Preaching the Gospel: A Wonderful Key of the Kingdom

In Matthew 16:13-20, the Lord instructs his disciples regarding some crucial aspects of his kingdom. Whenever we speak of the "kingdom of God" or the "kingdom of heaven," we must remember several things. First, Jesus is the king of that kingdom (indeed, the King of all kings). Second, his kingdom will ultimately be populated by all his chosen people who have ever lived in this God-created world. Third, the kingdom of Jesus has rules of operation and conduct, which our Lord gave us in order that we might increasingly glorify him. Finally, the kingdom of Jesus is the ultimate power in the universe. His kingdom is ever expanding. Like the tiny mustard seed that grows into a large plant (Matt. 13:31-32), the kingdom of God will continue to intrude upon this world. One day it will exercise total control over all God's creation, thereby giving consummate glory to the triune God. We who live at the dawn of the second millennium after the death and resurrection of Christ are somewhere in the growing phase of ... Read more

The Preacher as Christ's Herald

I love to preach. I love everything about preaching: the preparation, anticipation, delivery, and follow-up. I love it because of what preaching is, not because I am good at it or because it is easy, or because I never mess up. I recognize that this love for preaching is a wonderful gift of grace given to me and, in turn, to the church. It is a gift for which I am responsible. The Communication Preaching is a distinct form of communication with a distinct authority. It is not to be confused with teaching or evangelizing. Three different words are used in the original Greek for these three forms of communication. There is some overlap in them, for there is teaching involved in both preaching and evangelizing, and there should be evangelizing done in our teaching and preaching. Still, the words are not used synonymously in the New Testament (see 2 Timothy 1:11). The words for "preach," "preacher," and "preaching" basically belong to one word group in Greek. This group in New Testament times meant "to ... Read more

Expounding the Word of God

The sermon is the central act of Reformed worship. It plays a crucial role in our Christian life. God uses it to bring us to salvation and into a living relationship with himself through Jesus Christ. Therefore, God's Word must be expounded in such a way that it shows us our place in Christ and his work for and in us. Not all sermons are equally useful, and neither are all methods of expounding the text. What do you look for in a sermon? What kinds of things do you want to hear when the minister preaches the Word? In other words, what do you think makes a good sermon? While these questions help determine what a person may prefer to hear, we must first ask: What does God want in a sermon? The standards of our church teach us that we can determine many things from the Bible about the sermon. Perhaps the best summary is found in our Directory for the Public Worship of God. There, in part, we read, "In the sermon God addresses the congregation by the mouth of his servant. It is a matter of supreme ... Read more