Thursday, December 10, 2015

WHY I PREACH THE WORD
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

1. obedience.
I preach the Word because God commands me to do so. In obedience to my Savior, I herald His truth from His Word to listening ears. Why must I preach the Word? Because God calls His prophets to take His words and speak them to His people (Jer 23:28). God has given us His Word and all men everywhere must hear His truth. Christ tells me to “preach the Word” and to be ready “in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:1-5). I preach because God commands me to do it. I preach to be obedient to my Master.

2. trust.
I preach the Word because I trust it will accomplish supernatural results. The preaching act is the most powerful force that the universe has ever known. Faithful preaching is the word of the living God going forth through His mouthpiece to hearers. Nothing in all existence carries as much power and authority than does the heralding of God’s truth from His Book. So, I preach because I trust it will accomplish great things. I trust that God will work through the preaching event. I believe God that He will use His word to pierce, convict, convert, and change souls. I trust God and therefore I preach.

3. power.
I preach the Word because I want spiritual power to permeate the place of worship. If a gathered group of people have anything in the world and everything in the world but the preaching of the Word of God (which must be attended with much, fervent prayer) then it is a man-centered, man-empowered show that will accomplish temporary, earthly results that will benefit souls whatsoever. I preach the Word because God speaks through His Word. Therefore, almighty power from God the Creator thunders forth as I, His herald and messenger, open my mouth with His words and faithfully impart His truth from the written text. The Word goes forth in demonstration of the Spirit and of power! So, then, I gladly preach!

4. conversions.
I preach the Word because I want conversions! I preach to convert! I preach to change souls. I preach to snatch hellbound souls from the flames and persuade them to abandon their sin, their wickedness and their selfishness and to pursue Christ, His glory, and His love! Of course, I cannot do any of these things. Only God can! The Father draws! The Son gives life to all whom He wills, and the Spirit quickens dead souls to new life. But I preach God’s Word from His Book for His glory so that His elect may be drawn to the matchless Savior by grace! If I gave up preaching, then I would forfeit God’s primary method for the converting of souls. God gladly uses the heralding of His Word in the saving of sinners. Thus, I preach to convert!

5. transformation.
I preach the Word because I earnestly desire that God’s people be transformed more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. I passionately want Christians to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I long for saints to practice their position; that is, to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. I preach to transform. God has given me the ultimate privilege of proclaiming the glories of Him who calls vile sinners out of darkness and into His marvelous light so that those who embrace Christ as Savior and Lord will love Him more dearly, serve Him more fully, honor Him more heartfully, seek Him more earnestly, enjoy Him more satisfyingly, and proclaim Him more urgently! I preach the Word because preaching is the means by which God sanctifies His people. God’s sheep hear His voice and follow Him. I preach so God’s people are transformed into the likeness of Christ from glory to glory. I preach to change! I preach so believers may be made like Christ.

6. called.
I preach the Word because I’ve been called by God to preach. Nothing in all the world could even compare with the unspeakable privilege and undaunted burden of heralding the unfathomable Christ in this world. No amount of money could ever compel me to quit preaching. No job offer, physical abuse, or violent threats could ever cause me to cease heralding Christ because He has called me to preach. And since God has called me to preach, I’ll preach till he tells me to stop preaching. And this He will not do since He tells me to preach to all creation till all have heard and to speak and keep speaking and to speak in season and out. So then, God has called me and I have been seized and caught and gripped and compelled to obey my Savior to preach Him. Like Paul, God has not called me for any ministry but to preach the Word not in cleverness of speech so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. I heartily, happily and wholly give myself to the relentless study of Scripture, to the incessant proclamation of the gospel, to the urgent pleading with souls, and to the prayerful dependence upon God’s Spirit in and through the preaching-event. So, I preach because I must. I’m a called man!

7. foundation.
I preach the Word because the foundation for all of life, godliness, thinking, and conduct must come from the Word of God. Thus, believers cannot be sanctified without the Word of God. The lost cannot find Christ apart from the hearing of the gospel. The foundation of everything is the gospel of grace and the glory of Christ and the crosswork of this Redeemer. As the hymnwriter accurately penned it: “How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!” Indeed, I preach the Word because the Scriptures constitute the foundation of my life -- and of every believer’s life. One cannot overcome the world, the flesh, the devil, yes, even one’s own sinful and fleshly desires without the sure foundation of God’s Word. So I preach to provide a solid foundation for God’s people so that they will think rightly about life, live intently for God, and focus triumphantly on heaven! The foundation for all of godliness is God’s precious and sure promises. And these, He has given in Holy Scripture! Thus, the burden rests on me to preach the Word for this is the Rock!

8. passion.
I preach the Word because God has burned in my soul a passion to know Him, to understand His Word, and to impart the saving and transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. I have an indomitable passion to study the Word and an insatiable hunger to know God and plunge into the bankless oceans of Scripture. This drives me to passionate preparation, passionate prayer, and passionate preaching. O that God would grant me to preach with even greater passion! May it never be that men of God rise with God’s Word in hand and preach without passion. If the Word of God and the God of the Word has not grabbed the heart and soul of the herald why would the hearers want to receive and embrace this message? I must preach the Word because I believe that Christ was a preacher with passion! John the Baptist was a man full of passion. Whitefield preached passionately as tears streamed down his face as he heralded in the open fields. Jeremiah wept as he preached passionately God’s truth to faithless Judah. With a passion for His glory and a hunger to convey the importance of the moment, I preach with passion!

9. instruction.
I preach the Word of God for the instruction of God’s people not only in theological truths but also in the method by which God’s people should read, study, and interpret the Bible. That is to say, the way that I study, prepare, bring truths together, and preach the text of Scripture is a form of instruction to the hearers so that they will emulate how to rightly divine the Word of truth. So then, the Word instructs the mind with divine things as it faithfully goes forth but it also instructs the mind in how God’s people can read, study, observe, interpret, and apply God’s Word rightly so as to understand the authorial intent of the text and the proper application to one’s life today. I preach the Word to instruct.

10. eternity.
I preach the Word of God because I believe in heaven and hell. I know that all those to whom I preach will live on eternally in the blessed joys of heaven or in the just torments of hellfire. Eternity hangs in the balances as I herald. Sermons make men holier in their walk with Christ or hardened in their stubborn unbelief. God has revealed His eternal truth in an eternal Book about His eternal Son who made a sufficient atonement once for all time. This message captivates me and it consumes me. And I pray that as I ascend to the pulpit to herald I would always preach for eternity knowing that it may be my last sermon I ever preach and it very well may be the last sermon that some may ever hear. It may be the only chance that some have to hear the gospel and to hear the call to repent and trust in Christ for eternal life! So I preach for souls to be snatched from the eternal pangs of death and to be won, by God’s grace, to the eternal life in God’s Son. I preach knowing that the message that I declare, in so far as it faithfully comes from the text of Scripture, can powerfully convert lifeless souls! With that, I gladly preach not just for a temporary result, or to bring in more numbers, or to generate more money. No! I preach to win souls who will gather round heaven’s throne and worship the Lamb who was slain for sinners!

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