In 2 Timothy 4:2 the Apostle Paul commands Pastor Timothy to “Preach the Word!” This command, conveyed nearly two thousand years ago, echoes to the present generation and is a mandate for every Christ-exalting, gospel-centric, people-loving pastor today. I personally take this command very, very seriously. Preaching is one of the most important tasks I accomplish every single week. It takes hard work, study, prayer, and fierce dedication. Preaching is my mandate. Preaching is my passion. But what is preaching?
We must first understand that a true preacher will preach the Bible, only the Bible, and all of the Bible to his people. Simply put, preaching is explaining the Bible (i.e. the Word of God) to others. This is a great privilege and must be done with the utmost of seriousness and passion. In fact, I believe that true preaching is characterized by four main elements, namely, true preaching must be biblical, deep, fresh, and aggressive! Let me explain.
True preaching must be biblical. This is a nonnegotiable. The true preacher must preach in such a way as to connect real people, with real problems, with the pages of grace-saturated Scripture. A preacher cannot simply state the cold, hard facts of Scripture without illustrations, passion, and compassion. He must vocally and visibly demonstrate the relevancy of God’s Word to today’s multiple needs.
True preaching must also be deep. The true preacher will go deep into the truths of Scripture and bring people to a better understanding of its truths. He will tackle a passage from many different angles and apply the truth of God’s Word to the many different people that sit under his preaching. A true preacher will not be satisfied with surface level truth, he will dig deep to mine the incredible riches of God’s Holy Word.
True preaching must also be fresh. That is to say, the true preacher will communicate the truths of Scripture in such a way that people will understand. He will take the timeless truths of Scripture and make them come alive for the present generation. He will, by the power of the Holy Spirit (and his delivery), turn black and white thinking of the Word of God into full HD color! He will present old truths in a fresh, compelling way.
True preaching will also be aggressive…very aggressive! The true preacher will preach so as to bring people to a point of decision. He will lead people to make a choice: follow after God or self. He will demand a response to the message. True preaching will not allow people to leave the same…they will be forced to make a decision!
The true preacher will preach the Bible, only the Bible, and all of the Bible to his people. As he preaches he will do so deeply, freshly, and aggressively. All of this is done by the Spirit’s power and for God’s majestic glory!