The Sufficiency of Preaching

1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The scriptures (see 1 Cor 1:18-31) make it very clear that preaching is God’s chosen method for bringing salvation to the believer in the belief of the gospel. This particular timely salvation is not said to be given in any other way. It is more than just the conveyance of information. If the conveyance of information was all that were required, and the natural understanding of the mind applied, then the wisdom and philosophy of the carnal world would be adequate to the task, but God has rejected these for the purpose of bringing this salvation to believers. Instead, God has chosen something that seems foolish to the world because it is contrary to the natural mind, and that being preaching. True preaching is not an oration, a lecture, or a dissertation of natural wisdom. It is a spiritual activity. It is spiritual on the part of the preacher because he must be given spiritual liberty by the Spirit to be able to do it and it is spiritual on the part of the believer because the believer’s mind must be opened, they must be given hearing, by the Spirit. These work together as a combined spiritual exercise involving both the preacher and the listener and the Spirit of God. There is not a replacement or substitute for it. Not only that, it is the only authorized mode given for the delivery of the gospel in the church (aside from the vocal singing which does have a teaching function) and as such must be seen as adequate for the task. Now, I ask, are we authorized to add any additional mode, method, or form of teaching of the gospel in the church? The scriptures are plain that preaching (which involves the preacher, the believer, and the Spirit) is the only form of teaching given to the church with the express result being the salvation of the believer. I am very much convinced that establishing or institutionalizing additional forms of teaching, such as Sunday Schools, bible studies, group counselling, etc. in the Church is just as much unauthorized by scripture as is adding instrumental music to the acappella singing in the Church. Outside of the Church, such teaching should be conducted privately in the homes beginning with instruction by the parents to the children (Eph 6:4, 2Tim 3:15), as learned disciples to novices in the faith and those in error (Acts 18:26), as brethren one to another of the things of the Lord (Mal 3:16), and finally the gospel ministry teaching and preaching publicly, privately, from house to house and other places or outlets as the Lord opens doors of opportunity (Acts 20:20, 8:29-35, 13:49). I believe, more strongly than ever, that we need to do all things in the Church God’s way as given in, and authorized by, the scriptures.

( Please also see the following article by our Pastor, Elder Mike Montgomery, with which I fully concur:  Studying the Bible and Bible Study )