Monday, August 15, 2011

Pleasing Preaching

1 Thessalonians 2:4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

4 ἀλλὰ καθὼς δεδοκιμάσμεθα ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πιστευθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, οὕτως λαλοῦμεν, οὐχ ὡς ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκοντες ἀλλὰ θεῷ τῷ δοκιμάζοντι τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν.

I don't really have a ton of deep exegetical insight about this. This is just a verse that struck me today. I do think that the word πιστευθῆναι is translated "to be entrusted with." This word is πιστεύω, which typically means something like "to believe" or "to have faith in." I don't want to make too big of a deal about it as this would preach really well and I'm not sure it is valid, but you could almost say that God had faith in Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. But isn't that what "entrusted" is all about? God trusted them. Why could He do that? He is the one who gave them new hearts so that they would be worth trusting. It's not about their inherent character and it's not something that they can manufacture. I fear that would how this could be preached and I would hate to do that.

What is their response? They speak so as to please God rather than man. They are not so concerned about making man happy as they are about making God happy. If you read the rest of this chapter you will see that this is not a license to bring out the big gilded pew bible and use it as a sledgehammer. However, it is a clear call to faithfulness in gospel ministry.

Frankly, that is the call that we all have. Want to make God happy? Preach the gospel. It seems that we look for hoops to jump through. God is not happy with you simply because you dress a certain way, avoid certain movies, and don't drink beer. In this case, Paul emphasizes that his preaching the gospel makes God happy.

Let's focus on that, amen?

No comments: