The greatest power ever known is the spoken word of God. It has called worlds into being, toppled empires, healed and comforted the sick, shaken the proud, and resurrected the dead. Yet in far too many pulpits and in far too many individual’s lives, that powerful word lies unopened, unspoken, and therefore uncomprehended. Preached or understood poorly, the word of God has more power than your opinions preached powerfully.
The Puritans made such an impact in their time and continue to influence our day with their writings, largely because they insisted that the preacher’s task is to feed their congregations with the contents of the Bible, not the dry husks of their own fancy, but the life-giving words of God. Here are five biblical functions of the preacher.
1. The preacher as a steward. A steward is the trustee and dispenser of another person’s goods, one who manages the household affairs, property, and accounts. This steward must be trustworthy because he is given a great level of authority. Titus lists the qualifications for a bishop, a high ranking leader, one of which is to be a “steward of God” (1:7). Stewards do not cut corners, they do not spread rumors about the family they serve, but they live absolutely above reproach.
2. The preacher as a guardian. The preacher is to carefully guard the Scriptures from harm and be faithful to dispense them. He or she is a watchperson devoted to keeping something well protected, as a watchman protects a city.
3. The preacher as a herald. A herald is a proclaimer of a message given to him by the one who he is under, a messenger sent to announce. This messenger stood before kings, military commanders, and ambassadors, conveying official messages. In the ancient world, the herald must be a person of integrity and character, since he would faithfully make all public proclamations. The king had to trust the herald to speak truth.
4. The preacher as a workman. Throughout the New Testament, believers are encouraged to “be diligent” in studying the Scriptures, presenting themselves to God as approved (2 Tim 2:15). To study has a much broader meaning than learning from a book. It also means to be eager, zealous, and diligent, making every effort to do your utmost. Studying is not so much about the process as it is about the spirit behind it.
You are a treasure house of God's riches!
5. The preacher as a treasure house.
This is one of the great benefits of studying God’s word. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is like “treasure hidden in a field” (Matt 13:44), and Paul writes that we have “treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us,” meaning that God’s power, His truth, His wisdom and knowledge, and His Spirit are all given to us, especially as we pursue it. We are therefore a treasure house, containing the immeasurable riches of God!
You are given an important task – to preach the word of God. Be faithful to the message, study hard, and dispense the treasure that God has imparted to you.
This article was provided by our contributor, Frank Damazio, Pastor of City Bible Church and the Chairman of Ministers Fellowship International, a fellowship of thousands of churches nationwide and around the world.
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