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Preaching that edifies and saves souls

Preachers need more than just energy in the pulpit to transform lives.

Are we as evangelists continually growing in our understanding of the message of each Bible book? 

The apostle Paul suggests that all Christians strive to “be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

In order to reach that goal, one must follow his diligent example of reading, reflecting and responding to God’s word. 

“Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”

— 1 Timothy 4:13-15, New King James Version

There must be power in the pulpit in order to save souls and edify the church. While there will be exceptions like Eutychus (Acts 20:9), energetic preaching translates to less sleeping in the pews.

Diligent preparation is the first requirement for power in the pulpit. Both preacher and his audience will be edified when he speaks with biblical authority instead of rambling (1 Timothy 1:7, 1 Timothy 2:15, Matthew 7:29). Realizing the great potential of prepared preaching will motivate the evangelist to present with great enthusiasm.

In addition, carelessness, indifference and laziness imperil not only the evangelist’s ministry but also his soul. The apostle Paul stresses the responsibility of fulfilling one’s ministry (2 Timothy 2:5) while the Holy Spirit says more pointedly in James 3:1, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” 

The preacher who exhibits energy in and out of the pulpit but does not provide a godly example is as beneficial to the church as a dull razor to a man’s beard.

Jesus issued a similar warning in Matthew 23:1-12. So the evangelist is never satisfied. His work is not done after he leaves the church building. He constantly seeks for souls to save.

Finally, the evangelist must live the life. The apostle Paul instructs the young evangelist, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

The preacher who exhibits energy in and out of the pulpit but does not provide a godly example is as beneficial to the church as a dull razor to a man’s beard. In time, the preacher’s character will be widely known and impact his work for the Lord accordingly.

HERNANDO MOTTA is a minister in Lima, Peru. This piece originally appeared in the newsletter of “Let the Bible Speak,” a ministry associated with one-cup Churches of Christ. Learn more at letthebiblespeak.com. 

Filed under: Church of Christ good preaching how to preach In the Word Let the Bible speak Lima Opinion preachers

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