Date written: April 16th, 2005
Scripture ref: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
SUBJECT: The Work of the Preacher
TITLE: The Work of Preaching
PROPOSITION: The work of preaching involves: 1) Study 2) Teaching 3) Exhortation.
Objectives: That each would know what work is involved in preaching the gospel.
Aim: To educate the brethren on what work to expect from those who do preaching.
1. Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
2. About the Text:
1) The word "evangelist" in verse 5 signifies one who preaches and teaches the gospel.
2) As Paul indicated in verse 2, Timothy was to "Preach the word."
3) Philip, in Acts 21:8, is also described as an evangelist.
4) When we think of "evangelism" we often think of preaching the gospel to those who have not come to believe it.
5) However, in its most basic usage it simply means to herald forth glad tidings.
6) The word is a derivative of the word for "gospel" and literally means a "gospelizer."
7) In that sense, then, it means to preach and teach the good message.
8) The entire Bible contains the good message of God for those who would live in fellowship with Him.
9) Hence, the subject matter that the evangelist/preacher is to discuss is God's revealed message to man.
3. That Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist indicates that Timothy had work to do in preaching and teaching the gospel.
1) Preaching is a work.
2) Often there are those who jokingly say that the preacher only works three hours a week. (Some not so jokingly.)
3) However, if a preacher is employed to . . .
a. Teach classes one to three classes a week.
b. Preach two full sermons a week.
c. And write and publish the bulletin.
d. Plus any additional opportunities for teaching that come up.
a) Personal Bible studies.
b) Internet Bible studies.
c) Studies at the nursing home.
d) Wednesday night devotionals.
4) And one considers that at least four to six hours of preparation time goes into each lesson (sometimes more)...
5) Then a preacher may spend anywhere from 24 to 36 hours simply preparing to teach regularly scheduled Bible studies.
6) Add on top of that his work as a servant and minister in the community, and one has as much, if not more, work to keep a man busy than any secular job.
4. In this lesson, we want to focus upon the work of preaching.
1) Focusing upon this only doesn't imply that the preacher ought not to be involved in anything else.
2) But this ought to be his main area of focus.
3) In later lessons, we will look at the ministry of preaching and what is involved in serving others in that aspect.
4) We will also note what is required in an individual as far as character is concerned.
5) There are more qualifications for preachers in the New Testament than for any other position of service in the church.
5. Notice the three items in 1 Timothy 4:13 "Till I come, give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching."
6. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: The work of preaching involves . . .
1. Study is where the preacher internalizes his material.
1) God does not miraculously inspire today's preachers.
2) To know and understand God's word, they must learn it through study.
3) Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth."
4) He reiterated in 1 Timothy 4:13 "Till I come, give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching."
2. What must the preacher study?
1) The Bible is the preacher's primary source material.
a. The Bible is composed of two major parts and contains sixty-six unique subparts.
b. 39 books in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament.
c. While the Bible deals with the same subject overall, each book is addressed to a different audience, has a slightly different purpose, and many books are written by different authors.
d. The Bible proposes to have all the answers to the problems of life and so touches upon every conceivable subject related to man.
a) 2 Peter 1:3 "seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue"
b) 2 Timothy 3:16,17 "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."
2) Because the Bible touches upon so many different subjects, the preacher may look at secondary material to aid in the synthesis of topical study.
a. Such as commentaries.
b. Bible dictionaries.
c. Bible Encyclopedias.
d. Topical Studies
3) He may also desire to know more of the Bible's original languages.
4) The potential for additional study is endless.
5) A man may spend a lifetime studying the Bible and never master it completely.
3. Why must the preacher study?
1) To know his subject material - 2 Timothy 1:13 "Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
2) To formally present Bible studies for those interesting in studying God's word - 1 Timothy 4:6 "If thou put the brethren in mind of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast followed until now".
3) To correctly handle the material. - 2 Timothy 2:15 "rightly dividing the word of truth."
4) To be prepared to answer questions regarding the material - 1 Peter 3:15 "but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear".
5) To persuade others to know and accept the truth and put it into practice in their lives - 2 Corinthians 5:11 "Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences."
6) To reason with others regarding God's word - Acts 24:25 "And as he reasoned of righteousness, and self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, Go thy way for this time; and when I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me."
4. How ought the preacher to study?
1) Prayerfully - Colossians 4:2-4 "Continue stedfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds; that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak".
2) With an attitude of learning and teaching only what God desires - 1 Corinthians 4:6
3) With concern for the souls to whom he will be preaching - Acts 20:17-35
1. What ought the preacher to teach?
1) All of God's word.
a. Matthew 4:4 - man lives by every word of God
b. Acts 17:27 - the whole counsel of God
2) Only God's word.
a. The word of Micaiah the prophet in 1 Kings 22:14 "what Jehovah saith unto me, that will I speak."
b. Not man's opinions.
c. Galatians 1:10-12 "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ."
2. Why ought the preacher to teach?
1) Christ commands it.
a. Matthew 28:19-20 - "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them...."
b. Mark 16:15 - "Go into all the world and teach the gospel to every creature."
2) The sinner needs to know God's word to repent of sins.
a. Mark 6:12 "And they went out, and preached that men should repent."
b. Acts 17:30 "The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:"
c. Romans 10:14 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
3) The saved need to keep God's word to grow and be faithful.
a. 1 Peter 1:25-2:3 "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."
b. Acts 20:32 "And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified."
4) He is personally compelled to preach.
a. Jeremiah 20:9 "And if I say, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot contain."
b. Acts 4:20 "for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard."
3. How ought the preacher to teach?
1) With all authority - Titus 2:15 "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
2) With sound words - 1 Timothy 6:3-5 "If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, supposing that godliness is a way of gain."
3) With an attitude of love. - Ephesians 4:15 "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ".
4) With the knowledge that he is merely a vessel of God's treasure - 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves".
5) With the goal of convicting men of sin - John 16:8 "And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment".
6) With the hope of seeing men repent.
a. Luke 24:47 "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem."
b. Acts 20:21 "testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
4. When and where ought the preacher to teach?
1) Anytime and anyplace he gets the opportunity.
2) Christ's command is: "go into all the world and teach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15).
a. From the pulpit.
b. In Bible classes.
c. In personal studies.
d. In the community.
e. On the Internet.
1. What is it?
1) It is beyond mere teaching.
a. You may learn that 2+2=4 but what good is it until you've used it?
b. A college professor may teach you something, but not exhort you to its merits.
2) Exhortation is encouraging one to live as he has learned; to put the principles into practice.
3) It is making practical application of the word that we have studied and learned.
4) 1 Thessalonians 4:1 "Finally then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk, -that ye abound more and more."
2. Why exhort people to live the words preached?
1) So that they can be saved. Acts 2:40 "And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation."
2) So that they can remain saved.
a. Acts 11:23 "who, when he was come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad; and he exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord:"
b. Acts 14:22 "confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God."
3) So that they can put into practice God's words into their lives.
a. James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves."
b. Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven."
c. John 13:17 "If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them."
3. How does the preacher exhort?
1) By giving folks specific information on what to do.
a. 2 Thessalonians 3:12 "Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."
b. 1 Timothy 2:1 "I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men;"
c. Titus 2:9 "Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters".
2) By giving examples of both good and bad behavior.
a. Phil.2:25 "But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need".
b. Romans 16:1,2 "I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchreae: that ye receive her in the Lord, worthily of the saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever matter she may have need of you: for she herself also hath been a helper of many, and of mine own self."
c. 2 Timothy 2:16-18 "But shun profane babblings: for they will proceed further in ungodliness, and their word will eat as doth a gangrene: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some."
3) By letting others know of good works to do and evil works to avoid.
1. The work of preaching involves . . .
2. This hasn't been an exhaustive study by any means. We've merely touched the hem of the garment.
3. Lord willing, we will discuss in some future lessons, the work of ministering and the character of the preacher.