Preach the Word

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:1-2)

A Sobering Demand:

These words, “I charge you” are used daily in our courts of law to speak to the heart of a witness and remind them of the serious nature of their testimony. That sobering moment when a witness stands with their right hand raised is designed to place a demand upon the person’s conscience and hold them accountable, so that what they will say will be “the truth and nothing but the truth”. We see then, that the Apostle Paul places a demand upon his “son”, Timothy. He is to preach the Word with the same urgency, when circumstances are favorable and when they are not. Paul is speaking to the heart of Timothy’s leadership, before the Presence of the Judge.  

The charge is… Preach the Word. The responsibility is not just preaching, but what is being preached. He will give an account for the content of the message, not the style, form or delivery. In the Apostle Paul’s instruction comes a warning, not to preach what the listeners want to hear, but instead to preach the truth in love.

The Apostle Paul’s Rich Example:

“I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20)

“And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the Kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyranus. And this continued for two years so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 19:8-10)

Paul did intensive, continual teaching of the Word, because it is so important for releasing breakthrough. He preached everyday for two years in order to “convince, rebuke and exhort with longsuffering and teaching” as he also charged Timothy to do. He did not preach the Word haphazardly or get distracted by the social themes of the day. It was extensive in the sense that his teaching reached the entire province of Asia and his teaching was able to shift the culture by using its gods as a backdrop to clarify Kingdom realities (Acts 17:22-23). His goal was to influence more than just the educational class, it was to bring heaven’s government into earthly spheres. His message never strayed from the Word of God and he relied upon its wisdom and power (Rom. 1:16-17)(1 Cor. 2:1-5).

The Word Brings Results:

The first result was conflict. Yet by consistently pressing forward with truth and Kingdom authority, darkness was penetrated and spiritual breakthroughs were experienced. Supernatural manifestations, miracles, healings and the removal of darkness did not come over night, but they did come. The Apostle Paul was seeing breakthrough released by the Word being preached with clarity. The Scripture says that God will confirm His Word (Jer. 1:10-12). He does not confirm human theories, but God will confirm what He has said in His Word (Isa. 55:10-11)(Mk. 16:15-20). 

“God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.”  (Acts 19:11-12)

I love the idea of “Unusual Miracles”… results that are the fruit of the transformational power of Preaching the Word of God. Its what we are after in our Christian Leadership Model.

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