“You must be careful to do everything I command you; do not add anything to it or take anything away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32 (HCSB)
What is “church” to you? When I say “church,” I’m speaking of 2-3 hours once a week, usually Sunday morning, when people congregate in a religious assembly.
For some, church attendance is a religious duty. For others, it may be an intellectual pursuit, an emotional release, a spiritual filling, or a musical connection.
Whatever church is to you, the goal of church leadership should be to convey the Bible in a comprehensive way. Obviously, the best way to convey the facts of the Bible is to simply teach the Bible as it is. You know that is my heart. Other times, the Bible is conveyed through personal counsel, music and arts, community service, etc.
To me, the Bible is conveyed best when all aspects of Christian life are employed in harmony, each in its appropriate time, without humiliating the other.
For instance, you may be familiar with St. Francis’ quote, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.”
I have heard this quotation often and almost always supporting someone’s argument against a straightforward proclamation of the Bible. It is generally interpreted as “Live the gospel instead of preaching it.” OK, I get it.
But oftentimes, people miss an important aspect of St. Francis’ statement: There are times when preaching is NECESSARY. Nothing else will suffice. The words of Paul ring true here.
“And how shall they HEAR without a preacher?” Romans 10:14 (NKJV)
There are many reasons why we need to search the Scriptures daily. Today, I want to focus on one of them. We should study the Bible daily because it is essential for us to adhere to how God commands us to live.
The messages of preachers and leaders from among the various church movements may differ greatly. God’s Word is crystal clear. Some leaders are more conservative than God directs. They rob people of the freedom of God’s grace. Others are too liberal and rob people of the stability of God’s accountability. So, how can we distinguish sound doctrine from errant preaching? Read the Bible!
Never cease to learn the Bible and rest in it as it is. Do what the Bible says, and you won’t stray to either extreme, to the right or the left, as it were.
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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