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The New Testament was originally written in the Greek language, which in the time of our Lord Jesus was common to a large portion of the world. Greek is a precise and descriptive language which was used by all classes of people. It was especially useful as the language through which God communicated his divine will to man.
Five different New Testament Greek words are translated by the words: "minister," "evangelist" and "preacher." Each of the Greek terms has a slightly different meaning which adds a more complete definition to what it means to be God's preacher.
The Greek word "diakonos" is sometimes translated as "minister" and means: one who serves or an attendant; it emphasizes one's activity in his work. The Greek "leitourgos" is also translated "minister" and is defined: one who publicly serves another person, perhaps at his own expense; the emphasis is on the public nature of the service. Still another word translated "minister" is "huperetes." It means under rower or low ranking crew member of a ship, also an assistant in any work; the emphasis is on the relationship between the servant and the one saved.
The Greek word "euangelistes" is translated "evangelist" and means: a messenger of good news with an emphasis on the quality of good. The term "kerux" is translated "preacher." It is defined as: a messenger with public authority to deliver official or formal messages of kings or military leaders; the emphasis is on the work of one who delivers messages by the authority of another.
These five Greek terms and the three translated words describe God's preacher. He is a servant of God whose responsibility is to publicly deliver God's message of good news (the Gospel). The authority by which he speaks as well as the message itself is God's authority and God's message.
God's message is the Bible or the Word of God. The apostle Paul told the preacher Timothy to "preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). Luke referred to himself and others as "ministers of the word" (Luke 1:2). Paul said of himself that he was a minister, preaching the Gospel: "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister" (Colossians 1:23).
The role of God's preacher is found in Romans 10:13-15. Preachers help people learn the Word of God so they can be saved.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:13-15).
However, some preachers do not teach the truth. Instead they teach false things and serve the devil. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction" ( 2Peter 2:1).
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Therefore, everyone must compare what a preacher says (or writes) with what the Bible teaches. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
A preacher must help people better understand God's Word; neither he nor his hearers should desire more or less of God's preacher. "So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading" (Nehemiah 8:8).
Dear Reader, please carefully study the Bible, and as carefully compare what a preacher teaches with the Bible. The salvation of your soul depends on your understanding of God's Word and your willingness to do what it teaches.