“Preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2): Its Means. It is true what is said that, “God cares about how His people worship Him, not just that they worship only Him” (M. Dever & P. Alexander, The Deliberate Church). One need only consult the second commandment (Ex. 20:4) or learn the lesson from Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-3) to be convinced of this. While God in His word gives us much freedom in our faithful worship of Him, He doesn’t give us total freedom. The same God who gave meticulous instructions on how He was to be worshipped in the tabernacle and temple is the same God who gave us precise prescriptions on how He is to be worshipped in the church. And this is no less true for the critical aspect of corporate worship—the ministry of the word.
In my previous post, we were reminded just how urgent one such prescription was (2 Tim. 4:2). Now we will begin to consider just how exact this prescription to “preach the word” is. Faithfulness would dictate that we not add or take away from what God requires here. Likewise, that we not take more liberties or be overly restrictive with it. This passage is not everything God has prescribed about the pulpit ministry, but it surely must never be neglected.
With this in mind, we will unpack the significance of the following three observations of 2 Timothy 4:2 in my next post:
- The command prescribes a particular kind of communication: to “preach (kērussō)… reprove (elegchō), rebuke (epitimaō), exhort (parakaleō), with all patience (makrothumia) and instruction (didachē)”
- The command prescribes a particular content of communication: “the word”.
- The command prescribes a particular context of communication: “the last days…be ready in season and out of season… For there will be a time…” (2 Tim. 3:1; 4:3).
Stay tuned for the next post in this series in February.