Does every saint of God have a personal responsibility to teach or preach the word of God? When persecution broke out in Jerusalem, everyone except the apostles were scattered abroad; Luke, the physician, said, “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Timothy was instructed as follows: “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
Can Women Preach The Word?
It takes a Saint to be a preacher, but not every Saint is a preacher. This is evident because women can’t serve as a gospel preacher because they were forbidden to publicly address the congregational assembly (1 Cor. 14:34-35). Women were prohibited from teaching the Word of God anywhere. (1 Tim 2:11-15). They were not to take that authority away from men. Women with their godly behavior could win her own husband to Christ, but were prohibited using the Word of God do the same. (1 Pet 3:1)
The prohibition of women teaching and preaching was only in regards to the Word of God. Aged women could teach younger women to be chaste keepers at home, to love their husband and children. (Tit 2:3-5) Women can sing songs of praise to God as all Christians are commanded, however, they can’t lead the singing. (Eph 5:19)
Can All Men Preach The Word?
It’s evident that not ever male saint can be a gospel preacher. Not all parts of the body (the church) serve the same function. Paul said that not all members can be a prophet, apostle, or preacher (1 Cor. 12:12-31). Rather, we must accept the fact that most members of the body of Christ can’t be preachers, just as most members can’t be song leaders or elders or deacons. With this evidence at hand, it is evident that not all men are talented in every area of the body of Christ.
A knowledge of some qualifications, and works of an evangelist should help us to understand just what kind of man should be preaching the Word of God.
1. A Preacher MUST KNOW the Word of God
The message is always more imperative than the messenger. The gospel is what saves, not the preacher (Rom. 1:16). Therefore, the preacher must have a good acquaintance with the Word of God before he begins to preach. Timothy had been taught God’s word from a child (2 Tim. 3:14-15). He repeatedly had the opportunity to hear Paul preach (2 Tim. 1:13) Paul admonished him to read, study, and handle the word of truth accurately (2 Tim. 2:15;1 Tim. 4:13). Paul commanded both Timothy and Titus to preach sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:3-4; Tit. 2:1) and to avoid controversies which were irrelevant to the gospel (Tit. 3:9; 1 Tim. 1:6). No saint who has only a little knowledge in the Scriptures should be allowed to preach. (Heb 5:12-15)
2. A Preacher MUST be ABLE to Teach Plus…
Not everyone who has a thorough knowledge of God’s word has the ability to teach it to others. A preacher must be able to instruct, (1 Tim. 1:13 point out things, (1 Tim. 4:6) and prescribe and teach things” (1 Tim. 4:11;1 Tim. 4:16)
He must be able to PROVE the Word. (1 Thess 5:21) He must be able to CONTEND for the faith. (Jude 3) He must be able to DEFEND the truth. (Philip 1:15-18) He must be able to CONVINCE the gainsayers. (Tit 1:9) He must be able to CONVERT a sinner. (Jam 5: 19,20)
3. A Gospel Preacher MUST Be Very Dedicated
A gospel preacher must have the backbone to preach the Word when his audience doesn’t want to hear it. 2 Tim 4:2-5 He must humble himself to the lowest level so that even the simple can understand his message. (1 Cor 2:4,5) He must be able to resist the urge to preach for monetary gain, and lead not others astray because of it. 1 Cor 9:18; 1 Tim 6:3-10 There are many who should never touch the pulpit due to the lack of temperament, and patience. (Rom 2:4; 2 Tim 2:24; 2 Pet 1:6) Many can’t live by the words which they preach, and become a stumbling block to both sinner and saint alike. (Rom 2:21,22)
Paul endured numerous tribulations, including five beatings, a stoning, three shipwrecks, and innumerable dangers and hardships (2 Cor. 11:23-28; 1 Tim 2:3). Yet, he had no choice but to preach. (1 Cor 9:16) He said, “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, `I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore also we speak” (2 Cor. 4:13) No man should be allowed to preach who looks upon preaching as just another job; a preacher must be dedicated to the work of preaching the gospel until their course is finished. (2 Tim 4:7) It is also noteworthy that all who preach, and teach the Word are held to a higher standard. (Jam 3:1)
Conclusion: Truly not every Christian can be a gospel preacher, in spite of the fact that every saint is expected to help propagate the gospel of Christ according as the Word commanded. Some Saints can’t preach or teach the Word because they are women; others lack the natural ability; still others lack the spiritual dedication. Therefore, not every saint is, or can be, a gospel preacher.
However, it’s sad to know of men who have the talents to preach, and the knowledge to preach, but turn from it because the road is hard, and the worldly rewards are few. The harvest is truly plenteous, but the labors are few. Mt 9:37,38 Even so, let those who are called to preach, preach the Word, and let those not called to preach do other needed work in the body of Christ, according as their gifts provides. We might not all be called to do the same things, but we who are saints are all called to receive the same reward. Rev 2:10