As Peter continues his letter (he is in what we call chapter 4 by now) he seems to be caught up by the Spirit and carried along in a cause-and-result sequence. Since the end is near (v. 7) we are to love oneother more and more (v. 8), which leads us to use our gifts for the benefit of the other (v. 10). His first example of this noble way of life is that we should “speak as though God himself were speaking through us” (NLT). Since Peter is discussing gifts of the Spirit, if follows that “speaking” undoubtedly refers to teaching or preaching.
The word “preach” can be used of a wide range of verbal activity all the way from a lofty oration on the righteous nature of a sovereign God to a verbal tongue lashing on failing to tithe. It is in the latter sense that some preachers seem to spend an exorbitant amount of time “preaching” at (not to or for) us. Preachers, almost by definition, appear to be experts in scolding. One day, after listening to his dad preach a fiery sermon, the preacher's son asked,, “Why are you always so mad in the pulpit?” The Greek New Testament has two distinct words that in earlier translations were both translated “to preach” – euangelizo, “to announce the good news,” and kerysso, “to proclaim” (in ancient days the town crier was a kerux.) The idea of belittling the conduct of others, especially from the pulpit, has no etymological sanction in the Greek text.
The best definition of “preaching” that I know is captured in the statement, “The role of the preacher is to lead people into the presence of God.” Peter would agree. We noted in the passage under consideration that when we speak it is to be as though God had put the very words in our mouth. And of course he does. The miracle of effective preaching is that although the minister provides the words as he explains scripture, it is the Spirit who invades the process and the words used by a man become the words of God. The preacher is the conduit through whom God speaks to the heart of the listener. God himself is the real “preacher” who becomes incarnate in words supplied by man. The preacher’s task is to study what God has already said through his spokesmen of old (that is, scripture), explain it as best he can, then step back and let God speak. He wants to use you but he is the real preacher.