Summary: Sermons ought to be plain, passionate and powerful to reach their intended audience.
What Preaching Ought to be
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ( KJV )
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
PLAIN. Preaching plainly.
PASSIONATE. Preaching Christ crucified.
POWERFUL. Preaching that demonstrated the Spirit and power of God.
Chapter 1 has Paul laying foundation concerning division in the church at Corinth. This church was experiencing division over “pulpit supply” and the past contributions of pastors. Paul wants them to understand that preaching is not based on the contribution of the preacher, but on the message being communicated. Preaching, in the mind of Paul is to be valued in the core truth, not in the charisma of the speaker!#
I. PLAIN. Preaching plainly (2:1-2).
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 ( TMSG ) 1 You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. 2 I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
Preaching ought to be plain so that all can understand. Preaching ought to be plain so that people can take the information and make a decision. This is not saying that we should water it down.
Sound preaching is not in the eloquence of the preacher. It is in the message of the preacher. It begins and it ends with Jesus and what He has done on the cross. All to often preachers are tempted to come up with something novel for the congregation. The message has never changed. It is novel within itself.
I have a friend and if I ask he what time it is he will build me a clock. He cannot give a plain and simple answer.
Preaching ought to be plain and simple.
II. PASSIONATE. Preaching Christ crucified (2:2).
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
This was the theme of Paul’s preaching. He always made a bee line for the cross. It is Jesus blood at the cross that takes care of the sin of mankind. This kind of preaching comes from strong determination, and from a passionate heart.
Paul uses the Greek word – “EKRINA” and it means – a deliberate decision, or strong determination. Paul made it his determination to preach only Christ crucified.
1. Paul did not preach Christ the great model for men.
2. Paul did not preach Jesus the great teacher.
3. Paul did not preach Christ the great man of purpose.
4. Paul did not preach Jesus the great example.
5. Paul did not preach Christ the great martyr.#
IT IS ALWAYS EASIER TO PREACH OTHER THINGS THAN THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST. But, Paul did not succumb to that which was easier and neither should we.
Spurgeon said, “Christ is the great central fact in the world’s history; to Him everything looks forward or backward.” Paul declared “For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.” Nothing is more important in all of history than Jesus Christ in His incarnation and His crucifixion. Nothing should be more important in your life than to concentrate on Christ – Who He is and what your relationship to Him is. He is so important that He is the central theme of Scripture, the supreme message of the church, and the solitary song of the soul.#
Passionate preaching should be done in a way that prepares you and the hearer to meet God.
III. POWERFUL. Preaching that demonstrated the Spirit and power of God (2:4-5).
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Paul never wanted the glory. He always wanted to give God the glory. He wanted men to stand in the power of God, not in the wisdom of men.
The preaching stands upon the merit of the message. It does not stand upon the charisma of the preacher. The message will always come through because it has power within itself.
Only the Holy Spirit can convict a person of sin and their need to repent and accept Christ’s salvation. It is plain, passionate, powerful preaching that leads to faith. It is not the wisdom of man.