Good Preaching Is a Fine Art
By Fred O. Blakely
The church has long suffered from the deficiency of those who are supposed to nourish it. On the one hand are the scholastics and traditionalists who, unable to think for themselves, are content to dish out what they have read from others or what has been handed down to them from their denominational fathers. On the other hand, are the bibliolaters, who do little more than merely read the Scriptures, throwing in some offhand remarks about them.
What is needed in the pulpit and classroom are men who have saturated their minds and hearts with all of God's revelation in the holy Scriptures and then stand and feed the church His truth which they have derived therefrom. This is no work for the intellectually or spiritually indolent, or for those who are so busy with church administration and other matters that they do not have the time for proper ministry of the Word. The Apostle Paul declared: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Tim. 4:2).
In other words, preaching and teaching in the church are fine spiritual arts, and must be regarded as such by those who would make full proof of their service in them. The ideal artisan, it seems to us, is the person who, having steeped his mind and heart in the Word of God, seeks, in his own way, to draw out and dispense his heavenly treasure to God's family as a faithful steward over the Divine household. May the Lord send forth more of this kind of shepherds to feed the sheep. And may God give those, who are presently engaged in this blessed ministry, grace to be faithful to Him in this ministry, as they have been called upon to serve Him in this very wicked and perverse generation, where there are countless distractions from the things of God.
Let us also devote ourselves to prayer, making supplication to the Lord for those who regularly minister the Word of God, “that the Word may have free course” in both theirs and the hearers’ hearts. When it comes to the matter of the proclamation of God’s truth, both the speakers and the hearers must ever keep in mind that “our sufficiency is of God”. As we, by grace, seek to minister to one another’s faith, we stand ever in need of Divine assistance, in order that what is ministered may be profitable to faith.