Have you ever heard this said about a professing Christian? ”He doesn’t practice what he preaches.” I suppose we all have been accused of that at one time or another. The thing that is so troubling about this particular accusation is that it’s true! We may be accused of a thousand and one things that are completely untrue. However, this is not one of them. We really don’t always practice what we preach. The Bible that we preach is a revelation of a perfect God in whom is “no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). The effects of the fall have left us incapable (in this life at least) of perfect obedience to the high precepts and unreachable demands of Holy Scripture. Our problem in this regard is that although our fallen natures have not been eradicated by the new birth, we are nevertheless sent to the nations to declare glorious truths and lofty concepts. And since there is little or no impediment to our talking better than we live, we become guilty as charged.
Though we don’t always practice what we preach, we do always practice what we believe. What we really believe always comes through in our actions. A correct understanding of God and His attributes along with a right understanding of Bible doctrine will cause a man to live and operate in a way that is consistent with that understanding. Likewise, a faulty conception of God and doctrine will allow him to live and work far below the Scriptural standard.
This is why the study of theology is such an important aspect of the missionary training at the Center for Pioneer Chuch Planting (CPCP). Wrong doctrinal thinking leads not only to wrong living but to wrong missionary practice and wrong teaching. Wrong living modeled on the mission field and wrong teaching lead to a solemn confrontation with a holy God both for the missionary and for the poor blind souls who followed him (he being blind himself) into the ditch.
This is also why missionaries as well as all ministers of the gospel should be as passionate about doctrinal precision in the preparation of their sermons as they desire to be in their delivery. We must expound the scriptures tirelessly and correctly so that the hearers may think rightly about God, His Word, the utter lostness of man, and the saving gospel of Christ. Paul’s words to Timothy were “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Although we are all flawed people, we are blessed to preach a pure and powerful gospel. Our constant charge to each Missionary Trainee is: “Preach the Word!” It will have a life – changing effect on it’s hearers.” Paul writes, “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).