To preach simply means to proclaim.
It doesn’t necessarily mean raising one’s voice or getting “worked up.”
What is important about preaching is the content of the sermon and the manner in which it is presented. The content must be biblical and the presentationmust be representative of the nature of Christ.
A sermon must start with Scripture. Preachers must avoid starting with a clever idea and twisting God’s Word to accommodate their idea.
Instead, Scripture must be the well from which all ideas in the sermon are drawn. Illustrations, explanations, and applications must all be rooted in God’s Word.
A sermon must explain the Scripture. The whole idea of preaching is to proclaim what God has already spoken. That means the task is more than reading a text. Conversely, the task must stop short of adding new ideas to the text. When a listener walks away, he or she should have a better understanding of what God intended to communicate – not just the preacher’s personal views or opinions.
A sermon must help the listener apply the Scripture. Preachers must go beyond saying “this is what these verses mean.” They must also say, “here is how you must live in light of the verses.” Otherwise, the preacher may be helping listeners be “hearers’ of the Word and not “doers of the Word” (James 1:22).
The preacher must remember that He is presenting the living Word of God. He is a messenger representing the Almighty. Therefore, his presentation must not embarrass God.
The presentation must be Christ-like. After all, Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14) and the Scriptures all testify of him (John 5:39). If the message of Scripture is grace, surely the presentation should be graceful. Sharing the weight of sin and the coming judgment toward sin is not the same thing as berating sinners to shame and embarrassing them.
Preaching is a weighty task because by definition the preacher communicates on behalf of God. And for the very same reason, it is a great privilege.
Therefore, the responsibility for proper proclamation is a message we all ought to be preaching!
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