Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction.
create a gospel, but to preach one; and the "Word" is broad and vast enough for any preacher. The cross has for its circumference all truth, and is to be carried into all spheres of life.
I. PREACH IT WITH INSTANCY. It is not a mere philosophy to interest students as an esoteric study; nor is it a mere elaborate theological thesis to be proven true. It has to do with "the present salvation" and the future well being of man. Instancy: for:
1. The season may be only now. Tomorrow preacher or hearer, or both, may be gone.
2. The truth can never be out of season. We need it always - in all places, in all our duties, temptations, and trials.
II. PREACH IT WITH AUTHORITY. That is, with the authority of truth, not your own ex-cathedra authority. "Meekly;" but not as though your congregations were patrons to be pleased, or Sanhedrims to try your opinions. Modestly; but with authority; not, as I said, your own authority, but the authority of truth, which has its own witness within. So you will reprove men fearlessly, never hiding them from themselves by cunning words of flattery. And you will "rebuke" - for evil soon spreads if it be not exposed and condemned at once - just as Nathan boldly faced David, and said, "Thou art the man."
III. PREACH IT WITH EXHORTATION. The teacher is not to be merely a scornful satirist of immorality - a sort of Juvenal. Nor is he to be a lightning conductor of Divine wrath; he is to seek to save men. He has not done his work when he has revealed the Law of God against evil. He is to remember that the Christ he preaches is the Son of man who is come, "not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."
1. Long suffering is to be the spirit of his method. Remembering that humanity is frail and fallen, the preacher must be sympathetic, as himself needing mercy.
2. Doctrine is to be his remedy. The great revelation of a Divine Saviour and the promised Spirit, the Comforter. - W.M.S.
The household of Onesipherus.Psalm 133.), so the blessing which God pours on governors extendeth itself to such as are under them.
(T. Hall, B. D.)
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