The faithful preaching of the gospel is one of the primary themes—and we could say the primary theme—that the Apostle Paul charged Timothy with before departing. It is the faithful preaching of the word of God as it is entrusted to faithful men that will build up the church of Christ. Each time we preach, we should do so as if it were the last sermon we would give, and we should do so in light of the enormous need that all people have, whether they are believers or unbelievers, of hearing the message of the gospel in order that they might see the glory of Christ.
God is giving me the privilege of continuing to study and grow in the preaching of His Word. As a pastor, I am responsible for the souls that come hungry for the gospel and I have the charge to deliver God’s word to them as faithfully as I can. They do not come in order to hear what I have to tell them, but rather what God has to tell them. Therefore, when I am preparing a sermon I search the Scriptures in order to know what it is that God would tell them. Each Sunday I have the whole church before me with its many different needs and I am called to encourage and challenge them with the Scriptures.
One of the examples I have seen lately of how God uses His Word in the lives of His people came after I had preached a sermon from the book of Jonah. In the sermon I showed how the book of Jonah pictures Christ and the gospel. Immediately afterwards, one of the women that was visiting the church that day—it was her second Sunday with us—stood and began to weep. She walked over to one of the brothers of the church and told him, “I have heard the message that was preached today and I cannot continue living this way. I know that Christ died for me and I want to repent of my sins.”
I quickly went over to her and we prayed together that the Lord would give her a clear understanding of the gospel and then I explained the gospel to her once again. She was convinced about what she had heard and she confessed Christ as her Savior!
My wife and I met with her again, and once again we explained the truths of the gospel to her in order to confirm her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once again, she gave evidence of being convinced about Whom she had believed. We have been discipling her as she now grows in her knowledge of Christ Jesus and in the hope of what God has prepared for His children. It wasn’t long after her conversion before she was bringing other people to our church for them to hear the message of the gospel.
This experience has given me even greater incentive to work hard in preparing sermons and it has also strengthened my faith in God’s power to use His Word to accomplish His will. I’m positive that there were many weaknesses in the sermon that day, but God used my weakness in order to show His glory in her salvation.