My Theology of Preaching

INTRODUCTION

 

            It is my intention to define my theology of preaching in this reflection paper.  I must ask the question of what preaching is and /or what it should be.    I will attempt to show what biblical preaching is and what makes it biblical.  I believe that preaching must come from the Bible and must be kept in context. 

            When the preacher leaves the Bible and prepares sermons based on political views, social issues, or anything else, his sermon becomes little more than a speech and should be left at home.  There is a severe drought for the word of God in society today and preachers of the gospel can preach the word of God and make an impact on a world suffering from a lack of spiritual knowledge.  This is the purpose of preaching, the salvation of mankind.  Anything less than this is all for naught.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY THEOLOGY OF PREACHING

            Preaching is the delivery of a message that is of a religious nature based on a text of scripture.  There are several terms used for this but it all comes down to delivering a message to a group of people assembled to hear a message from Godís word.  This is what preaching should be.  There is more to this thought than meets the eye. 

I believe that to answer the question of what is biblical preaching or even what should it be, the very first thing that must be analyzed is the preacher himself.   I believe that the preacher, the minister of the gospel, must truly want to do the work of a minister. I do not believe that we are called by God to preach, however, there must be a deep burning desire to proclaim the word of God to the world. Jeremiah said it best in Jeremiah 20:9, ďBut if I say, "I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.Ē In other words the words of God cannot be held within, it must come out.  The desire to preach the word is a noble venture.  It has to be that manís decision.  If a man preaches because someone else wants or expects him to do so, is going to struggle in his choice of vocation. 

            The preacher must have the proper respect for Godís word.  He must view the Bible as the inspired word of God.  When the gospel preacher views the Bible in this way, he will have the proper respect for both the authority of and the need for the use of these inspired scriptures in the message.  I believe this is first and foremost important for the preacher. 

                  The preacher must practice what he preaches.  The Apostle Paul gave the young preacher Timothy some valuable advise in 1 Timothy 4:12, ďLet no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.Ē  I believe that even though preachers are mere human beings, they are expected to carry themselves a little higher than the rest of society lives.   If the preacher is not known to be a moral upright man, he will have little to no influence in the community in which he lives and works.  I believe it is of utmost importance to have a good name as all Christians should have.  The message that we deliver with our lives should not be louder than the message we deliver vocally.

            Preaching involves more than the right person delivering the message.  The right man needs the right message.  The message he chooses to present to the congregation must apply to them.  Preaching the gospel should be a message of hope for all men for there is no message that has something for all men like the word of God has.  The apostle Peter reminded his readers of an important point that should be applied by all preachers:

Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11,NASB)

 

Biblical preaching involves the man properly motivated and prepared to deliver the message as well as the right message, a message from the word of God.  There are too many preachers preparing lessons that have little or nothing to do with Godís inspired word.  This should never be.  The passage used in the sermon should apply to the message.  All too often preachers will decide on a topic or even worse an illustration and then attempt to find a scripture that might fit with it.  I think we must stick with the Bible and preach biblical sermons.  When preachers deliver biblical sermons with a message of hope, a message of salvation, they fulfill their duty of preaching the gospel.

            There must be proper preparation in preaching.  We must go to Godís word and study it and what it says so you will be able to convey the message in the sermon.  If the speaker does not know his own material, how can he expect to reach the souls who make up his listening audience?   Biblical preaching starts with the study of a passage that leads to an exegetical idea.  This idea is probed with questions that explain, prove, and apply the idea.  This process leads the preacher in determining the purpose for the sermon. 

            The sermon itself may take on different forms.  There are times when the sermon should be an expository sermon.  This type of sermon really exemplifies what biblical preaching is.  Expository preaching is a biblical concept taken from the study of a passage in its context.  Next I would consider the textual sermon, sometimes referred to as expository but it usually uses a shorter passage, usually dealing with only a couple of verses.  The topical sermon should be biblical in nature but can easily leave a biblical concept and take on the ideas and thoughts of the speaker.  The preacher must take care that all of his sermons are biblical in nature.  The style of sermon is not as important as the message.  It should be delivered the best way the preacher can deliver it to have the most impact on the audience.

            There is a great need for biblical preaching today.  There are three critical elements of biblical preaching.  First of all, there needs to be a preacher who has the desire to preach the word of God.  Secondly, the message must come from the word of God.  Last of all, biblical preaching must be conveyed in the best manner possible to convict the audience with the word of God.   The apostle Paul gave the young preacher, Timothy, some invaluable advice when it comes to preaching:

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

(2 Timothy 4:1-5,NASB)

 

            It is my honest opinion that gospel preachers of today must have a burning desire to preach, they must preach the complete word of God, and they must deliver it in manner that the audience can glean what God intended for us to get from the inspired word.  This is my theology of preaching.

 

                       

           

 

 

 

 




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