We are saved by the power of God. We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Throughout all ages, God has sent out preachers of the gospel in order that men everywhere might be saved. The church has the great commission of Christ to preach the gospel. And we are saved through coming under this preaching and receiving it by a true and living faith in humility before God.
This does not mean that the mere words of a mere man can save anyone; not even the words of a popular, eloquent, or very persuasive preacher, no matter how large the audience he is able to gather. There are many popular false teachers who have large followings, sometimes all over the world, who are not God’s instruments of salvation at all. These deceive many and lead many astray. Against these we must also be warned. Jesus warned many times about the many false prophets that would arise in the last days.
A true preacher is the minister of God. He stands in the service of the Word of God. He does not bring his own word. The word of a mere man does not have the power to save. The meaning of this is actually in a sense very simple. The infallible Word of God is contained in the Bible. The complete revelation of all that we need to know about God and Jesus Christ for our salvation is recorded in the Bible. The solemn duty and obligation of the preacher is simply to bring the Word of God and the Word of Christ, nothing else. Anyone called to be a preacher must devote his life to this. He must earnestly and prayerfully search what the Word of God has to say and what it truly means. The preacher must compare scripture with scripture to be sure he is bringing to the people of God only the Word of God. This alone will build them up in the faith.
True preaching is the simple, clear, and authoritative exposition and declaration of the Word of God. The preacher is called of God to his office through the faithful church of Jesus Christ. God has appointed and qualified elders in His church. One of the most important duties of these elders is to judge and guard the preaching.
Even the ordinary child of God, one who is not an elder, has the Spirit of God, and is able to judge the preaching. John tells Christians, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things…But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” I John 2: 20 and 27.
The Christians in Berea in the days of the apostle Paul did this. They were able to judge the preaching of the greatest missionary and preacher that ever lived save Jesus Christ Himself. We read about them in Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” We all must follow this amazing example.
The Christian must place himself under the true preaching of the gospel.
The apostle Paul gives thanks to God for such true and faithful Christians. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” I Thes 2:13
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
Latest from den Hartog, Arie
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