Landmarks of Practice - Preaching
Several weeks back, I mentioned starting a series of blog posts hi-lighting some of the foundations of our faith here at the church. We based the thought on the phrase in Proverbs, “Remove not the ancient landmark.” So I have broken these “landmarks” into four groups: landmarks of practice, tradition, doctrine, and standards. Each week that I am able, I will write on a landmark in each of these groups. Today’s offering comes from the practice group. It is the practice of preaching.
Preaching. What exactly is preaching? The word is used in one form or another over 150 times, all but 12 of those being in the New Testament. The word kerusso, in the Greek, gives us the meaning of proclaiming or publishing, as a herald would publicly cry out news. When I think of this definition, I think of John the Baptist! He was a public announcer of the coming of Christ! He preached a message of repentance. He preached the Kingdom of God! Another definition uses the word “inculcation” which means the action of impressing [upon] by repeated admonitions. We see this kind of proclamation from our Lord and his disciples throughout the gospels and the book of Acts. Paul carried this practice into the churches that he helped establish and the letters that he wrote.
Let me go on record of saying that I have always enjoyed preaching, maybe even love it! I am on record of saying that I love short preaching, long preaching, good preaching and even bad preaching. I just love preaching. So for me to write a critique on preaching, it would be impossible for me to be in favor of dismissing the landmark of preaching from our church. I have observed over the years a push to remove Bible preaching from our churches in favor of a more palatable form of giving information. Many that are moving this direction will move their pulpit off the stage, in favor of a stool and table, creating a more relaxed atmosphere. I am sure that there is a place for this in some part of our life. Is church that place? Are we really called of God to make people more comfortable? Does the proclamation of the truth of the Word of God always make God’s people more comfortable? Not according to what I see in the Bible. Watch the reactions of the lost religious Jews to the preaching of the early church and you will know that they were not comfortable with their message. Paul told us that he was sent “… to preach the gospel.” This he would do, even if the world thought it was foolish. He would do this to show them Christ and lead them to a relationship with Him.
Knowing this, how can we abandon this method established in the Bible? Paul admonished Timothy to “Preach the Word” in his manual for pastors. That command trickles down to every pastor in every Bible believing church throughout the history of Christ’s church. We must hold fast to the landmark of preaching. I promise to do my part to always preach the Word, which is the truth for living. I promise not to water it down. I promise to do my best to give it to you in the right spirit. God’s Word must be proclaimed. His message must be published. His church must be admonished with His Word, so let us preach on!