Whose Message Do We Preach?

Consider a typical sermon today:

1. Introduction--catchy, relevant joke to woo in the audience, maybe a movie review (3-5 minutes)

2. Story #1--"let me tell you a story about", possible video...(4-5 minutes)

3. Bible Verse--forced example out of context to be "applicational" to the pastor's theme (5-7 minutes)

4. Story #2 (Personal)--here the pastor makes himself one of the people, non-threatening and connecting (4-5 minutes)

5. Conclusion--some generic call to "live out" the gospel (3-4 minutes).

Sadly, most Christians today are completely ignorant about what constitutes faithful, biblical communication of divine truth. Perkins reminds us of the simple (and obviously the most neglected) responsibility of the gospel preacher:

Ministers are angels, in the very institution of their calling. Therefore, they must preach God's word as God's word, and deliver it is they received it--for angels, embassadors, and messengers carry not their own message, but the message of their Lords and masters who sent them, and ministers carry the message of the Lord of hosts. Therefore they are bound to deliver it as the Lord's, and not their own.

William Perkins, The Workes: Duties & Dignities of the Ministry, Vol. III (John Legatt: London, 1618) 430.


  1. Always best to let the Lord speak:

    2 Cor 5:18-21
    All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.