So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Expositional Preaching

10/6/13            Cecil                            about 50

This morning many locations of New Life Community Church in Chicago are beginning a series of expositional sermons digging deep into Paul’s second letter to Timothy, a series that will last well into December.  In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul instructs Timothy, a young minister of the Gospel of Jesus, to “correctly handle the word of truth”.  I am proud of the brave decision by the pastoral team at New Life to commit this amount of time digging deep into a passage of scripture such as this, because it means they are committed to expositional preaching - allowing the Bible to set the agenda and speak for itself - rather than emphasizing the more comfortable and interesting topical preaching - deciding on a topic or message and then looking for Bible passages to support it.  I call it a “brave” decision because allowing the Bible to speak for itself means one will be biblically correct but not always politically correct.  It means they are willing to do the work of applying hard biblical truths to our lives, truths that often step on toes and make congregations step out of their comfort zones, truths that could lead people of shallow, untested, and ultimately false presuppositions about God to abandon the church altogether, like Paul experienced when abandoned and persecuted in Asia for his message as he described in this letter.  They won’t be able to ignore difficult verses, or cherry-pick other verses to say “what itching ears want to hear” as he wrote in 4:3.     I was reminded of the importance of expositional preaching when I reached out to a man named Cecil at a Starbucks yesterday.  He described himself as a born-again believer, dedicated to biblical truth, and told me about his faith journey since praying a salvation prayer about ten years ago, quoting numerous Bible verses in the process.  But as he talked I realized he is quickly drifting into many of the same beliefs of the cults and false teachers like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and prosperity preachers, false teachers that freely distort the Word of God to suit their purposes, just like Satan did when tempting Jesus in the wilderness.  Many non-believers I’ve talked to claim they don’t believe in Christianity because the Bible can be interpreted however people choose, and in talking to someone like Cecil I know that they are correct, which is why expositional preaching is so important.  We no longer have the choice to custom design the word of God like just another drink at Starbucks.  We can’t build a system of belief on sound bites and easy answers.  We may have to squirm in our seats as we wrestle through some inconvenient truths.   “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”   (2 Tim.3)

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