What is the Purpose of Preaching?

That’s it. Just a question. It’s a question that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard posed, or answered. So although I have some thoughts, they are germinal rather than terminal. I have no agenda other than curiosity: I really want to know what you think.

What is the purpose of preaching?

17 thoughts on “What is the Purpose of Preaching?

  1. OK…my thinking…I am well informed…long time Christian…eager to continue growing, maturing spiritually…preaching helps this. ‘The preacher’ has a captive audience once a week and should make the most of it. Who knows how many have thoughts during the week about where they are in their walk w/God? At least they can get a glimpse of Him if the speaker/preacher gives something they can identify with.

    Purpose of preaching? To encourage, present thoughts relevant to where we are in this society…show excitement in what He’s doing and has done in lives of those he’s speaking to…okay, that’s generalities for you but we don’t need archaic words…we are people who need to be leveled with.

    Babes ~ mature ~ fractured ones? Preaching presents a once-in-a-week opportunity to light lights…we need that. We need to be encouraged to enter the race…and if we’re in it, we need to be cheered on to continue…opportunities are everywhere. Preaching should grab us! Christianity is exciting ~ preaching should lights the spark, fan the flame and keep it going. It’s contagious and God will see that it doesn’t die.

  2. Mat 4:23 ¶ And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, —————.

    Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    Rev 14:6 ¶ And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

    Do you still not know what a sermon is supposed to do? It is not to declare the messenger, it is to declare the message.

  3. I can’t recall or find scripture which clearly states the purpose of preaching. But I wonder if there’s a clue in the words that describe what is being preached (when the word rooted in “preach” is used in a positive way).

    It would seem that the vast majority of those occurrences in scripture describe “gospel,” “good news,” “Christ,” “repentance,” “the Word” being preached. There is another word used for “teaching.” (They are used together from time to time in scripture, but usually “teaching” doesn’t take an object.)


    • “I can’t recall or find scripture which clearly states the purpose of preaching.”

      Keith, does your bible not have the verses I quoted above ? if not I can assure you they are in mine.

  4. The miraculous birth, the perfect life, the miracles he performed, the scornful

    death, and the miraculous raising of Jesus Christ from death, were to send a

    message, a convincing message of the Gospel of God. The “good news” of the

    Kingdom to come. That message was the whole purpose of Jesus’ life on earth.

    Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that

    whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Sermons should be about the message Jesus was sent to teach.

  5. laymond :
    Do you still not know what a sermon is supposed to do? It is not to declare the messenger, it is to declare the message.

    Laymond, I see where you’re coming from, the gospel message is the message that should be the heart of any sermon. In my view, however, the message and the messenger are permanently linked. Any presentation of the message without mention of the messenger would seem odd and incomplete. In the same way, any sermon on Jesus without mention of the gospel would also seem odd and incomplete.

    • Let’s look at what Luke wrote about what Abraham said, about the message vs the messenger.

      Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
      Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
      Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
      Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
      Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

      The message remains the same no matter who is the messenger.

      • Wouldn’t “one went to them from the dead” be Jesus speaking prophetically about Himself in telling this story? Foreshadowing His own resurrection and appearances among the living? Isn’t the resurrection of that Messianic Messenger – Jesus – a pretty important part of that message, since it enables our own (Romans 6:4-10)?

      • When I said ‘messenger’ above, I wasn’t simply referring to anyone proclaiming the gospel, I was referring to Jesus as the original and primary gospel messenger. The gospel message and Jesus are intertwined an inseparable, you cannot proclaim one without the other.

        Perhaps we’re saying the same thing with different words here, but I wonder, how can the gospel message be proclaimed without mentioning Jesus?

  6. Paul said, “Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching” ( 2 Tim. 4:2). The word for preach in the interlineal Greek is “Kerusso the act of proclaim ”. He had taught this. “All scripture is God-breathed and 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 Tim. 3:16-17; Acts 20:27). Scripture came out of God and does all those things that make a man complete and furnish him for all things. The inspired apostle Paul said to young preacher ( Not Theologian) Timothy about his preaching “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. “ ( 1 Tim. 4:16) From doctrine (didaskalia”Teaching and instruction) he gets reproof and rebukes which help him to change for good works. He gets instruction, and where else could he get it? Jesus said, “if ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn.8:31-32). The “freedom” spoken here is freedom from sin. What does the word does? Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt.4:4) He said truth makes saints, that it sanctifies: “ Sanctify them in truth: thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). So the word sets one apart for God’s use. ““So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32). So there is no way to minimize the word of God . Paul said ” For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1Cor. 1:21) and again Paul said : “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:1-2) . This is said by Paul in a different way in Romans. He said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16). And James corroborates all this saying, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (Jas. 1:21).
    A messenger of God called Jeremiah said, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jer.10:23). And King David added, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psa. 119:105). So Isaiah could say ““ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud,
    That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isa.55:10,11). Paul said, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). The preaching in the Old Testament was the Christ and his kingdom is coming, In The New Testament during our Lord ministry the Christ is here and his kingdom is here among us and Now is Christ will return for his kingdom (Church) to judge the whole world ” The mission of the church of Christ “His kingdom” is to preach to the lost, edify the saints and benevolence. Ephesians 4 :9-16 9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
    11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

    • Boil it down for me, please … I am a simple-minded person. What does all of that say the purpose of preaching is?

      Preaching, exclusively. Not teaching – which is different and has its own value. Not the value of the Word – which is inarguably priceless. What should/does preaching uniquely do, and toward what end?

  7. Keith,
    Kerusso Is the communication of (logos) word that is by our God and us is taken as the truth (Aletheia) that is in the eyes of God for mankind (Jn. 17:17) by the messenger “ man” to fellow men. It has two elements –truth and personality.
    “Communication” suggest that kerusso involves transmitting and specific message received in the mind and heart of the sender to the mind and heart of the receiver. Preaching should not be confuse with oratory, rather is the act of getting the listener to comprehend the message of God for him and to do something about it. The essence of preaching, then is speaking the oracles of God so that the listener receive the message and act. Is not the purpose of preaching teaching the will of God? 2 Tim. 4:2 . The prophet Isaiah describe the model of preaching (Our Lord Jesus) 700 years before he was in this earth . (Isaiah 61:1-3). This passage was talking about the preaching of our Lord Jesus during his ministry.
    With an even greater sense of Urgency, the apostles received Jesus’ word, ““Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). When the Jewish Authorities charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, they replied, ““We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29). In the same chapter versus 42 says “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Both methods were use by the apostles. The zeal of the apostles was so contagious that Luke records, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” (Acts 8:4).
    Paul even declared he was a “debtor” in bondage to preaching the gospel, bringing the good news of the gospel to lost souls ( Romans 1:14-15). To the Corinthians he wrote: “woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16). No wonder he charged his convert, Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim.2:2) the inspired apostle Paul charged him with the message to pass along “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (2 Tim. 4:2). This is been a human responsibility. Never in the New Testament record did God directly tell a sinner what to do to obtain salvation through Christ. Even in the cases of Cornelius ,Saul, and the Ethiopian where God aided directly in getting the message to them. God used a human being to tell the message of salvation. As Paul wrote, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14). Only through the human agency, then, does God make his great offer of salvation known around the world. We are especially concerned with public proclamation as a means of fulfilling this responsibility to make disciples of all nations. “But” someone objects. “doesn’t the Bible itself declare that preaching is foolishness? How can foolishness occupy such an important place? In 1 Corinthians 1:21 Paul indeed wrote: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe..” The context makes it clear, in 1 Cor. 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” As does the greek construction., however, that he here refers to the content of the preaching as “foolish” not to the act of preaching. He continues :” but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” The message is what the Greeks considered foolish, not the act of public speaking . , There are two types of messengers “ preachers” First, those who stand up in the pulpit because wants to say something [ does not study the word ] and second, The other who stands up in the pulpit because has something to say [Study the word 2 Timothy 2:15] ”. Some are good orators, but not preachers of the whole counsel of God ( A preacher can motivate with the word of God saying what God has commanded 1 Peter 4:11 ) as the apostle Paul said “Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.” ( 2 Cor.11:6 ). Greatness in preaching combines a sense of urgency for the needs of mankind with the Spirit-revealed message of God for these needs. Great preaching, even good preaching, demand an understanding of both human needs and divine remedies.

  8. Pingback: What Not to Preach, Reconsidered « Blog In My Own Eye

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