Words of John Bunyun in Bedford England are carved on a statue of him that state;
A very great person hung against the wall;
And this was the fashion:
Eyes lifted up to heaven,
the best of books in his hand,
the law of truth was written upon his lips,
the world was behind his back;
he stood as if he pleaded with men;
a crown of gold did hang above his head.
He describes the preacher as being Godâ€™s gift to the world. While I do not consider myself in the same high esteem, I do know many gracious men who I could say this about. The position of the pastor is of utmost importance to the church, as well as his role as leader and representative before God.
The preacher is sent on a heavenly mission (as are all Christians). He is to declare the message of God to the world, â€œWhether they will hear, or whether they will forbearâ€ (Ezekiel 2:5; 7; 3:11). Preaching was recognized as a gift from God in the Old Testament. Noah was â€œa preacher of righteousnessâ€ (2 Peter 2:5) by those whose testimony the primitive world was condemned (Hebrews 11:7). The psalmist and the prophets delivered their messages of truth in pleading, exhortation, prophecy, and promises from the Lord. The prophets were preachers of their day and the predecessors of the New Testament heralds of the gospel.
After the exile the reading and exposition of Scripture were from the beginning the chief feature of the synagogue service, and is frequently mentioned in the New Testament. Jesus, â€œas his custom was,â€ went to the synagogue service on the Sabbath day and there delivered the wonderful message of hope recorded in Luke 4:17-22. In Acts 13:5, â€œafter the reading of the law of prophetsâ€ the rulers of the synagogue invited the two preachers, Paul and Barnabas, to deliver this message of exhortation. In Acts 15:21, James the pastor of the church at Jerusalem and the presiding officer over the council in Jerusalem, spoke of the fact that â€œMoses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.â€
The New Testament church, likewise, moves on the feet of those who, â€œpreach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things (Romans 10:15). It was Paul that declared that faith in Jesus as Lord will save all who call upon him (v. 9), but â€œHow . . . shall they call on him in whom they have believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (v. 14)â€ This preaching of salvation that Paul referred to is the proclamation of the Word of God recorded in the Holy Scriptures and centered in the redemptive work of Christ. It is a summons of men to repentance, faith, and obedience before the Lord Jesus. It is Godâ€™s appointed means for communicating the gospel of hope to the unbelieving world and for the strengthening of the faith of those who have found refuge in our living Lord.
The apostolic message (kerygma), the preaching of the men who first heard the Great Commission of our Lord, consisted of these seven things:
1.Â Â Â It was a definite body of facts; it was â€œpropositional truth.â€
2.Â Â Â It was not speculative philosophy but an announcement of the intervention of God in human history for the salvation of those who would hear and accept.
3.Â Â Â It was centered on the redemptive work of Christ, in his cross and atonement, and glorious resurrection.
4.Â Â Â It was witnessed to and confirmed in the human heart by the Holy Spirit.
5.Â Â Â It was historically and organically related to the Old Testament.
6.Â Â Â It imposed a stern, ethical demand upon men.
7.Â Â Â It was a vast eschatological dimension. It looks forward to a triumphant forever in Christ.
In Godâ€™s plan, there is no such thing as the delivery of this glorious message of truth without a preacher. In the elective purpose of God his will and work are made known to us through a living personality. This is the essence of preaching and is the first, primary calling of a pastor. Each generation must experience falling in love, building a home, rearing children. So each congregation must have a living pastor. The truth of God must be made to live again and again.
That is the calling of a preacher-pastor. It is preaching the Word of God that people desperately need. And it is preaching that feeds the souls of Christians. Paul wrote about the services of public worship in Corinth, â€œLet all things be done decently and in orderâ€ (1 Corinthians 14:40).
The verse concludes a lengthy discussion of disorder that marred the meeting of the Corinthian Christians. The worship of God ought to be worthy of his glorious name. Therefore, the pastor has been called to preach Godâ€™s Word and to lead the church. He should be allowed to do this so that order and appropriate worship may take place, and the message of the gospel may be preached.