Thomas Cosmades





We have before us a man who has never been to school, neither taken lessons in speaking, nor been instructed in the art of homiletics.  Throughout church history there has been no lack of great preachers of whom Apollos is foremost.  John Chrysostom, the 'Golden Mouth,' is among the notable greats.  Men like him could rivet the attention of his hearers and draw them to life's most crucial decision.  They are remembered with deep appreciation.  Effective preachers capable of forceful communication are sought after universally.  These may be well trained and prepared for the pulpit, but always the prerequisite is that they be anointed by the Holy Spirit.

When called to God's service, Moses said, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt? ...Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent...but I am slow of speech and of tongue."  God replied, "Who has made man's mouth? ...I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak."  When Moses still hesitated, God mentioned his brother Aaron, saying, "He shall speak for you to the people; and he shall be a mouth for you..." In this way the matter was settled (Exodus 3:11; 4:10-12, 16). But the outcome was striking.  Not even once did Aaron speak either to Pharaoh or to the people.  In spite of all Moses' fear and reticence, the LORD who called and sent him also made him a very effective speaker.  Moses authoritatively defied Pharaoh and spoke to that vast congregation as a qualified leader, bringing many to the knowledge of YAWEH.  When we look into the life and call of the prophet Jeremiah, we see the same development (1:4-10).

The effective preacher anointed by God is neither a born orator nor a brilliant and highly-trained communicator.  God won't use those who consider themselves in this class.  The called evangelist or powerful preacher is one touched by the Holy Spirit, himself affected by Him and able to affect others.  We are dealing with this kind of evangelist-preacher.

When Vahram took his place behind the sacred pulpit or led a house gathering, he could carry people along with his lively, instructive messages.  This was the doing of the Holy Spirit.  His mouth was anointed by his Maker.  He was under the absolute control of the One who inspired the Word and made it effective.  So Vahram was able to explain God's living Word with power, bringing sinners to conviction through the Word.  He induced men and women who realised their sinful condition to take the step of faith to the Savior.  These few features typified his ministry.

His sermons or his witness were not mere suggestions of what course to take in life.  Rather, they were the application of God's inspired Word to effect visible results in lives.  He never hesitated to point out his own failures and incidents of disobedience.  He would display the effect of God's Word in his own life.  He never put himself up as one who had attained.  What had been accomplished in his own life could be realised by everybody.  Stressing this with confidence, he would invite his listeners to the same commitment.  To appreciate this better, read his message entitled, "A Leaking Cup at a Fountain in Damascus" at the end of this book.

Very relevant to all his activities was his prayer life.  He would take every matter, personal or pastoral, in prayer to God.  The important work ever before him was not his own, but the Lord's.  Therefore in all things he drew near to God by faith and pled with Him in fasting to complete His own work.  Before talking to men and women about God, he always felt the need to talk to God about them.  This constituted a major part of his prayer life.  In his view, whatever thought is to philosophy, so is prayer to an effective ministry.  The promises of God given to Jeremiah come to mind in this connection: "I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall devour them" (Jeremiah 5:14).  "Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" (Jeremiah 23:29).  "If I say, 'I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,' there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot" (Jeremiah 20:9).  God's Word was brought to men and women by His faithful servant with visible impact.

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