Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Paramount Importance of God's Word

A good post-Thanksgiving Sunday to all. I hope and pray that you had a wonderful, thankful time together with family and/or other loved ones. I pray especially that it was centered on Christ, to whom we ought to be truly thankful. Without Him, we are nothing.

Eventually, I plan on getting back to posting excerpts from The Fundamentals, which I had been doing each weekend. Due to reasons of which most readers are well aware, I've let the blog slip some. But today (following a most excellent worship service at my church), I have something else on my mind. God's Word, and what its place should be in the household of God.

Over on my Facebook page, I posted this: Churches: Preach the Bible. Teach the Bible. Live the Bible. Stay away from fads. Fads fade. The Bible is timeless.

While there are many Scriptures to contemplate that reinforce my statement, I'll just pop this one in for our contemplation and meditation:

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Churches get into trouble when they begin falling away from the primacy of Scripture in their preaching and teaching. This also includes Sunday schools, small groups, "Bible" studies, children's ministries and youth ministries. Why did I place quotes around "Bible" studies? Because I've seen otherwise. What are supposed to be Bible studies (or Sunday school classes) end up studying someone's book instead of THE book. The book might have a few Scriptures thrown in here or there, or it might actually be a solid book with solid biblical doctrine. It would be a fine work for personal edification in companion to Scripture. But often, these things — from the bad to the great — end up being replacements for Scripture rather than using Scripture itself as our primary teacher and text.

It's the same thing with sermons. Expository preaching — book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and explaining the meaning — is by far the best and most profitable way to do it. Instead, we often see Readers' Digest-type stories with a few Bible verses thrown in, or topical sermons throwing together a bunch of Scriptures to make a point. Topicals are okay to do from time to time as long as you're taking the whole counsel of God and not cherry-picking Scripture to make your case, i.e. eisegesis instead of exegesis. But exposition is really the way to go. And the Bible must be the center of it all.

When churches fall for fads, it might seem to go well for a while and attract some people. It might amuse a bored congregation. But sooner or later, their biblical literacy will go straight out the window and the entire church will suffer. They will become sitting ducks for the deception of the enemy. That's not just coming from me. The New Testament if not the entire Bible is chock-full of warnings about this. "I will hide Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).

Stick with the Bible folks. That's all for today.

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