1. In John 4:23 Jesus said that God seeks "true worshippers" to worship Him. 2. Jesus also identified true worshippers as those who worship God "in spirit and in truth." 3. God does not accept all worship -- He only accepts true worship. 4. We are studying a series of lessons designed to help us be true worshippers. 5. In this lesson we are showing that "true worship includes preaching." 6. The first step we need to take is to determine whether . . .
I. THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORIZES "PREACHING" IN WORSHIP
A. This is where we must begin because we are to only say and do those things that Christ has authorized in His Word (Colossians 3:17, 16a). B. As we examine the Bible in general we see that God's people have been preaching for many centuries. 1. (2 Peter 2:5) Noah is referred to as "a preacher of righteousness." 2. The Old Testament prophets were preachers [ex. Jonah (3:1-2)]. a. God had a message for Jonah to preach (Jonah 1:2; 3:4). b. The fate of the people of Nineveh was at stake. 3. John, the forerunner of Christ, preached (Matthew 3:1-2). 4. Jesus preached during His ministry (Matthew 4:17, 23). 5. Jesus included preaching in His Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16). 6. Great emphasis was placed on preaching in the early church. a. (Acts 2:14) Peter preached on Pentecost. b. (Acts 6:4) Preaching was the primary work of the apostles. c. (Acts 8:4) Other Christians preached as they scattered from Jerusalem. C. While God's people have been preaching for a long time, the New Testament authorizes preaching as an act of Christian worship (Acts 20:7). D. The Lord's requirements of worshipping God "in spirit and in truth" apply to preaching.
II. PREACHING "IN SPIRIT" [from the heart, sincerely, with the proper attitude]
A. A practical definition of preaching is "the communication of God's Word by man [a speaker] to men [those who hear]." B. The Bible addresses the sincerity and the disposition of both the speaker and those who hear. 1. The motives of the speaker are addressed in: a. Philippians 1:15-17 b. Ephesians 4:15. 2. The proper way to hear is revealed in: a. Acts 17:11 b. 1 Thessalonians 2:13. C. When the speaker preaches "in spirit" and the audience hears "in spirit," God will provide the increase (Acts 2:14, 36, 37, 38, 41; Luke 11:28).
III. PREACHING "IN TRUTH" [according to God's will revealed in the New Testament]
A. The New Testament identifies the proper message to be preached. 1. "The Word" is the proper message (2 Timothy 4:1-2a). 2. This includes "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). B. The proper way in which the Word is to be preached is revealed in: 1. 2 Timothy 4:2b-4 2. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 C. The New Testament reveals "who" is responsible for preaching in the church. 1. God's will is for men to preach in mixed assemblies. 2. The New Testament clearly teaches that: a. women are to "keep silence in the churches" (1 Corinthians 14:34) b. women may not teach or usurp authority over men (1 Timothy 2:12). 3. Women may teach children and other women; however, men are responsible for preaching to mixed assemblies.
1. Preaching that pleases God is not designed: a. to be a story-telling session b. to tickle our ears c. to please everyone d. to always make everyone feel good. 2. Preaching that pleases God is designed to accomplish several important objectives, including: a. to impart knowledge from the Scriptures b. to convict the sinner c. to strengthen the weak d. to comfort the downtrodden e. to encourage the audience to draw nearer to God. 3. In closing, listen to the greatest preacher who ever lived. a. John 3:16 b. Luke 13:3 c. Matthew 10:32 d. Mark 16:16 e. Revelation 2:10 f. Matthew 11:28-30