Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 22 Number 10 October 2020
Page 13

The Purpose of Preaching

Mark Ray

Mark RayWhen the preacher begins his sermon in one of the five following ways, you can know that you are in for a long day:

  1. One would think that one could never find a sermon subject on the back of a cereal box, but…
  2. Usually, I try to not let my sermons go over an hour, but…
  3. Let me introduce our lesson with another story about my pet rabbit.
  4. In today’s lesson, I would like to examine the significance of the aorist imperative, passive tense in the Greek text.
  5. When I told my wife this joke last night, she didn’t laugh, but let me try it again with you.

God sees power in preaching. From Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, Malachi to even a country boy named Amos, God has used the method of preaching to communicate to His people. Preachers of the New Testament include John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul and especially Jesus. Over the past centuries, all great revivals have begun with powerful preaching that calls men back to their God. We dare not neglect the pulpit today if we are to revive ourselves to accomplish what God demands of us.

Some see preaching as outdated, useless and boring. They prefer share groups, movies, games or anything but a sermon! As you might have noticed, preaching the Gospel is a passion of many preachers. It is an opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to gather together to study God’s Word. It is a time for all to be challenged in their Christian walk and for lives to be changed by God’s power. When a preacher preaches from God’s Word, in a very real sense, it is God speaking to man.

While not every sermon of any preacher is even close to perfect and all men stumble, let us remember the power that is contained in the spoken word. Gather together with God’s people as God’s truths are proclaimed. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

[Editor’s Note: Old Testament and New Testament preachers might not recognize some of what passes for preaching these days. Stories, jokes, vague generalities and the exclusion of sensitive topics bear little resemblance to biblical preaching. Furthermore, Scripture and edification pertaining thereto often is minimized. Certainly, that kind of preaching shares some responsibility for many Christians believing a little bit of everything and not much of anything. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

Does Belief in Jesus Matter?

Arlis Richardson

If a person is interested in going to Heaven, it most definitely does matter what one believes about Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whomsoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Some people claim to believe in Jesus as a historical person who walked on this earth but believe He was just another great religious leader. Still others believe Jesus was a prophet like Jeremiah, Daniel or Moses. Jesus Himself left no doubt that He was more than any of these. “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets’” (Matthew 16:13-14). None of these, of course, were true, although they believed in Jesus Christ to an extent. Yet, Jesus wanted to firmly establish that His followers knew exactly who He was. Note Matthew 16:15-16, which reads, “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”

There is the what is to be believed about Jesus as shown by our Lord’s next words, “…‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it’” (Matthew 16:17-18).

Jesus was stating upon the very truth that He was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, His church would be built. That church is composed of people who have acknowledged that same truth that Peter acknowledged. In Romans 10:10, we find, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” What is to be confessed? “‘Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). The eunuch made the same confession. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). The next verse shows that the eunuch was subsequently baptized.

In summary, a person might believe “in Jesus” but not believe that He is the Son of God. However, if a person wants to live in eternity, he must accept the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, and inherent in that belief is all that Jesus taught and did. Yes, it most definitely matters what one believes about Jesus.

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