An honest evaluation of the Church in the United States leads us to understand that we lack the knowledge and the spiritual maturity that we need to impact the world in which we live. We are ignorant about what the Bible says and how its teachings apply to our lives. Many of our leaders are better students of culture and current events than they are of the Bible. We are people of the sound byte and video clip rather than people of the text.
This lack of commitment to the Bible has hampered us from becoming the people God created us to be. The Bible is God’s revelation to His people, and if we truly want to please Him then we will make the Bible our source of truth for living life.
We shouldn't be surprised that Paul encouraged Timothy to be a student and teacher of God’s Word.
1 I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you (2 Timothy 4:1-5; NLT).
Without a proper foundation for spiritual truth we will be carried this way and that way by whatever suits our fancy. Whatever seems attractive to us becomes our guide for life rather than the Truth God has given us in His Word.
This is the point I would like to make: As we, the Church, have moved away from solid Biblical teaching, as we have sought to be “relevant” to the world, we have made the church inconsequential to the world that we live in. After all the church offers no answers that couldn’t be found on Dr. Phil and too often he is better at communicating them than we are.
It is time for us to return to strong Biblical teaching. Rather than picking out topics and finding proof texts for our teaching points, we need immerse ourselves in the entire text of the Bible. Rather than seeking to be relevant and attractive to culture, we need to offer God’s truth and allow the Holy Spirit to use God's Word to impact the hearts of people.
We cannot hope to become spiritually mature until we allow the Holy Spirit to teach our hearts the truth through the revelation of God that is found in the Bible. Yes, we need to be active in loving people. Yes, we need worship experiences that will warm and encourage our hearts. But we will not change, we will not live a life pleasing to God, until we are founded in the truth of God’s Word.
Let’s stop allowing the Bible to be demoted in our Church Families in favor of a worship experience and seeker sensitivity. Let’s trust God enough to know His Word, teach His Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to use that Word to impact the hearts of people. Let’s be people of the text rather the people of the sound byte. Let’s be rooted in the Word of God.
Visit Paul's new blog at www.paulsponderings.com.