As we continue looking at the necessity of the church, we turn now to look at the means of grace given to the church by God.
As a reminder, last month I said the 3 traditional means of grace are the preaching of the Word, prayer and the proper administration of the sacraments. This month we will look at why the preaching of the Word is so important.
If you’ve ever attended a church service, you know almost every worship gathering has similarities. Some things you might experience are a time to welcome everyone, singing, prayer, reading scripture, offerings and preaching.
Each of these various parts of the liturgy is meant to help us approach God in different ways. However, preaching has always played a central role in worship. One reason for this is that preaching is a declaration of God’s message. The word “preach” in the Bible makes this clear as it carries the idea of a messenger who is acting as a herald.
The world has always needed God’s message. We see the need during the days of Noah when God called the world to repent. It is necessary during the founding of the New Testament churches in Asia Minor.
It’s still required in your local church this coming Sunday. God wants His message proclaimed. A frail preacher may deliver it, but the message itself is full of power.
This power manifests itself as the preacher speaks about salvation. After all, that’s what preaching is, God’s message of salvation. And since God accomplishes salvation by grace through faith, preaching His message is a means of grace to you.
In Romans 10:13, the apostle writes, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The simplest response to the grandest message reveals grace to us in its fullest sense — the offer of forgiveness from the creator Himself.
Paul goes on in 10:14-15 of Romans, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.’”
God entrusted the church with His message of grace and forgiveness. That makes the church absolutely necessary as God’s messenger.
In the church, when the message is delivered, you find that God has made a way for sinners to be made holy. When we forget that preaching God’s message is the central part of worship, we risk disillusioning those who need the clear statement of God’s grace found in the gospel.
In turn, they begin to believe that the church should make them feel better about themselves instead of calling them to be holy. God longs for His people to know the joy of salvation. He has given you a chance to hear that message every week in the church.
Do you need grace? Preaching is one of the ways God ordained to allow His people to find grace.
So I encourage you to attend a church where they proclaim God’s message every week. Because when you take time to hear the Word of God preached, you will find grace.