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Preaching To An Audience Of One

By Don Loftis | 10.05.11

Those of us who preach typically look forward to having a large audience present to hear us. We would relish an opportunity to join Paul in preaching to the Stoics and Epicureans at the Areopagus in Athens. We would love to have a television ministry where hundreds of thousands of people heard our well planned and powerfully delivered lessons.
However, Romans 2:21-22 raises a different issue. There Paul warns the Jews about an ever present danger with these words: “You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?”
Before the Sunday morning sermon is delivered, it needs to have already been preached to an audience of one — the preacher. Before the missionary calls for his pagan audience to put away their idols, he needs to heed the same message and rip away everything in his life that is held higher than the Lord. Before a parent can effectively communicate values such as honesty, purity, and kindness, he must sit and listen to his own lecture.
The Gospel is powerful, and truth is always true. However, the message is often muted because of the teacher’s hypocrisy. Let’s be sure that our great messages have been previewed by an audience of one — ourselves.


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