A friend of mine who is a missionary told me a story of a fellow Christian who spoke in the authority of Christ to cast out a demon. This person did not raise his voice or use a “special” tone of voice, but simply spoke out from the Scriptures.
When my friend asked him why he didn’t change his tone and yell a little to be more authoritative, his response was something like – It’s not how I say it, but what I say. It’s because it’s God’s Word that it is authoritative, not because of anything that I do.
I got to thinking that there is a huge difference between speaking using an authoritative tone and truly speaking the authoritative words of Christ because they have authority in themselves.
Many a preacher has tried to demonstrate the authority of God’s Word by changing his tone to reflect authority. But in the end, that is trying to manufacture authority for God’s Word. In reality God needs no help in that department – His Word is authoritative as it stands.
Perhaps this is another way we try to hold on to our own “works.” Trying to help God out by making sure people know we are speaking the authoritative Word of God.
I would never advocate a “dry” reading of Scripture, but we must also be very careful of trying to manufacture something in an attempt to manipulate the audience we are addressing.
We ought to speak God’s Word as it was meant to be spoken, not being disconnected from it (and therefore too wooden), but certainly not trying to add “authoritative tone” to it and thereby adding our own “works” to it.