblical text and deliver the Word of God to his hearers, leaving the ministry of conviction to the Holy Spirit.

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