We’re beginning our Marriage & Family Series and I’ve asked the congregation a favor: “If you miss a Sunday please be sure to listen to the sermon on our website.” I’m making this request because sermons build on each other. While we’ve been in Luke it’s been important to know what took place earlier to better understand what will take place later, but during this series it’s going to be even more significant for understanding and spiritual growth to be familiar with the material previously preached. For example, yesterday’s sermon discussing the Greek words for love (eros, storge, phileō, and agapaō) will prepare us for this Sunday’s sermon on Ephesians 5:25 which says, “Husbands, love (agapaō) your wives, just as Christ also loved (agapaō) the church and gave Himself for her.”
I’ve said before that I pray throughout the week about what God wants me to preach, down to the individual words; my prayer could be summarized as, “Lord, what do You want to say to Your people through me?” In a recent post, Pastors are Prophets???, I discussed prophecy being part of the preaching of God’s Word. This is according to 1 Corinthians 14:3 which says, “He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” The Amplified words it this way: “The one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose IN INSPIRED PREACHING AND TEACHING] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation.” Unfortunately, we tend to think of prophecy as predicting (foretelling) the future, but it’s much better to think of prophecy as proclaiming (forth telling) the Word of God.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “[Jesus] gave pastors and teachers [to the church], for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” The Greek construction of the words pastors and teachers indicates the terms go together; in English they could be hyphenated as pastor-teacher emphasizing the pastor’s ministry in teaching. 2 Timothy 3:17 says, “Scripture equips the man of God for every good work.” If pastors have the responsibility to equip the saints, and Scripture is what they’re equipped with, it only makes sense pastors would shepherd or feed God’s flock by teaching them Scripture. My desire is for God to use me to equip WCC for ministry, which for the Marriage & Family Series will be the ministries of family and marriage. I pray God uses these sermons to equip the members of WCC for every good work in their homes.