THE ONE WHO HOLDS UP THE BIBLE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THEIR COMMUNITY. HOLD UP THE LIGHT IN A DARK PLACE. THE PULPIT SHOULD HAVE THE PRIORITY. AS THE PULPIT GOES, SO GOES THE CHURCH. THE PULPIT SETS THE THERMOSTAT OF THE CHURCH.
THE GREATEST INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD IS THE CHURCH. THE PULPIT IS THE MOST STRATEGIC PLACE ON EARTH. THE MOST URGENT NEED IN THE CHURCH TODAY IS BIBLICAL PREACHING – TO A HIGH STANDARD.
I. THE NATURE OF GOD DEMANDS IT
EVERYTHING BEGINS WITH GOD. WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND OURSELVES WITHOUT FIRST UNDERSTANDING GOD.
A. The Personal Nature of God Demands It
God is a personal God, not an it, but a he. He chooses to reveal himself to us by speaking. Since God has spoken, we must speak. We have nothing to say apart from the word of God. We echo the voice of God. He has spoken through his word. See Heb. 1:1ff. God has condescended to speak to us, but it is intelligent and clear. God speaks very well, and so should we.
B. The Truthful Character of God Demands It
Everything that God has spoken is true. God tells it like it is – reality comes from God. God determines what is truth. What does God say?
C. The Sovereign Call of God Demands It
We must preach because God chooses individuals to preach, to be his instruments. See Jer. 1:5. They are set apart, holy. No one called can say “Who am I to speak?” See Gal. 1:15. It is something we must be certain about – that it comes from above.
II. THE NATURE OF SCRIPTURE DEMANDS IT
THE BIBLE DEMANDS THAT WE SPEAK. TO SPEAK FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE IS INSANITY.
A. The Verbal Inspiration of Scripture Demands It
See 2 Tim. 3:16. The Bible is no common book. It is breathed out of the mouth of God.
B. The Divine Inerrancy of Scripture Demands It
Unvarnished truth, uncorrupted and incorruptible. The sum of God’s word is truth. The only logical response to an inerrant scripture is to preach it expositionally.
C. The Supreme Authority of Scripture Demands It
The pulpit is God’s throne in the church. See Deut. 4:1. Teach in order to urge people to live it – this means authority. See Matt. 7:28-29.
D. The Intrinsic Clarity of Scripture Demands It
The perspicuity of scripture. People are not too stupid to understand the Bible. All need access to the Bible. It is not confusing. The Bible is lucid and clear – it must be taught. See Psa. 19:8 – pure means lucid. It is not hard to understand, it is hard to swallow for the unbeliever. The problem is that man is blinded by sin. See Matt. 12:5, 19:4, 22:31.
E. The Complete Sufficiency of Scripture Demands It
Scripture is sufficient to convict, save, condemn, counsel, sanctify. Preaching anything else is playing games.
F. The Invincible Power of Scripture Demands It
It has supernatural power to overcome the forces of darkness. See Matt. 4 and Luke 4.
III. THE NATURE OF PREACHING DEMANDS IT
A. Being a Herald of God’s Message Demands It
Every preacher is a herald of God’s word. A herald (according to Kittel) delivers a message as it is given to them. Exactly as it given to them. Not their own message. Not their own views. The herald is bound to the one who commissions him. No message other than that given to us by God. No room for original thoughts or fresh looks. Delivery must be accurate and clear. The response to the herald is not his concern.
B. Being a Sower of God’s Seed Demands It
We are to scatter the seed as far and wide as we can – broadcast. As much seed as we can as far as we can. The seed will fall on different kinds of soil. That is not our business.
C. Being a Steward of God’s Truth Demands It
We are stewards, entrusted with the proclamation of the word of God. We are dispense the wealth of the master to the household. We must give an account of how we have handled the word of God.
D. Being a Shepherd of God’s Flock Demands It
Feed the flock God’s word. To do anything else is to be unfaithful.
IV. THE NATURE OF MINISTRY DEMANDS IT
WHAT IS MINISTRY? PREACHING AND TEACHING THE WORD OF GOD.
A. The Great Commission Demands It
“Teaching them to observe” – information and practice “all that I have commanded you.” We either preach the word or we have gone AWOL.
B. The Apostolic Example Demands It
Read the book of Acts. There is no other example given than speaking the word of God. The engine driving the early church was the preaching of the word of God.
C. The Pastoral Epistles Demand It
If you don’t cut hair, you’re not a barber.
V. THE NATURE OF CHURCH DEMANDS IT
A. The Truth-Centered Mission of the Church Demands It
1 Tim. 3:15. The church is the pillar and support of the truth. Constant and continual holding up the word of God. The church should not meet without the preaching and teaching of the word of God. No gimmicks, no techniques, no pragmatism. When someone comes into church they should be shocked at how the world has lied to them.
B. The Truth-Teaching Mission of the Church Demands It
The lampstand is to hold for the light. The only thing on the lampstand should be the light of the word of God.
WE MUST FEEL THE WEIGHTINESS OF THIS MANDATE. IT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO US. WE MUST PASS IT ON.
The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series