Temple Baptist Church - 9-7-2014
A. Last week, we looked at the first and only mention of the word “pulpit” found in the bible. The pulpit is an elevated place. It is not there to elevate the preacher but to elevate the Word of God so that all can easily see, hear, and—therefore—understand God’s Word.
B. This week, I want to look at the preaching and the preacher. We have been through the Book of 2 Timothy, but I want to look at some verses again tonight as I open this sermon on “The commitment of Preaching.”
2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (Preaching is a commitment or charge which makes it a Trust. All of us have been entrusted with the Word of God: to read it, to study it, to preach it, to protect it, to hear it, and to heed it.)
C. I want to look at the relevance of preaching in our day. We live in a day where scholasticism in most seminaries is turning out teachers instead of preachers. We are familiar with 2 Timothy 4:3 which says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears!” Notice the words “heap to themselves teachers.” Churches are now looking for “speakers” to fill the pulpits instead of preachers.
D. There was a time when young preachers sat under their pastors to learn their doctrine and manner of life! God called men learning from God called men instead of college professors. I want you to understand that I am not just “knocking” education in general but, in these last few decades, God called men have been told that they must have a bible education at a chosen seminary. The bible actually teaches just the opposite. God called men sat under God called men that they personally knew were godly men and doctrinally straight men.
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
E. The best teacher that you will ever sit under is the pastor that God gave to you. There you will learn your doctrine correctly. But, the poor old pastor soon became no longer the “best” teacher in the eyes of the people so along came the seminary. The young preachers were systematically taken out of the local churches and placed under men who were supposedly “more capable” and “more learned” than the men of God in the pulpits.
F. In the beginning, these seminaries were made for just preachers! Seminaries were special schools providing education in theology, religious history, etc., primarily to prepare students for the ministry. They were schools that gave men of God 2-4 years of comprehensive bible teaching to sharpen their “swords” for the task that God had called them to do but the local churches soon became depleted of young preachers and families. Not many years passed before these schools began to take in students who were laymen as well as preachers. This was done in order to give believers a good “bible education” which was actually the work of the pastor in the local church.
G. Slowly but surely, these schools began to expand their outreach to young men and women in preparation for other fields such as education, accounting, pre-med or engineering, etc. As the schools expanded to accommodate these new students, they began to pattern their curriculum to that of the public schools and, thus, the introduction of “Liberal Arts” degrees. I have often maintained that the key word in “Liberal Arts” is liberal! Thus we find the introduction of worldly philosophy into theological seminaries. Their education may have been good but their theology was not! Theology was mixed with liberal arts and the theology became as “liberal” as the arts!
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
H. The word Theology is derived from two Greek words: theos, God, and logos, speech or reason. “Theology is the science of God and of the relations between God and the universe.” Theology is the “science of things divine.” Theology is a reasoned discourse or treatise about God. As a term, theology has both a narrow and a broad use:
1. In its narrow use, theology means the doctrine of God, His being and works.
2. In its broad use, theology means the sum of Christian doctrines.
I. Theology has a threefold ground:
1. In the existence of a God and His relationship to the universe.
2. In the capacity of the human mind for knowing God and certain of these relations.
3. In the provision of means by which God is brought into actual contact with the mind, or, in other words, in the provision of revelation.
J. Since preaching has never been popular among the masses, the masses—who desire to have a form of religion that is both pleasing to them and supposedly appeasing to a holy God—have chosen teachers to fill their pulpits instead of preachers. GOD ORDAINED PREACHERS for that purpose! Intellectualism produces teachers and not preachers and teaching is a last day phenomena. Paul said that he was not sent to preach with eloquence and oratory.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Scholastically, the Apostle Paul was certainly qualified to give an intellectual dissertation, but he chose the simplicity of the old gospel story to get the work done.
K. Because of this modern “phenomena” of teaching, we see:
a. An Increase In Carnality In The Church – Preaching exposes sin and a lack of preaching increases carnality among believers.
b. A Decrease In Conversions In the Communities – God chose the foolishness of preaching to save the lost so, if there is not preaching, there will be fewer true conversions.
c. An Increase In Apostasy In The Church – Teaching has become a “smoke screen” for the intellectual and a breeding place for false doctrine.
L. I want to look at the importance of bible preaching in our church and also for the salvation of sinners.
The Importance Of Preaching To The Sinner
1. Preaching Gives the Sinner a Basis for Faith - 1 Corinthians 1:17-25 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
a. Biblical Preaching Is Practical – “of none effect”
b. Biblical Preaching Is Powerful – “the power of God”
c. Biblical Preaching Is Pleasing – “it pleased God”
2. Preaching Pierces The Sinner’s Soul - Acts 2:36-37 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
3. Preaching Saves The Sinner’s Soul - Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Importance Of Preaching To The Saint
1. Preaching Keeps The Saint Pure - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (Reprove means to “bring to light” or to convict. Rebuke means to “censure” or to “pass sentence.”)
a. It Is To Be Done Sharply - Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
b. It Is To Be Done Authoritatively - Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
c. It Is To Be Done Lovingly - 2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2. Preaching Encourages The Saint - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3. Preaching Brings Joy To The Saint - Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (Joy because it saves); he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted (Joy because it comforts), to preach deliverance to the captives (Joy because it delivers), and recovering of sight to the blind (Joy because it restores sight) , to set at liberty them that are bruised (Joy because it sets free)
4. Preaching Gives Understanding To The Saint - 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (Preaching helps us to handle problems right in the light of God’s Word!)
5. Preaching Gives Hope To The Saint - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
So, here is the question that needs to be asked, “Is old fashioned bible preaching relevant in our day?” Of course you and I know that it is but most people will not stand for straight preaching or sound doctrine.
1. We must:
a. Allow Biblical Preaching - Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
b. Pray for Biblical Preaching - 2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
c. Receive Biblical Preaching - 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
d. Apply Biblical Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2. What kind of preaching does the church need?
a. The Church Needs Need Bold Preaching - Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (Men of God who are not afraid to preach the Word of God to the people of God!)
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Jeremiah 1:6-8 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
b. The Church Needs Broad Preaching - Acts 20:26-27 Therefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Reproving, rebuking, and exhorting! Most churches leave the first two out in order to produce a “positive” reaction among their people. Thus the churches become worldlier and spiritually anemic.)
c. The Church Needs Spirit Filled, Powerful Preaching - 1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (By powerful preaching, the bible is not referring to loud preaching or a demonstration of some sort but preaching in such a way as to give the Word of God its power to convict, convince, and convert the sinner.)
d. The Church Needs Biblical Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (Preach the word! We are not politicians nor are we a political party; we are a church. Our work is the work of the gospel.)
e. The Church Needs Compassionate Preaching - Jude 22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Preaching is to be straight, not mean spirited. Men of God are not to be “brawlers” nor are they to “strive” with the people.)
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.