Powerful Preaching

This originally appeared as an email delivered on
Saturday, March 25th, 2023.

Excellent speeches have a strong effect on the hearer.

Good words have a greater impact when delivered well.

Everyone listens when someone speaks with power and wisdom.

It is common for people to follow a man who speaks well. His speaking abilities make people think, “He must know what he is talking about.” Pulpits and politics are filled with such people. Leaders are often made by powerful speeches.

Now let’s consider Paul declaring the testimony of God.

“when I came to you, [I] came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom…” – 1 Cor 2:1

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom …” – 1 Cor 2:3-4

This was on purpose. Paul knew how easy it was for people to latch on to a leader and not the Lord. He did not want their faith to stand in his own wisdom, rhetorical abilities, or insight, but in the power of God (1 Cor 2:5).

Paul’s preaching was powerful not because of his own wisdom and excellent sermon prepration. It’s power came from preaching the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:18, 24).

The power of God in preaching is not identified by speaking skills or philosophical insight, which can easily distort the truth (Rom 16:18).

The power of God in preaching is testifying the truth of Jesus Christ, and him crucified, which is the power of God unto salvation (1 Cor 2:2; Rom 1:16).

Don’t confuse the power of God with powerful speech. Just because something sounds good does not mean it is doctrinally sound. The power of God is what saves, not the power of performance. You don’t have to be an excellent speaker to preach with the power of God.

For your edification,

Justin “preach the cross” Johnson

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