“Preaching – Messenger, Message, Method”

This series of 9 messages was preached at the Tanglewood Church of Christ in Odessa, Texas in 2008. Click on the title of each sermon to play the audio of that lesson.

1. How Can They Hear Without a Preacher, Part I
One of the best known features of any church today is the “preacher.” He (or she) often has a special education, special attire, special titles, and special tasks. Probably almost everyone thinks that is the way it is supposed to be. But is it? The Apostle Paul in Romans 10:14-15 said that people can believe when they hear, and they can hear if they have a preacher. What were these first preachers like? Would we recognize them today? Would preachers of today have been recognized “back then?” This is the beginning of an extended study we are making together of “Preaching: Messenger, Message, and Method.”

2. How Can They Hear Without a Preacher, Part II
Special robes, seminary degrees, exalted titles. . . religious clergymen had all these in the time of Jesus. But Jesus didn’t. . . nor did John the Baptizer. Neither did those original apostles of Christ. Today we look further at preachers and preaching in the New Testament. Following in the footsteps of Jesus were his closest disciples, the apostles. Others who followed Him included those later called evangelists.

3. How Can They Hear Without a Preacher, Part III
As we continue to examine “preachers” in the New Testament, we look today at those mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 as “pastors and teachers.” In the beginning of the church, the role of pastor was the same as that of elder and bishop. Good Bible dictionaries confirm this. And elders – therefore, pastors – were required to be competent teachers (I Timothy 3:2); some were also especially capable as preachers (I Timothy 5:17). Besides pastors who preached, there were also teachers in the New Testament churches who preached.

4. How Can They Hear Without a Preacher, Part IV
We are blessed with three writings in our New Testament which specifically address the work of ministers/preachers of the Gospel. Written by the Apostle Paul, I and II Timothy and Titus allow us to learn what preachers were supposed to be like from the very beginning of Christianity. Today we begin looking at Timothy, a man who worked so closely with Paul that Paul called him, “My son.”

5. And What Shall They Preach, Part I
The Christian community has been blessed for almost 2,000 years with three letters from the Apostle Paul which detail what a preacher must do and be. First and Second Timothy and Titus are the Holy Spirit’s directions for ministers. Today we will look at the first letter to Timothy. In it Paul directs this younger preacher of the gospel in what to teach, how to live and how to conduct himself among God’s people. Listen to Paul’s instructions to Timothy… and to ministers of God’s Word today!

6. And What Shall They Preach, Part II
After his resurrection Jesus met with his disciples several times. This allowed them to become eyewitnesses that the resurrection had indeed happened. Jesus also used these times to instruct them about their future work. We call these instructions the “Great Commission,” because Jesus commanded them to go into all the world preaching the gospel, baptizing those who believed, and then instructing the new converts in all His teaching. Today we look at how the disciples imitated their Master as they carried out their commission.

7. And What Shall They Preach, Part III
When we look at the book of Acts, we think of many things. It is the New Testament’s history book. It is the story of the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. It is the account of the conversion and apostleship of the Apostle Paul. And, in the churches of Christ, we see it as filled with examples we should imitate. Now we need to realize that it tells us, loud and clear, what the early church and the apostles considered true gospel preaching!

8. And What Shall They Preach, Part IV
What is the gospel message? If we listened in on many modern pulpits we might be confused. However, the Book of Acts presents us with 12 gospel sermons and numerous other references to the original gospel message. This morning we take a look at some of the common characteristics of this early preaching. This is important to us because we believe these messages provide a pattern for us to follow today. In fulfilling the Great Commission given to them by Jesus, these messages were the result.

9. Ring It Out
In our final lesson on The Preaching of the Gospel, we present a four point survey of how the gospel message was proclaimed in the New Testament. This survey is based on the 12 sermons in Acts, and the numerous references to preaching and its message in Acts and in the epistles. These four points are as follows:

  • Centrality – the gospel message was always the central focus of their preaching and mission.
  • Simplicity – the gospel message was always presented in a clear and simple form.
  • Loving – the gospel message was always delivered kindly and with deep concern for the hearers.
  • Convicting – the gospel message was always intended to bring conviction and response from the hearers.