We are looking at seven reasons that we ought to preach. The first reason, which we explored last week, was that God commands us to preach. Today we will examine a second reason to preach:
(2) God Speaks to Us through Our Preaching
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the complete Word of God. It is through divine revelation, recorded in the Scriptures, that God has spoken to the people of God through the centuries (2 Peter 1:19-21). Our preaching, therefore, must be intentionally focussed on speaking God’s Words to God’s people (See Robinson, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 2nd edition, 20).
Everything that God wanted to tell us, God recorded in Scripture. Everything that we need to know for salvation and holy living is written down and preserved for us in the pages of our Bibles. As Paul reminded Timothy, all Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Notice that Paul does not appeal to any source other than the Scriptures. So often we look beyond the Bible for some wisdom even though anything outside the Bible cannot be ultimately trusted. Why is it that we are so quick to drink from a puddle when we have the eternal source of Living Water at our very finger tips? Why is it that we sometimes secretly act as though the Bible is insufficient for all our wants and needs? Why do we try to equip ourselves and our congregation for every good work without first mining the inexhaustible depths of Holy Scripture? God speaks to us through no other book. Even this blog that you are now reading is not reliable unless it faithfully repeats what the Bible has already said. It is the task of the preacher, therefore, to use the Word of God to tell others what God has said in the past and what God is still saying to them (see Stott, Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today, 110).
In addition to equipping the saints for holy living, preaching the Word safeguards us from chasing our own heretical philosophies and inaccurately interpreting our experiences (2 Timothy 4:3-4). The source of ultimate reality is God alone. He is Ultimate Reality and from Him comes all reality. Unfortunately, ever since the Fall (Genesis 3) the father of lies has been deceiving men and women. We can so quickly embrace illusory realities, whether they are painted by our intellect, our emotion, or our appetite. The only safeguard to these fantasies is the revealed true reality of God and His creation as recorded in Scripture. There is no other way to accurately discern the will and the mind of God. Even prayer that fails to be adequately rooted in the truths of Scripture can lead us into error. There is no other book that accurately records the thoughts of God, unless that book is repeating or accurately reflecting the words of Scripture.
The Bible contains everything that God wanted to tell us. Therefore, we preach so that both we, and those to whom we preach, can hear God speaking to us for His glory and our salvation (1 Timothy 4:16).