Monday, October 1, 2018


THE POWER OF PREACHING
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church,  St Louis, Missouri

No power exists on the face of the earth comparable to the Word of God. The Bible goes forth with divine power because the Bible is itself divinely powerful. The Scriptures are the God-breathed Word so that every line — indeed every word! — comes forth with supernatural and unstoppable power. Wise is the preacher who takes the Scriptures and stands and speaks forth what God has said in His Word. Foolish is the man who chooses to misrepresent the Scripture, misquote the Scripture, or ignore the Scriptures altogether. God speaks to every minister of the gospel through Paul’s pen when he wrote: “preach the Word.” Every week the preacher’s main job consists in the reading, explaining and applying of the Word of God. In doing this, he unleashes divine power from the Word of God as the Spirit of God uses His Truth for God's appointed ends.

We do well to consider and believe in the power of preaching the Word of God.

The preaching of God’s Word is POWER FROM GOD.
Preaching is life-giving because the preaching of the Word of God accomplishes what God has decreed. The man of God must wholly devote himself to the study of Scripture and to the holiness of heart and conduct. In studying the Truth of Scripture, in crafting the sermon to be preached, and in calling out for God’s help  to aid in the heralding of the gospel, the Word goes forth with world-shaking power. To faithfully speak God’s Word from the pulpit is to say “thus says the LORD.” In so far as the herald faithfully expounds holy Scripture in all of its parts, his words are truly God’s Words. As he diligently and carefully provides the meaning of the text and allows the text to speak, it is in fact the power from God going forth through the man. Herein is the lofty and fearful calling of being a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In no other calling can a man genuinely and accurately say: “here is what God says, go and do it for the eternal good of your souls!” But for the preacher this is not only possible, it is mandatory; indeed it’s urgent! To preach God’s Word unleashes glorious power from God the Spirit as He uses His Word to save those whom the Father has elected and whom Christ has redeemed with His own blood.

The preaching of God’s Word is POWERFUL to CONVERT.
The man must be at the height of arrogance to stand in front of a gathered group and think that his cleverness or creativity or charismatic persona can win the hearts of people to Jesus. No story or illustration or environment or pop-culture, self-help, life-coaching message will ever change the heart or convert the soul. Only the living and active Word of God can do this. A living preacher is one who has and holds and opens and reads his Bible. Indeed, he expounds from it. He has a finger in the text and constantly draws the people in the congregation back to their Bibles so they can see it in their own Bibles. A preacher that kills is the one who refuses to preach from the Word of God as the source of Truth that provides him with what to say when he stands before people. The Bible can convert. The Word of God in Truth can take a soul in Satan’s kingdom and cause him to be born again by God’s grace and deliver him into the kingdom of God. Wise is the man and careful is the expositor who preaches God’s Word knowing that this Word is able to convert lost souls.

The preaching of God’s Word is POWERFUL to SANCTIFY.
Programs don’t sanctify people. Stories don’t sanctify people. Clever strategies and worldly wisdom do not make people more like Jesus. Jesus said: “sanctify them in your Truth; your Word is Truth!” True Christians, like children, hunger for food. They must be nourished and fed and given a steady diet to grow in health and strength. So it is spiritually. A faithful preacher will feed Christ’s sheep with the nourishing food they need and provide them with a steady diet in Truth so that they may be strengthened, edified, equipped, matured, and unshakeable in the faith. The faithful minister of the gospel knows that all of God’s Word is profitable for life, for godliness, for holiness, and for Christian living. To have a man who claims to love Jesus, love the church and care for people but yet he refuses to open his Bible and preach the text of Scripture and expound its meaning week after week is a person who unpreaches with his conduct what he professes with his mouth. Many famished and malnourished sheep need to find shepherds who will feed them with the pure Word so that they can grow in Christ, mature in grace, and be equipped to serve.

The preaching of God’s Word is POWERFUL to be UNLEASHED.
What a travesty that many students of the Bible spend more time in commentaries and word-books than they do in the text of Scripture itself. It’s easy to read a commentary and a theological book. But divine power resides in the text of Scripture because the Bible is the very word of God. The Scriptures are like a lion. The lion needs to be let loose; the lion needs to be let out of the cage. Like a majestic lion, it’ll defend itself. So many want to be clever with worldly ingenuities and clever strategies to win the culture and change society and change the morality of a godless country. But the only source where real, lasting change can truly come from that will reach the heart is from the text of Scripture. The preacher understands his weakness and knows and relies on God’s power when he unleashes God’s Word week by week for God’s people. Even when people cry and complain and when some chaff and grumble and when others may wish him to not be so serious and urgent in the pulpit, he stands as a mouthpiece for God, with the power of Scripture to produce eternal good for the souls of men. So the faithful pastor unleashes the Word week by week. Surveys may go on, statistics may come in, churches may boom in size down the road that refuse to teach all of Scripture and gospel truths, and many people may express opinions about how hard, sober-minded preaching will drive people away and shrink the church. But the man of God stands strong and unleashes the Truth of the Bible through the biblical, faithful, careful, and precise exposition of Scripture. He lives to please God, not men. He strives to win the applause of God, not the masses. He believes in the power of the Bible and so He is relentlessly, consistently, passionately, and preeminently committed to the POWER of preaching.

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