Preaching for Change

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

– 2 Timothy 4:1-2

Here Paul says several things about our handling of God’s Word:

  1. The goal of all preaching is change: “reprove, rebuke and exhort.” When we exhort we urge people to respond practically to what they hear from God’s Word. When we reprove and rebuke we seek to expose sin. This may not be what people want, but we must bring God’s Word to bear in their lives. 
  2. Change takes time: “be ready in season and out of season” “with complete patience.” The farmer doesn’t sow his seed and expect to see a crop the next day; the sun must shine, the rain must fall, the seed must germinate, and the plant must grow. Preaching is no different. It requires great patience.
  3. Change is always effected through the mind: “teaching.” A great temptation in preaching is to bypass the mind because it’s easier to excite the emotions than edify the mind, to be inspirational rather than instructional. But preaching that bypasses the mind can only engender a temporary response. We must be renewed in our minds (Rom. 12:1-2), and as we grow in knowledge, the truth embraces the affections, thereby producing change. 
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Preachers on Preaching

Ten reminders for those who preach and teach God’s Word courtesy of Nathan Busenitz over at the Cripplegate:

  1. Effective ministry consists not of fads or gimicks, but of faithfully preaching the truth.
  2. Preaching is a far more serious task than most preachers realize.
  3. Faithfulness in the pulpit begins with the pursuit of personal holiness.
  4. Powerful preaching flows from powerful prayer.
  5. Passionate preaching starts with one’s passion for Christ.
  6. The preacher is a herald, not an innovator.
  7. The faithful preacher stays focused on what matters.
  8. The preacher’s task is to make the text come alive for his hearers.
  9. The preacher is to be Christ-exalting, not self-promoting.
  10. Faithful preaching requires great personal discipline and sacrifice.

Click here to read an explanation of each point.