There is no such thing as “just another sermon.” Every time that the Word is proclaimed and Christ is exalted the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts of the hearers. God’s primary aim for shaping the lives of Christians and the church is through the preaching of His Word.
Some may think that the impact of a sermon is minimal, but the reality is very different. God uses each sermon, and He uses the cumulative effect of weeks of sermons to lead His people, transform hearts, and renew minds. Just as ignoring weekly worship with the church has a cumulative effect on your mind and heart in the negative, the weekly preaching and hearing of Scripture is positive. But, preaching is more than a positive moment; it is a soul nourishing moment for the believer and a life changing moment for the unbeliever.
In his letter to Titus, Paul writes that the Gospel of Jesus is presented with power and with promise through preaching the Word.
Titus 1:1–3 (ESV)
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior.”
Romans 10:13-15 says:
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
The Bible teaches us that God uses the preaching of His Word to change the hearts and minds of the lost so that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. What comfort for the pastor and encouragement for the church. There are no wasted sermons, no lost weekends of worship. Every sermon matters because everyone who is saved is saved by the hearing of the truth of Scripture.
Too often Christians and churches attempt to lead people to salvation through a method or process that doesn’t involve the Word. Too many Christians are trying to grow spiritually apart from the gathered local church. Unfortunately many pastors leave the pulpit each week wondering if it is worth it.
1. If you are a church member, pray for your pastor as he prepares each week to feed the flock of God.
2. If you have influence and leadership in your church, actively work to make the time your pastor spends in his study his primary work each week.
3. If you are a pastor, hear God’s Word to you through what Paul said to Timothy: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1–5 (ESV)
There is no such thing as just another sermon; it is the means by which God has chosen to save, strengthen, and even sanctify His people. Whether you are the pastor who is preaching or the member who is taking notes and listening, be all in and trust the Lord to produce the fruit. For “neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:7 (ESV)