Preaching and Teaching, Acts 28:31

After we are saved, it is very important that we hear the preaching and teaching of the word of God.  There are five specific things we see Paul doing with the word of God among the people to whom he ministered.  Like Paul, ministers of the word of God should be involved in:

Preaching – Acts 8:4 – to preach is to urge strongly and persistently.  According to 2 Tim 3:16, preaching the word of God entails preaching doctrine, reproving (rebuking and exhorting, 2 Tim 4:2), correcting, and instructing.  Today you hear very little doctrine, reproof, and correction.  You mainly hear instruction.  That’s only one fourth of the profit of scripture.  Without doctrine, reproof and correction, instruction has very little lasting effect.  Preaching involves a unique work of the Spirit of God resulting in conviction in response to reproof and a desire to change.  So, preach the word.

Teaching – Acts 18:11 – to teach is to give lessons or instructions, to help someone learn.  In churches today we still need the combination of teaching in Sunday school and preaching in church to keep our folks balanced.  Christians need sound doctrine and they need teachers who will teach sound doctrine [2 Tim 4:3-4].  When people get saved, they need to be taught so they can grow.  Basic discipleship lessons are an excellent way to get them started.  They need to be grounded well enough and soon enough to stay away from the fables that are being taught today.  So, learn the Bible and teach the word of God.  I hear people who start attending Bible believing churches say, “I have learned more Bible in a few months of being here than I have learned the entire time that I have been saved.”

Exhorting – 1 Thes 2:11 – to exhort is to incite by words; to urge by arguments to good conduct, or to a good course of action or to a good deed.  Exhortation can be just like getting “instructed” by a tough coach.  Christians must be urged to live the life of Christ earnestly.  We must be exhorted to pray, to give, to witness, to be holy, to be faithful, to be strong in the Lord, and so forth.  Paul was a powerful preacher to the point of being rude [2 Cor 10:10, 11:6].  Much of today’s preaching lacks the quality of exhortation.  When you compare the preaching of the modern preachers to the preaching of the old-timers, you can surely tell the difference.  Part of the reason is that people today can’t take exhortation the way that prior generations could.  Those guys weren’t as easily offended as people can be today.  As young Christians, the sooner we can tolerate the exhortations of a Spirit-filled preacher, the better.  When you preach, don’t be afraid to “exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  They need it.

Comforting – 1 Thes 2:11 – to comfort is to soothe in distress or sorrow, to bring consolation or hope to.  Paul comforted the Thessalonians and he was as gentle among them as a nurse.  There is nothing as comforting in a time of sorrow as the perfect verse from the Bible that speaks directly to the need.  Be compassionate toward others and responsive to the Lord and you will be a minister of consolation.

Charging – 1 Thes 2:11 – to charge is to give instructions to or command authoritatively.  Paul was also as firm with them as a father is with his son, or as a drill sergeant is with his troops.  People need to be told in no uncertain terms exactly what God demands and they need to be charged with the responsibility to carry out his demands.  The trouble with people, in general, is that they don’t like authority.  They don’t want to be told.  But when they humble themselves to the authority of the words of God, then they need a preacher who will preach with authority [Matt 7:29; Ecc 8:4].  Don’t hesitate to stand on the authority of scripture and give it to them straight.

Conclusion: It is truly amazing to see all that preaching and teaching the word of God entails.  As it concerns your opportunity to preach Jesus, carry out your responsibility with fervency and zeal.  The Lord knows how desperately folks need to be saved and how the saved need to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.