Practical Bible Teaching?

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I just heard a pastor say how practical Biblical teaching is this: “this is what the Bible says, here is what it means and this is what you should do about it”.

Basically he said, “HOW we apply WHAT the word of God says and means is up to WHAT our Pastor tells us we should do.”

Something in my spirit didn’t receive this very well so here are my questions: (the context of my questions is in relationship to positive commandments)

While much of the word of God is very explicit on WHAT to do, (ie. don’t murder)  much of the word of God is not explicit. (ie. store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven)

Is it that pastor’s responsibility to spell out explicitly how people should apply the word of God when it comes to positive commandments?  Could this be considered legalistic?

Is this how God wants the body of Christ to work when it comes to application of WHAT the word of God says and means?

Is the power of the word of God in what man tells me I should do about it or what God tells me I should do about it?

Do spiritually immature people or ALL people need to be told WHAT they should do or how to apply the word of God when it comes to positive commandments?

Should ANYONE be told by someone else HOW they should apply or WHAT they should do about WHAT the word of God says?

In other words, is it up to man to connect the dots for other humans or is this God’s responsibility through the Holy Spirit?

If a pastor does not tell someone HOW they should apply WHAT the word of God says, are they less competent or effective?  Is their preaching not practical?

Should any man desire or take the responsibility for what another man does based upon what they tell another man what the word of God says and means?

In the sermon on the mount, Matt. 5-7,  Jesus spoke of many negative AND positive commandments.  He simply spoke BOTH of them and did not proceed with preaching application.

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5 Responses to Practical Bible Teaching?

  1. Charles Lutz says:

    ALL Scripture is profitable…
    2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
    2 Timothy 3:15-17 (in Context) 2 Timothy 3 (Whole Chapter)
    Just better be sure the pastor is a spirit-filled, called, and genuine!

  2. David Tant says:

    I am not sure that in all cases I have the right to tell people exactly how to carry out God’s commands. For example, he tells us to teach the gospel to others. That is a plain command. I can suggest various ways to carry out this command, but it is not in my prerogative to tell them the precise way to do this.
    On the other hand there are some commands that can only be fulled one way. Christ tells us to be baptized. Now men have devised different ways to do this. Some sprinkle water while others pour water. I know of a church that baptizes by sprinkling rose petals. But I must insist that the Biblical practice is an immersion in water.
    Sometimes we have to connect the dots for others. In the case of the Ethiopian eunuch, he needed someone to connect the dots for him. “The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus unto him.” (Acts 8:34-35)
    Christ also connected the dots on occasion. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27).
    Then there are times when false doctrine must be corrected. When preachers claim that baptism is not connected with salvation, people need to be directed to Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27 and I Pet. 3:21, etc.

    Anyhow, them’s my thoughts.

  3. Walt Henrichsen says:

    While much of the word of God is very explicit on WHAT to do, (ie. don’t murder) much of the word of God is not explicit. (ie. store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven)
    Is it that pastor’s responsibility to spell out explicitly how people should apply the word of God when it comes to positive commandments? Could this be considered legalistic? “Store treasure in heaven is explicit.” The pastor should warn people that they must do this. But the application of the command must be subjective, as the pastor himself will agree. He does not want others telling him what it looks like.
    Is this how God wants the body of Christ to work when it comes to application of WHAT the word of God says and means? Application is, by its nature, personal. Jesus said anger can be murder in the heart, but not always. Jesus was angry. All application is essentially personal.
    Is the power of the word of God in what man tells me I should do about it or what God tells me I should do about it? The word of man can challenge you, but you must decide before God what application looks like.
    Do spiritually immature people or ALL people need to be told WHAT they should do or how to apply the word of God when it comes to positive commandments? Again, the ‘”what” of application is simple: “husbands, love your wives!” The “how” must remain individual.
    Should ANYONE be told by someone else HOW they should apply or WHAT they should do about WHAT the word of God says? Only in the above mentioned sense of the word.
    In other words, is it up to man to connect the dots for other humans or is this God’s responsibility through the Holy Spirit? It depends on what dots need to be connected.
    If a pastor does not tell someone HOW they should apply WHAT the word of God says, are they less competent or effective? Is their preaching not practical? The pastor may say, “You cannot fornicate.” The application of this is, “You cannot have sex before marriage, even if you are in love with your girl friend. The pastor ought to spell this out for the man.
    Should any man desire or take the responsibility for what another man does based upon what they tell another man what the word of God says and means? Only in the sense of discipline if they fail to comply with God’s expectations.

    In the sermon on the mount, Matt. 5-7, Jesus spoke of many negative AND positive commandments. He simply spoke BOTH of them and did not proceed with preaching application. Why do you say this? “Ye have heard…don’t commit adultery. I say…don’t look on a woman with lust.”

  4. Jim Phillips says:

    Here is perhaps a more difficult challenge:

    Yea, all of you be subject one to another (1Pt 5:5b)

  5. Kelly Talamo says:

    My thoughts are you are pretty correct… How can I tell you HOW to apply certain things?
    But… if it’s a negative commandment, like.. Do not bear false witness..
    I can say to you.. Here’s an application. Stop lying.

    But other than that, I don’t know how you should apply the positive commandments.
    I just pray that you will.

    kelly

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