Preaching is the act of proclaiming God’s word to people. In evangelism, it announces God’s good news about Jesus and His salvation. In edification, it nourishes, encourages, and equips. Preaching is the Church’s responsibility and privilege.
Homiletics is “the art of preaching”. The word “homiletics” comes from a Greek word that means, “to assemble together”. It aims to provide principles and methods for clear and effective preaching. Having said this, I understand that what we learn in homiletics is only as good as its source. If it is taught without an emphasis on the Bible, then preaching is reduced to human ideas and opinions. If it is taught without an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, then preaching is reduced to lifeless and powerless oration. People that desire to become better equipped in their calling as preachers need a good source of instruction. With this in mind, I have found the Apostle Paul to be a good teacher.
Paul dedicated over 30 years of his life to proclaiming the Gospel in the world, and teaching Christians how to live and serve like Jesus. He did this humbly and passionately. He maintained clear objectives, and emphasized godly character and integrity in his preaching. 2,000 years later, the Church and the world still feel the impact of his preaching. More than this, God continues to be glorified in it. Paul is a good source to learn homiletics from.
As can be expected, we can generate a long list from Paul’s example of preaching –a list too long for this article since space and time is limited. I will, however, make mention of five.
1. Paul preached Christ.
Paul wrote, “HIM we proclaim” (Col. 1:28). This is “HIM-iletics”. In his letters alone (excluding “Hebrews”) “Jesus” appears 213 times, and “Christ” 375 times. The focus of his preaching was not history, science, politics, or pop-culture; it was Jesus Christ – God in human flesh; holy and righteous; sacrificed and risen; ascended and exalted. In the same way, we must emphasize and exalt the Lord Jesus, looking for Him in the Scriptures, and proclaiming Him in our preaching.