For many reasons, faithful and full proclamation of the Word is the only right way to preach. First of all, such preaching lets God speak rather than man, because it declares God’s own Word. And it is an incredibly thrilling privilege to give voice to God!
Second, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it brings the preacher into direct contact with the mind of the Holy Spirit, the author of Scripture. It is for that reason that the preacher of the Word finds the process of study and discovery to be even more rewarding than the preaching that results from it, gratifying as that can be.
It is tragic and puzzling that so many preachers who recognize Scripture to be God’s own Word spend more time investigating and interacting with the limited and imperfect minds of other men than delving into the infinite and holy mind of God. Part of the reason, of course, is that many hearers do not really want to delve into the depths of God’s righteousness and truth, because it exposes their own shallowness and sin. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned his son in the faith about the danger of those who hold “to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Tim. 3:5). Later in that same epistle he would warn again that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;. . . and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3–4; cf. Acts 20:29–30).
Third, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it forces the preacher to proclaim all of God’s revelation, including those truths that even many believers find hard to learn or accept.
Fourth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it promotes biblical literacy in a congregation, not only through what is learned from the sermon itself but also through the increased desire to study Scripture more carefully and consistently on their own. The faithful pastor, and all other faithful believers, love to learn God’s Word because they love the God of the Word.
Fifth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because it carries ultimate authority. It is the complete and perfect self-revelation of God Himself and of His divine will for mankind, which He has created in His own image.
Sixth, preaching the Word is the only right way to preach because only that kind of preaching can transform both the preacher and the congregation.
Seventh, the final and most compelling reason that preaching the Word is the only right way to preach is simply that it is His own Word, and only His own Word, that the Lord calls and commissions His preachers to proclaim.
Today’s post adapted from John’s commentary on 2 Timothy (Moody Press).