Text:  2 Tim. 4:1-2
Title:  "The God We Preach Before"
Subj.:  The necessity of comprehending Who we stand before.

Intro.:   "I charge thee...preach the Word"
   In these 6 words lie the solemn responsibility given to the preacher of the Gospel.  When added to the duties of the pastor as found in Acts 6:4--"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word"--we have a clearly defined picture of the ministry as ordered by the Holy Spirit.  When in the pulpit, the pastor is to preach the Word.  In his capacity as pastor, the preacher is to pray and to minister, or live the Word.

   Unfortunately, today, the pulpit has been turned into a lectern, and the preacher has been converted into a teacher.  Even worse, many preachers have been converted into story-tellers, illustrationists, humorists, or Christian Humanists in the pulpit, all the while, chastising their hearers for worldliness and carnality!

"I charge thee...preach the Word"
   Once out of the pulpit, the teacher becomes an administrator, instead of a pastor.  He has become more involved and concerned with investing his life into the organization/pet doctrine instead of investing his life into the individual members of the body.  Hence, the book of 2 Timothy was written to remind Timothy of his responsibilities as a pastor/preacher.  Listen in as we focus on the preacher's part.
1:7, "stir up the gift of God..." 1:8 "be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord"  1:11 "I am appointed a preacher"  1:12 "For the which cause I also suffer"  1:13 "hold fast the form of sound words"  2:14 "strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers"  2:15 "a workman, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" 2:16 "shun profane and vain babblings" 2:23 "foolish and unlearned questions avoid"  3:16 "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable"  4:2 "preach the word"  4:5 "do the work of an evangelist"  4:17 "that by me the preaching might be fully known"  4:17 "that all the Gentiles might hear"

"I charge thee...preach the Word"
I said the book of 2 Timothy was written to remind Timothy of his responsibilities as a pastor/preacher.  And we need to be reminded about our responsibilities, but even more important, we need to be reminded about Who we are responsible to.  Just Who is it that we preach before?

2 Tim. 4:1-5 -- "The God We Preach Before" -- prayer

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT'S PLACE IN PREACHING

A. His Charge ("I charge thee...preach the Word")

Note:  Lest we become confused, let's remember that Paul was but an empty vessel in the service of his Lord.  Yes, Paul lived, yet not Paul, but Christ lived in Paul, who lived by the faith of the Son of God.  Though Paul lived this passage, and recorded this passage, this is not Paul's charge, for "...holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21)
"Charge" = to call throughout to witness.  To testify, to bear solemn and complete witness, hence, to admonish solemnly, charge earnestly, testify or declare fully. (Bullinger)  So the Holy Spirit is fully declaring His intention for a pastor's pulpit ministry, "preach the Word."

1. An  authoritarian charge ("I")
a. He is God, the 3rd Person of the Trinity
1) As God He is the Power of the Gospel
a) The dunamis, the dynamite of God!
1 Cor. 2:4-5  "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

2) As God He is the Convicter of the soul
a) The preacher can only assault the ears, the Holy Spirit assaults the heart!
Jn. 16:8 "And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."
3) As God He is the Comforter of the heart
Jn. 14:16, 18 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;"  "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." 
2.  A personal charge ("thee")
1)  Men are allowed a place in the work of redemption, the preaching of God's Word!  But only as messengers, not authors!
1 Cor. 1:17 "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."
3. An inspired charge ("therefore")
(Because of what came before and particularly v16-17)
a. He is the Vehicle of Inspiration (they were borne/impelled by Him, as a ship by the wind, 2 Pet. 1:21)
1)  It is His Word of comfort, or conviction

II. GOD'S PRESENCE IN PREACHING

A. He is Omnipresent (everywhere present)
1. He is present in His assembly/house
Eph 2:21 "In Whom (Jesus Christ) ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.":

Note: Why  do we fail to realize that the G od of glory is present in His house  /Assembly?  Certainly, the place which God inhabits must experience a His special Presence during assembling and preaching.

2. He is Present in the Trinity (God); which is to say, the totality of His Person/attributes.
a. The complete force of the totality of the Father, Son, & Spirit are brought to bear during the preaching of the Word.
Isa. 55:11 "So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
1) The saved experience that force, as they are brought by the preaching before the throne of mercy and grace.

Note:  The Father represents the place of provision.  The Son represents the example of service.  The Spirit represents the power of obedience.

2) The lost experience that force, as they are brought to stand before the throne of judgment.

Note:  The Father represents judgment for sin.  The Son represents substitution for sin.  The Spirit represents conviction of sin.  God has only one message for the lost, "...as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:20)
(Because He is omnipresent and especially manifested in His church)

B. We are Before God
1. "Before" = in front of ("It is used of one who does or says something in the presence of someone else, and does it with the consciousness that that one has him in sight and mind." Weiss)
a. As preachers we are before God, not before men!
1) That is the place of judgment, responsibility
b. As listeners we are before God, not before man!
Rev. 2:7 ff "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches..."

Note:  Could it be illustrated as if we preach through a veil with a likeness of God on our side, and the likeness of Christ on the other?  Much like the example of Isaiah who saw the Lord from the O.T. side (Isa. 6:1), but saw Jesus Christ from the N.T. side (Jn. 12:41)  We can see the people through the veil and the people can see the preacher through the veil, but it is before God we preach to bring men to Christ.
God is listening to hear by what means we will bring glory to Christ!
Men are listening to hear by what means we will show them Jesus!

III. JESUS CHRIST'S PRESIDING IN PREACHING

Note: Two descriptions of Christ.  First, His Person.  Second, His position and purpose.

A. Present in His fulness
1. Lord Jesus Christ
a. Lord = sovereign, master, ruler
b. Jesus = humanity, sympathizer, sacrifice
c. Christ = anointed, chosen one of God, ability

Note:  "In fact the construction reveals that the word "God" and the names "Lord Jesus Christ" refer to the same Person" (Weiss).
Note:  The reason for our "preaching the word" can be summed up in one word, judgment! 

B. Presiding as Judge
1. Over the quick (alive) and dead
a. A divine appointment! and so we preach the Word
1) For the "living," judgment seat of Christ
2 Cor. 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ..."
2) For the "dead," Great White throne judgment
Rev. 20:11,12  "And I saw a great white throne...And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God..."

Note:  It is as if we are personally responsible for preparing men for the day of final accounting.  The "living" to become more like Christ, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rms. 8:29) and "dead" to either receive Christ, "And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quicken together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Col. 2:13), or to stand before the awful majesty of God unto damnation, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15).

C. Promising His Appearing and His Kingdom  (Here is the reason for the charge!)
1. A definite return, and so we preach the Word
The last words of our Lord in the Bible; "...Surely I come quickly..." (Rev. 22:20)
2. "Appearing" = to appear or become visible
Rev. 1:7 "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.  Even so, Amen."
3. A kingdom, a direct, personal sphere of rule by the Lord Jesus Christ 

Note:  His appearing and His kingdom are warnings to the lost, and a caution to the saved.  And preacher, when He appears you shall give an account of your ministry as the under-shepherd of one of the Chief Shepherd's flocks, "...as they that must give an account..." (Heb. 13:17)..

IV. THE WORD PREACHED IN PREACHING
A. What the Word Is
1. The Word = The Inspired Word spoken by God (2 Tim. 3:16)
2. The Word = The Written Word preserved by God (2 Tim. 2:2)
3. The Word =  Jesus Christ the Word incarnate (Jn. 1:1, 14)

B. How The Word is to be Communicated
1. Preached!

Note:  "This speaks of a herald of a King, one who brings the King's message and not his own.  It is to be proclaimed in a formal, grave and authoritative manner, a message which must be listened to and obeyed at once!" (Weiss)  It is the making known, without any reference to the contents, and does not include the idea of teaching. (Bullinger)  Its authority rests in its Author, but its dignity rests with the herald!  The King's message is the message of Jesus Christ, His shed blood, and redemptive work, "...that in all things He might have the preeminence."  It is not preaching about Peter, Paul & Mary!

2. It is to be exposed (expository) as the Holy Spirit set it down.
a. Every word (plenary), but not context and word order??

Note:  We have no authority to disassemble the message as set forth by God.  It must grieve the Holy Spirit when men misuse His Word.  It is not a diving board (a jumping off place), a skate board (to go in any direction) , a spanking board (discipline), a board of directors (a list of directives), a board of psychology (a counseling manual).  It is the inspired, infallible, eternal Word of God!  How dare we pick and choose even the order of its proclamation?
Neh. 8:8 "So they read in the Book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading."

3. It is to expose Christ, Who is the Word
Lk. 24:27 "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."

Conc:  Our responsibility in preaching is not to our listeners, but to our God!  If we please God with our message, we will surely please both the lost and the saved.  But we can only please God in direct proportion to our glorifying of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We glorify His Son by exposing Him in all His glory to our listeners. We can best expose Christ by an orderly, contextually exposition of the living Word.  Thus the Holy Spirit is able to do His heart-work, pressing the claims of Christ upon the lost, and molding the desire to be like Christ on the saved.  I am not here to accuse, but our churches are dying spiritually, because we (preachers) have left our first Love, and are feeding the sheep the crumbs from under the table.

   Christian friends, you do not have the responsibility of preaching, but you may be teaching, and you are all hearing the preaching.  Do you come to worship with a desire to see and learn of Christ?

   Are you saved?

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