Apostle Paul: Greatest Example of the Preacher
After hearing of the establishment of the church at Colosse, Paul’s response, as recorded in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, was not to immediately begin making preparations for a series of sermons to be delivered; but rather his focus was on the spiritual needs of the body of Christ in order to further stabilize them and increase their knowledge and discernment of the things of God.
Paul’s First Response
Paul’s first response was to get a “word” from God.
In Colossians 1, we see that the “word” Paul received began with a message of grace and peace. His response in seeking God continued as he did not cease to pray.
Paul’s prayers revealed his desire for the Colossians — that they might be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; and [t]hat [they] might walk worthy of the Lord.
Paul obviously saw his main duty toward men as instructional.
He followed Christ’s example in that Christ set about training and developing disciples who would then take the gospel message to the world.
Paul was seeking to build saintly men who would further seek to train saintly men who would continue the pattern.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is filled with instruction born not from Paul’s mind but from the mind of God. It was Paul’s prayer life that brought forth God’s Word that was revealed to the saints at Colosse.
Man of Prayer
The preacher is first and foremost called to be a man of prayer.
The preacher’s communication with God brings forth the “word” from God that is needful for his congregation for it is God and God alone who knows what is in the heart of men and what message is needed to facilitate change desired by God. The preacher relies on God as the only One that can give the wisdom and discernment needed to deliver that message.
Revealed By Prayer
When the preacher mounts the pulpit, his message conveys whether or not he has been in communication with God. In other words, a strong prayer life reveals the true preacher.
Revealed By His Message
The message given from the pulpit must be doctrinally accurate. Much time must be given to study God’s Word so that truth will be conveyed both by the preacher’s manner of life and manner of speech.
Paul’s example as a great man of prayer and as a man of the Word is the example of the “preacher” that is desperately needed today.
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.Colossians 1:29