There are several reasons why I preach. I preach because I am Called to do so. It is my duty as a pastor and minister of Christ. It would be sinful for me not to preach the Gospel. “Woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel.” I also preach because I enjoy it. I love crafting sermons each week, and proclaiming the Word of God. But there is also another reason, one that came up when I was talking with a friend recently. I preach for my own salvation.
What does this mean? It means that as a pastor every day I live on the borderline between faith and unbelief. Every day I struggle to believe anew the promises of the Gospel, and to cling to Christ. Sometimes it is through sermon writing that I am converted anew to faith in Christ. As I write the words of my sermon, as I preach to the people, my own heart is convicted by the Law and uplifted by the Gospel. Without this constant preaching, I’m not sure I would remain in Christ. I need to preach, not only for the sake of teaching others, but also for the sake of my own faith. The Word is powerful, and my sermons are just as much for my own edification as they are for the hearers. In fact, I think it could be argued that they are primarily for me, and only secondarily for my hearers.