Just before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed a special prayer for His disciples. He said, They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth (John 17: 16,17)
To sanctify means “to separate unto.” We are in this world but not of it. So to have excellence of ministry, we must strip away everything of the world from our lives until there is nothing left but the Word of God.
One of the first things that must be rooted out is our sin. We must cease confessing our sin consciousness and stop preaching that we are “just old sinners saved by grace.” We were old sinners; but since we have been saved, we are now made the righteousness of God. For He (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5: 21).
Stop seeing yourself or other Christians as “reformed” sinners – all are now the very righteousness of God. Look at yourself and other believers that way. Emphasize your right-standing with God. When you minister to your congregation, teach them who they are in Christ and what a glorious inheritance they have right now because of what He has done for us.
Second, strip away your negative confessions. Don’t confess that you are sinful, needy, weak or sick. Find out what God has said about you and confess the truth. You are what the Word says you are.
You are redeemed from the curse of the law. Make Galatians 3: 13,14 your constant confession to yourself and to your congregation. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us… That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.
What is the blessing of Abraham? Health, prosperity, success, wisdom, righteousness. (See Deut. 28: 1-14.) Confess these things!
Jesus said, For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle Word that men speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt. 12: 34-37).
Learn to control your speech. Watch out for verbal expressions and clichés like “I was scared to death.” “that tickled me to death.” “I could have died.” Do it out of respect for Jesus. You of all people ought to know that you can have what you say. Besides, it is simply not true. You were not scared or tickled to the point of dying; you were not at all on the verge of death.
When you have grown to the point in your spiritual life where you have confidence in the integrity of your own Word, you won’t have any difficulty believing that God’s Word is good. Then, you will eliminate those “idle words.”
As a minister of the Gospel, you set the example; you must make absolutely certain that what you say is true and honest. If you want God to bless what you preach, you will have to put away exaggeration and telling stories that are just not so.
I am speaking from experience. We have heard this type of “evangelistic talk” at one time or another. That is the same kind of “trade puffery” used by Madison Avenue in every radio and television commercial we hear. Never be guilty of sounding like used car salesmen and carnival barkers.
When we say that we had “better’n eight hundred” in a meeting, many times that means there were only 450 in attendance. When a handful are saved, we say that we had a “landslide of souls brought into the kingdom.” A man of the Word dares not engage in such self-delusion. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt. 12: 37).