“Trouble-Shooting With Titus”
“The Great Commission” 1:1-4
The communication of God’s word has been entrusted to us by the command of God says Paul (v3). It is not an optional. It is not a luxury. It is commanded by the Almighty. Now that tells us something about the purposes of God and how they are brought about. This preaching mandate given to the Lord’s servant is central to those divine intentions. It is also clear that Paul is not just theorising either. For that was what he and the other Apostles actually did, practised themselves. Everywhere he goes he is opening up, he is reasoning from the Scriptures (Acts 17:2-3). Whether we are talking in terms of evangelism, teaching converts, or building up the Church, Paul saw it as his God-given task to exercise a ministry of the Word. It was central to apostolic ministry. That is very important for us today. Why? Because in many instances good, even proper preaching is being discounted in favour of other things. Yes, good legitimate things, but they have no business substituting them for this God-ordained function of preaching.
Another out-working of what is taking place today is that worship is being thought of as something separate from, independent of proclamation, of hearing the word of God. Preaching is central to our gathered worship, or it ought to be. It is part of a whole act of worship, the main part. It is that time when we quieten ourselves and with holy awe, respect, and listen to what God is wanting to teach us, say to us. That word of guidance, that biblical insight we have been waiting for may well, probably come through the ministry of the word. If you are not listening, or have no time for preaching, or even worse, if there is no act of preaching taken place within the Church, you may miss both, and more also. I would go further, I would be as bold as to say, if there is not, central to the worship of the Church, good, wholesome, sound, biblical preaching, then it is not a Church at all! Make sure you are constantly coming in contact with this living word, through good preaching. That is to worship God.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1998)