Some people envy the preacher because they think he gets the last word. After all, he gets to preach the sermon, right?
If you feel that way – it’s in your best interest to stop! I’ll tell you why:
- The preacher does not get the last word because the last word has already been given (John 12:48). It doesn’t matter how the speaker or the listener feels about a particular topic.
- In addition to all other aspects of life, preachers (including all Bible teachers in general) will answer for how they handled the word of God in relation to others (James 3:1).
- Preachers are human, and adhering to the words of people brings a spiritual danger much more apparent than the majority of the religious world is willing to recognize (1 Corinthians 1:10-15, 3:4-9, 4:5-6).
- It may increase the ego of the preacher, which is a potential stumbling-block that could lead to the desire of being served instead of serving. The church has one Rabbi, Father and Guide in matters religious (Matthew 23:1-12).
- We will not come forth from the grave to appear before the judgment seat of the preacher (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). And that’s a good thing!
There’s a difference between preaching and getting the last word. One shares the word while the other owns it.
“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”” (Acts 19:13-15 NKJV)
Whether Jesus preached that great Sermon on the mount, or in Capernaum’s synagogue, “the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29; Mark 1:22 NKJV). There is a difference between preaching what one knows about the Scriptures, and preaching as an author of the Scriptures. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10 NKJV). No church or preacher today has been given that same boldness to change or privately interpret the Word of God. “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?” (John 7:26 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
#interpretation, #preaching, #scripture
In last week’s Adult Gospel Advocate Foundations study, the topic of “The Commission to Preach” was discussed.
It’s a good lesson. It particularly does a fine job at distinguishing between preaching and teaching.
I’ve told people I enjoy teaching more than preaching only to have them look at me as if I have a third eye. To most people there is no distinction. I assure you there is.
Many of the questions at the end of this particular lesson were simplistic. I don’t believe it’s to the fault of the editors – it just comes with the territory of the topic. But one question generated a lot more thought in my mind than it did in the class. “What components must be present in a biblical sermon?”
I think it’s hard to be “technical” about answering such a question. Doesn’t mean I haven’t had people share their thoughts with me on how I should preach, what I should talk about or what I shouldn’t say! What I mean is there are many component examples from the scriptures, but very few examples are constantly repeated.
For example: Continue reading
We were having a light supper with one of the elders and his wife in their magnificent home one Sunday night after church. Another elder and his wife had been invited to join us. We were seated at the table, enjoying delicious food and delightful conversation. Suddenly, the wife of the other elder said to me, “Hugh, I think your preaching is a little bit old style. I think you need to update your preaching.” To say the least, I was taken aback. Continue reading
Often when we speak of spiritual threats, we’re mocked or ignored as alarmists. Yet, when someone of great importance and special insight speaks, we should certainly listen and heed their warnings. Continue reading
As time and technology progress, we need to abandon our naivete and realize the threats before us. Complaining about the rise of persecutions is normal, but not very productive.
In these times, courage is required to confront Satan and his forces. Yet, it’s worthless unless it’s combined with faith (Hebrews 11:6), perseverance (Romans 5:3) and the spiritual armament constructed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17). In addition, we must be wise, cautious and perceptive. Continue reading
Ron T. has an excellent article that deserves a close reading, “Dismissing the preacher for a change in direction.”
What Ron describes is a symptom of a larger problem, it would seem, of treating preachers (and preachers considering themselves) as employees.
You hear and read it all the time, that a man is a “preacher for” such-and-such congregation. Language betrays. Profound restoration is needed on this point.
In the 2017 FHU Lectureship book, a contributor wrote about “lay” preachers. Editors let that go.
What is the opposite of laymen? Clergy.