God’s Vision for Truth
In 2 Timothy 4:2-4, Paul instructed Timothy to preach the Word. In this letter, Paul tells us of the unique role God places on preaching in order to set the culture of a church. God as a vision for the life of every individual and for the corporate life of every church. Paul told Timothy at the end of chapter 3 that God breathed out his Word so that the people of God, when submitted to it, can be equipped for every good work.
Paul says in Ephesians 2 that this vision has always been God’s vision since the beginning. It was what we’ve been saved into by grace through faith. It was what was prepared beforehand for us to walk in. Later in chapter 4, there is a counter-vision that arises in the hearts of men and women in which they no longer want to pursue and treasure God’s vision. Instead, they look for someone or something that fulfills their counter-vision.
What is the answer then? Preaching! Through the faithful grind of this task, we are not only combatting the counterfeit vision that wants to take over our lives and our churches; we are re-establishing and reminding everyone of God’s vision. Paul gives us some tools.
1. Let the vision be God’s
The number one job of a preacher is to help God’s people see what God has said: to understand God’s vision in the life of each believer and the church. It is of the utmost importance that we let the text drive the vision and not just use it as a tool to say what we want to say. This is the only way to ensure it’s God’s vision: by preaching the Word.
2. Teach them to believe the vision
Belief shapes the rest of life. So, it’s important to accurately teach Scripture. So much of longing and living for a vision other than God’s happens when we believe lies and half-truths. God has given the church this a tool of preaching in order to call us out of the world’s lies and into His truth.
3. Compel them to live the vision
Paul also says that Scripture is breathed out for correction, training, and righteousness. To live as God’s church is to live a life full of good works that bring glory to the Father. We must compel our congregation to obedient action. Jesus told us that discipleship means learning to obey all He has commanded.
4. Model the vision
Paul tells Timothy that not everyone will not love, obey, or even consider God’s vision. What Paul tells us is that one of the greatest proofs and apologetics that God’s vision is good and trustworthy occurs when we as leaders live it out before those we lead.
Why We Preach the Word
Preaching is a command that God has given to the church, but it is so much more than merely helping our people know what the Bible says—it is a reminder that God has a vision for both their lives and for your church. Through faithful and consistent teaching of the Word, that vision will be made clear.
Adapted from the Church Planting Masterclass. The Church Planting Masterclass provides training and development for kingdom-minded leaders and churches in this Great Commission work. Understand your church’s role and get practical help reaching the nations with the gospel, one church at a time. Start the Church Planting Masterclass here.
Published September 27, 2023