Most Christians consider preaching to be a fundamental requirement of the church, and the Sunday morning sermon is commonly revered as the most important event that takes place in the church each week. While there’s no doubt the Bible strongly endorses the ministry of God’s word, is the church’s traditional notion of preaching consistent with the way preaching is presented in the Bible?
Most believers associate preaching with sermons, where one person has the stage to themself for an hour or so while they present the weekly message from God to an audience that is expected to listen quietly. The tradition of preaching sermons has taken place on a weekly basis in churches for centuries. But does the Bible actually exemplify this approach to ministering God’s word, or does it present something quite different?
God’s Amazing Plan For Ministering The Word Of God
The Bible has a lot to say about the ministry of God’s word, but it paints a very different picture from the traditional way sermons are presented on Sunday morning. New Testament scriptures reveal that God intends for teaching, preaching, exhortation, revelation, prophecy, and admonishment to be carried out in an every-member-functioning type of ministry, taking place in an atmosphere that invites conversation, spontaneity, and even interruptions 1.
In the Bible preaching is generally presented as declaring the word of God to the lost, while teaching is seen as ministering the word of God to believers. Both are incredibly important to God, and both are to be carried out by all believers, not just a few, elite, ordained specialists. Throughout the New Testament, God expresses much confidence in believers being competent to minister the word of God to one another, as well as to the lost.
Instructing One Another
The following scriptures focus on God’s provision and expectation for believers to minister to one another.
I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (Romans 15:14 ESV)
Paul expressed much confidence in the level of knowledge of the believers in the church at Rome, and in their ability to instruct one another.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16 ESV)
Our Christian culture tends to think of only a few individuals having a call to minister the word of God. But this verse is all-inclusive and calls every believer to teach and admonish from a rich deposit of God’s word within them. Can you imagine if every believer responded wholeheartedly to this call?
When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. (1 Corinthians 14:26 ESV)
The greatest way the body of Christ is built up is through the one-another ministry of the body of Christ.
For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged (1 Corinthians 14:31 ESV)
This is the wisdom of God and the beauty of true body ministry. When you receive from others you are blessed, and when you give to others you are blessed. In all-inclusive, give-and-take ministry, everyone is doubly blessed.
It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God. (John 6:45 ESV)
Quoting from the Old Testament, Jesus promised that a radical change was coming.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:11 ESV)
This is a prophetic word from the Old Testament, written in a time when a select few had the Holy Spirit, and the majority were dependent on the select few to teach them about God. This prophetic word is now fulfilled in the New Covenant where we all can know the Lord, and from this place of personal knowledge and revelation, we share with one another and bless one another.
But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you* about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1 John 2:27 ESV)
* teaches you is in present tense, active voice, indicating that the revelation of truth is ongoing and continuous.
The Bible clearly establishes that there are some who have the gift of teaching 2. But while we may be blessed by someone utilizing their gift of teaching, this verse is saying that no one who has the Holy Spirit is dependent on someone else who is “officially qualified” to teach them.
As you read the passages above you may have found it hard to imagine believers truly functioning at the level that was expressed. But I encourage you to remember, God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV).
Most believers have functioned in a system that has allowed them to settle for something far less than what God has called us to in His word. But change starts with believing that whatever God has expressed in His word, He is able to accomplish through His power. Skeptics won’t believe until they see but people of faith believe so that it can be seen.
Everyone Can Participate In Preaching
Many will be doubtful of the idea that everyone can preach. The primary reason for this doubt is that we view preaching from a narrow, traditional perspective, rather than understanding preaching as it is described in the Bible.
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached* Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35 NASB)
*preached in Greek is euaggelizo – to announce good news, declare, bring, preach. It is used 95 times in the New Testament and is translated as preach most of the time.
In the verse above, there’s no stage, no building, and no audience. This is a one-on-one interaction that Philip is having with a high-ranking eunuch from Ethiopia. It starts with Philip responding to a question the eunuch had concerning a passage of scripture he was reading, so it’s more of a conversation than a speech, more of a dialogue than a monologue. Philip started with the passage being read and proceeded to tell him about Jesus, to bring him the good news of the gospel. And the Bible calls this preaching.
We can preach over a cup of coffee in a coffee shop (my favorite venue!). We can preach to a fellow fisherman on the bank of a river. We can preach to our neighbor while standing in our backyard. There’s no limit to when, where, and to whom we may preach. The church desperately needs to equip, encourage, and challenge all believers to participate in the preaching of God’s word.
Shortly before ascending back to heaven, Jesus told his disciples, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth 3. Sometime later, the church was experiencing a wonderful and powerful work of God in Jerusalem; the word of God was spreading 4, many miracles were taking place 5, and multitudes were being saved 6. Although God was pouring out much grace on his people in Jerusalem 7, the church had yet to venture beyond their own city. But God would change this in a spectacular way.
In the earliest days of the church, scripture tells us, they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching 8. Initially, the New Testament word of God was coming almost exclusively through the apostles, because it was these men who had been with Jesus for over three years, being taught and trained by him. Throughout the church, believers were devoted to the word of God that was being taught by the apostles. In time, this devotion to God’s word resulted in the church being competent to preach the word of God. And once they were ready, God sent them out to do just that.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. (Acts 8:1, 4 ESV)
The ministry of God’s word may have started with the apostles, but once the people were equipped 9, God entrusted the preaching of the word to all believers. The apostles didn’t organize or oversight what happened in Acts chapter eight. God didn’t choose gifted speakers with “big names” to preach His word. He mobilized and utilized the church to effectively preach the word of God throughout the surrounding regions. The most practical, efficient, and successful way for the gospel to spread is through believers who have a vibrant relationship with the Lord, are excited to share with others, and have the word of Christ dwelling in them richly 10.
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. (Acts 5:42 ESV)
The early church didn’t gather for a once-a-week, one-hour event that was relegated to one location and dominated by one speaker. Gatherings were taking place every day, in various locations, and carried out by many people. The ministry of God’s word was the predominant, overriding activity that the early church was continually engaged in. I think early believers would be dumbfounded at how today’s church has settled for a once-a-week, one-hour sermon that’s delivered by one individual.
Note that the temple was not a building owned by the church, it was merely something that was available, so they utilized it. The church in Jerusalem relied heavily on meeting from house to house, as did also the apostle Paul 11.
History Of The Sermon
The roots of the Christian sermon are found in ancient Greek culture. In the fifth century BC there was a group of teachers called sophist, and this group is credited with inventing rhetoric (the art of persuasive speaking). They recruited followers and received payment for their orations. The sophist were expert debaters, masters at using emotional appeals, physical appearance, and clever language to “sell” their arguments.
The Greeks had a tremendous appetite for listening to trained speakers give eloquent oration, and when the Romans took over Greece, they too became enamored with rhetoric. That culture considered rhetoric to be one of the greatest art forms. Orators were the rock stars and movie stars of the Roman culture. It’s important to understand that Greco-Roman rhetoric was intended to entertain and display oratory genius rather than to bring true insight and application to those who were listening.
Around the third century, a vacuum was created in the church when mutual ministry faded from the body of Christ and the clergy began to emerge. Open meetings began to die out, and church gatherings became more and more structured. As a hierarchical structure began to take root, the idea of a “religious specialist” began to emerge. A number of highly trained orators turned to Christianity and began to use their Greco-Roman oratorical skills to deliver messages to the church. A new style of communication was birthed in the church; a style that emphasized polished rhetoric, sophisticated grammar, flowery eloquence, and monologue. In a word, the Greco-Roman sermon replaced prophesying, open sharing, and Spirit-inspired teaching. The sermon became the elitist privilege of church officials.
Note that the concept of paid teaching specialists came from Greece, not from Judaism. It was the custom of Jewish rabbis to take up a trade so as not to charge a fee for their teaching. 12
During the apostle Paul’s time the sermon had yet to become prevalent, but some of his writings suggests that trained orators who expected to be paid for speaking were starting to appear. Paul said he was not like so many, who were peddlers of God’s word 13. The word peddlers in Greek is kapēleuō – a huckster, peddler; someone who corrupts the message, making a trade of peddling it. In contrast, Paul said he humbled himself and preached God’s gospel free of charge.14
Paul had detractors who declared his speech of no account 15. Even at this early date, there were those who were more interested in style than actual substance. Paul responded that even if he was unskilled in speaking, he was not so in knowledge 16. Paul had unwavering faith in the power of the word of God and wasn’t compelled to try to make it more effective through his own cleverness. Not only did he feel no need to do this, he actually had an aversion to trying to sway people by his own persuasive abilities.
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. (1 Cor 2:1 NASB)
My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1 Cor 2:4-5 NASB)
Paul knew that people needed to encounter the power of God, and he believed superior speech, persuasiveness, and man’s wisdom would detract from this.
Over the centuries the sermon style has evolved. Most preachers today favor a more casual, easy-going style. They want to connect with their audience by being funny, personable, and down-to-earth. But however different today’s sermon style may seem from the original sophist’s rhetoric, the outcome remains the same; the sermon positions one individual to be the lone voice speaking for God while rendering the rest of the body of Christ mute.
Dialogues Vs Monologues
Which seems more appealing; to be part of a chat or to sit through a lecture, to engage in a conversation or to listen to a speech? Common sense logic tells us that no matter the subject, people learn better when they can engage in a dialogue; asking questions, seeking clarification, sharing their own insight, or even challenging what is being presented. But there is also a spiritual dynamic to the word of God that goes beyond mere logic. When we participate in one-another ministry we are engaging the Holy Spirit in a way that doesn’t happen when we are reduced to being an audience.
The apostle Paul is a prominent figure in the New Testament. His life’s work consisted mainly of preaching the word of God 17; proclaiming the gospel to the lost as well as teaching those who were believers. But scripture reveals that Paul’s style of ministering the word of God was quite different than the traditional style of preaching sermons. He engaged in dialogues more than he did in monologues.
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned* with them from the Scriptures, So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. (Acts 17:2, 17 ESV)
*reasoned in Greek is dialegomai – to discuss (in argument or exhortation), to say thoroughly, to reason with, to dispute. The imperfect tense points to frequent and renewed discussion. Dialegomai is a verb derived from the noun dialogos, from which we get the word dialogue.
Reasoning with is quite different from preaching at, and Paul’s customary approach to ministering the word of God was to engage people in dialogue.
And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:4 ESV)
And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. (Acts 18:19 ESV)
The synagogues of the day had an open style to their gatherings 18, and the earliest Christians were quite used to an atmosphere that invited discussion and participation. They would probably think it strange how highly structured our church meetings are.
The following passage is brief and low-key but presents an astounding principle of God.
And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:8-10 ESV)
The American church seems captivated by the idea that “bigger is better”. We love the high energy of huge church gatherings, big-name speakers at large conferences, and well-known music groups in large stadiums. But the end result of what Paul did in the passage above directly challenges the “big is better” approach.
We aren’t told how large these daily gatherings were, but since they involved open discussion, they probably weren’t that large, and on any given day they wouldn’t have seemed all that impressive. But Paul’s approach of “small and steady” resulted in all the residents of Asia hearing the word of the Lord. How amazing is that!
Did everyone in Asia come through Ephesus during this time? Of course not. People who engaged in Paul’s dialogues shared what they had learned as they traveled in the area. This is another example of how effectively God can use everyday believers to carry the gospel into the world around them.
The original proclamation of the Christian message was a two-way conversation… but when the oratorical schools of the Western world laid hold of the Christian message, they made Christian preaching something vastly different. Oratory tended to take the place of conversation. The greatness of the orator took the place of the astounding event of Jesus Christ. And the dialogue between speaker and listener faded into a monologue.19
I don’t want to imply that there were never times when Paul engaged in monologues as the sole speaker in a meeting. There is the Biblical account of a young man sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on 20. So yeah, there is that.
The Fundamental Problem Behind Preaching Sermons
The Sunday sermon subdues the church. It takes the body of Christ, which is designed by God to be highly effective in ministering to one another, and reduces it to a passive audience. This style of ministering God’s word fosters a consumer mentality within the church. Instead of body members being excited to engage with one another as they are used by God, they are content in their role as spectators who rely on a select few to dominate the church gathering week after week. There is neither expectation nor opportunity for members of the body to utilize the deposit of God in them as they participate in ministering to one another. Not only is the traditional sermon different from what the Bible presents, it is fundamentally at odds with what the Bible presents.
Even so, it’s important to understand that preaching sermons is not the primary problem. Sermons are merely a symptom of a deeper problem. The root problem is a general lack of comprehending the working of the body of Christ. The body of Christ is not an allegory, it’s a spiritual reality. It’s God’s amazing provision for every believer to be filled with the Spirit and personally connected to Jesus, who is the head 21. This puts every believer at Jesus’ disposal, creating a vast army that enables Him to carry out whatever ministry He desires. Although it’s common to hear the phrase the body of Christ used in churches, in practice, there’s little evidence that churches appreciate how the body is designed to be used by the head to carry out spiritual ministry throughout the church and beyond.
The sermon tradition is symptomatic of an Old Testament approach to how ministry takes place. In the Old Testament, only a select few had the Spirit of God, and everyone else was dependent on these few to teach them and to lead them. During the time that Moses was leading Israel, God told him to choose seventy men to help him, then God took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy. Notice they were limited to sharing what Moses had. When the Spirit initially rested on them, they prophesied. This was so unusual that Moses was asked to stop them. But Moses responded, Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them! (Num 11:25-29). This is a prophetic statement from Moses that expresses the desire of God’s own heart. This is also prophesied by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29).
These wonderful promises of God have come to fulfillment in the New Covenant! This was proclaimed by Peter on the day of Pentecost as he quotes Joel.
And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18 ESV)
The apostle Paul also elaborated on this dramatic spiritual change. He said to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.22 Also, When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.23 And, My brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy.24 The basis for spiritual ministry is the anointing of the Holy Spirit himself. What a profound change God has accomplished from limited spiritual ministry in the Old Testament, to all-inclusive spiritual ministry in the New Testament!
How sad it is that in the time of Moses’ leadership he wanted everyone to be able to prophesy, but now in the time when everyone can prophesy, we have settled for a Moses-style of ministry where one man is expected to wait on God and bring a message from God to everyone else.
The sermon tradition is also indicative of a clergy/laity atmosphere. Most people associate the terms clergy and laypeople with the Catholic church, and they will probably not hear these terms in their own church. But even if the terms are not explicitly used, the clergy/laity mindset is prevalent in the traditional preaching of sermons. It elevates the trained and ordained few to a higher level where they are perceived to be competent to minister God’s word to others. Everyone else is diminished to listeners with nothing to contribute. Dividing believers into hierarchical categories is at odds with the teaching of Jesus. He said Do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.25
[to read “Call No One Pastor” click this link https://testeverything.blog/2019/01/09/call-no-one-pastor/ ]
The sad truth is that many church attendees will not be attracted to an all-inclusive, body of Christ style of ministry. They’re not passionate about seeking God, not devoted enough to have Christ’s word dwelling in them richly, aren’t experiencing God in a way that stirs them to share stories of his greatness and goodness, and just don’t want the responsibility of transitioning from a consumer to a giver. The sermon-centered Sunday morning event makes it quite easy for people to come to church. But it also makes it quite easy for people to adopt and remain in consumer mode. An all-inclusive style of ministry doesn’t accommodate consumerism and will likely weed out a number of people. So, if the goal is strictly the highest number of attendees possible, then sermon-centered services are the way to go. But if the goal is a healthy, functioning body of Christ, then all-inclusive ministry is just what God prescribed. While God cares about those who are consumers, I don’t think he favors a system that indulges them. Jesus desires people to be either cold or hot. He said those who are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.26 An open, all-inclusive style of ministry has a greater potential to move people towards being either cold or hot, but it doesn’t really accommodate lukewarmness.
What Do We Do?
God’s assignment for his church is expressed so simply and clearly in these two passages; Go into all the world and preach the gospel.27 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.28 Preaching and teaching comprise the bulk of all that the church is called to do, and while the assignment is clear, it is also huge, God-sized huge! So huge that it will only be accomplished if God’s plan is fully incorporated. God’s plan is for the body of Christ to be equipped 9, encouraged, and engaged in preaching and teaching God’s message.
The Bible presents the church and the body of Christ as one and the same.
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV)
And he is the head of the body, the church. (Colossians 1:18 ESV)
Christ is the head of the church, his body… (Ephesians 5:23 ESV)
Believers need to stop thinking of church as something you attend and start realizing that church is something you do. The church must start functioning as the body of Christ. We must discover the actual working of the body of Christ, by which God provides a multitude of people to carry out an abundance of ministry, both to the lost and to one another.
I don’t know that it’s a large number, but there is a growing number of people who are coming to realize there’s a significant gap between how today’s church operates and how the church is portrayed in the Bible. If you’re part of this growing number, I want to encourage you.
First, I want to encourage you in what not to do. Please don’t villainize any pastors or church leaders. Appreciate that they labor from a personal conviction that they are doing what God has called them to do 29. Please don’t get an us-versus-them mentality or take it upon yourself to transform how your church functions.
Secondly, I want to encourage you in what you can do. Rather than complaining or just wishing that things would change, decide that you will change. Choose to be the body of Christ, even if you don’t fully understand what that entails. Humbly ask God to help you and to lead you in how to be a functioning member of his body. Understand that God is also at work in other believers. Resist the Elijah spirit that laments “I’m the only one left serving you Lord” 30; it’s rather arrogant and just plain silly. Pray that God will connect you with like-minded believers, and be ready to venture beyond your normal circle of friends. Get together. Jesus said, For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.31 Be confident in this promise. Also, follow Jesus’ command to humble yourself as a child 32. Children find it easy to believe beyond what they understand, and it’s natural for them to be dependent. Don’t feel like you need a detailed plan. The best plan is to wait on God. Just get together to worship, to pray, to dig into his word, to share your faith, to share your struggles, and to seek the Lord together. Humbly acknowledge Jesus as the head, and ask him to enable you and to lead you in being his body.
And above all, pray for God’s church. With humility and compassion, call on God to help all of us to be all that he has called us to be.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psalms 32:8 ESV)
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- 1 Corinthians 14:30-31 ESV If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged
- Romans 12:6-8 ESV Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
- Acts 1:8 ESV But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Acts 6:7 ESV And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
- Acts 5:15-16 ESV so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
- Acts 5:14 ESV And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women
- Acts 4:33 ESV And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
- Acts 2:42 ESV And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
- Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ
- Colossians 3:16 ESV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- Acts 20:20 ESV how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,
- Frank Viola & George Barna, Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, chapter 4
- 2 Corinthians 2:17 ESV For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 11:7 ESV Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge?
- 2 Corinthians 10:10 ESV For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:6 ESV Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
- 1 Corinthians 9:16 ESV For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
- Luke 4:16 ESV And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. Acts 13:15 ESV After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.”
- Wayne Oates, Protestant Pastoral Counseling, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1962
- Acts 20:9 NIV Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on.
- Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
- 1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
- 1 Corinthians 14:26 ESV What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
- 1 Corinthians 14:39 ESV So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
- Matthew 23:8 ESV But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
- Revelation 3:15-16 NKJV “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
- Mark 16:15 NKJV And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
- Matthew 28:19-20 ESV Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- 1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
- 1 Kings 19:10 ESV He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
- Matthew 18:20 ESV For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
- Matthew 18:3-4 ESV and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.