The authority of God’s ministers – Part 2
Most preaching in many churches today merely motivates people to be happy, have self-esteem and succeed in their earthly endeavours. But that is not the true gospel. Psychologists too can do motivational preaching because they are motivational speakers. We must not drop our profession in the church to take up theirs.
Others are success achievement preachers. They do not talk about heaven, salvation or holiness. Some people are fashion preachers; their messages concentrate on the fashion of the day. They are trendy, customised preachers. They customise their sermons to what the people want. Also, there are user-friendly preachers. Their preaching is friendly to corrupt politicians, immoral youths, men, women and unscrupulous businesspeople. Nothing is said to lead them to conversion.
But we must be different in our preaching. When we preach sound doctrine, our message will convict people of sin; bring conversion to the soul; crucify self and the old man; warn people of danger and damnation; expose corruption and evil; contend for the faith of Jesus Christ; create in people the thirst, hunger, passion and desire to get to heaven.
Believers must ensure that “in all things,” they strive for maturity and mastery, are well controlled, obedient to the Lord, approve themselves as ministers of God by being distinct in conversation, interaction and business, grow up into Christ’s character, conviction, obedience, thinking, devotion and zeal. They must possess a good conscience and desist from things that will make it less functional. They must glorify God, watch and endure afflictions.
God’s call and command to every born again Christian cannot be misunderstood. Each of us must resolve to meet Him in the place He appoints. We must be “a pattern” in good works and character. Our character must glorify God and show that He has appointed us to lead others to heaven. We must also be a pattern in commitment and zeal, by not being lukewarm, lackadaisical or carefree to the sound doctrine He has charged us to preach. We must be a pattern in courage and bear the pains of the Christian life, while taking the gospel to unfamiliar lands and regions.
We should also be a pattern in consecration, service, self-denial, obedience, holiness, competence, communication, love, faith and sacrifice. David said, “neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). In addition, we should be a pattern in yieldedness (that is, we should yield our hearts, spirits and life to God), humility, giving, seeking the lost and building God’s kingdom on earth.
“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you”. We must preach the Word with persuasion, passion and power, such that the words we speak will be like burning flame in the hearts of our hearers and cause conversion in their lives. “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” We should aim to be like our Lord Jesus Christ and aspire to always give a sound, stirring, soul-searching message that will pierce, inflame and drive our listeners to their knees and make them also want to obey the Lord.
If our preaching is soul-stirring, sinners will listen and repent; believers will be transformed and filled with the Holy Ghost when we speak. “And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.” When we read, learn, know, preach and are mighty in the Scriptures, we will rightly convince and convict our hearers. To achieve these through our preaching, we need God’s gift and grace, the freedom and the fullness, and the purity and the power of the Holy Ghost.
Further Reading (King James Version): Titus 1:5; 2:1,7,8; 1:5,9; Titus 2:1; 1:10-16; 2 Timothy 4:2-5; Titus 2:7; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 6:4; Ephesians 4:15; Hebrews 13:18; 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 2:7; Titus 2:7,8; Luke 24:32; Acts 14:1; 18:24,28.
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