Friday, June 9, 2017

Scripture: Why Preach the Bible?

Scripture: Why Preach the Bible?
    The Bible is at the center of Christianity. Indeed, it should be at the center of the Christian life. Believers ought to immerse themselves in word of God. After all, it is just that, the very words of the living God! We should read it, know it, believe it, live it, sing it, memorize it, trust it, meditate on it, preach it, teach it, hear it, and obey it. In a word, Christians need to feast on the scriptures. The Bible is our food, light, guide, and drink. The Bible reveals to us our great God, his amazing salvation, the Son, the Spirit, the work of the Trinity, the glory of God, and a myriad of other life-shattering and eternal truths.
    The word of God is to be preached. Why? Because of the examples of teaching that have come before us. Here are many examples of preaching and proclamation throughout Scripture.
  1. God preached (Ex. 33:19, 34:5; Is. 62:11)
  2. Moses preached (Deut. 31-33)
  3. Joshua preached (Josh. 23:2-16, 24:2-27)
  4. David preached, proclaimed the message of God in his Psalms (8, 9, 16, 22, 24, 34, 68, 75, 89, 93, 105, 110, 119, 136, 145, 1, 23, 32, 37, 40, 46, 50, 66, 78, 92, 100, 104, 106, 118, 128, 150)
  5. Solomon preached (Prov. 1:2-3; 2 Chron. 6:1-42; Ecc. 1:1, 1:12-13, 12:9-10)
  6. Prophets proclaimed the word of God (Is. 1:2-31, 6; Dan. 9; 1 Sam. 12:23; Is. 30:9; Jer. 32:33; Mal. 2:9)
  7. Kings preached (2 Kin. 22-23; Ecc. 1:1)
  8. John the Baptist preached (Matt. 3:1; Jn. 1, 3:22-30; Mk. 1:4; Jn. 1:15, 29)
  9. Christ preached (Mk. 1:14-15; Matt. 5-7; Lk. 4:16-30; Matt. 9:35)
  10. Disciples preached (Mk. 16:20; Lk. 9:6; Acts 2:14-36, 15:14-21)
  11. Paul preached (Acts 17:16-31, 28:31; 1 Cor. 1:23, 2:1-2, 15:1-3; Col. 1:28)
  12. Scripture preached (Gal. 3:8)
  13. Preachers are to preach (1 Tim. 4:13, 6:2; 2 Tim. 4:2-5)
    The next question is, what do I preach? Well, you preach the word of God. To begin, preach Christ. Christ is at the heart of the Bible and the Bible's message of God's great works of creation, providence, and redemption. Proclaim Christ. After all, there are many examples in the New Testament of this very thing...
  1. Jesus preached himself (Matt. 7:21-23, 11:28-30; Lk. 4:16-21, 24:27, 24:44-47; Jn. 3:14-15, 3:16-18, 6:35-40, 8:12, 8:31-36, 10:9, 10:11, 11:25-26, 14:6, 15:1, 17:3)
  2. Apostles preached Christ (Acts 8:5, 8:35, 9:20, 10:36, 17:3)
  3. Paul preached Christ (1 Cor. 1:23, 2:2, 15:1-5; 2 Cor. 4:5; Eph. 3:8; Col. 1:28)
  4. Author of Hebrews preached Christ (Heb. 1:1-13, 4:14-16, 9:11-14, 10:12-14, 12:2, 13:12-15)
  5. James proclaimed Christ (Jms. 1:1, 2:1)
  6. Peter preached Christ (1 Pet. 1:3, 1:19-21, 2:5-8, 2:21-25, 3:18; 2 Pet. 1:8-11, 1:16-17, 3:18)
  7. John preached Christ (1 Jn. 1:1-3, 1:7, 2:1-2, 3:16, 5:1, 5:20; Rev. 1:5-8, 5:9-14)
  8. Jude proclaimed Christ (5, 14-15, 21, 24-25)
    Preachers ought to proclaim the truth. We preach truth because Jesus is truth (Jn. 14:6). Failure to love and preach the truth results in disaster (2Thess. 2:10). Salvation depends on the proclamation of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ (2Thess. 2:13). Also, Christian living is grounded in the truth of God's word (Rom. 6:1-16; Jms. 4:4). With this being said, preachers, then, must preach the word of God to the minds and hearts of their people (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10; Acts 2:37; Rom. 10:9-10).
     Preaching should have goals. What are the goal preachers should have in mind when proclaiming the word? They are...
  1. The glory of God (Rom. 9:17, 11:33-36; 1 Cor. 1:18, 21, 31; 2 Cor. 4:1-6; Col. 1:27-28; 1 Pet. 2:9)
  2. Christlikeness (2 Cor. 3:15-18; Col. 1:28)
  3. Conversion (Mk. 1:14-15; Acts 3:17-21, 10:42-43, 11:20-21, 20:21; 1 Cor. 15:14; 2 Cor. 5:16-21)
  4. Edification (Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 3:17)
  5. Instruction (Acts 20:27; Eph. 4:11-14; Col. 1:28)
  6. Application (Lk. 3:3-14; Matt. 5-7; Acts 2:37-39; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17)
    Did you know that preaching is worship? Believers are to worship God alone. Christians learn about God in Scripture. Believers also hear from God through the Bible when it is read, taught, and preached. It follows that, believers who know God and are known by God naturally desire to worship God. Scripture, then is to be at the center of worship (private and corporate worship). Scriptures are to be read, expounded, taught, sung, preached, prayed, discussed, understood, memorized, known, loved, searched, devoured, applied, lived out, cherished, contemplated, desired, and heard. How can a believer possibly worship apart from the Bible? It is impossible. It is only in the Bible that we find what God desires of his people, how he is to be approached, the ordinances, sacred duties, how a believer is to live to the glory of God, and the good news of Christ.
   The scriptures are to be preached and heard. The best way to achieve this is to preach expositionally. This means that the message has Scripture as its sole source. The message is taken from Scripture through careful study and exegesis. Preparation includes correctly interpreting the passage in its normal sense and in its context. Good exegesis explains the original, God-intended message. Then, the passage is to be applied to the current context of believers. This is preaching. This is the proclamation of God's word.