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Have you wondered how the man of God relates to the message of God on a daily basis? I hope you have because there would be no point to you continuing to read this article, however, even if you have not, please read on.
The man to the message or, if you will, the person to preaching; what is the relationship between the two. I believe it can best be explained by briefly considering four areas of the preacherís life. Admittedly, it is brief however, if the interest warrants, I will look into these areas in a deeper manner through a multi-part series. Let me know what you think. Anyway, the areas where the preaching and the preacher intersect areÖ
Personally, and this should go without saying, the preacher must be saved. However, beyond this, the preacher must then allow Christ to be sovereign in his life. This is indicated by his willingness to be obedient to preach the gospel message, both in season and out (2 Tim. 4:2). He can only do this as he experiences a dependence on Christ, wisdom in Christ and a filling with Christ. How many times have you listened to an eloquent message from a preacher who looks Ďpreachasoralí (pretty neat word, huh?) and you could tell that it was totally uninspired by the Holy Spirit? I cannot tell you the times, as a layman, a seminary student or a preacher in the pews that this has happened. I can tell you the times, and thankfully, there have been many, when I have seen a rumbled young or old man jump to the pulpit, attack the message and take the congregation on a ride down a deep mine shaft as he uncovered how God had worked in his life to inspire the message he was presenting.
The second area is publicly. Publicly, the preacher must live a life that is above reproach so that his words match his walk. As I alluded to above, nothing will quench the Spirit faster than a man preaching a text that he has not already preached to himself.
Practically, although the preacher must live the message, he must also rehearse the message. He must read his chosen text over and over again until he can read it with expression and fervor. In this manner, the true expression of the text comes alive. The same can also be said of the message itself. Remember, exhortation is not exhortation without declaration whether it is by word of mouth or way of life.
Spiritually, as I mentioned above, the pastor has to experience the aspect of a personal relationship with the risen Savior. Additionally, the preacher must pray earnestly for the people who will hear Godís Word expounded, that they would be transformed by it and be prompted to respond to it. In this way he will honor the purpose of preaching which is to proclaim the revelation of Godís mysterious plan in Christ (Eph. 1:9) which is to reconcile mankind to one another and all of mankind to himself (Eph 3:3, 4, 9; 5:32; 6:19; also Rom 11:25; Col 1:26-27; 2:2; 4:3).