Summary: Paul shows us how to balance our preaching with our teaching for the best effects
Why Is It Important To Balance Proclamation With Instruction
Illustration:Some pastors preach "longhorn sermons," a point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in between.
One pastor never prepared during the week, and on Sunday morning he’d sit on the platform while the church was singing the hymns desperately praying, "Lord, give your message, Lord give me your message." One Sunday, while desperately praying for God’s message, he heard the Lord say, "Ralph, here’s my message. You’re lazy!"
1. Have you ever wondered why so few people are good at balancing preaching and teaching? Some people are gifted in analyzing, interpreting and explaining every nuance of the scripture but lack a passion to proclaim truth in every situation.
Illustration:Some preachers are like the Chinese jugglers. One stood against a wall and the others threw knives at him. They’d hit above his head, close by his ear, under his armpit, and between his fingers. They could throw within a hair’s breadth and never strike.
J.R.W. Stott, Between Two Worlds, pp. 135-6
Other people are enthusiastic about proclaiming truth, but seem to lack the ability to fully explain the rich content of scripture. Paul uses the word anagello (proclaiming) to announce, herald or proclaim. The great apostle knew that he needed to do more than just explain the meaning of scripture and its applications.
Paul got excited about declaring the good news of Christ and what He could do to bring salvation, forgiveness, hope, love, peace and joy to the lives of millions.
In Christ we have something to be genuinely excited about. There is a difference between analyzing the complex plays of a football team and cheering it on to victory.
Learn how to be both a play by play analyst of how the Spirit worked in scripture as well as a announcer of its good news.
Ask the Lord to help you balance your teaching and proclaiming ministries.
2. Paul knew that people needed more than knowledge. Teaching without heart is often dull, boring and insipid.
All the information about truth does not affect hearts unless it is presented with love, excitement and power.
Ask the Lord to help you present the scripture with careful instruction and proclamation power, excitement and enthusiasm.
3. Paul knew that people needed more than proclamation of good news.
Evangelism with edification often leaves nothing but immature believers in its wake. The great apostle wrote, “I did not shrink from telling you anything that was for your benefit and teaching you from house to house.”
Paul knew how to personalize instruction in a way that changed lives.
Ask the Lord to help you teach faithful people who in turn will be able to teach, instruct and edify others also.(2 Tim. 2:2)
4. Paul knew how to balance teaching and preaching because he stayed focused on Christ. John wrote of Jesus, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:14)
It is easy to get out of balance. Some people will drift toward emphasizing teaching ministries and others will emphasize evangelism.
In Jesus we find the perfect balance between teaching and preaching. In Christ we find the perfect harmony between truth and its gracious delivery.
By focusing on the example of Christ we are able to avoid getting off balanced on either too much teaching or too much proclamation.
Ask the Lord to help you remain open to being corrected by the Spirit as you focus on following Christ Jesus.
Let us learn to listen for way Christ speaks to us in truth and in power so we can minister in like manner.
Conclusion: The world does not need sermons; it needs a message. You can go to seminary and learn how to preach sermons, but you will have to go to God to get messages.
Oswald J. Smith.
Samuel Clement (Mark Twain) attended a Sunday a.m. sermon. He met the pastor at the door afterward and told him that he had a book at home with every word he had preached that morning. The minister assured him that the sermon was an original. Clement still held his position. The pastor wanted to see this book so Clement said he would sent it over in the morning. When the preacher unwrapped it he found a dictionary and in the flyleaf was written this: "Words, just words, just words."