True preaching seems foolish to the unconverted. This condemns much of modern “preaching” which strives to exude wisdom and scholarly knowledge.

The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

Some people do not understand the topics I cover here at Chalk that up to the dumbing down of society. Increasingly, people cannot understand the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. Add to that the glaring ineffectiveness of government education, creating people who can neither read nor write. Furthermore, those that can read cannot properly comprehend what they read. How do we reach such people with the Good News of Jesus Christ?

We should never dumb down our message. We should never allow godless reprobates and compromisers to rewrite the Bible to accommodate societal norms while injecting heresy of all kinds in the name of “easier to read” and “easier to understand.

We should preach in power and demonstration of the Spirit, eschewing the temptation to appear wise. Natural people will never appreciate the value of preaching, so we don’t bother trying. As long as we preach in the Spirit, we have power, and God can move among the hearers of the Word.

Apostle Paul puts it this way:

My speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1 Corinthians 2:4

What is Preaching?

Scripture gives us examples of preaching that can help us understand its character.

Give the Sense

They read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.

Nehemiah 8:8

Here, we learn that preaching (1) gives the sense of scripture and (2) helps people understand it.

Line upon Line

Isaiah gives us another picture of preaching. Notice the methodical and foolish aspects on display.

Precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Isaiah 28:10-11


God did not design preaching to reach large donors and notable local and national celebrities who have no need. Jesus preached to those of little means and downtrodden. Although all heard it, Jesus’ preaching catered to the downcast, troubled, and despised.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;

Isaiah 61:1

Messages from God

True preaching encapsulates a direct message from God, not the desires of a “preacher.” Look at how God governed Jonah’s message.

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

Jonah 3:2

A Call to Repentance

Again, Jesus sets the standard for preaching. During His ministry, He called on people to repent. Preaching that never mentions repentance does not meet the standard of scripture.

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17

I’ve noticed that some of the world’s well-educated “ministers” mention repentance, but corrupt the word’s definition. For example, I know of one “pastor” who says that repentance means “to rethink what you think about everything.”

Here’s how Vine’s defines repentance:

To change one’s mind or purpose,” always, in the NT, involving a change for the better, an amendment, and always, except in Luk 17:3, 4, of “repentance” from sin.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary

Notice how the world’s definition or repentance drastically differs from the Bible’s definition of repentance!

Thayer continues to define repentance in ways that modern-day preaching seems to avoid:

 To change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins…

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon G3340


They taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Acts 4:2

Without the resurrection of the living and the dead, what need have we of the Gospel?

“Negative” Preaching

Two-thirds of preaching should contain what people may regard as “negative.” Those who never reprove and rebute do not preach the full counsel of God.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:2


All preaching points others to Jesus, the hope of the world.

They taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Acts 4:2


Preaching seems foolish to casual observers. God has chosen, however, to use preaching to draw people to Him and to lead His people in the path of righteousness.

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