Sermon Review and Prayer Items (August 28 edition)
We looked at three words in the English translation of 2 Timothy 4:2a - Preach the word. This is Paul’s solemn charge to Timothy the pastor of his church. He is reminding Timothy that as a minister of the gospel, preaching the Scriptures is Timothy’s highest calling, it is to be his top priority and his most important work.
But just because somebody may deliver a sermon does not mean that preaching is being done in obedience to Paul's charge. Timothy must be the herald of the word of God which is breathed out by him. He must preach only this word for it alone is a two-edged sword with the power to save souls and transform lives. There is no other message that is worthy of being preached and there is no other word that needs to be heard by God's people. In obedience to this divine command, Covenant Reformed Church will preach only exegetical sermons and will hold expositional preaching as one of our core values.
The reasons for Paul's command are numerous.
Because it is a divine command (4:1) - God stands behind the charge that Paul is giving Timothy. Thus Timothy must understand the importance of the task of preaching, because he will have to give an account to God for what he has preached. Timothy must realize that his mandate as a pastor comes from God and not from anyone else.
Because it is through the word that we develop a Christian life (3:16-17) - It is through the Scriptures that the man or woman of God becomes complete and fully equipped for every good work. It is through the word faithfully delivered to us that we are taught, rebuked, corrected and trained in righteousness.
Because it in the word that salvation is found (3:14-15) - God saves us through his word.
Because the word is desperately needed in our time (3:1-9; 4:3-5)
The world needs it (3:1-9) - In light of the danger of the times the preaching of the word is desperately needed.
The church needs it (4:3-5) - The danger for the church is that people will abandon the preaching of the word for a substitute that makes them happy, and satisfies their desire for something that they like. Timothy is warned that this will happen - that people have a natural, sinful self-protective desire that will cause them to abandon true biblical preaching for something that ‘tickles the ear’ rather than burns them. This ear-tickling has a terrible end - they will substitute the truth for something else and thus be led astray into destruction.
The conclusion is simple - the preacher needs to preach the word, faithfully, boldly and consistently. The church needs to be preached to from the word, faithfully, boldly and consistently.
A few things to pray about this week.
Unity - Pray that God unites us in what is truly important and gives us grace in things that don't matter to the Kingdom.
Health - Pray that God builds relationships quickly in our church.
Our legal situation - We are seeking incorporation and charitable status. The former should happen soon, the latter quickly after than. Pray this moves quickly.
Growth - Praise the Lord that he continues to bring new people to our church. Pray that God grows our church with people who desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
A new building! - We have a new building. Praise the Lord!
Financial needs - We await charitable status, but we have needs that need to be met. Pray that God's people are generous in building the church.
Servants - We will soon need some help to keep things going in the church. Pray for God's wisdom in how you can be of service to him in CRC.
The beginning of men's and women's ministries - soon these ministries will be in full swing. Pray for wisdom for the leaders (Jared and Iris). Pray that God will use these ministries for the growth of disciples and the furtherance of his kingdom.
The Moffats - Continue to pray for the Moffats; especially for their emotional well-being and physical healing for Amy-Leigh.
Soli Deo Gloria