Simple Papers on the Church of God: Part 21, the Ministry of the Word

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Having viewed the Church in its relation to God, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Ghost, and having also seen how the Body is formed, we would next direct the reader's attention to the way in which the work of God is carried on during this dispensation.
The assembly of the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Tim. 3:1515But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)) Outside of it God's truth has no resting-place on earth. In it only can be found the truth of which that passage speaks. And it is only by the ministry of the Word, in some form or other, that the work of God upon earth can make progress, and the number of His children be increased. Now when God was dealing with His chosen people Israel, He raised up prophets to speak to their consciences, and to acquaint them with the purposes of His heart. To the nation of Israel they for the most part exclusively addressed themselves, having for their audience those who were of the seed of Jacob. In so far as their ministry took effect on souls, its then present purpose was accomplished. But all the labors of the prophets, however successful they might have been, could not have increased by one single soul the number of God's earthly people. Their service was to act upon God's people already in existence upon earth by the process of natural generation.
With the rejection by the Jews of the testimony of the Lord a new work commenced; viz., the forming of a company upon earth whom God could regard as His children, and as His people. Into this family none could find an entrance on the ground of earthly ties, or by the effort of human will. In it relationship by birth was acknowledged, but blood-relationship was unknown. To become children of God souls must be born of God. (John 1:12,1312But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12‑13)) Hence this mighty change could only be effected by the will of God, and through the instrumentality of the word of God. Of God's will in the matter James writes (1:18); of the instrumentality of the Word that same apostle, in common with Peter, makes distinct mention. (1 Peter 1:2323Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23)) And it seems fitting that these two of the apostolic college, whose work lay especially amongst God's ancient people, should insist on the truth of a new birth, when writing to those who had been regarded as children of the kingdom on the ground of their Abrahamic descent.
In the synagogue service, after the reading of the law and of the prophets, there was room for exhortation (Acts 13:1515And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. (Acts 13:15)) to press home on the hearts of those present the lessons to be deduced from the Scriptures. But more than this, it became evident, was required, if the number of God's children could only be increased by the action of the divine Word upon the soul, and if some from amongst Gentiles were to become children in common with some from amongst Jews. A ministry therefore which could first convert, and then build up the converts, was called for. How well did Paul at Antioch understand this, who when invited to exhort the congregation, preached the gospel of the grace of God instead.
(Acts 13:15-3215And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 16Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. 17The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 23Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: 24When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. 26Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30But God raised him from the dead: 31And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, (Acts 13:15‑32))
Now this God provided, and the Lord in the parable of the sower indicated. For God was not about any longer to seek fruit from those who were His people on the ground of their descent from Abraham; He was henceforth going to beget children by water and the Spirit, who should be able to be fruitful for Him. Not that the exercise of quickening power by the Word was anything new in itself in the ways of God; for every saint, from Abel downward, had been born of God; but those whom He would now own as really His people, would only be such as were in truth His children. Hence God commenced to work afresh, and the Lord appeared in the character of the sower. Now a field till sown can manifestly produce no good crop. The ground may have been all prepared for the seed, but unless the seed is sown no good results can be expected. To sow then indicates the commencement of a work, and the place of the parable of the sower in the three synoptic gospels agrees with this.
In Matthew, who gives us dispensational teaching, the parable only comes in when the ground has been cleared by the Lord's judgment of the cities where He had worked (11), and of the nation amongst whom He was laboring. (12) Then, declaring the character of the relationship to Himself which He would henceforth acknowledge, even that of the new birth, evidenced by the individual doing the will of His Father who is in the heavens, He left the house, and sat by the sea-side, and there, with multitudes collected from various parts of the land (Luke 8:44And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: (Luke 8:4)), He gave utterance to the parable of the sower, His very action, and place of teaching, both harmonizing with the work which God was commencing. In Mark the parable is given us in the fourth chapter of his gospel, as forming part, and the commencing part, of the Lord's instruction to His disciples ere He sent them forth to preach. For the reader may observe that, though chosen in chapter 3: 14-19, they are not sent forth to preach till chapter 6: 7; the intervening part of the gospel being occupied with instructing them in what God was doing, in order to fit them to do their work for God, and for the Lord. In Luke the same parable appears (chapter 8), in common with several things which are characteristic features of the kingdom.
With this ministry of the Lord then a fresh beginning was made. He sowed the word of the kingdom, the word of God, and thus taught us how the kingdom, during His rejection, can be really advanced. Going about from town to town, and from village to village, He preached and showed the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:11And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, (Luke 8:1)) In this He was followed by the twelve, when sent forth by Him on their special mission to Israel. (Luke 9:2,62And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:2)
6And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. (Luke 9:6)
) After He rose, the field of labor became enlarged, reaching even to the utmost bounds of the earth; so that wherever there should be a soul to hear, and a messenger to carry the Word, there was a sphere in which God's servant could work in accordance with the divine mind.
The effects of the sower's labors the parable describes. The seed was pure; it was the word of God. Of its germinating power there could be no doubt; for that Word liveth and abideth (1 Peter 1:2323Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23)); so the only hindrance to a full crop, wherever it fell, would arise from the condition of the ground, in other words, the man's heart to whom it might come. Men might think of blaming the Word for the apparent failure of the work. Against such thoughts the Lord would warn us, and the continued going on of God's work should guard us. For as the seed is the word of God (Luke 8:1111Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)), the word of the kingdom, as Matthew (13: 19) describes it, the lack of full results must evidently arise from other causes than the character of the Word, and to these the parable directs us. In saying this, however, it must be borne in mind that we are only treating of the seed, and not of any instrument by whom in these days the seed may be scattered. Through admixture of rubbish with the seed, from a want of a right apprehension as to what the seed is, much labor may be in vain, and efforts be found to be fruitless. But where the real seed is sown, the want of a crop will not arise from lack of its germinating power. It is the living word of God. We do well to remember this, that all who preach or teach may make sure that it is the word of God they are using, and count on its sufficiency, as applied by the Holy Ghost, to effect a divine work in the hearts and consciences of men.
The causes which hinder a fruitful crop are three. First, some men do not desire the Word, in which case the devil takes it away. Secondly, the conscience has not been reached by the Word, so the apparent work is but ephemeral, and dies away. Thirdly, the attraction of, or occupation with surrounding things, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. For those only are fruitful who hear the Word, understand it (Matt. 13:2323But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23)), receive it (Mark 4:2020And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. (Mark 4:20)), and keep it. (Luke 8:1515But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)) Two important things then are manifested by this way of working: the first is the condition of man's heart by nature, and the second is the positive need for God to work in it, if fruit, which He can acknowledge as such, is to be produced at all. The wisdom too of this way of working becomes apparent. For what penal restrictions could not accomplish (Gen. 8:2121And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21)), nor law effect, God does by His word, winning souls to Himself, and making them willing servants of Christ. And Satan, by taking away the seed sown where he can, or by imitating God's method of working, and becoming a sower himself, as the parable of the tares and the wheat teaches us, attests the wisdom of God in. thus working by His word. For he, who imitates the work of another, confesses that he has nothing better to suggest, and knows no plan more effectual to work by. But here a distinction should be noted. In the parable of the sower it is the commencement of a fresh work to which attention is directed, and God's word is the seed which acts on men, and alone can make them fruitful. It is the sowing that we there read of. In the parable of the tares, on the other hand, a parable of the kingdom of the heavens, which the former parable is not, we have presented the results evident to the outward eyes of the sower's labors. So persons are mentioned as being in the field. It is the growing crop to which attention is directed, and the efforts of the enemy to counteract God's work. For the explanation given us of the parable tells us, that the children of the kingdom are the fruit of the good seed, and the children of the wicked one are the fruit of the enemy's work. Till the Lord came, the Jews looked on themselves as the sons of the kingdom. (Matt. 8:1212But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:12)) In this parable we are taught who such really are (13: 38); for publicans and harlots justified God by entering into the kingdom through really receiving the seed, the word of God, whilst Pharisees, scribes, the self-righteous, and the indifferent shut themselves out of it.
After the Lord rose, the full extent of the field, in which His people were to work by the instrumentality of the Word, was clearly defined. Repentance and remission of sins was to be preached among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:4747And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47)), and unto the uttermost part of the earth were the disciples to be witnesses to Christ (Acts 1:88But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)); but first they must be endued with power from on high by the coming on them of the Holy Ghost. But could the preaching of the word of God really deal in power with hearts? Peter's address on the day of Pentecost proved what it could do, as three thousand of his hearers were pricked to the heart by his words, and, implicitly obeying his directions, were numbered henceforth as disciples in truth of the despised and crucified Nazarene.
In the very town, then, where the Lord had been so lately crucified, the work commenced of adding together such as should be saved (Acts 2:4747Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:47)); and this was effected by the instrumentality of the Word. The movement did not originate in some obscure village of Galilee, and, when it could boast of numbers, display itself to the world; but, just six weeks after the crucifixion of the Lord, and in the very center of Judaism, in the metropolitan city Jerusalem, under the shadow, as it were, of the temple, the words of life were spoken, which bowed hearts to confess the crucified One as their Savior and their Lord. The work thus commenced nothing could stop. Peter and John were arrested, and put in ward; but many who heard their word believed, and the number of the men now swelled to about five thousand souls. (Acts 4:44Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)) At a little later date, when the opposition of the Sanhedrin became more marked, the sacred historian acquaints us with the onward march of the work. " The word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." (6: 7) Like the waters of Ezekiel (47), each time the stream is, as it were, measured, it is only to tell of its expansion in breadth, as well as of its ceaseless flow. And resembling that river in another character, the movement, as it spread over the land of Israel, and reached even to Gentiles, disseminated life to all who profited by it.
In Samaria, by the preaching of Philip, souls were evangelized, and Simon Magus found himself eclipsed. (Acts 8) The preaching of Christ had more effect he saw than his sorceries and bewitchments Amongst the Gentiles the effects were the same. The sorcerer Bar-jesus was unable to turn away Sergius Paulus from the faith. (13: 7-12) Idolaters turned from idols to God (1 Thess. 1:99For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; (1 Thessalonians 1:9)), and from such sounded out the word of the Lord; for the gospel had come to them "in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." Men saw, and acknowledged a force at work to which Gentiles had hitherto been strangers. God was working by His word in the power of the Holy Ghost. Ignorant heathen (Acts 14:20; 16:3420Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. (Acts 14:20)
34And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. (Acts 16:34)
) and educated heathen alike were reached by the Word. In Corinth, the seat of licentiousness; in Ephesus, a great center of idolatry; in Rome, the metropolis of the empire, the gospel made its way. Magical books were burnt by their owners at Ephesus, and in the very household of the emperor Nero the Lord Jesus had some of His sheep. (Phil. 4:2222All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. (Philippians 4:22)) Thus, from high and low, rich and poor, masters and slaves, souls were numbered amongst the disciples of Christ. For the word of God had reached them, and they had received it as His word, which effectually works in those that believe. Nor was it that one like Paul by the force of his ardor drew men along with him, for where he had not labored the work spread, and the Word ministered wrought with like power. Of this the Colossians are an example. (Col. 1:6-86Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:6‑8)) For as at Rome, so at Colosse, the assembly there existing was not formed by the labors of the apostle.
If such were some of the results of the ministry of the Word, what was the subject of it? It was Christ. Philip preached Christ. (Acts 8:55Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. (Acts 8:5)) His death, His resurrection, His ascension, were freely proclaimed (Acts 2:23-34; 4:3323Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (Acts 2:23‑34)
33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:33)
; 1 Cor. 15:3-83For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. (1 Corinthians 15:3‑8)), and forgiveness and justification from all things formed part of the glad tidings. (Acts 10:43; 13:38, 3943To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43)
38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38‑39)
) Truth too about His person was set forth, that He is the Son of God. (Acts 9:2020And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Acts 9:20); Rom. 1:11Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1)-4) As the message from God to men, it was called the gospel, or glad tidings of God. (Rom. 1:11Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1); 1 Thess. 2:22But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. (1 Thessalonians 2:2)) As the truth about the Lord Jesus was its subject, it was called the gospel of the Christ. (Rom. 15:1919Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:19); Phil. 1:2727Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Philippians 1:27)) And as it set forth God's ways with men in grace, it was called the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:2424But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)) Of the power of this message Paul, who had often carried it about, bears testimony. He was not ashamed of the gospel, "for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:1616For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)); and from Jerusalem, round about unto Illyricum, he had fully preached the gospel of the Christ. (15: 19) In doing this he had moved among men of different minds, and nations characterized by different habits. Orientals had heard from his lips the glad tidings of salvation. Europeans too had listened to it, and received it. Led about by God in triumph in Christ, he carried from place to place the testimony with which he had been entrusted. He did not alter the message to suit the temper of his hearers; for Christ crucified, whom he preached, was both the wisdom of God, and the power of God to those who were called, whether from Jews or Greeks. (1 Cor. 1:2424But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)) What confidence he manifested in the power and suitability of the divine Word to meet all classes and conditions of men But besides the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God, the kingdom also was preached, and everywhere there was insisted on "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:20-2520And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (Acts 20:20‑25))
But not only did ministering brethren preach, they also taught. Of Philip the evangelist we only read that he preached. (Acts 8:5,12,35,405Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. (Acts 8:5)
12But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)
35Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (Acts 8:35)
40But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:40)
) Of Barnabas we learn that he could exhort1 (Acts 11:2323Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. (Acts 11:23)); and when he brought Saul to Antioch, teaching went on in that assembly (v. 26), gathered out by the preaching of those who went there upon the persecution that arose about Stephen. (vv. 19-21) Thus by the exercise of different gifts the work was carried on. Some, as Philip, it would seem, may have been only evangelists; others, as Judas and Silas, may have been well known for their abilities as prophets to exhort (Acts 15:3232And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. (Acts 15:32)); others again, as Barnabas, and pre-eminently Paul, were gifted to teach, and to preach, and to press home on the conscience the word of God. But each in their measure, and as gifted by the Spirit, and being themselves gifts from the ascended Christ, helped on God's work on earth. And the Word was the weapon relied on, and used. They wanted no other; they turned to no other to deal with the conscience, and bow the heart. Moreover, they knew the character of that weapon, and its temper too; for what they relied on to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ was " the sword of the Spirit "-God's own word. (Eph. 6:1717And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17))
The different gifts of ministry, and the distinct lines of ministry, are marked in the Word. There was preaching and teaching, as there were evangelists, pastors, and teachers. At Jerusalem they ceased not to teach and to preach that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 5:4242And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42)) At Antioch Paul and Barnabas continued teaching and preaching the word of the Lord. (15: 35) At Ephesus (20:), at Corinth (18: 11; 1 Cor. 1), at Rome (28: 31), and elsewhere (Col. 1:23-2823If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: 25Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (Colossians 1:23‑28)), Paul continued to do both; for whilst by evangelizing the assembly is increased, there are things which form the subject of teaching, and not of preaching. Hence, if the work of God is to progress healthily, both teaching and preaching are requisite. Where simple evangelizing is all that is sought after, the saints will not be fully instructed in the truth; where that is depreciated or neglected, interest in the spread of God's work is in danger of flagging.
C. E. S.