This post was first published in January, 2014. —ed.
While the sound of my voice might reach a lot of ears, it’s the biblical content that merits the attention, not me. My own ideas and opinions don’t contain “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Neither do yours.
Preaching the Bible establishes the authority of God over the mind and the soul. When a pastor faithfully preaches the Word of God, his people understand who has sovereignty over their souls—that it is God alone who reigns over their thoughts and their actions.
I never want to be guilty of giving people the impression that they have heard from God when in fact they have only heard from me. When I step into the pulpit, the expectation is that I’m the messenger of God. I speak on His behalf, not my own.
I remember having dinner with the owner of nationally known newspaper who had come to our church out of curiosity. He was not a Christian. And he asked me, “Why don’t you ever give your opinion about anything?”
I responded by asking him: “Do you really need another opinion? You have a newspaper full of opinions every day. But, as a pastor, I’m not called to give my opinion. I’m here to represent the Word of the living God. I have no desire to write my own opinion column, but if you would be willing to give me a column where I can express what God says on all these issues, I’d be glad to do that.” Needless to say, he didn’t take me up on that offer. But I think he understood my point.
As ambassadors for God, our task is not to promote our own ideas, but rather to represent our King rightly. That means that all we should be doing is bringing the revealed truth of God to bear on the minds of men. Even our thinking has to be biblical. My prayer is that what Spurgeon said of Bunyan might be true of us today: “Why, this man is a living Bible! Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God.” (Charles Spurgeon, “The Last Words of Christ on the Cross,” #2644, on Luke 23:46. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 45.) Simply put, we should be the voice of God on every issue in every place and era.
(Adapted from The Master's Plan for the Church.)