It is always a joy and a responsibility to preach God’s Word. And I have the privilege to preach each Lord’s Day at Cumberland Bible Church in Cumberland, Maryland. (www.cumberlandbiblechurch.com)
However, this past weekend I had the privilege to preach the Word at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
As I was preparing to preach to the unknown crowd in Clarksburg, one question came to my mind, “Why do you preach?” It is question that has probably come to my mind before, but I just couldn’t let the question go without answering it. So here is my answer.
As I prepared my answer, I noticed three distinct audiences to whom I preach.
My first audience is God, and therefore, I preach to please God. I preach to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and to honor God’s Word.
My next audience is God’s people — Christians. I preach to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. I preach to build up the saints in their faith. I preach to bring comfort to the afflicted, to lift up the downhearted, and to refresh the spiritually weary. Furthermore, I preach to bring conviction of sin and repentance.
The final audience is the unconverted. I preach to reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that they may call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sin, to bring the peace with God, and to give them eternal life. I preach that they may have life.
It is amazing to think that one sermon is to accomplish all that is listed above. However, it is not my craftiness of speech or rhetoric that accomplishes the aforementioned tasks, but it is the Holy Spirit taking the preached word to accomplish His purposes of exalting God, equipping and edifying the believer, and evangelizing the unbeliever.
To God be the Glory!