The Purpose of Preaching

One danger for preachers who understand the value of doctrine, is that we can lose touch with the practical focus of preaching. We do not want to be like many whose preaching is shallow and lacking in any biblical substance. This desire is correct, but it can then be easy to fall off the other side, turning preaching into mere lectures with our aim becoming simply the transfer of data. It is good- indeed vital- for our people to know doctrine, but not abstract doctrine for doctrine’s sake. We need to know truth so that we might live in such a way as to please God. We preach not simply to create skillful hearers of the word, or even experts in talking about the word, but to produce people who live according to the word because they deeply love God.

This truth came back to mind recently as I read Pilgrim’s Progress to my children one night. As Evangelist comes back to Christian and Faithful before they come to Vanity Fair, Bunyan notes what the two Pilgrim’s hope to hear from Evangelist, that is, why they want to hear a sermon:

“They hoped to hear from Evangelist things that would help them resist and overcome trials they were likely to encounter as they continued their journey.”*

Brothers, let us make sure that as we stand before the people of God we teach them from the mighty truths of Scripture how they can fight temptation and endure to the glory of God.

* Quote from the new edition edited by C. J. Lovik, p. 126

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *