On Sunday June 7, 2008, I heard a sermon preached by my father that expounded the worth and power of the preaching of the Word. My father preached from Acts 28: 17-31 and the latter points of that sermon really stuck out in my mind. To bring the reader into context, Paul had arrived in Rome and met with leading Jews within Rome. To these Jews he expounded (preached) the Gospel of Christ from the Old Testament from morning to evening. Some believed but others did not.
My father made several points about the preaching of the Word. The preaching of the Word is the most powerful force on this earth, period. As the Bible says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord will last forever.” The preaching of the Word is also a means of grace whereby we grow in Christ; we are fed and watered by the preaching of the Word. As I have noted in another post, if we forsake this means of grace, the church will fall. The preaching of the Word is the highest form of worship; it is the direct means of hearing the Words of Christ. It should not be the words of man that we hear, but by the Holy Spirit, it is the Word of God. It is the principal means by which the Church grows. In Romans 10: 14, Paul states “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? ” My father made three points about the preaching of the Word; we are to pray for it, prepare for it, and promote it. When we think about praying about preaching, consider Colossians 4:3 where Paul tells the Christians at Colossae to “pray for us that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.” We need to prepare for it that we may listen to it as it is the Word of God. I have taken his third point to the heart the most. As Christians, we should hold the preaching of the Word in the highest esteem (but not higher than God) for thereby we are fed and watered in the gospel. We should not be drawn to the preaching by the preacher’s humor, appearance, or any other thing that pleases man. The Words of God should be our desire.
In conclusion, we should come to realize that the preaching of the Word is the way by which the Church grows and should not be forsaken for something like the music program or children’s program. We should make sure that we are in churches where the Word of God, not man, is preached. We must remember that Luke ended Acts with Paul still in chains, to emphasize that man is nothing and that Paul spent his life for the preaching of the Gospel. The foundation of the Church is Christ who has been called “the Word made flesh.” He is “the Word who was God.” The church grows on the preaching of the Word; therefore, it is to be highly prized.