1 Corinthians 2:4
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:”
Every person delivers the Word of God should desire to deliver it in an effectual manner so that the listener will be fed and have their lives changed. The Apostle Paul understood why his preaching was so effectual. It is no doubt that the Apostle Paul was an effectual preacher. To evidence this fact, look at the difference of the church in Corinth from 1 Corinthians to 2 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians, you see a church that was fleshly and worldly, and in 2 Corinthians, after Paul admonished them, they were a church that was growing and doing right. It all came down to powerful teaching and preaching that was effectual. There are several evidences of ineffectual teaching and preaching.
First, ineffectual teaching and preaching tries to impress people with its eloquence. You can be the most eloquent speaker, but your words will have no impact if you deliver those words in your own power. Certainly, every teacher and preacher should strive to speak correctly and improve their delivery, but the most eloquent and polished delivery of God’s Word in the power of the flesh will result in an ineffectual lesson or sermon.
Second ineffectual teaching and preaching relies on its knowledge and wisdom to make an effect. Many preacher and teacher have fallen for the trap of trying to impress people with their vocabulary and knowledge of the subject, but they find themselves not able to make the truth applicable to those to whom they are preaching or teaching. You can speak with knowledge, but knowledge without God’s power only impresses the listener with your abilities, but will never bring conviction to the listener. You can fill your lesson and message with grand words, but those words will have no impact on those to whom you are speaking. An ineffectual lesson or message will try to use its wisdom to make it effectual.
Third, ineffectual teaching and preaching will be done in the demonstration of theatrics and humor. Many teachers and preachers have relied on their ability to tell jokes or use great illustrations to change people, but the only thing the people walk away with is how funny the preacher was, or they will remember the illustration without the purpose of that illustration. You have failed as a teacher or preacher if the only thing people remember when they walk away is how funny your jokes were or how elaborate your illustration was.
My friend, if you want to be an effectual speaker of God’s Word, you must do it in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power:” There is no substitute for the power of God on your teaching and preaching. You may try to camouflage your weakness and fear with humor, illustrations, theatrics, knowledge, or great and swelling words, but you will fail to impact the heart of the listener. The only way you will ever impact the heart of the listener is with the power of God.
Let me ask you; are you relying on your own strength to deliver divine truths? The only way divine and holy truths can be delivered effectually is through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Let me encourage you to spend more time getting God’s power than you do trying to impress people with your stories, jokes or theatrics. Effectual teaching and preaching can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.