SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
INTRODUCTION: There is a real need to know the responsibilities of a preacher. The N.T. places an importance on the work of preaching which must be respected by every person who claims to be a preacher.
I. FALSE STANDARDS OF MEN.
A. If popularity is what men expect of preachers, one should ask how popular were Paul and Stephen.
(Acts 17:30-32; 7:51-60)
1. If a man-pleaser is what is expected, one should know that such does not please God (Gal. 1:10).
People are indeed spiritually weak if they must have a preacher’s social call to keep them serving God.
2. All Christians, including preachers, are to visit the sick (Mt. 25:36, 43; Jas. 1:27).
B. An entertainer is what many people look for in a preacher.
1. On Pentecost Peter did not entertain his audience (Acts 2:23). Neither did Paul entertain Felix
(Acts 24:24, 25).
2. Many think all speeches should amuse and entertain. Such is not fitting in dealing with souls.
II. GOD’S STANDARD FOR PREACHING.
A. When men begin to look at preachers, they expect one thing; but when one studies the N.T. he sees that God expects something different.
1. The books of I and II Timothy and Titus set forth God’s expectations of preachers.
2. These books serve as a handbook for preachers.
B. Preachers are given serious responsibilities toward false teachers.
1. There will arise false teachers who must be opposed (I Tim. 1:3,4). Brethren must be told of departures from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1-6). This is needed because of the consequences of false doctrine (I Tim. 6:3-5).
2. If brethren go astray, they must be corrected (Titus 1:13). The preacher’s purpose is not just opposition, but improvement.
C. In relationship to the local church organization, a preacher has certain responsibilities.
1. He must teach the qualifications of those who will oversee (1 Tim. 3).
2. He must see that elders are appointed, and that what is lacking is set in order (Titus 1:5).
D. To the church he has many teaching duties.
1. In all his work, a preacher is to be diligent and dedicated (I Tim. 4:15,16).
2. A preacher must teach concerning prayer, modesty, and the place of men and women (I Tim. 2:1-4, 8-15). He must instruct all on proper conduct (I Tim. 3:15).
3. Brethren must be made to see the gain of godliness (I Tim. 4:7-10). A preacher must teach the responsibilities of all ages in the church (Titus 2:1-6).
4. He must rebuke sinners without partiality (I Tim. 5:20, 21; 6:17-19). He must also teach men to be teachers (2 Tim. 2:2). Brethren must be told to avoid fussing among themselves (2 Tim. 2:14).
E. Basically, a preacher’s work is that of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5).
1. An “evangelist” is a bringer of good tidings. It has nothing to do with traveling.
2. The same man is called a preacher, which tell what he does. He proclaims a message.
F. Preachers have responsibilities to themselves.
1. Each must fight the spiritual fight (1 Tim. 1:18). There may be attempts to get him to put aside his armor. He must be a good example (Titus 3:9). This is certainly a most frightening responsibility.
2. A preacher must avoid foolish controversies (Titus 3:9). The Christian must stand aloof from needless squabbles. He must reject a factious man (Titus 3:10).
3. In all things he must be one who is not ashamed (2 Tim. 2:15).
G. Preaching is assigned to men. Christ has never authorized women to do this work. Women who love the Lord will not usurp man’s work (1 Tim. 2:12).
CONCLUSION: The work of preaching is vital in God’s plan to convert men (1 Cor. 1:21). Christ said, “Go, preach” (Mk. 16:15). Philip preached (Acts 8:5). A preacher puts forth labor for which wages are paid (2 Cor. 11:8; I Cor. 9:14).