The Purpose of Preaching
Why do pastors preach, and why do we listen? Is it to learn about God, how to be saved, or how we should live? Surely, it is all of those things, and more. But the ultimate purpose is the same as that for which we were created. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones began his series of evening lectures on the Epistle to the Romans, he explained,
First and foremost I would emphasize that [this] is a service. It is an occasion for worship. I am one of those who do not recognize any consideration of the Word of God which is not accompanied by worship. The Bible is not an ordinary book – it is God’s Book, and it is a Book about God and man’s relationship to Him. Therefore, every time we consider or study the Bible we are, of necessity, worshipping. In other words, I do not propose to consider this great Epistle in a merely intellectual or academic manner. It was written as a letter by a great pastor. It is not a theological treatise, written to experts and to professors. It is a letter written to a church, and like all other New Testament literature it had a very practical aim and end in view. The Apostle was concerned to help these Christians in Rome, to build them up and to establish them in their most holy faith, and, God willing, and as I am enabled to do so, I shall certainly be trying to do the same thing. It is an occasion, then, for worship, and not really just a lecture.
—Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans (Banner of Truth, 1985), 1:1.
What It Means to Be a Christian
What I Believe