The Pulpit

What is the focus of the pulpit at Christ’s Church of Tucson?
The word of God preached is the sole focus and exclusive purpose for the pulpit ministry at Christ’s Church of Tucson. We believe the church is called to be a pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), to make known the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms (Ephesians 3:10), and to proclaim to all the nations that repentance for the forgiveness of sins is only found in the name of Jesus (Luke 24:46–47). We believe the faithful expository preaching of the word of God is one of the primary means God has given the church to fulfill this calling.

Why the word of God?
We believe that the word of God is found solely in the pages of Holy Scripture. The word of God is the sole content of the preaching at Christ’s Church of Tucson because the Holy Scriptures have been given to us directly by God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21). Plus, we preach the word of God because Jesus preached the word of God (Luke 4:14–30).  The Apostle Paul also commanded Timothy to preach the word of God (2 Timothy 2:2), and faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).

Why preaching?
Recognizing the Apostle Paul’s call to Timothy to preach the word of God in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), we believe that preaching is God’s primary means to communicate His truth.

What is expository preaching?
Expository preaching is the clear proclamation of an accurate understanding of the original author’s intended meaning of a portion or portions of scripture.  This is conducive and not detrimental to an audience hearing the voice of God speak His thoughts to them in such a manner that the will of man is moved to embrace and obey the will of God.

Why expository preaching?
The expositor does not come to his study of the Bible looking for a passage to support the thoughts he wants to convey from the pulpit. The expositor chooses a passage to study and then studies that passage until he understands the meaning of the passage. He then preaches that meaning. Thus, expository preaching helps to ensure that the message being preached is founded on the word of God and not the thoughts of men.

Is the concept of authoritatively preaching truth outdated for our postmodern era?
We recognize that today’s postmodern world has produced an eclectic anti-authority mindset that adamantly rejects the concept of absolute truth. We unashamedly admit that preaching by definition invokes thoughts of truth being conveyed with authority. As well, we realize many church leaders are beginning to view the traditional concept of preaching as archaic and now question the place and purpose of preaching within the church.
However, there is a divine imperative to preach with authority the absolute truth of the word of God. Therefore, the pulpit ministry of Christ’s Church of Tucson will always be a testimony to the fact that the word of God is always the message of true Biblical preaching ––proclaiming man’s thoughts is not biblical preaching. Plus, the pulpit ministry of Christ’s Church of Tucson will always be a testimony to the fact that preaching the word of God is always the method of true biblical preaching –– discussing and debating about the truth is not biblical preaching.
In short, the word of God preached is God’s chosen message and method for making Himself known to mankind –– the time to use this message and method is a “perpetual now!”

What is currently being preached at Christ’s Church of Tucson?
          Galatians during the Sunday morning worship service.

          Hebrews during the Sunday evening Family Bible Hour.

          1 & 2 Kings during Wednesday night Prayer and Bible Study.

Why the word of God?
The word of God is given to us directly by God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21). Jesus preached the word of God (Luke 4:14–30) and Paul commanded Timothy to preach the word of God (2 Timothy 2:2) because faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).

 

We believe that the word of God is uniquely designed to reveal the thoughts and intentions within the heart of man that are not aligned with the will of God (Hebrews 4:12). We believe that everything pertaining to life and godliness is provided to us through a greater understanding of God (2 Peter 1:3). We believe that the study of the word of God is profitable for our teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. Without the word of God, the church would be inadequately equipped to accomplish the work of God (2 Timothy 4:16–17).

Why preaching?
Recognizing Paul’s call to Timothy to preach the word of God in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), we believe that preaching is God’s primary means to communicate His truth.

 

The primary importance of preaching is first seen in Genesis 1, exists throughout the entirety of Scripture, and has been prevalent throughout every age of the church. In 2 Corinthians 4:6, Paul employs the imperative use of the future tense to describe God commanding creation into being (see Psalms 33:6–9). In Genesis 2:16–17, Moses wrote of God’s commanding Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 7:9, God is described as commanding Noah concerning bringing the animals into the ark. The action of commanding on the part of man’s creator, conveys the same authority present in preaching. The Hebrew grammar used to express God having spoken with Abraham conveys the sense of preaching. Thus, one could say from the beginning of time God has been a God who communicates through preaching.

Oftentimes Moses wrote of God giving directions to human beings in a manner that leaves no room for discussion and argumentation. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it and rule over it (Genesis 1:28). He gave Cain the directive to cease sinning and do well (Genesis 4:7). These directives convey a strong authoritative message that is conducive with the manner and message of preaching.

Enoch was one who prophesied about the coming judgment of God (Jude 14–15). Peter describes Noah as one who preached a message of righteousness (2 Peter 2:15). The Hebrew grammar used to convey the manner in which Moses spoke to the people in Deuteronomy 1:1 and 5:4 describes Moses as preaching. The preaching of Joshua can be seen in Joshua 24:14–28. All throughout the Old Testament, the prophets are described as conveying the declarations of the Lord.

John the Baptist, the last transitional prophet from the Old Testament to the New Testament, had a preaching ministry (Matthew 3:1). Jesus was known as one who preached (Matthew 4:17). He placed a priority on preaching and described preaching as the reason for His being (Mark 1:38). Early in His ministry, Jesus chose those who were to be His apostles, in order to spend time with them, so that one day He could send them out to preach (Mark 3:13–17). Jesus spent this time with these men in order to provide them with the inspiration for preaching and the authority of preaching. Prior to His ascension, He commanded them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15).

Peter is described as raising his voice to be heard as he preached his first message (Acts 2:14). Acts 7 is a record of a powerful message preached by Stephen. Philp was one who proclaimed Christ (Acts 8:5) and preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:12). Paul described himself as one who was eager to preach (Romans 1:15).

God’s two great witnesses will be prophesying for 1260 days during the tribulation. During this time there will be angels preaching the eternal gospel (Revelation 11:1–3; 14:6).

From Genesis through Revelation the word of God repeatedly portrays God as one who conveys His message through preaching. Thus, throughout the history of the church, preaching has held a prominent position in the ministry of the church. Whenever the church has abandoned faithful preaching of the word of God, the church and society have suffered. When the church returns to the faithful preaching of the word of God, the church and society have benefitted. The decline of preaching just prior to the Dark Ages, the great demise of preaching during the Dark Ages, return to preaching near the end of the Dark Ages and the total resurgence of preaching during the Reformation give proof to the vital need of the word of God being preached. Thus, the word of God preached is the sole focus and exclusive purpose for the pulpit ministry at CCT.

What is expository preaching?

Expository preaching is the clear proclamation of an accurate understanding, original authorial intended meaning, of a portion or portions of scripture. This proclamation is conducive, and not detrimental, to an audience hearing the voice of God speak His thoughts to them; and in such a manner that the will of man is moved to embrace and obey the will of God.
God desires to communicate His word with man through the voice of human preachers. The goal of expository preaching is to provide God with a vehicle through which He can speak to humanity. Thus, the true expositor has two primary responsibilities. The first responsibility is to obtain an accurate understanding of the original author’s intended meaning. The second responsibility is to provide a clear proclamation of that meaning that is conducive, and not detrimental, to God’s desire to speak directly to the congregation through the message. Or as Thomas G. Long has simply put it, a herald of scripture needs “… to get the message straight and to speak it clearly.”[1]

[1] Thomas G. Long, The Witness of Preaching 2nd edition (Louisville: John Knox Press, 2005), 20-21.

Why expository preaching?

The expositor does not come to his Bible study looking for a passage to support the thoughts he wants to convey from the pulpit. The expositor chooses a passage to study and then studies that passage until he understands the original author’s meaning of the passage. He then preaches that meaning. Thus, expository preaching helps to ensure that the message being preached is founded on the word of God and not the thoughts of men.

For the most part, expository preaching focuses on the verse-by-verse preaching of a single book of the Bible until that book is completely preached. The advantages of such preaching are many.

  1. Demonstrates a total dependence upon God to change the hearts of His people.
  2. Ensures the pulpit is infused with the power of God.
  3. Allows God to rule over what is being spoken from His pulpit. This allows God to be the Lord of His church and the sole authority over the souls of His children.
  4. Allows the preacher and the church to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  5. Prevents the preacher from having a favorite point of theology. (e.g. favoring eschatology, soteriology, ecclesiology.) See below for definitions.
  6. Prevents the preacher from repeatedly preaching on his favorite topic or theological point.
  7. Increases a passion for the word of God in the hearts of the people of God.
  8. Increases biblical knowledge among the people of God.
  9. Helps to train the people of God to be better students of the Bible.
  10. Allows the preacher and the church to grow in their understanding of doctrine, grow in Christlikeness, better discern truth from error, and at the same time creating greater love among the members of the church and causing the church to grow (Ephesians 4:11–16).

Definitions (from Merriam-Webster dictionary):
Eschatology: a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind.

Soteriology: theology dealing with salvation especially as effected by Jesus Christ.
Ecclesiology: theology as applied to the nature and structure of the Christian Church.

Is the concept of authoritatively preaching truth outdated for our postmodern era?
We recognize that today’s postmodern world has produced an eclectic anti-authority mindset that adamantly rejects the concept of absolute truth. We unashamedly admit that preaching by definition invokes thoughts of truth being conveyed with authority. As well, we realize that many church leaders are beginning to view the traditional concept of preaching as archaic, and now question the place and purpose of preaching within the church.

 

However, there is a divine imperative to preach with authority the absolute truth of the word of God. Therefore, the pulpit of CCT will always be a testimony to the fact that the word of God is always the message of true Biblical preaching ––proclaiming man’s thoughts is not biblical preaching. Plus, the pulpit of CCT will always be a testimony to the fact that preaching the word of God is always the method of true biblical preaching –– discussing and debating about the truth is not biblical preaching.

In short, the word of God preached is God’s chosen message and method for making Himself known to mankind –– the time to use this message and method is a “perpetual now.”