“What Are Primary Points You Keep In Mind As A Preacher?”
By: Brian A. Yeager
I received an email a few months ago that included the question that is the title of this article. I found the question one that was very difficult to answer in any short form. The things that I consider of chief importance as a preacher of the Gospel of Christ do not matter at all. What matters is what God expects to see out of those whom opt to spend their lives living and declaring His word. God’s word is our standard (Luke 4:4, John 6:63, John 8:31-32, John 12:48, Galatians 1:6-10, James 1:21-25, and II John 1:9). What also matters is that there is a greater judgment upon those that choose to live the life of one who preaches the Gospel of Christ (James 3:1).
In trying to summarize an answer, I found myself pondering many things that have become natural to me. What I mean by that is there are things I do, that I have learned from the Scriptures, which I do not even think about. For example, I am always meditating upon the word of God even in social situations wherein I am also otherwise engaged (Psalms 1:1-2 and Psalms 119:97). I am always examining myself first (II Corinthians 13:5). As many of you [my local brethren here] have told me, I am also always teaching (II Timothy 4:2). That never turns off. In that, I am always listening carefully and choosing how to teach in word or deed the person or group of people I am around (Proverbs 15:28). I am always assessing whether or not someone is ready to learn something or if that person is even able to learn it (Mark 4:30-34 and I Corinthians 3:1-3).
I think you can see, from the brief Scriptural points above, how it would be difficult if not impossible to state what are the most important things a preacher of the Gospel keeps in mind. Still, I found the question interesting and spent some time answering it. Some of what I wrote above was included in the answer. All that I will state below was in the answer. Therefore, let’s look at some things the word of God states are very important principles that Gospel preachers must apply.
Important Things For Preachers To Know And Practice
I do not, at all, want anyone to think that this is some kind of list of the most important things for any preacher to do. There is not really a most important thing for any of us. One failure, in any point, is a complete failure (James 2:10). As noted above, that judgment would apply hard to those whom take on the role of living and preaching the Gospel.
Having said that, there are some things that GOD had Paul write to two Gospel preachers that do serve as a lot of basic lessons for preachers. Of course, it is easy to tell you to go and read the two epistles to Timothy and the one to Titus. That would give you a lot to consider. You should do that. However, I will also take some time to highlight some things from those three epistles to help in answering this question.
The things I will briefly discuss about the work of a preacher from here forward can be found in reading the following Scriptures: I Timothy 1:3-7, I Timothy 1:18-20, I Timothy 3:15, I Timothy 4:6-16, I Timothy 5:20-21, I Timothy 6:1-12, II Timothy 1:13, II Timothy 2:1-7, II Timothy 2:14-18, II Timothy 2:22-26, II Timothy 3:14-4:5, Titus 1:5-13, Titus 2:1, Titus 2:7-8, Titus 2:15, Titus 3:1-2, and Titus 3:8-11. Please read through those Scriptures, in their contexts, as there are things I will not touch on that are paramount to the major points.
Starting with what Paul wrote to Timothy, we see the importance of preachers of the Gospel defending the truth against those who teach and practice things contrary to the truth (Romans 16:17-18, Galatians 2:1-5, Galatians 2:11-17, Ephesians 5:6-11, Jude 1:3-4, and Revelation 2:14-16).
In reading the points Paul made to Timothy we also see that he was to war a good warfare. This certainly applies to all of us (Ephesians 6:10-17), but preachers are to wear that hat as leaders in the battle against sin and sinners. The application of a good warfare is to battle in a spiritual, acceptable manner, rather than according to carnal manners (II Corinthians 4:1-7 and II Corinthians 10:1-5).
Preachers of the Gospel of Christ must know how to properly live within and without the body of Christ. How can you preach what you do not practice (Matthew 7:1-5)? The answer is, you cannot acceptably or effectively do so (Proverbs 11:9 and Romans 2:1-29). In fact, since we who preach the Gospel are to teach and exhort in a way that we withdraw ourselves from those whom do not consent to wholesome words would that not make a sinning preacher a HUGE hypocrite? How does our Lord view men who practice hypocrisy (Matthew 23:1-33)?
We also read that Paul wrote Timothy about money. Preachers of the Gospel are to be supported financially to do so (I Corinthians 9:1-14). However, a man who takes on such a work must not be moved by money either in the plus or negative sides (Philippians 4:11-18). A man moved by money will be controlled by it and teach error because of it (II Peter 2:1-3).
The phrase “hold fast” should not be taken lightly. Many have quickly let go of the pattern of God’s word. Preachers should not be so easily shaken (Ephesians 4:14). Preachers of the Gospel should be the glowing example of I Thessalonians 5:21. In addition, the cares of this world should be the last things preachers are moved by. If a man is always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58 and I Corinthians 16:13-15) the worldly things won’t move that man (Acts 20:17-27).
Space has gotten ahold of this study much quicker than I would like. So, I will quickly summarize some untouched points. Preachers are hard men who have a soft spot for the faithful (I Thessalonians 2:1-12). These men are always studying and growing to handle truth aright (II Peter 3:15-18) and practicing what they teach (I Corinthians 9:24-27). Faithful preachers are ready to teach always and everywhere (Acts 28:16-31). Faithful preachers want to appoint elders rather than act like one (Acts 14:23). A faithful preacher will live the life you can follow (I Corinthians 11:1), though he’ll demand you not become a blind follower of him (Acts 14:6-18). A faithful minster of the Gospel will speak with all authority (Matthew 7:21-29). In conclusion, for the sake of space, consider how much there is to say on this subject!
Volume 16 – Issue 19 - January 24th, 2016