Preach The Word

W. Terry Varner
October 6, 2013

The Bible is filled with sacred charges to those who serve God. Noah was charged with building an ark (Gen. 6). Abraham was charged to leave Ur of Chaldee (Gen. 12). Moses was charged with delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage (Ex. 3). Joshua was charged with conquering Canaan (Josh. 1). Preachers are charged with preaching the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:2).

The Charge of 2 Timothy 4:2. The charge by Paul to Timothy was “preach the Word” or “preach the Bible.” The charge should hit the preacher like a sledgehammer. To preach the Word of God involves preaching the meaning of the Scripture. If we fail to preach the meaning of the Scripture, we do not preach the Word of God to our audience.

The preacher is not to preach anything he desires, but to preach the Word of God or truth and truth only. The Bible says this is to be done consistently—“in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). Paul instructs us that our messages, much to the chagrin of many people, are to be both negative and positive. He lists the negative aspect of the message as “reproving and rebuking” (2 Tim. 4:2) and the positive aspect as “exhort” or to build up (2 Tim. 4:2). The Word must be preached, both the negatives and positives. Paul wrote: “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I preach not the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16, ESV).

Sometimes those in the pulpit indite the relevance of the gospel by ceasing to preach it because they want to be relevant and please men. They fail to understand that “the seductive promise of relevance is, in reality, the road to irrelevance” (Os Guinness, Dining 64). They fail to understand that as long as sin exists, the gospel is the only relevant message that offers salvation. Paul reminds us that we are to serve God, “Not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph. 6:6, ESV). The Bible charges the pulpit, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). The pulpit is to follow the divine standard—preach the Word of God regardless the consequences.

Biblical Preach Not Easy. Preaching is “the communication of truth by men to men.” Involved in preaching is both the message of truth and the personality of the preacher; however, as important as the preacher is in the process of preaching he is but the channel through which the gospel message is delivered to the hearts of men.

Biblical preaching requires Scripture to be interpreted accurately. So, at times, our message is offensive to some. Never forget that God said of Jesus “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:33). Paul wrote: “But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Gentiles foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:23). The preacher is never permitted to trim and tailor the message to the people’s preferences. We are to preach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), no matter what.

The preacher’s task is not to be a conduit for human wisdom, but God’s voice speaking to people. No human message comes with the stamp of divine authority—only the Word of God. How dare the preacher substitute another message?