0231 The Portrait of a Preacher
Encounter Radio Outline #0231
Air date: 8/4/02
The Portrait of a Preacher
by Dr. Stephen F. Olford
Introduction: We have seen that the sovereignty of God in relation to the rejection of Israel is nothing less than a reflection of Israel's negative attitude towards the promise and plan of God's salvation in Christ (#0230). Now Paul concludes the chapter by revealing one more aspect of Israel's negative attitude:
III. Israel’s Rejection of the Preaching of God’s Salvation in Christ (vv. 14, 21)
By a series of four questions Paul reveals how God has purposed to make known the gospel of His saving grace to the world in general, and to the Jews in particular. The mean that He has chosen is that of preaching. We are bidden to consider four important aspects of the preacher:
A. The Message of the Preacher (v. 14)
The message of the preacher is not primarily theology, ecclesiology or even sociology, but rather a Person, even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul has already given us the heart of the gospel message (vv. 9-10). Implicit in these words is the message of a supernatural (vv. 6-20), Sovereign (v. 9), and Saving (vv. 9-10) Christ. This, then, is the message of the preacher. We need to recall these fundamental doctrines unfolded in this passage. God keep us faithful to the message of the gospel!
B. The Motive of the Preacher (v. 14)
Before there can be a calling on Christ, there must be a believing in Christ. Before there can be a believing in Christ, there must be a hearing of Christ. The motive of the preacher, therefore, is to gain the hearing of his audience. That audience may be an individual, hundreds in a local church, or thousands over radio or television. Without a hearing there can be no creation of faith.
Salvation is the work of God. It is not within the preacher’s province or power to communicate eternal life, so that even though his ultimate objective is to see souls saved, his primary motive is to gain the hearing of his audience. Now there are two factors involved in fulfilling this motive: contact and impact (v. 17). In other words, a preacher must tune in his hearers before he can turn on his hearers! However, all true motivation must be grounded in the Word of God and guided by the Spirit of God.
C. The Method of the Preacher (v. 14)
God’s method of communication is the human mouthpiece. Just as our Savior was the mouthpiece of God, so we are to be the mouthpieces of our commissioning Lord. If calling on the Lord requires believing, and believing requires hearing, then hearing requires telling. This means that the gospel message is not a human fabrication, but rather a divine revelation through the proclamation and invitation of the Word of God. God does not use impulses to transmit the messages, but personalities. He has not committed His gospel to angels, but to men. Therefore, the preacher is an essential link in the great plan of redemption.
When Paul says his final words to Timothy concerning his task as a preacher, he marries two thoughts that cannot be divorced, the proclamation and invitation of the Word (2 Tim. 4:2, 5). This is the method of the preacher: first, proclamation, and then invitation.
D. The Mission of the Preacher (v. 15)
To understand the mission of the preacher we have to study the Master Preacher. Jesus first called His men (Mark 3:13). No one can experience a true sense of mission without the call of God. Then, Jesus taught His men (Mark 13:14; Matt. 11:29). The companionship with the Lord Jesus was a teaching and training period. And thirdly, Jesus sent His men (Mark 3:14; John 20:21-23)
No one can really preach without a sense of mission. Thus from age to age God has called, trained and sent His messengers of peace throughout the whole world. The links in the ministry of preaching are God sending the servant preaching, the world hearing, the people believing, the sinner calling, and then salvation following.
Conclusion: Thus we conclude where we started – that the Jews are responsible for their own apostasy. In His sovereignty, God has had to reject the people who have, in turn, rejected the Person of His dear Son. We can never think of God’s majesty and sovereignty without being reminded of the tragedy of man’s responsibility in rejecting the Savior.
Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching
P.O. Box 757800 Memphis, TN 38175-7800
Phone: (901) 757-7977 or (800) 843-2241 Fax: (901) 757-1372
Comments? Send mail to: OMI@olford.org