Are you looking for us? We believe in preaching.
By Pastor Steve Simmons
That is we believe preaching is a means of grace and that without a doubt it is and has been throughout church history the primary means of God in the saving of the lost and the building up of the believer. Before taking the time to jot down a few of my own thought I would encourage you to take a look at how the Westminster’s Larger Catechism understands preaching to be a means of grace:
Question 154: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?
Answer: The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation.
Question 155: How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
Answer: The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ; of conforming them to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions; of building them up in grace, and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
Question 159: How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
Answer: They that are called to labor in the ministry of the Word, are to preach sound doctrine, diligently, in season and out of season; plainly, not in the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers; zealously, with fervent love to God and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming at his glory, and their conversion, edification, and salvation.
Question 160: What is required of those that hear the Word preached?
Answer: It is required of those that hear the Word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine: What they hear by the Scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.
So then, how do we understand the role of preaching in the life of the church and what does that mean for those who are looking for a church—how does this help you determine if our church is a good fit for you.
One of the reasons we are enthusiastic about a Sunday evening service is this very thing, we are convinced that God makes great use of the ordinary preaching of His Word and it is no small thing to double the number of sermons a congregation has access to in the week. We believe that the means Christ uses to communicate His blessings to His church is His Word, and especially the preaching of the Word. It is because Christ has determined to use preaching that we are passionate and persistent in our focus on the preaching ministry in the church. That God has chosen to use what the Bible calls the “foolishness of preaching” is a cause of amazement and excitement and the best of reason we can give for our focus on the church’s preaching ministry.
We believe that God speaks to His church through faithful preaching. We believe that the heart of the pastoral ministry is the shepherding of God’s people with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). And we believe that the very nature of the church calls it to the task of preaching and teaching the Word as the means of its fulfilling of the great commission. We see our task as defined as Morton Smith stated: “There is a twofold work for the Church to accomplish. It is the gathering of the elect through the preaching of the Word, and then the instruction of those thus gathered in the full teaching of the Word. In other words the mission of the Church is to evangelize the lost, and then to teach the whole counsel of God to those who have been evangelized.”(click here for the full article)
You will find here at Fifth Street that our deacons and elders are actively involved in ministry—they are engaged in doing the work God has called them to and this is a wonderful blessing to our church. You will find here a women’s ministry that is complementarian and also active in discipleship and service. You will find a fellowship among our men that is a gift of encouragement. You will find here a Sunday School program that includes all ages. And you will find here a people that look for ways to serve Christ in His local church. But what you will also find is a church that has a focus on worship and the preaching of God’s Word.
There are lots of churches with lots of programs and lots of activities that seem to have very little interest in preaching, but for us there is nothing more important and more lovely than hearing God speak through the preaching of His Word. God speaks in the faithful preaching of Holy Scripture…and we love to hear Him speak! If you are looking for a church that has a focus on preaching and that keeps it central and primary in the life of the church you might be looking for us. Our worship services are on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and they are God centered and full of preaching. We would love to have you visit and would encourage you also to visit us on our web site at www.fifthstreetpca.org.