Posted by: reformbama | October 6, 2010

“Handling Accurately The Word Of God”

Posted by Scott Brown on October 6, 2010

One of the central themes of our ministry is to appeal to church leaders to engage in the practice of expository preaching so that they bring the voice of God to the church and not their own. This exalts the glory of God in the church and protects it from subjection to to a particular mans hobby horse. It guards and limits men so that they do not emphasize their own favorite subjects and verses and themes and theologies and practices. Our prayer is for the whole counsel of God to fill the church of Jesus Christ so that it is His words and ways that are exalted. Our desire is to train our men to handle accurately the Word of Truth so that God is glorified. Even though we cling to this safeguard of expository preaching, we are still subject to a danger as we interpret scripture. As fallen human beings, we often cannot see everything because of our interests, callings, prejudices and spiritual blindnesses. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones offers a very sobering and cautionary note on this problem. He cautions us about approaching the Bible with a theory instead of our theory coming from the Bible. I include his words here, because it is our desire to avoid this error. As we work through scripture, we must consider the problem that Lloyd Jones reveals,

There is nothing more important in the Christian life than the way in which we approach the Bible, and the way in which we read it. It is our textbook, it is our only source, it is our only authority…You can easily read [Paul’s] Epistles and be no wiser at the end than you were at the beginning because of what you have been reading into what Paul says, wresting them to your own destruction. Now that is something which we must always bear in mind with regard to the whole of the Bible. I can be seated with the Bible in front of me; I can be reading its words and going through its chapters; and yet I may be drawing a conclusion which is quite false to the pages in front of me.

There can be no doubt at all that the commonest cause of all this is our tendency so often to approach the Bible with a theory. We go to our Bibles with this theory, and everything we read is controlled by it…If you read half a verse and emphasize over-much some other half verse elsewhere, your theory is soon proved. Now obviously this is something of which we have to be very wary. There is nothing so dangerous as to come to the Bible with a theory, with preconceived ideas, with some pet idea of our own, because the moment we do so, we shall be tempted to over-emphasize one aspect and under-emphasize another.

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1959-60), 6-7.

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