OceanSide church of Christ
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BUILDING UP THE LORD’S CHURCH…
With Sound Gospel Preaching
Victor M. Eskew
A. Numerous times, preaching, the Word of God, and salvation are connected to each other.
1. I Corinthians 1:21 and II Timothy 4:2
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe…Preach the word…
2. Mark 16:15 and Romans 1:16
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature…For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
3. Romans 10:13-15
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? as it written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.
B. We have the Word of God in our possession. It is God’s power to save the lost. When we preach it, good and honest hearts believe it, obey it, and are saved. The saved are added to the church. The church is built up.
C. Yes, sound gospel preaching is needed to build up the church.
I. THE GOSPEL IS POWERFUL
A. The verses that speak of the powerful Word of God are numerous.
1. Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2. Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but is shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.
3. Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation…
4. Jeremiah 23:29
Is not my word like as fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
5. II Corinthians 10:4-5
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
B. The Word of God has been demonstrated to be powerful in the past.
1. By His Word, God created the heavens and the earth (Ps. 33:6, 9)
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
2. By His Word, demons fled from the bodies they inhabited (Mark 1:23-27)
And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amzed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
3. By His Word, He brought the dead to life again (John 11:43-44)
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth…
C. God’s Word is powerful enough to
1. Soften the hardest heart
2. Cleanse the dirtiest sin
3. Free the most obscure prisoner
4. Make holy the vilest sinner
5. Reconcile the worst enemy
6. Heal the sickest soul
7. Transform the most perverted life
D. Dear brethren, by faith we must trust the power of God’s Word and preach it.
1. It is a book, but it is powerful.
2. It contains words, but they are God’s Word.
3. It is old, but the message is still alive.
4. It is mocked, but thousands upon thousands continue to be saved by it.
5. It is disparaged, but it outlives all of its enemies.
II. THE GOSPEL IS RELEVANT
A. Relevant defined: pertinent, connected to the matter at hand
B. Does the gospel have any application to the world in which we live?
1. Some say: “No.”
a. The message is too old.
b. The message is too restrictive.
c. Times have changed.
d. They lived in an agricultural setting.
e. Cultural norms were different.
f. It was a male dominated society.
2. The right answer to the question is: Yes, the Bible is relevant today.
C. The enduring nature of the Word of God.
1. In Scripture, we are taught how the Word of God will last forever (I Pet. 1:23-25a).
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth forever…
2. Question: Why would God give a book that would last forever if its message would not be relevant all who ever lived?
D. The Bible is relevant.
1. The need for kindness (Eph. 4:32)
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
2. The need for respect (I Pet. 2:17)
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
3. Receiving the Word of God (James 1:19)
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
III. THE GOSPEL IS SUFFICIENT
A. The word “sufficient” is defined as “enough” or “adequate to meet a need or purpose.”
B. II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2. Doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness
4. Thoroughly furnished
5. All good works.
C. It is sufficient to
1. Produce faith (Rom. 10:17)
2. Save (Rom. 1:16)
3. Guide (Ps. 119:105)
4. Build us up (Acts 20:32)
5. Make us perfect (II Tim. 3:16)
6. Equip us to every good work (II Tim. 3:17)
7. Protect us from sin (Ps. 119:11; Matt. 4:1-10)
8. Transform us into the image of Christ (Rom. 12:2)
9. Provide a weapon to slay the enemy (Eph. 6:17)
10. Give us an inheritance among the sanctified (Acts 20:28).
D. It is difficult for us to accept that God’s Word is sufficient for us.
1. We think we need other things: entertainment, programs, or the right people in place.
2. We wait. We search. We long for other things.
E. What we need to do is really love the Word of God. Then, we will read it, study it, trust it, apply it, and teach it. When we do, it will be sufficient to meet our needs.
A. We have the Bible to preach. It is all we need.
B. We need to speak it with
1. Plainness of speech (II Cor. 3:12)
2. Definite application (James 1:22-25)
3. Courage (I Thess. 2:2)
4. Conviction (I Cor. 2:1-5)
5. Love (Eph. 4:15)
C. We need to speak it without
1. Favor (I Tim. 5:21)
2. Adding to or taking from (Rev. 22:18-19)
3. Apology (Rom. 1:16)
4. Our opinions (II Cor. 4:5)
5. The doctrines of men (Matt. 15:7-9)