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From the Pastor's Desk

September 2019

 

 

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the

dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word.”

II Timothy 4:1-2

           

What is the most important aspect of the worship service? Certainly, the musician may be tempted to say the music, the businessman the offering, the historian the Apostles Creed, the children the doxology (after all, that means we’re done). And all of these are good aspects of worship, but the most important aspect of our worship service is the preaching of the Word.

            We can see this throughout scripture; from the preaching of Moses before the people of Israel to that of Peter on the day of Pentecost. We can see this throughout Church history; from the preaching of Chrysostom (the golden tongue) in the East, to Ambrose in the West, to Martin Luther during the Reformation, Jonathan Edwards in America, and Billy Graham around the

world. In all of these eras the preaching of the Word has had primacy.

            The reason for this is because of the very nature of the Word of God. Unlike any word or book of man, the inspired and inerrant Word of God actually does something when it is proclaimed. It’s the chief means by which the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and comforts us through the gospel. As the Author of Hebrews says, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

            In Jeremiah 23:29, the Lord says, “Is not my word like fire, … and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”

            And in II Timothy 3-4, Paul writes to Timothy saying, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, preach the word.”

            Yes, the preaching of the Word is of utmost importance in our worship and in our lives. For without this Word we would not know the mysteries of God in Christ, we would not know our sin, we would not know of the cross, and we would remain lost for eternity. Therefore, with these things in mind, as Luther says in the explanation to the Third Commandment, “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise His Word and the preaching of the same, but regard it as holy and gladly hear and learn it.”

Pastor Gideon

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