Theology as Discipleship

We should not so much focus on theological works, but concentrate on the Word of God, studying the bible itself, because that is the Word What tells everything a man should know.

There is a certain Catholic subculture among theologians today, especially those who teach at colleges and universities. This culture treats every question as if it were open to theological speculation. The terms heresy and heretic are not politically correct, regardless of how clearly a fellow theologian is rejecting Church dogma. They have excised from the Gospel message and from the example of Jesus every harsh rebuke of grave sin and sins against faith. They have reduced the number of dogmas to as few as possible. They ignore the anathemas of Ecumenical Councils. They have taken away all the sharp edges of the Gospel. {Who is qualified to write theology?}

*

To remember

  • Theology is irrelevant to our life as Christians. = what many evangelicals tend to believe
  • focusing on practical things
  • theology = dangerous <= divisive + potential to confuse people about God
  • Keith Johnson in Theology as Discipleship argues that neither of these are the case. In fact, theology is vitally relevant to our lives as Christians and it actually has the ability to help us grow in Christ. Or as he himself puts it:
  • traditional goal of Christian theology = to develop a better understanding of God => can think + speak rightly about God within context of a life governed by our faith in Christ + our discipleship to him in community with other Christians.
  • theology went “wrong” (i.e. anti-intellectualized & over-academia-ized)
  • Part of theology’s purpose = to help us to know Christ + grow in our understanding of our union with Him

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Preceding articles:

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

The Pastor Theologian

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CWoznicki Think Out Loud

Theology is irrelevant to our life as Christians.

At least that’s what many evangelicals tend to believe. There is this thought that runs through much of evangelicalism that theology is either irrelevant because we should be focusing on practical things. There is also another line of thought that seems to believe that theology is dangerous because it is divisive, and has the potential to confuse people about God. Keith Johnson in Theology as Discipleship argues that neither of these are the case. In fact, theology is vitally relevant to our lives as Christians and it actually has the ability to help us grow in Christ. Or as he himself puts it:

The traditional goal of Christian theology is to develop a better understanding of God so that we can think and speak rightly about God within the context of a life governed by our faith in Christ and our discipleship…

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Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

Augustine of Hippo (354–430), Latin theologian. His writing on free will and original sin remains influential in Western Christendom.

The world has created so called scientists in the knowledge of God. Lots of people do put all their trust in such scholars who received a degree in theology at a university.
The majority of those theologians are as most of them would consider a theologian is,

“one who is dedicated to life in Christ and the contemplation of the Holy Trinity.” {What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian; by David Russell Mosley}

For many who studied the godsThe Philokalia“, a collection of texts written between the 4th and 15th centuries by spiritual masters”, was their primary guide for what it meant to be a theologian.

We always should know that to come to know God and to worship God we do not have to be people who have a university degree in theology, but we should be people who take time to study the bible. Lots of theologians have spend more time in studying writings of other human beings instead of looking more closely at the Word of God, the Bible. When you look at the theology courses, you will notice much more time is spend at those human writings, philosophy and human doctrines than at Biblical doctrines. No wonder that there have been much more books written by trinitarian scholars than by non-trinitarian Christians, because for the latter it is evident what is written in the Bible is the truth and as such in the non-trinitarian denominations of Christianity there are not so many divisions or matters of dispute as in the trinitarian denominations of Christendom.

We should remember that each of us has to be a theologian, a person who wants to know and worships the Only One True God of gods. A knowledge of the other gods may help in this, but the main focus should be on the real True Divine Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jakob and of Jeshua, who is mostly known as Jesus Christ by English speaking countries.

Each person who claims to be a Christian should be a follower of Christ and should worship the same God Christ worshipped, namely his heavenly Father. Like Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father we also should pray to that God of Jesus, Jehovah the Most Almighty God. That Oratio (prayer) should be grounded in the Word of God.

God cannot tempted, but Jesus was and we also shall be tempted more than once. This Tentatio (affliction) is not something God uses to drive us a way from self, but is our own selfish will because we are so much busy with ourselves. In case we would be more busy with the Will of God we would not be so much and so often suffering from our wrongdoing. Then we would also be more forthcoming to God His Will and would be more able, like Christ did not his own will, not to do our own will but being happy to do God’s Will.

To avoid going astray we do need the Meditatio (meditation) which should be the continual study of the Holy Scriptures and not so much the study of the many theological works by human beings.

We should trust more the Call and the Voice of God instead the voices of so many people who call themselves theologian, whatever they may mean by that word.

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Preceding articles

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name

Pascal’s Possibility

Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

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Additional reading

  1. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  2. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  3. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  4. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  8. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  9. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  10. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  11. To find ways of Godly understanding
  12. Position of the Bible researcher
  13. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  14. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  15. Being Missional
  16. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  17. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  18. Our life depending on faith
  19. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  20. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  21. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  22. The meek one riding on an ass
  23. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  24. Altered to fit a Trinity
  25. the Trinity – the Truth

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Further related writings

  1. What Hath the Church to do with the Library?
  2. Theology of Experience
  3. … 506 years ago
  4. The Calvinist ‘God’ and God
  5. Jealous God | Jealous for God
  6. So, Here Goes…
  7. The Angelic Doctor
  8. Good Morning January 25
  9. What Makes a Theologian
  10. The Pastor Theologian
  11. A Quote from St. Augustine on “The State”
  12. Theology as Discipleship
  13. 43rd of 2015.
  14. What Does It Mean To Be a Theologian
  15. What is Distinctive about Christian Analytic Theology?
  16. Pulpit Supply: Sunday School: Four Key Concepts to be a better Theologian
  17. Theologian Spotlight: Kathryn Tanner
  18. Saint Augustine
  19. Puritan John Owen – Doctrine of the Spirit and Mortification of Sin (Christian audio book)
  20. C.S. Lewis Died on This Date
  21. Albert Schweitzer
  22. Jean Guitton
  23. Biblical Christian Theology: Definition by DR. Donald E. Battle
  24. DR. Donald E. Batle: Theologian And Christology Scholar
  25. Who is qualified to write theology?
  26. What is the Recipe to Survive in the Storms of Life?
  27. Crossing Divides: Can an Atheist be a Chaplain?
  28. So Now I’m a Christian. Now What? Part 4:The Loving, Triune God
  29. Thought on the Trinity, Its Being Less than Mysterious, and the Biblical Support of an Analogy to It
  30. The Incarnation a Contradiction?
  31. 1 Corinthians 10:15 (Don’t Take My Word For It)
  32. Christ Strengthens You

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Gospel & Gratitude

In John Doberstein’s The Minister’s Prayerbook, he discusses Martin Luther’s understanding of the development of a theologian. Luther believed that the “right way to study theology” is anchored in the three rules set forth in Psalm 119: Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio. For Luther “Everything centers around the practice of meditation, for prayer prepares for it and its results are confirmed in the experience of conflict. For Luther, meditation is the key to the study of theology. No one can become a true theologian unless he learns theology through it” (Kleinig, “The Kindred Heart”, 142). The discussion that follows is taken directly from Doberstein and explores each of the three dimensions.

  • Oratio (prayer) is grounded in the Word of the Lord. Prayer is the voice of faith. That is to say, that prayer grows out of the Word of the Lord. “The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not…

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Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight

A few years ago I found that I had to share with more people my belief in the one true God that I behold my steep Rock and fortress, source of insight. My life had to endure a lot of storms and I certainly was not spared a few times to be beaten against the breakwater.

Through trial and error we have to learn things. I sometimes had more than once tried to get something from the ground, something successful, others less, and still another with failure.

I wanted to bring together people, interested in the Bible. My attempt to create an association of Bible students or for those interested in Bible and history, now also appears nothing. Therefore I stop with that company to focus my energy more on the preaching work itself. For in this time and age it has even become more important that we can find people preaching the Gospel of the Good News. On the Association of Bible Scholars there are a few texts which I find interesting and worthwhile to get more views. These texts are an important part of our preaching, and it may be worth that some texts  of the Bijbelvorsers Webs website get preserved and are relocated to other websites, like this one and to the site of the Belgian Bible Students, the WordPress site of Bijbelvorsers (Biblescholars) and to the sites of the Brethren of Christ  and the Free Belgian Christadelphians ecclesia.

Location of xy province/ region/ community (se...

Location of province Vlaams-Brabant, Flemish Brabant) in Belgium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For readers of another tongue then Dutch or Flemish we apologized that most of our pages were in Dutch, because the association was founded in the Flemish part of Belgium (Vlaams-Brabant) and was intended to be an association for people in the region of the Low Countries. But we did hope the visitors (from other countries) could also be able to find some interesting English texts as well.

We also said that as Bible-researchers we know that it can take a lot of effort to remain on the narrow way!  (Matthew 7:13, 14) Only together we can be strong and shall we be able to support each other so that we, together, will be able to persevere.  Therefore it is important to follow suit, to go there forwards and to connect with serious Biblestudents.

The Word of God given to man

For those who are not sure how the world came to be and why they are here the Creator of all things has given His Words to give us knowledge and to guide us . Him we should trust and make Him to our rock, our fortress, our buckler and our deliverer. People should not fear as much the human beings but should fear that heavenly Creator. In Him should we trust and find our shield, the horn of our salvation.

The association of Bible Scholars wanted to make people aware of the importance of the Bible. Even for those who do not believe in a Creator God they wanted to show the value of those old books in which there can be found many wise words. The association also wanted to be a haven where Bible lovers could find each other to study the Word of God and to look at the historical and scientific facts. It also wanted to show it members that they could find a high tower, and refuge, and give them the assurance there was a saviour who was willing of save them from violence.

Together they wanted to call on the Most High, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who is worthy to be praised: so they’ll be saved from their enemies. Working together around the Holy Scriptures the association wanted to have like minded people finding each other to help each other our about text-material and questions. They hoped to have their people not put to confusion, but deliver them in God’s righteousness, Him inclining His ear unto them, and saving them.

It was in God they wanted to see their strong habitation, where-unto they could continually resort, in the knowledge that the One and Only One God has given commandment to save us.

We wanted to get more people dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, proclaiming to others that their God Jehovah is their refuge and their fortress and that they will trust in Him.

The association was also set up to give those people who felt called by God, to give them several utilities or help for the preaching work. The association wanted to be there for when for the time we ought to be teachers. We have need that one looks at each other and teach each other, helping to reach the goal, continuing stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The association also wanted to gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and the strangers that would come within our gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Most High Lord of heaven and earth, our God, and observe to do all the words of His Law, training up children in the way they should go, so that when they are old, will not depart from it.

°°°
Below, the second article in the series, a translated overview of what formed the opening speech (our first reprint) at the publication of Bible scholars on Webs.
Het openingswoord van de Webs site van Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, in juni 2010 - The opening speech of the Webs site of Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie or Bible scholars , Association for Bible study, in June 2010

Het openingswoord van de Webs site van Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, in juni 2010 – The opening speech of the Webs site of Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie or Bible scholars , Association for Bible study, in June 2010

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Jehovah steep rock and fortress,
source of insight

Quotes from Gods Word


*

He said:

“Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold+ and the One who rescues me.+

 My God is my rock,+ in whom I take refuge,

My shield+ and my horn* of salvation,* my secure refuge*+

And my place to flee,+ my savior;+ you who save me from violence.

 I call on Jehovah, who is worthy of praise,

And I will be saved from my enemies.

(2 Samuel 22:2-4)

 Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold and the One who rescues me.+

My God is my rock,+ in whom I take refuge,

My shield and my horn* of salvation,* my secure refuge.*+

 I call on Jehovah, who is worthy of praise,

And I will be saved from my enemies.+

(Psalm 18:2-3)

1 In you, O Jehovah, I have taken refuge.

May I never be put to shame.+

 In your righteousness save me and rescue me.

Incline your ear* to me and save me.+

 Become for me a rock fortress

Where I can always enter.

Give the command to save me,

For you are my crag and my stronghold.+

(Psalm 71:1-3)

Anyone dwelling in the secret place of the Most High+

Will lodge under the shadow of the Almighty.+

 I will say to Jehovah: “You are my refuge and my stronghold,+

My God in whom I trust.”+

(Psalm 91:1-2)

11 We have much to say about him, and it is difficult to explain, because you have become dull in your hearing. 12 For although by now* you should be teachers, you again need someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things+ of the sacred pronouncements of God, and you have gone back to needing milk, not solid food.

(Hebrews 5:11-12)

38 Peter said to them: “Repent,+ and let each one of you be baptized+ in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins,+ and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit. 39 For the promise+ is to you and your children, and to all those who are far away, to all those whom Jehovah* our God may call to himself.”+ 40 And with many other words he gave a thorough witness and kept exhorting them, saying: “Get saved from this crooked generation.”+ 41 So those who gladly accepted his word were baptized,+ and on that day about 3,000 people* were added.+ 42 And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to associating together,* to the taking of meals,+ and to prayers.+

(Acts of the Apostles 2:38-42)

“Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.+ You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul*+ and all your strength.*+ These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart, and you must inculcate them in* your sons+ and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.+ Tie them as a reminder on your hand, and they must be like a headband on your forehead.*+ Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

12 Gather the people together,+ the men, the women, the children,* and your foreign resident who is within your cities,* in order that they may listen and learn about and fear Jehovah your God and take care to carry out all the words of this Law.

(Deuteronomy 31:12)

 Train a boy* in the way he should go;+

Even when he grows old he will not depart from it.+

(Proverbs 22:6)

 *

 

The way of Jehovah is a stronghold for the flawless, but the downfall is for practitioners of what is harmful. (Proverbs 10:29) Therefore, it is important that people know what it is to follow the right path. Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah has shown us the way. God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth, His Word to the people, put on the record of the Holy Scriptures, by holy men. To us it is to look at these 66 books that make up the Bible, wanting to take them in our hands to immerse ourselves in God’s Word. In the Holy Scriptures counsel is given not to be lazy with respect to the study of God’s purposes and to acquire a deeper understanding of it, and not with respect not to loosen interest to participation in the Christian ministry. Jesus followers took their tutor his words to heart and continued after his death, the study of the Torah and met regularly to do this in community together to break bread and drink the wine to commemorate the death of the Lord.

When Pentecost 33 G. T. 3000 people were baptised, they were added.

“They continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and share it with each other,”
Luke explains (Acts of the Apostles 2:41, 42).
In the New Testament, we noted in several places the study that the believers had to do with the Holy Scriptures. Yes, the early Christians gathered for Bible study and fellowship and were thus added to the Christian congregation. Early Christians attended regular meetings for spiritual education (Hebrews 10:25).
The apostle Paul admonished some Hebrew Christians who made no claims, saying to them:
because although you really had to be teachers in view of the time, you have again need someone who can learn from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God; and you become wide as those of milk, not solid food, need. “(Hebrews 5:11, 12)
He also gave the admonition now having different gifts, according to the favour which was given to us , to use them accordingly:
if prophecy, according to the proportion of belief;  (7)  if serving, in the serving; or he who is teaching, in the teaching;  (8)  or he who encourages, in the encouragement; or he who is sharing, in sincerity; he who is leading, in diligence; he who shows compassion, joyously.  (9)  Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good.  (10)  In brotherly love, tenderly loving towards one another, in appreciation, giving preference to each other;  (11)  not idle in duty, ardent in spirit, serving the Master;  (12)  rejoicing in the expectancy, enduring under pressure, continuing steadfastly in prayer;  (13)  imparting to the needs of the set-apart ones, pursuing kindness towards strangers. (Romans 12:6-13)

Realizing that The Way of Jehovah is a stronghold for the impeccable, (Proverbs 10:29) Bible scholars on the attempt to unite and to explore together the Word, honouring God, together want to say to Jehovah:

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of Shaddai.  (2)  I will say of Jehovah, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”  (3)  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.  (4)  He will cover you with his feathers. Under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.  (5)  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;
(Psalm 91:1-5 NHEBJE)

A steep rock to build on

A steep rock to build on

For the sake of God’s name the Supreme will lead and guide us, for He is willing to be our steep rock and our fortress.

We must do our utmost to strengthen the truths of God in our minds and in those of others through Bible study and by regularly attending Christian meetings with other believers. (Deuteronomy 6: 5-9; 31:12; Proverbs 22: 6).

Of any kind of denomination you are, the bottom line is that you have to make your own choices and choose to study the Word of God or to leave it as something you do not want to be interested in. God is the one who can call you for this and can lead and provide insight. People like us can only be a tool in the hand of God. In this modern world of materialism, there may not be many people who are still interested in the Word of God, but over all the earth there are many who choose to go on the narrow road that leads to life now but even more interesting to a much better life later. They try to follow right road and to terminate the race successfully in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

We as Bible scholars know that it can cost some effort but that it is really worth to stay on the narrow road! (Matthew 7:13, 14) Together we can be strong and support each other so that we will endure together. Therefore it is important to dare to follow suit, to go for it and join serious Bible students.In the fight that we can perform better, together, the apostle Paul showed in his heartfelt exhortation:

“Fight the fine fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life firmly to which you were called.”

We have to fight this battle to “grasp firmly the real life” (1 Timothy 6:12, 19).

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (7)  For we brought nothing into the world, so neither can we carry anything out.  (8)  But having food and clothing, we will be content with that.  (9)  But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction.  (10)  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  (11)  But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  (12)  Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:6-12 NHEBJE )
That life is not the present life of pain and sorrow and suffering brought upon us by Adam’s sin. No, it’s the life in God’s new world, the paradise, which soon will become a reality when, after the removal of this system of things, Christ’s ransom sacrifice is used for the benefit of all who love Jehovah God and his Son. We all must choose life – “the real life” everlasting life in God’s glorious new world.
That we all dare proclaim together that there is only One True God to Whom we in close friendship as brothers and sisters in Christ we have taken refuge. Together united we should not have to be ashamed because we have chosen to incline our ear to the One Who saves us, because He too was willing to hear us and to be with us.
“In you, Jehovah, I take refuge. Never let me be disappointed.  (2)  Deliver me in your righteousness, and rescue me. Turn your ear to me, and save me.  (3)  Be to me a rock of refuge to which I may always go. Give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.” (Psalm 71:1-3 NHEBJE )
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A version on the same subject in Dutch / Een gelijkaardig artikel in het Nederlands: Jehovah steile rots en vesting, bron van inzicht
Articles by the closing down of the Biblescholars association:
In Dutch you also my find:

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Additional reading:

  1. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  2. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  3. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  4. It is not try but trust
  5. Look for your Refuge by God
  6. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  7. God my fence, my hope for the future
  8. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  9. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  10. Courage for every day living
  11. Fear and protection
  12. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  13. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  14. No good thing will he withhold
  15. Keep your heart on the right path
  16. Running the battle

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How to Choose a Bible for Preaching

Today’s guest post is by Randy Brown, creator of BibleBuyingGuide.com. Randy reviews Bibles in all price ranges to help people make the best choice for their budget. His mission is to promote Bible reading and study, and to share quality publishing.

Shot of a bible with a very small depth of fie...

Shot of a bible with a very small depth of field. Not quite focusing on the extremely fine Bible paper used, but it should help get the point across. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve never been one to just pick a Bible at random. A Bible has to suit a specific purpose. It has to meet certain needs.

You don’t just pick any bowling ball, bat, glove, club, bow, shoe, tire, car wax, gasoline, car, house, suit, television, DVD player, or computer when you have a specific job to do. You choose them for your specific need or purpose.

A Bible is no different. Sure, you can preach from any Bible you can get your hands on. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better choice for your purpose—one that will make you a more effective preacher.

Answering practical questions can help you determine what kind of Bible to use:

Do you need something you can read from while it lays on the pulpit?

Do you want to hold it and walk around?

Do you need to hold it in one hand while you hold a microphone in the other?

Do you need room for notes?

Do you need a modern translation?

Do you need clear section headings?

Do you need alternate translations?

Do you need a verse-by-verse format?

Do you need your sermons outlined beside the text?

Do you need large print?

Every preacher I know will answer those questions differently—because we all have different needs. The best Bible for me won’t necessarily be the best Bible for you. With the amazing number of choices we have today, how do we decide?

What you don’t need

While preachers do need tools for study and sermon prep, they don’t necessarily need those tools in the Bible they preach from. Some of these features get in the way of the text. They can make the text small and the Bible large. You have enough to worry about when you’re preaching. Don’t add to that worry with a Bible that’s awkwardly large or text that’s awkwardly small.

Just because a Bible has amazing features doesn’t mean it’s a good Bible to preach from.

english-standard-version

 

Why you need multiple Bibles

Not every Bible does everything equally well. It’s why you own more than one pair of shoes. The shoes you wear to funerals aren’t the same shoes you wear for running and hiking.

I recommend having different Bibles for different purposes. It’s possible to use just one Bible for everything, but you’ve heard the saying: “Jack of all trades and master of none.”

What you want inside

You have to decide how much and what kind of information you need in your Bible.

Do you want complete sermon outlines?

Do you want chain references?

Do you just want the text?

Do you want someone else’s commentary?

Do you need book introductions?

Regardless of what tools a Bible contains, the most important thing is the text. You will have to decide what else you need. Remember—this is a Bible for preaching, not for biblical scholarship.

Where you put it

Consider how and where the Bible will be used. Do you preach in more than one location?

Pulpit

English: A Bible next to the pulpit of Orchard...

A Bible next to the pulpit of Orchard Road Presbyterian Church in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pulpits come in all sizes and angles. Some will have room for a large Bible and a notebook and others only have enough room for a small Bible. Some churches use music stands for pulpits. Laying the Bible on the pulpit keeps your hands free. This is more important if you’re holding a microphone.

Larger print makes it easier to see from a distance. Some like to use larger print so they can see it from a few feet away.

A disadvantage to not carrying it around with you as you move around the room is you have to go back to the pulpit to read.

Hand

Holding your Bible when reading has the advantage of moving around without having to go back to the pulpit to read. A disadvantage is that you have to go back to the pulpit to read your notes if they’re not in your Bible.

To preach with a Bible in hand, the Bible needs to be easy to handle.

How you preach

How do you prefer to organize your notes? Do you tuck them in your Bible, a notebook, or a separate page?

If you’re preaching without a notebook or separate outline, you’ll want room for notes. If you use a notebook, you should consider how you’ll handle it during your sermon. If you preach from a page, the page can lay next to your Bible or even be a loose sheet that you move from page to page.

Getting the right size

The ideal Bible is compact enough to handle and large enough to read. It might even have some room to write notes. In my experience, most people prefer ultrathin large print or personal size large print.

Larger Bibles either have more information in them or larger print. If the Bible is only used on a large pulpit, then you won’t have to worry about the size of the Bible. However, large pages can be awkward to turn.

If you carry your Bible around to read from, then a large Bible will get heavy after a while. It might not feel heavy to you when you first pick it up—after all, it’s only four pounds. But after about 20 minutes of holding a four-pound Bible, your mind might not be on your message.

Small Bibles are great for carrying, but they usually have small text. The more extra content they have, the smaller the text.

Many preachers prefer a personal-sized Bible with large print for preaching. They’re easy to carry and have readable text.

If you’re holding a microphone and a Bible while you’re preaching, it’s essential to have a Bible that is easy to hold in one hand.

Many preachers like to use an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet folded in half for their notes. They want this folded sheet to fit perfectly within the Bible when it’s closed. This means the pages need to be larger than 8.5″ x 5.5″.

Many people I’ve worked with consider the optimum size to be around 9″ x 6″ x 1.5″ for laying on the pulpit and around 8″ x 5″ x 1.5″ for holding in the hand.

Finding your place

A thumb index is helpful for turning to a book quickly. Most thumb indexes have three books per tab. This gets you in the ballpark, but you still have to turn pages until you find the book. Some indexes, such as the one found in the Cambridge Concord, have one book per tab for the most popular books.

An alternative is adding your own tabs. The advantage of tabs is there is one tab per book so you can turn directly to the book you want. A disadvantage to tabs is they can tear the page with use.

Another alternative is marking the edges of the pages or using sticky notes.

Keeping it open

Laying flat is a must for a preaching Bible. It’s frustrating to open to your text just to have your Bible close on you when you move your hand away.

Sewn bindings allow the Bible to lay open and stay open. Some that are edge lined might take some breaking in but they will lay flat at Genesis 1:1.

A Bible that you have to hold open to preach from will work against you and not for you. This can be especially difficult if you’re holding a mic in one hand and the Bible in the other.

One alternative is to lay something across your pages to help hold it open while it lays on the pulpit. I don’t recommend this practice as you will constantly be moving and shifting things around in order to turn pages and this will interrupt your train of thought.

To really be useful it needs to lay flat on its own.

Holding the Bible

Some like to fold their Bible in half so they only have to deal with half the width. Others like to roll it up like a newspaper. This way they can hold it in one hand with relative ease. This is especially helpful when the wind is blowing. Sewn bindings are a must for holding up to this type of abuse.

Layout

The layout is how the text and information is presented on the page. There are two major choices for modern Bibles: paragraph and verse by verse.

Paragraph

Paragraph format sets the text in paragraphs, much like a novel. Poetry is usually set to verse format and sometimes Old Testament quotes are in an offset text. Paragraph format is easier for reading and is great for keeping things in context. However, verse numbers are usually superscript, which can make finding specific verses difficult during a sermon. Some paragraphs are also wider, which can make reading from them a little difficult for those with bifocals.

Verse by verse

With a verse-by-verse layout, each verse begins on a new line. This is easier for finding specific verses quickly. Many preachers prefer to preach from verse-by-verse format as verses in paragraphs might take extra time to find.

Column width

Français : Bible Chouraqui.

Bible Chouraqui. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Text that is presented in two columns usually have narrow columns that are narrower than text presented in a single column. This will affect readability—especially if you wear bifocals. You might have to move your head from side to side to read single-column layouts. Also, if the column is too wide it might be difficult to find which line to read next. This is especially true if you’re reading at an angle.

Section headings

Section headings are short descriptions of the passage that follows, usually covering a paragraph or two. They are great for scanning the pages quickly. They help break up the text into shorter, readable sections. I find this visually appealing as it gives the page more white space.

I’ve added to a sermon on the fly because a section heading caught my eye. I’ve also used them to find something that I kind of knew where it was but I needed a little help finding it as I was scanning the page.

One problem with section headings is that preachers tend to stop at the end of a section. Sometimes you will want to continue on. It’s up to your text and topic to decided, but don’t let section headings do the deciding for you. They can also be distracting and can include theological bias.

Chapter summaries

Rather than having section headings within the text, some Bibles, particularly KJVs, have chapter summaries at the beginning of every chapter. They are essentially the same as section headings, they’re just not placed within the text.

The advantage of chapter summaries over section headings is they don’t break up your text. This helps keep passages together and can help keep them in context. The disadvantage is they can be harder to use because they’re not placed on the page with the text they correlate to. They’re less distracting but can contain the same theological bias.

Running header

Many KJVs, such as the Concord, have page summaries at the top of the page. These can be used to scan the pages quickly. You can even mark them to find the pages and topics with less effort.

Choosing the print

The quality of the print makes a big difference on how easy the text is to see. Is it large or small, faint or bold? We all have different needs for font size and boldness and our needs might change with age.

Boldness

Lighting varies and you will need a font you can see easily. A font that isn’t bold enough will increase eye fatigue. Higher contrast reduces eye strain. Font size for preaching is usually larger than font size for study.

Font size

There are two numbers to be aware of for font size. The first is the size of the font itself and the second is the leading—the size of the font plus the space between the lines of text.

For example, a 10-point font with one point between the lines would have an 11-point leading. It would be described as 10/11. Sometimes only the size of the leading is given.

This is why two Bibles can have the same size font but one is called an 8-point and the other is called a 9-point. They are both 8/9.

Line matching

Text that lines up to the text on the other side of the page improves readability. Thinner paper that has line matching looks better than thicker paper that does not.

Italics

Some Bibles have italics for supplied words. Many preachers like to point out when a word was not in the original text.

faithlife-study-bible (1)

Lectern Bibles

Lectern Bibles have giant print and are large. They often span 24” when opened. This might not leave room for a notebook. They usually have great paper and print quality, but they are very expensive—often $300 or more.

Study Bibles

Study Bibles are big, and the notes can be distracting. It can also be annoying trying to find a verse when one page has 30 verses and the next has two. Another problem is having to flip through 10–20 pages of articles to get to the next verse in the chapter.

Find one that fits you

A preaching Bible is specialized. It doesn’t have to have everything you need for study and day-to-day ministry.

Look for the balance between the size of the Bible and the size of the text that works for you.

Your Bible doesn’t have to do everything. It just needs to do one thing and do it well.

* * *

Additional reading:

  1. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  2. What English Bible do you use?
  3. Words to push and pull
  4. Appointed to be read
  5. Good or bad preacher
  6. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  7. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  8. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  10. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  11. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  12. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  13. The Most Reliable English Bible
  14. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  15. The Divine name of the Creator
  16. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. The NIV and the Name of God
  21. New American Bible Revised Edition
  22. Bible translated into Jamaican Creole Patois
  23. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  24. Bibletranslation in Lingala
  25. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  26. Record breaking preaching in Mount Dora

+++

  • The main benefit that is obtained by preaching is (memoirandremains.wordpress.com)
    Jonathan Edwards is famous for many things, among them is his statement about the necessity of the heart being moved during the preaching of the word of God:

    The main benefit that is obtained by preaching is by impression made upon the mind in the time of it, and not by the effect that arises afterwards by a remembrance of what was delivered….Preaching, in other words, must first of all touch the affections” (Jonathan Edwards, A Life, Marsden), p 282.

  • Florida preacher’s sermon breaks Guinness record at 53 hours, 18 minutes (fellowshiproom.org)
    Did I hear Richard Mansel say he was going to break this record next week during his regular sermon? 😉
  • Suppository preaching (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    Much preaching today does not attempt to relate the Old Testament to Jesus but to their narcissistic audience: Get rid of the frogs in your life, purge yourself of poverty, find your purpose, live your  dream, reach your po-tential. What they don’t do is expository preaching, that is, preach the Bible, verse by verse and connect it to Jesus.
  • Preaching should be awe-FULL (wheelsms.wordpress.com)
    When a pastor treats the Scriptures as one more academic subject, his sermons will sound dry and boring. When the Bible fails to grip his heart, it will seldom go beyond his listener’s ears, let alone grip their hearts. Such is the theme of pastor Erik Raymond’s insightful post, The Missing Ingredient in Many Sermons.” He compares preaching to cooking a good meal when he says,Like cooking, preaching can become bland. It can fail to have that freshness worthy of the gospel table. There are many reasons why. One could identify a lack of preparation, lack of understanding, poor delivery, and shallowness. We would not disagree that under-cooking the homiletical meal is a problem. But there is something else that can make preaching bland: the deadly reality of not being personally wowed by the subject.
  • What Should I Preach ? (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
    One of the most frequent questions I get especially from new minsters is how do they know what to preach. It can seem daunting at first. A new topic every week for the next several decades of their career. First of all nobody can handle a career’s worth of decisions all at once But I wanted to commit some ideas to paper for those who might find themselves stuck for a sermon topic.
  • Preaching Big Books (biblicalpreaching.net)
    Perhaps you shy away from preaching series from the bigger books in the Bible?  Maybe it would help to think differently about big book series.  There is more than one way to preach a series from a big book (like a major prophet or Acts):
  • Identifying with Bible Characters (biblicalpreaching.net)
    The Bible is full of stories.  Stories are very effective ways to communicate.  When a story begins, people tend to do two things – first, they identify with (or disassociate from) characters, and second, they feel the tension in the story, anticipating the resolution.  So when we preach Bible stories, let’s be sure to help listeners connect with what is going on.
  • Pastor preaches for 53 hours, claims world record (christiantoday.com)
    Pastor Zack Zehnder from The Cross church in Mount Dora preached for 53 hours and 18 minutes, smashing the previous record which was a mere 48 hours and 31 minutes.Zehnder, whose father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all ministers in the Lutheran Church, undertook the challenge to raise funds for an addiction recovery ministry run by the Hand in Hand charity.

Writers needed to preach to non-believers

Growing Islamisation

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

It may be said that Christians seem to fail there where Muslims succeed. In Belgium we could see the Muslim community grow enormously in the last decade. Though we do not see so many preachers on the streets. In certain quarters the Islamic preachers are very actively on the street or in the parks, but in others you can’t see them. It seems a lot of youngsters do find their Islamic teaching on the net but do not find it countered by Christian teachers. Those who do have an idea that there could possibly be one God to be worshipped mostly can find Catholic and evangelical groups teaching trinitarian doctrine. Jehovah Witnesses go from door to door but most people are so much afraid of the groups and of the name Jehovah they really do not want to listen to them or to take some study material from them.

English: took it myself to illustrate open-air...

Open-air preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people in several western countries stopped listening to the pastors, priests, bishops and those who say they are ‘men of God’ because they saw what happened in the many churches were priest and nuns used young children to please themselves. Lots of people saw that many preachers who did use lots of words to frighten the people, did not bother to do those things they told their flock not to de because they would end up in hell, a place of torment and eternal suffering. In many denomination the pastors or priests make use of the comparatively easiness to convince a man of his sin and then to frighten him for the consequences of that sin.

Guilt is a majority of our spiritual make up.  And it is the substance that leaks out into our fleshly day. {The necessity of the Gospel}

No good answers by clergymen for searching people

No Preaching sign in Australia

No Preaching sign in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a guilty conscience many became bewildered, looking for real justifying answers. But the priests or pastors could not deliver them. By that “awakening” of getting conscious he had to do something against his sins, man becomes aware of a need to cleanse himself.  Some might than think

by that means, it is also comparatively easy to convince a man that Jesus is a necessary aspect of this cleansing.

but it does not seem to be so easy and it can not be brought over by staying in the church-walls. The preacher has to get out of those walls and come into the open to tell others what for possibilities there are and how Jesus can be found and is there for all of those who are willing to accept his ransom offer.

We read and hear of people saying that they need the Lord all day long.  Just a cursory look into the Christian announcement by His people will provide a rather overwhelming view of our sense of need.  And how can that be a fault?  All men know of their guilt.  It is a natural outcome that others should hear us speaking of our need for the Lord’s blood in decimating our sins. {The necessity of the Gospel}

Though people want to feel that they are helped and guided. The clerical people demanding from the ordinary human person to become holy, having to keep to all sorts of difficult things, therefore got lots of people stopping to listen to the men of their church because they know they cannot, or are not willing to, reach to the greatest of Christianity.

Need of human example

In The Swinging Doors is written:

Often, in a man’s frightful plight, he needs a human example.  As the little boy was reported to have said to his mother, “Sometimes I need a Jesus with skin on”. {The Swinging Doors}

Many churches made Jesus into their god and did not want to accept it was a man of flesh and blood who really died for the sins of many. They taught their believers that no man is capable to follow all through God’s commandments; So why bother many say. Many people also came to see that such teaching of a man who was not a man but was a spirit, who in one place says he cannot be tempted and in another place in Scriptures it says he was been tempted by the devil, could not be a real good teaching but only a misleading teaching.  Lots lost faith in their church of the misleading doctrines and found more clarity in the Islam teaching. The big problem is they did never tried to look at other Christian religions who do keep to the biblical Truth. Not many took time to look at the different non-trinitarian groups, because they thought all Christians are the same and do think the same. They also got frightened to look at the other denominations because they were made frightened by their own church who always told them it were heretics and not Christians.

No one willing to come down

Those who left the dogmatic Christian groups, Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, did not encounter on their path to other non-doctrinal Christians people who were confessing they only believed in Only One God. None of those non-trintiarians thought it necessary to come to them. Most of them who say they have the truth and are not a Jehovah Witness do not go away from their position in their church or ecclesia.

None will venture to ascend their hill.

They remain in their known group and are willing to give exhortations in their ecclesia, but to go out on the streets or to go to teach and preach somewhere else, not many wanted to do. so, those looking for God did not encounter people who wanted to tell them that in Christianity there may be found answers and may be found people willing to help to come closer to God.

In many of those non-trinitarian and trinitarian churches they are saying “God calls the people” which is true, but does not give you the right to sit on your ass and do nothing. Jesus was clear to his disciples and wanted all his followers to go out in the world to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. But in many churches the people in charge say we do have to be patient and the right people just shall come up to us. Is that so? Shall people be able to find you?

Given task

We should be prepared to bring honourable service and give ourselves into the Hands of God, offering ourselves as servants of Christ and servants of God. Faith without works is dead and true faith demands dedication to God’s sovereignty.
Preaching should be done across the entire world, every day and night regarding this subject, by those who believe in the things which are grounded in their heart. That what did not have enough opportunity to grow in the heart can not be shared. There has to be a willingness to hear others and to come to them to talk and share ideas with them. Ears have to be opened to the Word of God, but so few hear it.  So few accept it.  So few do it.   Why?

Because salvation from guilt and sin is a natural desire of the human mind.

says the writer of Words From There.

But the walk of Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit.  As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves compelled to agree with the Father in Heaven. {The necessity of the Gospel}

this should bring people united under Christ in the understanding of  the necessity to live as the Lord Jesus lived.

Servants for God

 He became a servant, though He is the Son of God.  We too are called to become servants, though we are sons of the same God.

The big question is: How many do want to become a humble servant in the hands of God? How many are willing to follow up the task Jesus has given his disciples?

Understanding the true nature of God by observing phenomena on earth is like exclusively studying shadows to examine the Sun.  The resultant assumptions would most certainly fall short. {Thoughts from Isolation}While some people ponder the very existence of a God, His people ponder His promises. {Thoughts from Isolation}

Short time to stand at the side

There are too many questions to be answered, and time on earth is too short to get all the answers right. When we do have to find out everything on our own it (perhaps) will take a long time, but when we can find help in what others can show us from the Bible we can grow with each other and come to a better understanding sooner. It is easy to say

Why is there not even a hint of concern in the majority of people?

and do nothing. Standing at the side, staying in the close environment, the safe surrounding of the own ecclesia or church is easy. It is high time to come out of the ‘building’ and to go out in the  ‘wild nature’.

Messengers with wrong motives

Soon after Jesus his death it happened already that people made use of his name and his popularity. The apostle Paul noted already that there were some that preached Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. (Philippians 1:15-18) Many centuries later not much has changed. We still can find people who are more interested in their own good and their own name, instead of sharing the gospel with many for the matter of  Jesus his name. We shamefully notice that everywhere we can find people who preach Christ out of selfish ambition. But perhaps this should not bother us so much because whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this we should rejoice.

Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org, Author of Making Sense of the Bible wrote

What security in the gospel! Even if the messenger has wrong motives, the message remains unstoppable. This means that God has built into the gospel a self-correcting power for every abuse of the gospel at the hands of men. Men misused the Bible to promote slavery in Africa and America, yet the abolitionist movement came out of the church.

All of us should be thankful we are good in something. We all have been given a gift of God’s grace for the good of His people. As the least of the Lord’s people, Paul knew that these graces were not given based upon any personal merit, so stop disqualifying yourself to use the gift of grace that God has given you. God has created all things, including you and your capacity, and God wants us to focus upon him and use what he has freely given us. And each person who comes in Christ should also as a member of the body of Christ use his or her gifts to let that body grow.

Poisoned and mislead

Arthur W. Pink was aware that we should use the gifts we received more to proclaim the Word of God

those whose whole time and energies are to be devoted to seeking the spiritual and eternal welfare of souls, and the better equipping of themselves for that most blessed, solemn, and important work. Their principal tasks are to proclaim God’s Truth and to exemplify and commend their message by diligently endeavoring to practice what they preach, setting before their hearers a personal example of practical godliness. Since it be the Truth they are to preach, no pains must be spared in seeing to it that no error be intermingled therewith, that it is the pure milk of the Word they are giving forth. To preach error instead of Truth is not only grievously to dishonor God and His Word, but will mislead and poison the minds of the hearers or readers. {Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures}

Many people felt dishonoured and mislead by their common church. The Muslims seemed to honestly keep closer to the Word of God and kept more to their holy Scriptures, doing what was requested by them.

Governing bodies have taken over the Pauline churches which at early Christendom were free communities.

It is true that the early apostles held a council in order to examine more closely certain issues. Upon holding this council a letter was drawn up and sent to the Gentile churches. This letter gave basic rules of how to conduct oneself as a Christian. Paul later went back and wrote too many of these Gentile Christians and gave them a fuller explanation on what it meant to be a Christian and how to live as a Christian.  {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3}The reason men like Harold Camping can gather disciples around him are because people have remained silent. They fear persecution and do not want to live a life of being shunned or spoken evil against. I am not going to be unloving when I examine other ministers’ doctrines, but I also will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will not shun being persecuted by remaining silent concerning the truth of God’s word. Therefore I will not be silent concerning the doctrines of the ‘Teacher’ nor Otis Graves.

writes a a Reformed Baptist, from a Covenantal, Amillennial perspective in Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2. This while too many keep silent and do not dare to step on toes. But no congregation is free of the silent ones or of those who do not want to go out to those who do not belong to the community. This made that many in the city or at the countryside did not find it interesting enough to go to hear in the church-building what the preacher had to say. those who stayed at home and did their normal daily business did not find somebody on their path to work or to the shops who tried to convince them of the beauty of Jesus his ransom.

Unlearned men

‘Church’ wanted people to believe they could not understand the Bible, because they did not follow special university courses. In the past they had also told Luther that if the scriptures were translated into the common language of the people that a flood gate of sin would come out of it.

They told him that the church would begin to split and splinter into all kinds of different denominations. This is because that unlearned men will not take and interpret scripture according to the tradition of the Church. Luther responded by saying that he knew that if he put the scriptures in the hands of ignorant and unlearned men, that it would open a flood gate of iniquity, but nevertheless every person ought to have the scriptures to read for themselves. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

We may not forget that in the first century of this common era, like in the centuries before people did not get a university degree to read and understand the Holy Scriptures. The disciples of Christ got their training first hand from the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). They continued the same practice as Jesus to educate others in the teachings of Christ Jesus. They wrote down what they had learned so that others in places far away could use the writings as edifying material. We too have that educational material at hand in our own language. We can use the many Bible translations to receive the Biblical Wisdom. We should use it.

Right to read and to interpret

So the Reformation opened the door for private interpretation. But just because we have the right to interpret scripture privately does not mean that we have the right to distort scripture. The Reformers taught what is known as the perspicuity of scripture or that the scriptures are so plain that even a child could understand it. This doctrine does not teach that scripture is plain in every place, but it teaches that the doctrines that are essential to salvation are so clear that even a child could find his was to Christ by reading them. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

People need help in their interpretation and it are the elders and scholars who can and should help. In time the church has developed a science of interpretation known as ‘hermeneutics.’ This science and art of interpretation is our key which can keep us from falling into much error when we interpret scripture. Not everybody is been given the art of hermeneutics but those that have received it should use it and help others to come to a better understanding of what is written in the Bible.

While the Bible is filled with many types of literature it also uses many forms of speech within that literature. The Bible uses hyperbole, simile, symbolic, irony, sarcasm, metaphor, parallelism, synonymous parallelism, metonymy, personification, anthropomorphisms, anthropopathisms, and many more. The Bible also uses types and shadows to convey its message. So without a properly working hermeneutic we all would misinterpret scripture all the time. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

But it are the communities and those in charge of the ‘churches’ who should take care their flock is trained to come to good Bible reading and good Bible interpretation. Every person in the ecclesia should try to come to a good Bible knowledge and should help others in reading and interpreting the Bible.

Not staying in own cocoon

As we go on, after we have been baptised, and grow in our faith, we do have to carry it with us and should share it with others. We cannot keep our faith to our own. We also may not stay in our little cocoon just staying safe with those we do know and with those whom we love. Out of love for the others, we should go out to reach them and to show them the Way.

Thomas Manton asked

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? {So much Preaching and so Little Practice – Thomas Manton}

but we wonder where all that preaching is. We can not see many Christians on the streets, in parks, in public buildings or in public transport, teaching the Word of God. It seems to stay in between closed doors.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

One of the great inspirers for many Christians and strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition: Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon

We do need constant thoughts which are operative so that musing makes the fire burn. {Thomas Manton} The British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers,”  Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon in his lifetime preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons are reprinted many times and are still going strong. He knew very well the importance to go out on the streets and to take sure educating thoughts would be spread amongst many. We should remember him who said

Preaching! Man’s Privilege and God’s Power!

A Privilege to be taken seriously

Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Mary, Thomas and their son Octavius Winslow, John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. and many more understood the need of reaching to the people, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life. We should take them as an example and not limit ourselves to our own community, staying only at our own ecclesia.

For sure it might be easier just to preach for people who believe the same as we do. It is easier not be confronted with people who have other ideas and want to ask questions. It is easier to avoid such questions and keeping to a close group where one is sure they all believe the same and/or do not dare to question.

Like Aiden Tozer’s passion for a deeper knowledge of God led him to study the great devotional writers of the past, we should not hesitate to look at such works from the past but always should see them in the light of the Holy Scriptures, which constantly should be the main guide.

People wanting to know God

The move of many churchgoers to become mosque goers proves that there are enough people wanting to get to know God. You can wonder how they can get to know God when nobody wants to come to them and tell about God.

Prayer and worship were the hallmarks of many previous Bible teachers  their life. but they did not stay in their own little environment, their safe surrounding of their church. They stood up and went to those who did not yet belong to their church or even did not believe in a god or the God. Like them we should come forward and present our thoughts and our writings to people who are looking for God and perhaps not belong to any church, or did not find the Truth.

A W Tozer.jpg

Aiden Wilson Tozer

Our preaching as well as our writings should simply become an extension of our faith and prayer life.

In modern evangelicalism, contended Tozer, we work, we have our agendas–in fact, we have almost everything except the spirit of true worship. He defined worship as a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe, astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of the unspeakable Majesty. He reminded the pastors, “We’re here to be worshippers first and workers only second; Out of enraptured, admiring, adoring souls God does His work. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.” {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Tozer called the doctrine of the Holy Spirit “buried dynamite”. Yet he always insisted that the Spirit and the Word operate in harmony. He exhorted the overzealous to a warm heart and a cool head:

“The history of revivals in the Church reveals how harmful the hot head can be….These are days of great religious turmoil. Let love burn on with increasing fervour, but bring every act to the quiet test of wisdom. Keep the fire in the furnace where it belongs. An overheated chimney will create more excitement than a well-controlled furnace, but it is likely to burn the house down. Let the rule be: a hot furnace but a cool chimney.”

– Walter Unger {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Simply taking up the task given by Christ

We should not aim for great fame and popularity as a preacher, but we should be well aware that we do have to come together, read and study the Bible with others, preach the gospel and make new believers.

In many church services other than those of the Christadelphians not much time is given or spend at the Word of God. God’s Word in Scripture, if ever used at all, comes in sporadic bursts of verses here and there, and in evangelical churches they are just parts of phrases being shouted out repetitive whilst most of the time entertaining songs sweep up the public. Very often bible texts are stripped of their intended meaning, stifling the work of the Spirit in His sacramental function of quickening the Word, and robbing the people of blessing. At other places the sermon or the exhortation has not much to do with the Bible fragments read.

Though time has to be spend to go deeper into the reading and to give some examples of how the Bible text relates to our daily life. That we need much more, so that people can see how the stories of the Bible still have relevance today. Further we also need more stories of influences of the Bible and faith to people in our society. The Lifestyle magazines Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters would love to bring such Bible and Faith related stories. But we need more people who can bring such stories and show people what it can do to have the Christian Faith.

You to can play your role

It is high time there shall come forward more Christian believers to proof to others they are not children of the bond-woman but of the free (Galatians 4:31) and to show the world which blessings come over those who are willing to accept Christ in their life.

When the early church went out into the world, armed with the truth through which alone true unity could be effected, they, as well as Paul, met with opposition. The had to conquer their fear for speaking in public. It took time but with the aid of the Holy Spirit and with their trust in God they managed to spread the faith very well. We better take up their courage and start evangelizing like they did in the early days.

You too can do your share. For sure you too have something to tell; something that changed your life; something you feel inside, something you notice in the world; let it be known to others. We are willing to give you a platform where you can let your voice be heard so that your voice can put an other cobblestone on the big road to be made.

As time went on, however, the church no longer loved God enough to see, feel and talk about the wonders of the Divine Creator. Let those Works of God be better known. Open people their eyes and ears so that they can see and hear the beauty of nature, the Hand of God in our world. Show the world where there can be growth of true worship in the face of daunting challenges so that it can be faith-strengthening and inspiring to God’s people everywhere. Let the sun never sets on the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making. Remember the prophet Zechariah his words

 “who has despised the day of small things?” (Zecharia 4:10)

and do not hesitate to join the small group of enthusiast preachers.

Declaring Good News

Let us “declare good news” like Jesus demanded from his followers. Each of us can “bear news; announce; act as a news bearer.” (1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 16:23)

Jesus recognized that his divine commission called for a preaching work, and he carried it on publicly, in cities and villages, in the temple area, synagogues, marketplaces and streets, as well as in the countryside. (Marcus 1:39; 6:56; Luke 8:1; 13:26; John 18:20)
Do you want to go wherever you can entering into villages or cities or countryside or bring  your texts on the internet so that it can come in the homes of many people?

Jesus had stressed that he was ‘sent by God’ (Luke 9:48; John 5:36, 37; 6:38; 8:18, 26, 42), who gave him “a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak.” (John 12:49). The apostles who followed the directions of Christ knew that they publicly had to declare that Jesus is Lord, and that we have to exercise faith in our heart that God raised him up from the dead, so that we will be saved.

For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Like John the Baptist Jesus did more than preach. His teaching receives even greater emphasis than his preaching. Teaching (di·da′sko) differs from preaching in that the teacher does more than proclaim; he instructs, explains, shows things by argument, and offers proofs. The work of Jesus’ disciples, both before and after his death, was thus to be a combination of preaching and teaching.(Matthew 4:23; 11:1; 28:18-20).

The writings which we present as such shall have to bring preachings and teachings, sermons and exhortations, bringing examples that show how God is at work also today and is still calling everybody who is willing to hear His Voice.

We have to share our heartfelt feeling for Christ and for each other. We have to share like Christ did, our love for the Only One God and our love for brothers and sisters in Christ, but also our love for the whole creation (man, animals and plants). As this in the old times was shared by all disciples, men and women, we too should till “the conclusion of the system of things” proclaim the Good News and share our faith with others, bringing a call to the world to join us and to become a member of the Body of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts of the apostles 2:17; compare Acts 18:26; 21:9; Romans 16:3.)

18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority*+ has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples*+ of people of all the nations,+ baptizing+ them in* the name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the holy spirit,+20 teaching+ them to observe+ all the things I have commanded YOU.+ And, look! I am with YOU+ all the days until the conclusion* of the system of things.”*+ {Matthew 28:18-20 Reference Bible}

Let us make sure that on the basis of Jesus his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in all the nations and that you with us may be a witness of these things. Jesus was sending forth upon us that which is promised by his heavenly Father. We, though, have to follow the decree given by Jesus to be a pupil but also a teacher, a follower and a leader, always a servant, one for the people and one for God.

coming closer to the Last days we should be fully aware that Jesus said

‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit*+ upon every sort of flesh,* and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men* will dream dreams;+ 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. {Acts of the apostles 2:17 Reference Bbile}

Sharing and blessings for all

All sorts of men and women shall go out in those days, but we do not have to wait to the last moment be part of them. Today you can stand up and show your alertness and your vivid will to be part of that community which want to show others the way to God. You can start to speak boldly in your own surroundings and share your voice on this platform and on From Guestwriters. You can let people hear and see that they too can find a place where blessing are shared with love with all who want to come along and with all who want to celebrate the greatest love a person has ever given.

We have to show others that it is not sufficient just to take the posture of politely and respectfully listening, not doing much of anything else. Jesus wanted active followers, doers of the Word. Those who come to church or enter the ecclesia perhaps would (all) agree that they are there to learn and be challenged in the Word, but in actuality, they are very inactive in the learning process, very passive in the spiritual discipline, and very unengaged while the preacher is preaching. We have to show them that is not what is wanted form a member of Christianity, a follower of Christ. we have to stimulate them that they also get up and start showing the works of faith. doing our work not forgetting how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

All believers are still hold to the task of challenging the wider Church which is asking, struggling, journeying about how we, those who are called to be “Preachers”, “Teachers”, “Leaders” can create sacred spaces so that those outside our community feel as welcomed and share with us too, how the Good News impacts, revitalises, renews, re-forms their and others lives, and how they impart their own wisdom empowered by the Holy Spirit to encourage who we have been called to be.

All human beings, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status,every human being has sinned and falls short of the glory of God.”

Let us take many into our company, showing the blessing we receive on daily basis, and expound the way of God more correctly to them.

May your time spent here be blessed.

Isn’t this what we are called to do?  We are to ascend to our place near the Lord.  From there we are commanded to proclaim regardless the response.  Can you count the number of us who have gone into the city?  How many of those tiny houses contain artifacts of man?   How did they get there?   The Lord did not put them there, nor did He have them delivered. {The Swinging Doors}

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Find to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. Christianity without the Trinity
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible for you and for life
  8. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  9. The Most Reliable English Bible
  10. The Bible and names in it: Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has Ever Been
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  13. Reasons to come together
  14. Not many coming out with their community name
  15. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  16. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  20. Not all ability to preach
  21. Breathing to teach
  22. Church sent into the world
  23. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  24. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  25. Our openness to being approachable
  26. Words to push and pull
  27. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  28. How should we preach?
  29. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  30. Good or bad preacher
  31. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Holland Week of billing
  34. Asia Cahaya Conference focusing on preaching
  35. It is Today
  36. Belonging to or being judged by
  37. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  38. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  39. A Society pleading poverty
  40. Dealing with worries in our lives
  41. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  42. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  43. Risen With Him
  44. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?

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Additional reading:

  1. Thoughts from Isolation
  2. To the stump
  3. Your Post
  4. The necessity of the Gospel
  5. Jehovah’s Message
  6. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  7. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  8. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2
  9. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3
  10. A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines
  11. Rev. Duncan Campbell Sermon – Action and Obedience
  12. Puritan Thomas Watson – Christian Joy!
  13. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  14. What if Jesus Preached What Modern Preachers are Preaching?
  15. What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
  16. Preaching the Gospel in the Power of Signs and Wonders
  17. On Preaching “To the Men”
  18. The Primacy of Preaching
  19. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  20. How to Spread the Gospel
  21. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  22. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  23. Preaching is a two-way street
  24. What do you think about preaching someone else’s sermon?
  25. Sex, murder, and preaching: How much is too much for Sunday morning?
  26. Redemptive-Historical Preaching Vs. Moralistic Preaching in Sanctification
  27. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  28. Four Reasons You Should Go Easy On Yourself After Failure, Divorce or Abuse
  29. Preach It, Sister!
  30. What do you need…?
  31. The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ
  32. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings
  33. Proclaim Christ Thru Service to Others
  34. Cavite Hosts I-Proclaim! 3 on National Bible Week 2012
  35. Proclaim Jubilee: A Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century
  36. How to Proclaim Restoration

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  • Jehovah’s Witnesses descend on Melbourne in pictures (theguardian.com)
    A large sign across the turf at Etihad Stadium reads: ‘Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom’
  • Taking the plunge at Etihad Stadium into a life of faith serving Jehovah (smh.com.au)
    Cameron Dobber’s nerves had mostly settled by the time he took his place in the middle of Etihad Stadium in front of more than 65,000 people.The 27-year-old forklift driver from Sunshine had been preparing for this moment for more than four years.After months of Bible studies and a three-hour interview with church elders, it was finally his turn to step into the baptismal pool and become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Suppository preaching (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    A Christian is called. To do what? “Follow me.” And the crucial part of this calling by Jesus is getting nailed – as Paris Reidhead once said – to the back of the cross; the “purpose-driven” crowd’s worst nightmare.+

  • 19. Daily Bible Verse (12160.info)
    It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
  • Watch: ’19 Kids & Preaching’ Video Highlights Duggar Family’s Christian Faith (blackchristiannews.com)
    A new video called 19 Kids and Preaching shows that the Duggar family members are passionate about their Christian faith. While they often pray and talk about God on their TV program, this video shows them getting out of their comfort zone to share their faith with others.
  • Preaching What God’s Word Says about the World (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    [T]he principle that the Christian minister is to preach only the Word of God most certainly does not forbid him to apply the teaching of Holy Writ to the specific needs of his hearers and the peculiar conditions of his day. Application, as well as explanation, is of the essence of preaching.
  • 970) Whether I know what preaching is! Taught by Srila Prabhupada! (pmdasa.wordpress.com)
    A devotee should not only give respect to the devotees, but he should try to make others a devotee. That is, means preaching.
  • The Active Power of Faith (codybateman.org)
  • “Coming Up Short”; Jeffrey Sartain’s sermon, Oct. 26 (plymouthspirit.wordpress.com)
    Acts of generosity draw goodness and blessing toward us. When we give, we receive blessings far greater than what we have given.
  • “The way I finish a sermon” by Charles Spurgeon (tollelege.wordpress.com)
    I have preached this Gospel for many years, and I do not think I ever finished a sermon except in one way—by trying to explain what is meant by this simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)

We would consider that in many cases intentionally certain doctrines where presented to be taken by people as the rules to follow. Throughout history many were looking to the freedom from error. We should trust the Words of God, like they are written down in the Holy Scriptures. There is no extra formula necessary, nor extra theological masters necessary to come to understanding. All may find inspiration in the Words like they are brought to us. We should allow that Word to have the full authority. We only have to be willing to open our ears to the Word of god so that it can come into our soul.

.
To remember:
  • Church leaders in the 1500s did not think the average Christian was capable of  understanding the scriptures.
  • Leaders give doctrinal boundaries through which to interpret the scriptures.
  • Not teaching people to ask questions and find their own answers => teaching their own brand of theology.
  • Sacredness of bible = basis for seminaries and bible colleges.
  • God will speak to you through whatever
  • Biblical interpretation = not merely a task individuals perform => grows out of our participation in family of God in the broadest sense possible.
    +++
  • P1 – An overview of 3500 years of Bible interpretation (biblicalexegete.wordpress.com)
    Following the Reformation, we see the increasing emphasis upon rationalism and a de-emphasis upon revelation. Protestant theologians would come to adopt reason and philosophical investigation as part and parcel of Bible intrepretation – i.e protestant scholasticism.
  • P2 – An overview of 3500 years of Bible interpretation (biblicalexegete.wordpress.com)
    In addition to those men, movements and other men would come to shape how the wider scholarly worlds of Europe and America would come to develop an ever increasing critical stance towards the scriptures. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleirmacher’s epochal systematic theology: “On Religion, Speeches to its Cultural Despisers”, written in 1799, could be viewed as marking the unofficial beginning of modern liberal theology. As other Old and New Testament scholars began to apply 18th century rationalism and the then newly developed theories of evolution from Charles Darwins’ “Origin of the Species” in the 19th century, the Bible came to be increasingly viewed as a book of religion, fraught with errors, a book of men and not the Word of God.
  • Keeping a Simple Perspective on Biblical Interpretation (jacksonwu.org)
    Everyone can understand something. Seek the big idea of the text, but don’t assume it. It’s ok not to understand nuanced points. Keep at it. It may take days, weeks, even years. However, such perseverance frequently pays off in yielding the insights we want.
  • Five Ways Not to Teach Biblical Interpretation (Part 2) (jacksonwu.org)
    People sometimes never think of the fact that writers may talk about the same topic in two passages, but have different points to make.As a result, our ability to apply Scripture is limited by our selective reading. We will not grow because we will constantly assume we know what the author is getting at.
  • Lecture Review: “Reflections on the Bible, Evolution, and the Journey of Faith” by Peter Enns (mpworth.wordpress.com)
    For Enns, a literalist approach to Scripture “assumes that the mark of divine inspiration is to isolate itself from cultural context”—Enns doesn’t agree; therefore, we cannot simply “graft” evolution onto evangelicalism—by suggesting that Adam and Eve could have been some early hominid couple chosen by God, etc. The first gene pool was no less than about 10,000 humans, and this must be accounted for (see, for example, Dennis Venema’s article, “Genesis and the Genome.”).
  • Thy Word Is Still Truth: A Brief Review (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    For those of you who want a mini-Reformed library on the doctrine of Scripture contained in a single volume, this one is for you.  It is true that almost everything in this book has been published previously elsewhere, but it is handy to have them all in one book.  And to top it off, there are very extensive indices (topical and scriptural).  Even though you probably won’t sit down and read Thy Word Is Still Truth straight through, it contains many excellent resources that will stimulate your studies for years to come.
  • How the Ancient Church Interpreted Scripture (theophiluspunk.wordpress.com)
    I have many problems with the very term inerrancy:

    • It’s more a political term than a theological one.  Seriously: “inerrancy” is mostly used as a club for beating up people one disagrees with, declaring who the truly saved are and aren’t.
  • Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 1) (supernaturalgospel.wordpress.com)
    If texts could speak for themselves, then everyone honestly and openly reading a text would agree on what the text says. But interpretations of texts abound, and people in fact do not agree on what the texts mean. This is obviously true of the texts of scripture: simply look at the hundreds, or even thousands, of ways people interpret the book of Revelation, or consider all the different Christians denominations, filled with intelligent and well-meaning people who base their views of how the church should be organized and function on the Bible, yet all of them coming to radically different conclusions. – Bart Ehrman
    +
    Reading the scriptures is a subjective endeavor; you can never remove you and your interpretation from the picture.
  • Is Christianity Biblical?-Part 2 (spyghana.com)
    The greatest error committed by all translators of the Bible lies in their translating of all names of people they found in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures. That is not only wrong and unacceptable, it is ridiculous. It is ridiculous because, whereas, names of towns, places and other landmarks in Hebrew have remained essentially the same in the English Bible, albeit in corrupted pronunciations, all names of people originally found in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures have been translated!
  • The Sufficiency of Scripture: Is God’s Word Enough? Part 2 (randomtheoloblog.wordpress.com)
    Sufficiency means that something is enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.  It refers to something being what is necessary or desirable for a specified need.  Simply put, if something is sufficient it is just what the doctor ordered.  When it comes to Scripture, God’s Holy Word, it means that the Bible is totally adequate, and competent to meet the needs of every individual Christian in every circumstance of life (see 2 Peter 1:2-3).  Nothing else is needed to guide us in our everyday living.
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Supernatural Gospel

Privileged elite interpreters & self-perpetuating systems

The Reformation was about taking authority away from a man and giving it to a book. The Catholics could control their masses through the doctrine of papal infallibility, the Protestants through the doctrine of Bible inerrancy. – Glenn Steers

Church leaders in the 1500s (like many church leaders today) did not think the average christian was capable of  understanding the scriptures. They felt christians needed priests to explain to them what God demands of them.

Nowadays Christians are allowed to read bibles, but “leaders” think they need to be given “lenses” (basically doctrinal boundaries) through which to interpret the scriptures. This is the purpose of bible colleges and seminaries – not teaching people to ask questions and find their own answers, but rather teaching their own brand of theology.

As Christians, we are taught by our leaders to believe certain ideas and behave in…

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People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

As Byron ‘FLi’ Walker writes in Why We Need God most people looking for answers in their life find no deep or lasting fulfilment in their commitment to their leisure time to nature, art, music, and so on. He reminds us that humans have an inborn spiritual yearning which comes as no surprise to Bible readers. Those who regularly read the Bible have encountered enough places in those Scriptures where signs are given why and how we are to find ourselves in this world. In the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures it is written how Jehovah God, the Creator of heaven and earth, although His creation turned against Him, still wants to have a good relationship with them.KJV Bible

From the moment we do come on this earth we do feel the need to be connected with someone else and to have communication with those around us. also with the first humans there was already a communication going on with their Maker. God spoke with them regularly, allowing them to establish a spiritual relationship with Him. (Genesis 3:8-10) Children do have the need to speak with their parents. We do have our earthly parents but also an heavenly Father. As Creator of the universe, giving us life, placing us in His creation, He did not design us to live independently of Him. Made in the image of God, we also do have feelings but also needs. Like the Creator wanted to communicate with His creation we also do have a need to communicate with our Maker. The Bible refers to this need frequently.

Bible Study 2

Bible Study 2 (Photo credit: DrGBB)

We who want to live ‘godly lives’ can actually be deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are doing all the right things. Those who have found God already also may think they love God and may think that they are serving Him. But when they love Him, do they have a good relation with Him and do they communicate often with Him? Lots of people may think because they go to mass every Sunday they have done their bit of religiousness. They should know there is more to it than just attending all the functions on Sundays and midweek. What we love is revealed by what we find time to do in our daily life. By our very actions we tell God how much we love Him. We may be fooling ourselves. How much time do we spend thinking about God, reading His Word, caring for others and doing things just to please Him? When we have free time, what do we do with it? Do we turn to Bible reading and study, or do we turn to diversions such as computer activities, entertainment, or hobbies? When we say we do love God, Who do we want to take as our God? Those who are looking for some Special Being behind everything around us, are they willing to open their mind to the different ideas? Are they and we, willing to take in more research and knowledge, to have us spiritually growing? And in which we do we want to be connected to whom? When we look at the Old Testament we can find the importance placed on One Supreme Being but also on the hope for two things, one a man who is going to bring salvation and secondly a reign which shall be governed at first by that man. He will become at first the messenger of God bringing the Good News. He would suffer and find his life come to an end but than he would be taken out of the dead by God and made a mediator between God and man, restoring the broken relationship with the Creator. Therefore when we look for God we also should look for that one man who is called the restorer of faith and has taken in the place at the right hand of God to be the mediator between man and God. Clearly, that means it is somebody else than God. Meaning we have to find that person also to be able to speak with him or to ask things in his name to the One Who is called the Most High. The promised Saviour is Jeshua from the tribe of King David, better know today as Jesus Christ. When we do find him or get to know him, he can lead us to his Father, Who is the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, the God of gods and all things. When we are prepared to become a disciple of Christ we can listen to his teachings and take them at heart. He made so many things clear, that we have made it so much easier to understand when we listen to his teachings.  Jesus also told his followers to continually seek to increase in knowledge and understanding. From him we got to know that this search in his Father’s Words is essential to get to know his Father fully well. Without taking the Words of Jesus his Father at heart it shall be impossible to find God. God’s Truth invites … indeed, it welcomes … investigation, we said already in the previous chapter. So when encountering a different view, we should seize the opportunity at least to understand the evidence provided. We can always learn something, and if we’re wise, we may need to adjust our own views accordingly.

On August 25, 325, the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical debate held by the early Christian church, concluded with the establishment of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in May, the council also deemed the Arian belief of Christ as inferior to God as heretical, thus resolving an early church crisis. From that time onwards the church went astray and even more different teachings saw light, confusing lots of people. This event early in Christendom brought darkness in the eyes of the people. It made them going further away from God.  It took also the people away from seeing the truth of the man of flesh and bones, who said to his disciples he was not a spirit. Those disciples knew very well that God is Spirit and can not be seen by man or they would die. They knew they had seen Jesus. Some even had seen a dove and heard the voice from above, in heaven, saying that this man was His (God’s) beloved son.

In the 4th century men tried to get people far away form that idea of a man being able to follow God, not doing his own will but only the Will of God. They wanted and still want to have people believe that it is impossible for any human being to love God so much that they would like to do only His will and not theirs. Hearing of such impossibility that also has taken lots of people of their hope to become like Christ and to do the Will of God. We only can say the Roman emperor succeeded partly in what he wanted to get, having people adhering to the world more than to the Law of God.

The Arians and all those who preferred to believe in the One True and Only One God Who is One, were persecuted for their belief that Jesus is not coequal with his Father. All Christians were forced to believe that Jesus is not inferior to God or be considered heretics. Many found their life being ended at the stake or tortured until they stopped breathing and lost their life. Even in our age of tolerance today, those who reject the divinity of Christ are considered to be non-Christians by mainstream Christendom. Though in Christianity, through the times there have always been serious lovers of God who kept studying the Torah, the Old and the New Testament books of what is considered to be the canonic Bible today.

From the 4th century onwards a fog-curtain was pulled down by which a person who said “I am” was considered to be God. Those who were called “Jesus,” “Joshua,” “Chesu, “Jezus“, “Yashua” had to be God, this meaning that in the time when Jeshua te Nazarene was preaching, the other Jesus who was taught of to be the Messiah because he revolted against the Romans, there were and there are still many gods walking on this earth who should also be the God. This is naturally impossible and is no good way to look for The True God. In case people do want to find the True One and Only One God they should take away such false teachings or prescriptions. They should have to take the Words of the Bible, like they are written, black on white, without any dogmatic background teachings.

As long as people keep continue to hold fast on those dogmatic teachings of the many churches which came into existence after the Roman Catholic Church every time expelled those who did not agree with their power, it would be not easy to see through the fog. To find clarity we do have to believe God wants us to find Him and that He does not make it especially difficult, so that only theologians could find him. The Divine Creator took care that every body = all human beings, could come to know Him Who is responsible for their being. He is the Most High Elohim, the most powerful Authority, who has given mankind the most reliable set of unchanging guidelines, the Book of instructions, wisdom and answer to life’s question. The World shall not be able to find any book more reliable than this Book of books, which is the infallible Holy Word of God – The Bible! In the Bible humankind receives all the guidelines, the directions and laws they need at the time given. Certain things changed because the time and the people had changed. When we look at all the prophecies we also can notice some did not come into accomplishment. But we may be sure that like the previous prophecies became reality, the ones still to come, like World War III or Armageddon, the End-times, another thousand years after the Big Battle, shall happen when God considers it time to happen. Whatever shall happen, God did not want His people to stand in the cold and He assured them of a better time to come.

Those who are willing to believe in the One God and look forward to the return of His son, may find peace in the hope God has given the world. In the mean time people will have to come to know Who God is, what His Will is, what His Laws are and why we better keep to the Law of God, instead of trying to make better laws than Him. When we are willing to follow His directions and to listen to His Voice we shall get to know Him better. By keeping to His Law we also shall be able to make a safer life and a better way to live for our selves and for those around us.

Michelle Yee and many others know they can be a beloved daughter or son of the Most High King, when she writes:

It may not always be easy reading, understanding and interpreting it, but if you are diligent enough to read it than pray for wisdom to understand it, the revelation would come to you sooner or later. Either God will reveal it to you personally in spirit, or he will teach you through life experience, or perhaps God will reveal it to you through your pastor or someone else…. If you desire to seek God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart… Seek him in prayer and seek in His word, eventually you’ll find Him… {Jeremiah 29:12}”

(11)  ‘For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה {Jehovah}, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.  (12)  ‘Then you shall call on Me, and shall come and pray to Me, and I shall listen to you.  (13)  ‘And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart1. Footnote: 1Dt. 4:29, Joel 2:12.  (14)  ‘And I shall be found by you,’ declares יהוה {Jehovah}, ‘and I shall turn back your captivity, and shall gather you from all the gentiles and from all the places where I have driven you, declares יהוה {Jehovah}. And I shall bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.’” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 The Scriptures 1998+)

From here we should go out and seek the Most High, Creator of all things, who we want to have as our Only One God. We do not need pictures or statues, special buildings or constructions to remind us of Him or to find Him. Those who are willing to look for Him, God shall be willing to let Him be found by them. We do have to look for Him. We do have to search after Him, with all our heart and with all our soul (= our whole being). We should not let us be frightened by those who mock at us or by those who laugh with us.  When others who joke with us bring us in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days we shall be able to come in front of our God, and listen to His Voice. Looking for God may be like looking for a treasure. And the treasure hunt map God has provided in the Bible.

Today we may already be sure that He is a merciful God Who does us want to know Him and not want to fail us, neither destroy us, nor forget the covenant of our forefathers which He swore to them. For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and from the one end of the sky to the other, whether there has been anything as this great thing is, or has been heard like it?

” (29)  “But from there you shall seek יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, and shall find, when you search for Him with all your heart1 and with all your being. Footnote: 1Jer. 29:13.  (30)  “In your distress, when all these words shall come upon you in the latter days, then you shall return to יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim and shall obey His voice.  (31)  “For יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim is a compassionate ?l, He does not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

To be continued:

 People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

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Please find also to read:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  3. God’s design in the creation of the world
  4. God is One
  5. Only One God
  6. God of gods
  7. The one who makes us well and gives life
  8. The Divine name of the Creator
  9. Sayings around God
  10. Full authority belongs to God
  11. Pre-existence of Christ
  12. The Trinity – the truth
  13. Why believing the Bible
  14. Bible basic intro
  15. Who Wrote the Bible?
  16. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  17. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  18. Bible Word from God
  19. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  21. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  22. Creator and Blogger God 12 Old and New Blog 2 Blog for every day
  23. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  24. Bible guide Taking the Bible as a lead
  25. Statutes given unto us
  26. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  27. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  28. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  29. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  30. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  31. Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible
  32. Which View is Right?
  33. Bible in the first place #1/3
  34. Bible in the first place #2/3
  35. Bible in the first place #3/3
  36. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  37. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  38. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  39. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  40. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  41. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  42. Unsure about relevance Bible
  43. Appointed to be read
  44. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  45. Learn to read the Bible effectively
  46. We should use the Bible every day
  47. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  48. The Bible is a today book
  49. Bible for you and for life
  50. Bible like puddle of water
  51. Cell phone vs. Bible
  52. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  53. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  54. Relapse plan
  55. Having Truth Decay?
  56. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  57. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  58. One mediator
  59. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  60. Politics and power first priority #1
  61. Politics and power first priority #2
  62. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  63. Many churches
  64. Prophets making excuses
  65. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  66. Hope
  67. True Hope
  68. Working of the hope
  69. Fear knocked at the door
  70. Getting to know the Truth

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Additional reading:

  1. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  2. Some common misconceptions about the truth
  3. Trinity a false doctrine of a false church
  4. Is Jesus God?
  5. Is God an Impersonal Force?
  6. Massacre of children leaves many asking, ‘Where’s God?’
  7. Do You Allow God to Speak to You Every Day?
  8. Why We Need God

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  • Friday Devotional: Check Your Spirit (divinefaithfulness.wordpress.com)
    Living in complacency is not where God has called us to live. I sure have camped out there more times than I care to admit, though. Thinking that I didn’t need to go to church because I simply didn’t need to, saying that I loved God was good enough. Thinking that I didn’t need friends who loved God, that my old friends were just fine because they weren’t going to challenge me to live differently. Living in sin because, God will just forgive me anyway. Like it was all just no big deal. Ever been there, too?
  • A Sermon: Reading the Bible Together (davidswanson.wordpress.com)
    As a church we say that, “We desire to listen and submit to the Scripture, God’s revealed Word for His beloved children.” There are at least two important assumptions within this statement. The first is that God reveals himself through the Bible. God, being God, is so different from us that anything we know about God must be revealed by God. And though we don’t believe God has showed us everything about himself, as Christians we believe he has revealed enough for us to know him and experience his love and salvation. He has done this most importantly through his son.
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    It’s one thing to acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s role in the Bible’s writing and even our understanding. But when it comes to applying – to submitting – we act as though this is up to us, on our shoulders. But it’s not and this is why even a hard word – submit – a word few of us like, is a good word. For it is God who gives us the wisdom, strength, and stamina to live new and better lives in response to the Bible.
  • Real Truth never changes….. (wepresson.wordpress.com)
    In a world that seeks change there are some things that never change and
    it’s a good thing they don’t. Yes, there are absolute truths we can count on. The key is
    that they can only come from a Source that cannot be in error. Did you catch that?
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    And God promises to protect it down through the ages so that everyone has a chance to hear His truths and trust in His Son, our Savior, Jesus.
  • Advice from someone who knows. (commutewithchrist.com)
    We usually seek advice from people who have been in a similar situation or have knowledge of something that we don’t. But how often so we seek it from God? He’s written an entire book on how to live our lives. The Bible. It’s quite incredible that not many people seek it out given that in some shape or form it can give us direction and advice on everything we face in this life. It may not be the advice or guidance we want to hear but it’s in there. Work, relationships and money. These are the topics in our lives that we spend the most time thinking and worrying about.
  • The Word of God is perfect! (jooch1986.wordpress.com)
    all men have no excuse for not knowing Him or seeking Him.
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    Many people see the Scriptures as burdensome and full of rules.  Of course it will appear this way to those who do not know God and do not understand that His “yoke is easy and [His] burden is light (Matt. 11:30).  But really, the Word of God, or just decrees or whatever you want to call them are “more to be desired…than…even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey” (v. 10).  These are the words that show us the Way to eternal life with the perfect Creator of the universe who is all good, and in whom “there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
  • Intellectual Discipleship? Faithful Thinking for Faithful Living (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
    The biblical master narrative serves as a framework for the cognitive principles that allow the formation of an authentically Christian worldview. Many Christians rush to develop what they will call a “Christian worldview” by arranging isolated Christian truths, doctrines, and convictions in order to create formulas for Christian thinking.
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    A God-centered worldview brings every issue, question, and cultural concern into submission to all that the Bible reveals, and it frames all understanding within the ultimate purpose of bringing greater glory to God. This task of bringing every thought captive to Christ requires more than episodic Christian thinking and is to be understood as the task of the church, and not merely the concern of individual believers. The recovery of the Christian mind and the development of a comprehensive Christian worldview will require the deepest theological reflection, the most consecrated application of scholarship, the most sensitive commitment to compassion, and the courage to face all questions without fear.
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    Christian faithfulness requires the conscious development of a worldview that begins and ends with God at its center. We are only able to think as Christians because we belong to Christ; and the Christian worldview is, in the end, nothing more than seeking to think as Christ would have us to think, in order to be who Christ would call us to be.
  • Communication with our Father (eviej13.wordpress.com)
    The ability to communicate is often taken for granted and we just expect people to know what we want from them. Although God Does know what we want from Him, there is still nothing more important than our communication with Him.
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    Reading the Bible can help us sort through all the craziness to see what’s really important. It can bring about peace in our lives rather than allowing us to wallow in our confusion.
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    Nothing should become more important than getting into the Word and the Word into us. We will suffer the spiritual consequences of not feeding on the Word of God as we would suffer the physical consequences of not having a regular meal.
  • Psalm 78 as a Microcosm of the Bible (blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.wordpress.com)
    Psalm 78 is a microcosm of the entire Bible in that it was written in ancient times, chronicling the works of the Lord in the face of the faithlessness of man, that all succeeding generations might learn from this written record that God is good and that there reward in obeying Him.
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     A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
  • What is the Bible and what are we supposed to do with it? (theway21stcentury.wordpress.com)
    Christians often use terms like inerrant, infallible, authoritative and inspired, but not all of these are Biblical terms, and not all of them represent clear Biblical concepts. We should be willing to modify or deepen our understanding based on the best in information we have.
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    Most christians belief that Jesus was (and is) God incarnate (i.e. in a human body), and that he was at once fully God and fully human. Enns suggests we perhaps should also consider the Bible as both a human and divine document, in that it is fully grounded in the language, culture and thought forms of its day, yet it is also God’s means of revealing himself to the world.But instead of presuming we know how ‘God’s word’ ought to be, we should study and learn how it actually is …. and so learn more about God’s character.
  • The Greatest Gift: A Defense (triggermanblog.wordpress.com)
    Probably the greatest gift that I have ever received, from anyone, was the first Bible I was old enough to read.
    Oh, I was given story bibles with those smiling pictures and happy tales of when God did great things for those men, and women, of old. But I always knew that I wasn’t getting the whole picture, it was like I was getting spoon-fed some rhetoric, choice tales about God being my “buddy”if I would just put on a smile and believe. So, when I finally got my first “real” Bible, I was excited to be able to get to the real story, not the smiling faces and happy tales that were glossy and inspiring to me as a happy child, I wanted something more to understand the psychology of this God who was recorded as doing these great things.
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