New Testament Conceptions of Preaching -- By: Perry Wayland Sinks

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 094:374 (Apr 1937)
Article: New Testament Conceptions of Preaching
Author: Perry Wayland Sinks


New Testament Conceptions of Preaching1

Perry Wayland Sinks

[Author of: Communion Wine, Popular Amusements and the Christian Life, Jesus and the Children, About Money, Whittlers of the Word of God, In the Refiner’s Fire, The Reign of the Manuscript, etc.]

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:13–16).

Preaching is one function-the chief function-of the ministerial calling or office. But what is preaching, as related to the calling and work of the minister? The dictionary defines the world preach, “To pronounce a public discourse on a sacred subject.” This is a very defective definition of the New Testament conception of preaching. This definition would include any pronouncement, favorable or adverse, upon any religion or cult regarded sacred, as preaching. My own personal view of preaching is based upon having read the entire Bible more than forty times-and consecutively for the last twenty-five years-and its study for more than sixty-two years, since my ordination to the Christian ministry, and is very different from that of

Noah Webster and his associated lexicographers. My personal conviction is, that to preach in the distinctly New Testament sense, is to declare or proclaim the truths associated with the person, work, nature, teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, and thereby to persuade sinful men and women, of any nationality, social or intellectual condition, and regardless of previous life and conduct, to accept and adopt those truths as the controlling force of their life, and the embodiment of truth for faith and practice.

Another word of Paul’s utterance merits a passing note. It is the word minister. The word is here used as a verb, and denotes service, but is commonly applied to one engaged in service of any kind (1 Tim 4:6). The term embraces also that of pastor and teacher as applied to service in the kingdom of God. So Paul declared to the Ephesians: “And he gave some, apostles; and some pro...

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