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Fulton County Gospel News

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More Bible

By Lester Kamp

Why take my Bible to church? I never use it.” “My [preacher] doesn’t use the Bible; he just tells stories.” {We} speak of being “a people of the Book.” But is that only in name? In a growing number of churches, the Word of God is not referred to as it used to be. In some churches hearing the Bible in any significant way is rare. Even the best of churches would benefit from Scripture being heard more. In too many of our churches there is a famine for the Word of God, as well-meaning [preachers] attempt to substitute sermonettes and stories for dynamic Biblical preaching. The result is a growing hunger for the Bible.i

What a sad commentary on the present condition of the church in many places today! Among those who used to be known as the “people of the Bible,” the Bible is only “rarely” heard “in any significant way.” What a shame! Do we not still recognize the power of God’s Word? Shouldn’t the assembly of God’s people be a place in which the Word of God is heard regularly? Shouldn’t preachers of the Gospel preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) as Paul instructed? If we expect our people to be edified and “grow...in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), shouldn’t the Bible be referred to, quoted, read and preached? If it is the case where you attend that the Word of God is not heard very often, let’s commit ourselves to emphasizing again God’s Word in classes and in worship!

Many reasons could be stated regarding the importance of emphasizing God’s Word. Let’s notice only a few of them.

1) When the Word of God is neglected, we have denied ourselves of the power of God (Romans 1:16). The power to save is in God’s Word! Since the power to convert is in the Word, souls are being lost when “sermonettes and stories” describe the content of the messages in our worship. Souls will not be converted to Christ and His church if they hear only amusing stories and entertaining illustrations from the wisdom of men. Many of us need to wake up (Romans 13:11-12). It may be later than we think! Souls are dying without the saving Gospel of Christ.

2) When the Word is not heard, many lose their spiritual appetite (Matthew 5:6), and the result is spiritual death from starvation (4:4).When a person is born into the kingdom, he naturally has the craving for the “sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). When those individuals are not fed a proper diet of God’s Word, they become first become weak and then die. When they are fed other things they may think they are full, but what they have eaten provides no spiritual nourishment. New and older Christians need the Word of God that they might grow.

3) When the Word of God is not emphasized, then Christians cannot grow in their knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Worship assemblies and Bible classes are not to be the only time Christians open their Bibles and study from God’s Word; but it is certainly the case that when we are together we should be able to gain more knowledge about our Savior. How can Christ and Him crucified be preached without preaching and teaching God’s Word?

4) When the Word of God is not thoroughly taught, how can we be edified? Paul told the Ephesian elders, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Is it any wonder that there are so many weak Christians when we see the famine of the Word of God (Amos 8:11) which exists in so many congregations today? The Word of God is that which is able to build up and encourage those who are Christians!

5) When the Word of God is not known, then Christians are unable to distinguish between error and Truth. When the Word of God is preached and taught, then those that hear are reproved and corrected by the authoritative Word of God (2 Timothy 4:2). One reason that so many are being swept into error today is because they are not hearing and/or heeding God’s Word. Many of these people do not know the difference between the Gospel and a perversion of the Gospel (Galatians 1:7), simply because they have not heard or studied the Word of God. It is indeed sad when one can be present during any worship service or Bible study period without hearing much, if any, from the Bible.

6) When the Word of God is not in mind, it is impossible for Christians to “continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). What is the “apostles doctrine”? It is the message that these inspired men taught orally during the first century which was then through inspiration written down so that we might read and understand the Will of God (Ephesians 3:3-5). It is the “pattern of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13), and that pattern must be followed. But if we are not exposed to the pattern (we do not know what it is), then we are lost.

Many other reasons could be cited for placing a proper emphasis on God’s Word in our assemblies and otherwise, but these should suffice. We need more Bible—personally, privately and publically, collectively! Let’s restore the Bible to its proper place in our worship – in all of our assemblies!

Note: The quotation at the beginning of this article came from an unusual source. Ministry is a Seventh Day Adventist publication. The [ ] which appear in the quotation show where I have replaced the word “pastor” with the word “preacher,” and the { } show where I replaced the word “Adventists” by the word “we.” The article described so well what is taking place in so (too) many congregations of the church today that I borrowed these words. Other religious groups are apparently experiencing the same problems we are. It is sad indeed that many of our brethren don’t even recognize the problem. The author of the original article emphasized the public reading of Scripture, but I believe the problem can be solved only by more reading, preaching and teaching of God’s Word. We must do a better job!

 

Denver, CO

i “Putting the Word Back in Worship,” Ministry, July 2001

 

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