Editorial Introduction: The Proclamation Of The Gospel -- By: Steve W. Lemke

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 06:2 (Fall 2009)
Article: Editorial Introduction: The Proclamation Of The Gospel
Author: Steve W. Lemke

Editorial Introduction:
The Proclamation Of The Gospel

Steve W. Lemke

The priority of preaching is underscored throughout the New Testament. Citing Isa. 61:1-2, Jesus described His own ministry of proclamation in His hometown synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor” (Luke 4:18-19, NASB). Jesus went throughout the country preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (Matt. 4:17, 23; 11:1; Luke 4:43-44), and instructed His disciples to do the same (Matt. 10:720).

The first public work of the church was Peter’s sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41). The office of deacons was established soon afterward so that the apostles could focus on a ministry of prayer and preaching (Acts 6:4). The preaching of the gospel flourished (Acts 6:7) through the consistent preaching of the kerygma (the gospel message of salvation through the cross of Christ) by early church leaders such as Peter, James, Stephen, and Philip (Acts 3:12-26; 4:8-20; 5:42; 6:8-7:60; 8:4-5, 35; 10:34-38; and 11:19-21).

Clearly, the Apostle Paul had a settled conviction about the centrality of preaching. He described preaching as the primary focus of his ministry (1 Cor. 1:17, 1 Tim. 2:7). In his missionary journeys, Paul and his team proclaimed the gospel throughout the Gentile world (Acts 13:43-49; 17:1-4, 10-13, 22-34; 20:18-21). Paul was able to preach without hindrance even during his Roman imprisonment (Acts 28:31).

Paul practiced gospel-focused kerygmatic preaching. He was told the Corinthian church that “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2, HCSB). Although the Jews sought confir...

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