Preach the word
Either Christ the essential Word, who is the sum and substance of the Gospel ministry; or the word of truth and faith, the Gospel of salvation, the word of righteousness, peace, and reconciliation by Christ; which is to be preached, or published, in like manner as heralds proclaim the will of their princes; openly, publicly, and with a loud voice, without adding to it, or taking from speaking out the whole, and keeping back no part of it; and that with all courage and boldness: some copies read, "the word of God"; and the Ethiopic version, "his word"; that is, the word of Christ:
be instant in season, out of season;
that is, be constant and assiduous in the work of the ministry; be always and wholly in it, either preparing for it, or performing it; or doing those things which are annexed to it, or follow upon it; redeem time, and take every opportunity of dispensing the mysteries of grace, as a faithful steward of them; not only make use of the common and stated seasons for the ministration of the word and ordinances, but embrace every other that offers; make use not only of those seasons which may seem commodious and advantageous both to preacher and hearer, and promise usefulness and success, but even such as may seem incommodious and disadvantageous to flesh and blood; such as times of persecution and opposition; but none of these things should deter and move from the preaching of the Gospel. Several parts of the ministerial function to be insisted on and attended to are next mentioned, as being within the solemn charge given before God and Christ:
errors, and men for their errors and heresies; make use of convincing arguments taken out of the Scriptures, which are profitable for reproof of this kind; and which reproof sometimes is to be given with sharpness, as the case requires, that men may be sound in the faith.
or chide for sin; some privately, others more publicly, according to the nature and circumstances of the offence; some more gently, others more roughly, as is needful.
to all the duties of religion respecting God and man; to show love, and to do good works; to hold fast the profession of faith, and walk as becomes the Gospel of Christ; and to persevere in faith and holiness: or "comfort", as the word may be rendered; for as the ministers of the Gospel are in some cases to be "Boanergeses", sons of thunder, so other cases they should be Barnabases, sons of consolation; and comfort distressed minds, by preaching the comfortable doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness and salvation by Jesus Christ:
with all longsuffering:
or patience. The success of the Gospel ministry should be patiently waited for as husbandmen do for the fruits of the earth. Those that give into error, and oppose themselves to the truth, should be instructed in meekness; and those who are overtaken in a fault should be gently rebuked, and restored in such a spirit; and every exhortation should be pressed as persons are able to bear it:
in a way that is instructive and teaching, and in agreement with the doctrine of the Scriptures, which are profitable for that purpose.