Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. – II Timothy 4:2
I want to give you a foundational principle and an irreducible minimum. If this is neglected, everything else falls apart. There is no adequate replacement. God has no Plan B.
We must commit ourselves to Bible preaching. You might say, Pastor, we are committed to that. You may be, but you don’t know how easily it can slip away. Do you know the number of great pulpits in America and Europe from 50-100 years ago that are now blatantly God-denying, Bible-rejecting, liberal pulpits? I do not want that to happen in my pulpit.
Now, when I say Bible-preaching, I mean that we come together to hear the mind of God and not the mind of man. Furthermore, preaching the word is a two-way street. The pulpit must be committed to teach the mind of God, and the pew must be committed to hear the mind of God. The true and only acceptable preaching is that which reveals the mind of God. In other words, what does God think? Preaching is not just using the Bible in a message. There’s a lot of that going on today. Preaching the word is when the main point of the message is the main point of the passage. Did you get that? Preachers, study the text so that what the original author is saying is the main point we make to our congregation! We must never interpolate into the text what is not there. The sermon must give the original intent of the original author.
When the Bible is preached emphasizing the author’s original intent, but with contemporary application, and the congregation then hears that message with understanding and obedience, that is the highest form of worship a Christian can participate in!