As one responsible for communicating biblical truth, I want to share four principles especially for you. Pay close attention; read slowly, thoughtfully and carefully as I apply this to your ministry of proclaiming God’s Word.
First, always stay on the subject—Christ. For Paul it was always about Christ. Paul spoke of the “God who made the world and all things in it” to the followers of the “unknown god” of Athens, and everything for Paul pointed to Christ (Acts 17:10–34). Preaching that which doesn’t exalt Christ is empty preaching. Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). For Paul, to live was Christ and to die was gain. Clearly, his subject in preaching was Christ.
Second, always speak the truth. Do not hold back. Do not fear. Do not be overly impressed with those who have come to the class or who sit in the church where you serve. It makes no difference how much they’re worth or how little they contribute. Speak the truth.
Third, always start where your audience is. Paul hooked those men in Athens with his first sentence. You can, too, if you spend some time thinking about it. Know your audience well enough to build a bridge quickly. Find a way to get into their world and then build a bridge to Christ. Remember: Begin with the familiar in order to acquaint them with the unfamiliar.
Fourth, always surrender the results to God. Once they have heard the message, your part ends. Your task is to communicate truth. It’s God’s job to draw people to Himself. You prepare the patients; God does the surgeries. Stay away from manipulation. There’s enough of that going on. You don’t need to follow them out to their cars or check up on them at home. God will reach them, just as He did in Athens. Leave the results to God.
When your heart is right, it’s amazing what you’re able to see. And when you see it clearly, it’s remarkable how God can give you the words to say. You may be amazed how God uses you, just as He did Paul in that ancient metropolis so many years ago. When his moment arrived, he was ready.
When your moment comes, stand and deliver. God will give you courage as you tell others of His Son. There is no greater honor on earth.