Preach for Change

Michael Andres

Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season. (v. 2)

Comparing Catholic and Protestant church interiors is illuminating. The altar in the center of a Catholic church speaks to the primacy of the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper). The pulpit in the center of a Reformed church, with Communion table below, speaks to the primacy of Word and Sacrament together.

Reformation beliefs about the power, clarity, and authority of Scripture led to the Bible’s significant use in the church and a wave of expository preaching. Preaching was not a matter of eloquent human oration, but rather of explaining verse by verse, chapter by chapter, the whole counsel of God. Because Scripture is the very word of God, Reformed preachers wanted to stay close to the biblical text, letting God’s Word transform hearts.

Are we announcing Christ and listening to his Word preached often and meaningfully? Martin Luther saw himself primarily as a preacher. Luther preached often: on most Sundays, he preached two or three times, and at least two to three times during the week, adding up to 7,000 sermons between 1510 and 1546. Luther preached simply: “To preach simply is a great art. Christ . . . speaks only of the plowed field, of the mustard seed, and uses only common comparisons from the countryside.” Luther preached personally: “Christ ought to be preached to the end that faith in him may be established that He may not only be Christ, but be Christ for you and me.” —Michael Andres

Prayer: May I hear, speak, and be shaped by biblical preaching.