Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
In response to recent events in our country it has come to my attention that maybe this is our own fault. In saying this I am talking about the church as a whole; both leaders and laity. It is quite possible, and even probable, that the moral decline with which we find ourselves is because we have failed in our duty to give the Word of God the prominence in our lives that it deserves. Therefore, people in our nation do not see the relevance of Scripture that we do, and this has happened because we have allowed it to happen by not giving the Bible the priority in our lives that it deserves. With this in mind, I would like to share over the next few weeks some thoughts from a Pastor, Theologian, and Writer R.C. Sproul on the importance of the Word of God in our churches. “Over the years, I’ve made no secret of my admiration for men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, who were so instrumental in the recovery of the gospel during the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. I’m amazed by their towering intellects and their ability to stand firm amid much danger. Their love for biblical truth is an example to follow, and as I approach 20 years of weekly preaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, I’m particularly grateful for their pastoral model. Both of these men were “celebrities” in their day, but neither of them spent his years traveling Europe in order to consolidate a movement of followers. Instead, both of them devoted themselves to their primary vocation of preaching and teaching the Word of God. Both men were tireless preachers—Luther in Wittenberg, Germany, and Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland. They took the ministry of the Word of God seriously, so when they talk about the task of the preacher, I pay close attention.More than a decade ago, I was invited to give a lecture on Martin Luther’s view of preaching, and I found that preparing for that exercise was invaluable for my own work as a preacher. I also discovered that what Luther had to say about preaching was not only for the pastor but also for the entire church, and it’s amazing how timely his words remain in our day.
One of the emphases that we find again and again in Luther’s writings is that a preacher must be “apt to teach.” In many ways, this is no great insight, for he’s just restating the qualifications that are set forth in the New Testament for church elders (1 Tim. 3:2). Yet given what we expect from our preachers today, Luther’s words—echoing biblical revelation—need to be heard anew. The concept that the primary task of the minister is to teach is all but lost in the church today. When we call ministers to our churches we often look for these men to be adept administrators, skilled fundraisers and good organizers. Sure, we want them to know some theology and the Bible, but we don’t make it a priority that these people be equipped to teach the congregation the things of God. Administrative tasks are seen as more important.” I will share more of R.C. Spoul’s thoughts next week. Thanks for reading!