Preaching

Edwin N. Cross

The need to consider this important topic is very great. The trend in Christendom is away from solid expository preaching and teaching of the Word of God. His Word is set aside and man’s views and opinions dominate the scene. A form of religious entertainment seems to pervade much of what is found on platforms today. Showmanship and spectacular presentations accompanied by mood setting music is the norm for thousands of Christians. What has God to say to this? What is His prescribed order? What method of communication of Christian truth has His mandate? The editors encourage the communication of spiritual truth by spiritual means both in the assemblings of God’s people and in the spread of the gospel in the world.

There is a great need for regular expository preaching and teaching, in a consecutive manner, of the books of the Bible. The need to preach on fundamental subjects of the faith is also essential for the edification of the Lord’s people. The danger of presenting varied and sundry precious thoughts, and little ‘pet talks’ just to fill the hour will not suffice. The preacher must learn, from God, his craft and apply his gift for the definite benefit of the hearers.

Then there is the great matter of gospel work in the public arena. How urgent the need to preach to the masses who pass by without a thought of eternity. Thankfully God still uses this means of communication that He has authorised. Alas, there are too many substitutes for conscience searching gospel preaching. Open air street preaching is substituted by mime, dance and acting; anything but straightforward preaching of the gospel of the grace of God. The pseudo-evangelist thinks his novelty will draw men to Christ. But his (or even her) disobedience to the will of God betrays they are not true disciples themselves though attempting to make disciples of others! The power of evangelisation rests in the Word of God; it has nothing to do with technique. Not that the preacher is to disregard the manner of doing his work; indeed he is to seek out acceptable words, ‘even words of truth’ ( Eccl. 12:10) . He is not to throw a ragbag of pious platitudes at his hearers, without spiritual forethought and preparation, but rather he is to be wise and win souls ( Prov. 11:30). The Word he is to preach will also instruct him in his work: ‘Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual’ (1 Cor. 2:13). Our prayer is that the reader be exercised in this great service, and if called to do it to engage in it according to biblical principles. The apostolic injunction still stands: ‘preach the word’ (2 Tim 4:2; cf. Rom. 10:8; 1 Pet 1:25; etc.).

 

 

 

From Truth & Testimony 2008