Stop Preaching Extemporaneously
I recently wrote a blog titled: “Witness”. In that blog I showed who the witnesses of Christ Jesus are; His chosen apostles, not you and I. Remember, the gospel is purely the good news concerning Jesus the Christ the Son of God; His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into Heaven. So when the Lord said to His disciples; “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) He was telling them, “go tell the world about Me, go tell them what I have done.” Why is this important to understand, because we can easily get caught up in so many different things, but the gospel alone is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). We are not witnesses of any of these things; the apostles of Christ Jesus are His chosen witnesses into the world. They have left us with their witness, which is the New Testament. “You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:48)
So then what are we, the redeemed in Christ to do if we are not His witnesses? We still have the commission that was given to the entire church throughout the ages by Christ in Matthew 28:18-20; “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." We still have His chosen method of making disciples. The preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46, 47); but we are not the witnesses of these things, it is His apostles alone who are the witnesses of the good news concerning Jesus the Christ the Son of God; His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into Heaven. So, therefore, when we proclaim the gospel, we must take out anything that is not their witness. We must first proclaim the scripture as it is written, and then secondly explain the scripture exegetically, which is a critical interpretation of the text. We are not to take individual scripture out of its context, and then apply them to fit our ideas. We are to take what has been written within the context of what proceeds and follows it.
So what am I saying? Stop preaching extemporaneously! Most pastors are not guilty of this, but many of my open-air preaching brethren are. Instead of first proclaiming what has been written, which is the first hand account, and then secondly explaining what has been written by critical interpretation of the text (exegesis), they will speak what has been formed in their own minds off-the-cuff or use some credo form that was given to them by someone else, and will often spout individual verses out of context, making themselves the witness of Jesus Christ. I am guilty of this, and am currently repenting.
I know that many of you will not like what I just said, but it is true nonetheless. Preaching is not a game, it is serious stuff, and needs not be taken lightly, but taken with much care and respect for the word of God, and the authority with which God has given men to proclaim His word. Open up the scripture, read the scripture, study what has been written with much care and diligence; then and only then go preach. When you go preach; firstly open up the scripture, don’t just hold the bible in your hand as a symbol, but actually proclaim what is written on the pages, then secondly explain what has been written, within context. I recently heard a brother in Christ and fellow open-air preacher whom I respect say; “Preaching is teaching with authority” (Tony Miano). Do not take this authority lightly.
This is not to say that you can never spontaneously preach the gospel, of course you can and should; but only after you have previously put in the necessary time, of opening up the scripture, studying the scripture. Then and only then will you be prepared to firstly proclaim, and then secondly explain what has been written by those who are the witnesses of Jesus the Christ the Son of God; His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into Heaven.
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ