Speaking Clearly (1 Cor 14:1-19)

Promo-Preach-the-Word-600x286.jpgRegardless of the time – in or out of season – the call of the Church is to proclaim and declare the Word of God. This responsibility to proclaim and declare God’s will belongs to the whole Church, but God calls specific people to carry out this preaching and proclamation.

To preach the Gospel is a great honor and blessing in my life. No matter what happens I am grateful for this privilege.

To preach the Gospel is to declare God’s promises and God’s will. While we always look back to celebrate all the ways in which God has been faithful, the purpose of preaching is to give vision to where the LORD is leading us.

Therefore all Gospel preaching by its very nature is prophesy. Preaching the Gospel is declaring the will of God that will happen in our lives in the present, in the immediate future and the eternal future. Preaching the Gospel means declaring that God will render His grace and deliver us from the brokenness of this world.

In Corinthians 14, Paul challenges us to speak the Gospel clearly. He lifts up “prophesying” as the life changing work it is.

“The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.” (1 Co 14:3)

We always live in a sinful and broken human society which needs to hear the prophesy of the Gospel. Christian pastors are called to boldly prophesy the Gospel to strengthen, encourage, and comfort their flock. For such preaching builds and edifies the church. (1 Co 14:4)

Prophesying the Gospel is never about power, acclaim or personal ability. In prophesying, in preaching Paul advises:

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” (1 Co 14:1)

People have a great need for the Word of God rightly preached. When the Word is prophesied, preached in the Spirit of God it has the power of God to change lives and guide futures. Pastor Darrell Johnson writes:

“Whenever a human being, Bible in hand, stands up before a group of [people], invites [them] into a particular text of the Bible and as faithfully as possible tries to say again what the living God is saying in the text, something always happens. Something transformative, empowering, and life-giving.” (Darrell Johnson, The Glory of Preaching, IVP Academic).

Preaching the Word of God changes my life; changes your life and changes the world.

In this Lenten season we remember the words of Jesus from the Temptation, we cannot live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).

Rev. Dr. Douglas Schoelles

Lead Pastor and Eternal Futures Investor

Concordia Lutheran Church

“Of One Heart & Mind in Christ” (Phil 2:2, 4:7)

 

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