burn it down

April 17, 2016

the bible

In my spiritual life, the men who have helped me the most possess two qualities: solid biblical scholarship and a fervent heart of devotion for God. Some men are impressive Bible scholars, but they are like spiritual dry toast. These men could look at a picture of a beautiful mountain scene and criticize the technical skill of the photographer, while missing the dramatic beauty of the picture. They are like builders who spend all their time looking at detailed blueprints, but they never get the whole thing built so that they can stand back and enjoy its beauty and function.

 

On the other hand, there are those who are fervent in their love for Jesus, but their doctrine is so shallow that you’re not sure if they know much at all about who Jesus really is. They get tossed around by every wind of doctrine that comes along. They build the house without any thought about the foundation or the plans. You wouldn’t want to move into such a house! But the men who feed me know the Scriptures and base everything on the Word. They have thought through the great doctrines of the faith, and out of such study have a heart of love for the Savior.

The Word of God itself says, Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Timothy 4:2)

 

We might keep this saying in mind:”I preached as never sure to preach again; and as a dying man to dying men.” – Richard Baxter, 17th Century

 

 

 

    A. One who would preach must first of all, have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He must know from the Scriptures that he has been saved from sin, and know what it means to trust Christ alone for salvation.

 

    B. He should be able to teach someone else the basic plan of salvation, that is:

 

        1. God Loves YOU. John 3:16

 

        2. All have sinned and need salvation. Rom.3:23, Isaiah 64:6

 

        3. Christ died for our sins. Romans 5:6-9

 

        4. Christ is the Son of God and God the Son. Matt. 3:17, John 1:1-14

 

        5. Christ is risen and alive today. I Cor. 15:3,4

 

        6. Christ is the only way to Heaven. John 14:6 Acts 4:12

 

        7. Salvation is a gift, not earned by works. Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8,9

 

    C. He must maintain a regular daily devotional life of Bible reading and prayer. You cannot talk for God if you do not walk and talk with God.

 

    D. He must believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that God has promised to honor His Word. Isaiah 55:11

 

    E. He must have a good testimony and a good reputation, both before the church and before the world. I Tim. 4:12

 

    F. His own heart must be right with God: no sin allowed to remain, whether of thought, word or deed. Psalm 66:18, I John 1:9.

 

    G. His life must be fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1,2

 

“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;

I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.

The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear;

Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;

And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.”

I said all that to say this, forget about all the reports on the problems with Millennials, forget demographics, or the new “sticky church” Preach the Word, let the still Omnipotent God of Heaven burn your lips with a coal from the altar of heaven and sear your soul, bleed the bible, let it course through your veins, becoming a living epistle. If you are set on fire so will be your preaching, that’s all that matters.

 

When I was ordained, they handed me a bible, laid on hands and said; “preach the Word.” plain and simple

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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