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Why Does God Use Preaching and Preachers To Deliver His Word?

Preaching is a central theme in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It is the primary way to spread God’s word and instructions to His people.

The preaching tradition is firmly rooted in the roles of prophets, from the Old Testament through the New Testament, culminating in the teachings of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles. This essay explores the meaning and use of preaching, examining its significance and why God chose this method over others for communicating with humanity.

The Meaning of Preaching

Preaching, in its most basic sense, involves proclaiming or delivering a message. In the Bible, preaching refers to delivering God’s messages, frequently by chosen individuals like prophets, pastors, evangelists, or apostles.

The primary goal of preaching is to instruct, warn, inspire, and encourage people to live according to God’s will.

Preaching is not merely about delivering information; it is a transformative act meant to change hearts and minds, leading people toward repentance, faith, and obedience to God. It is an oral tradition that carries a sense of urgency and authority, reflecting the divine source of its message.

Preaching in the Old Testament

The Old Testament prophets conveyed God’s messages to the people of Israel. God chose Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to deliver His messages.

These messages often included calls to repentance, warnings of impending judgment, and promises of future restoration.

  • Moses: As the first significant prophet, Moses exemplifies the role of preaching in the Old Testament. He delivered God’s commandments and laws to the Israelites, guiding them in their covenant relationship with God.
  • Isaiah: Known for his prophecies of judgment and hope, Isaiah’s preaching included calls for social justice and predictions of the coming Messiah. His messages were both immediate and eschatological, addressing the current state of Israel and their future salvation.
  • The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel often spoke during turbulent and impending times. Their messages were full of warnings about the repercussions of disobedience, idolatry, promises of renewal, and a fresh covenant.

Preaching in the New Testament

The New Testament continues the preaching tradition but focuses on the coming of the Kingdom of God and fulfilling Old Testament prophecies through Jesus Christ.

  • John the Baptist, known as the forerunner of Christ, preached repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. His role was to prepare the way for Jesus, calling people to a renewed relationship with God.
  • Jesus Christ: The central figure of the New Testament, Jesus’ preaching, was revolutionary. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God, emphasizing love, mercy, and forgiveness. His sermons, such as the Sermon on the Mount, provided a new interpretation of the Law and the Prophets, focusing on the spirit rather than the letter of the law.
  • The Apostles: After Jesus’ ascension, the Apostles continued His work, spreading the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. They preached about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, emphasizing salvation through faith in Him. The early Christian church expanded quickly due to the Holy Spirit’s power in their preaching.

The Purpose of Preaching

Preaching serves several critical purposes in the biblical narrative:

  1. Communication of Divine Will: Preaching is how God communicates His will to humanity. It bridges the gap between the divine and the human, making God’s desires and commands known.
  2. Call to Repentance: Preaching often includes a call to repentance, urging individuals and communities to turn away from sin and return to God. This theme is prevalent in the messages of the prophets John the Baptist and Jesus.
  3. Encouragement and Comfort: Preaching encourages and comforts believers, reminding them of God’s promises and faithfulness. It offers hope in times of distress and reinforces the assurance of God’s presence and guidance.
  4. Believers receive instruction in righteousness and holiness through preaching.
  5. Jesus’ teachings, in particular, provide ethical guidelines and spiritual principles for living a life pleasing to God.
  6. Witness to God’s Power: Preaching serves as a witness to God’s power and acts in history. It recounts God’s mighty deeds, from the world’s creation to the resurrection of Christ, affirming His sovereignty and intervention in human affairs.

Why God Uses Preaching

The choice of preaching as the primary method for disseminating His word is significant for several reasons:

  1. Personal and Relational Nature: Preaching allows for an individual and relational approach to communication. It involves a human element, where the preacher connects with the audience, creating a sense of immediacy and intimacy. This personal interaction reflects the relational nature of God, who desires a close relationship with His people.
  2. Power of the Spoken Word: The spoken word uniquely conveys emotion, urgency, and authority. In biblical times, oral communication was a primary means of sharing important information. Preaching harnesses the power of the spoken word to capture attention and drive home the message.
  3. Accessibility and Reach: Preaching is accessible to all people, regardless of their social or educational background. It can be delivered in various settings, from synagogues and temples to open fields and homes. This versatility allows the message to reach a broad and diverse audience.
  4. Tradition and Continuity: Preaching establishes a custom passed down over the years. Preaching continuity from Moses to the Apostles guarantees preserving and disseminating God’s word throughout history and cultural contexts.
  5. Engagement and Response: Preaching invites engagement and response from the audience. It challenges listeners to reflect on their lives, decide, and take action. This interactive aspect of preaching makes it an effective means of communication.


Preaching is central to the biblical narrative, serving as the primary method for conveying God’s word to humanity.

Throughout the Bible, both Old Testament prophets and New Testament characters used preaching to convey divine will, urge repentance, provide instruction, and encourage.

God’s choice of preaching as a method of communication highlights its personal, powerful, accessible, and engaging nature. It reflects God’s desire for a relational connection with His people and his commitment to ensuring His message reaches and transforms the hearts and minds of individuals across generations.

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