I believe the Bible is the Word of God. When we study the Bible, God is speaking to us. With that said, I want to reflect on my personal Bible study yesterday morning. I was studying Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. As I read it, God spoke to me as a preacher of the gospel. In this blog post, I will briefly share several important biblical standards for preachers that I found in that epistle.
- 1. HONESTY. “Our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile,” Paul said (1 Thess. 2:3). The ministry of exhortation is extremely important. It is that aspect of preaching that provides encouragement. It is what many people frequent the house of God to hear. But not all exhortation is the same. Some is no more than empty promises stemming from false prophecies. False or deceptive encouragement has no place in the gospel ministry.
- GOD-PLEASER. “Even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God….” (verse 4). As preachers, it is not our goal to offend. But the fact is, the gospel can be offensive. That’s because preaching is not limited to exhortation. Rebuke is also a part of preaching. We must not become so preoccupied with not offending others that we avoid rebuke when it is in order. At times, we have to choose between pleasing men and pleasing God. As messengers of God, we must choose the latter.
- INTEGRITY. “Neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness” (verse 5). Flattering words and actions stemming from hidden motives of greed are not becoming of a preacher of the gospel. Such actions are the antithesis of integrity, which is what God has called us to walk in.
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians contains much more guidance as biblical standards for preachers. But it’s beyond the scope of this blog post to touch on all of them.
I have not shared any new revelation. The biblical standards I address in this post are very basic. But for preachers to be effective in what they do for the Lord, there are certain basics you just can’t get away from. No degree of formal training and/or giftedness can compensate for disregarding these basics. Furthermore, the biblical standards for preachers as found in the Scriptures should become our metric for measuring true success in the ministry. Everything else is secondary.
Copyright 2014 by Frank King. All rights reserved.