Misinterpreting Scripture

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…

John 5:39

When it comes to reading and understanding the Bible, there are at least five main schools of thought people use to interpret Scripture. They are:

Allegorical View

Liberal View

Neo-Orthodox View

Devotional View

Grammatical, Historical View

The Allegorical view was used by many of the early church fathers. Everything they read was viewed from a mystical, spiritual platform. There was no literal, concrete understanding of Scripture applied from a known real world. Interpretation was solely a subjective understanding of a non-physical, super-natural dimension.

The Liberal view analyzed Scripture from a current, cultural worldview based on man’s reasoning capabilities. If science cannot justify it, it must not be true. If it is not rational, then there is some error. Scripture becomes a personal, subjective study of its contents.

The Neo-Orthodox view Scripture as God’s spoken word to specific people at specific times and not necessarily meant for everyone everywhere at all times. However, when God’s written Word becomes meaningful and purposeful to the individual is when then God speaks to the individual.   

The Devotional view simplifies Scripture to a “what’s in it for me” approach. It views the Bible as a self-help book extracting principles and values for personal enhancement. It at times focuses on the narrowest topic and excludes the global overview of the subject matter.

The Grammatical, Historical view looks at the context of the writings from the then culture when written and the known historical and literature data accumulated from then to arrive at its meaning and purpose at the then time. From there, Scripture is transferred to the present time under current conditions and made applicable and relevant in today’s culture.    

Most of us, depending on our upbringing, will initially start reading Scripture from one of these viewpoints. Slowly though over time, as we become more of an amateur theologian, we will eventually fall into the Grammar-Historical view. Though we will occasionally, depending on the context and subject matter, entertain the other viewpoints, our main emphasis will be to become more and more a historical student of the Bible.  

With the internet and libraries of stored reference, everyone who desires to know more about the Bible and its contents can become an avid student of Scripture. No one person on earth has the corner knowledge of Scripture. We are all studying and discovering more and more of Scripture’s practical implications for today. Yes, it takes time, but what you gain is a more confident reassurance of the Triune God’s involvement and love for you and humanity.

The bottom-line: no matter which viewpoint you use, the main focus is still Jesus Christ. When we realize HE is the centralized character of the entire Bible, then the various chapters and sections always seem to better align themselves built upon the foundation of the Incarnate Triune God. This is why we learn, integrate, and grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ through the application of Scripture in our everyday world. We discover more of who Jesus Christ IS and God’s overall purpose and plan for humanity.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Be Wise

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

The Book of Proverbs written over 2,500 years ago still speaks to us today. As a naïve, young man venturing into the business world, this Book provided me the fundamental knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of dealing with first time situations. I lacked practical experience at the time and this Book opened the door to the wisdom of the ages.

Wisdom generally comes from experience. Experience is either acquired by doing something yourself and learning from the process, observing others in similar situations and learning from their successes and mistakes, or studying history and analyzing the causes and effects while transferring the understanding into today’s culture. Overall, the Book of Proverbs has given many an added advantage to lead and shape a life that flourishes.

Sometimes rather than write and express my thoughts on a subject, I like to simply collect the words from the Bible and let them speak directly to you. This time I ran a concordance on the word “wise” from the Book of Proverbs. 

Proverbs 1:3

to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

  1. Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

  1. Proverbs 1:6

to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

  1. Proverbs 3:7

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

  1. Proverbs 3:35

The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

  1. Proverbs 4:1

A Father’s Wise Instruction: Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

  1. Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

  1. Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

  1. Proverbs 9:8

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

  1. Proverbs 9:9

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

  1. Proverbs 9:12

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

  1. Proverbs 10:1

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

  1. Proverbs 10:8

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

  1. Proverbs 10:14

The wise lay-up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

  1. Proverbs 11:29

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

  1. Proverbs 11:30

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.

  1. Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

  1. Proverbs 12:18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

  1. Proverbs 13:1

wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

  1. Proverbs 13:14

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

  1. Proverbs 13:20

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

  1. Proverbs 14:1

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

  1. Proverbs 14:3

By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

  1. Proverbs 14:16

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

  1. Proverbs 14:24

The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.

  1. Proverbs 14:35

A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

  1. Proverbs 15:2

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

  1. Proverbs 15:7

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

  1. Proverbs 15:12

A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

  1. Proverbs 15:20

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

  1. Proverbs 15:31

The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.

  1. Proverbs 16:14

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.

  1. Proverbs 16:21

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

  1. Proverbs 16:23

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

  1. Proverbs 17:2

A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

  1. Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

  1. Proverbs 18:15

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

  1. Proverbs 20:18

Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

  1. Proverbs 20:26

wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.

  1. Proverbs 21:11

When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 21:20

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

  1. Proverbs 21:22

wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

  1. Proverbs 22:17

Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,

  1. Proverbs 23:15

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

  1. Proverbs 23:19

Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.

  1. Proverbs 23:24

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoices; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

  1. Proverbs 24:5

wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,

  1. Proverbs 24:6

for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

  1. Proverbs 24:23

These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.

56. Proverbs 28:11

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:

the ants are a people not strong,
    yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
    yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
    yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
    yet it is in kings’ palaces.

In summary, better to be wise than not.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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First and Last

Revelation 22:13

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Mark 10:31  &  Luke 13:30

But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Our culture admires those who come in first. We give them recognition, rewards, and hold them up as a standard of greatness. On the other side, those who finish last are not even mentioned nor rarely identified. We generally classify them as a loser of losers.

Yet Jesus destroyed the concept of first and last from a humanistic perspective and reserved the title for himself.

With two parables, Jesus superimposed the concept just because one is first or one comes last doesn’t give them priority in God’s eyes. In Matthew’s writing, the narrative of Labors in the Vineyard emphasizes he who owns can distribute how he wants too without any outside conditions. In this case God owns and he can adhere to your conditional promises or he can choose to be generous and give more than agreed too. Since it is HIS, HE doesn’t have to comply to someone else’s rules or expectations.

Again, Luke writes a similar statement in chapter thirteen that being chronologically first or last may be a human perspective of importance, but God works on a different value system. HE will shake up people’s semblance of fairness and determine people’s position of leadership as HE chooses for HIS Kingdom’s government.

Jesus’ own life blows apart the importance mankind places on being first or last. He preached a message of the Kingdom of God which will rule the world. His disciples believed it would happen in their life time. During the three plus years Jesus trained and prepared them for leadership, he also mentioned several times that his mission will eventually lead to his death. They didn’t truly understand that message until after his ascension into heaven. Until then, they continue to jockey for position of leadership within HIS kingdom where even onetime John’s mother asked Jesus to make both her sons sit next to HIM on his throne.

Our culture emphasizes winning over losing. Jesus’ value system places greater emphasis on first serving others. To win or to lose are temporary states of events. Serving others though is a lifetime process which leads to help others win. Losing is the school of discovering oneself and improving oneself for better service for others.

The real winner who has already taken the title is Jesus. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. He started the entire human process called LIFE and he will be there at the end when humanity is totally resurrected into a new age.

We are his students putting into practice values which create a world which allows all to flourish. In our lifetime, we will win and lose. There will be times we will be first in line and times we will be last in line. It doesn’t matter. What matters is God freely living HIS life in you where you reflect HIS glory for the sake of others.  Remember, Jesus has already taken the first and last position of the most important event you are involved with – your Life.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

What Does the Bible Say About the Resurrection of the Dead?

RESURRECTION 2

I Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for  you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

 *****

Matt. 22:29-32
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.  At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 

 *****

John 11:24-26
Martha answered, “I know he (Lazarus) will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

 *****

I Cor 15:12-57
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn: Christ, the first-fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  For he “has put everything under his feet.”  Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.  When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made  subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead?  If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?  And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?  I die every day – I mean that, brothers – just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.  If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained?  If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God – I say this to your shame.  But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”  How foolish!  What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.  All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.  There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies in another.  The sum has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and the star differs from star in splendor.So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.   If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  So it is written: “The first Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.  The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, not does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.””Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!   He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 *****

Rev 20:4-6
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.  And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.  They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands.  They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.)  This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

 *****

Acts 17:18-19
They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

 *****

Phil 3:10-11
I (Paul) want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 *****

Acts 4:1-2
They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

 *****

Luke 20:35-36
But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels.  They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.

 *****

Luke 14:13-14
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

*****

How does your theology explain life after death in comparison with the resurrection from the dead?

All scripture taken from the New International Version Bible unless noted.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Jesus’ Priorities for Daily Living

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ Matt 6:9-13

priorities

We can view Jesus’ priority of values by viewing the prayer he taught his students. Today we classify this prayer as The Lord’s Prayer.  When you study this prayer, you notice the hierarchy of values Jesus places on each request. Each request identifies an important value for living and moves from the highest to the lowest of importance.

First, he identifies we are all together on this life voyage by recognizing God as Father of us all. Translation: life is a team sport and God is the owner and coach.

Secondly, he gives great respect and tribute to God for who He IS and what His name signifies. Translation: God is creator and humanity is his creation – acknowledge it and live it out.

The third point Jesus emphasizes is God’s Kingdom coming to earth. Translation: since his entire message during the three-year public ministry was to let the earth’s inhabitants know the reign of God’s Kingdom is being restored on earth, get on board. His government rules through the souls of his subjects executing his decrees from a servant’s heart.

Then the fourth point highlights the importance of maintaining the attitude of a servant following the desires and wishes of his master. Translation: the emphasis is for you to do whatever you do God’s way and place your desires and wishes behind His. You are a servant of the Lord for the sake of others.

The next point highlights how Jesus places importance of not waiting until we are all in heaven, but focus on bringing the richness of heaven to earth today. Translation: your everyday mission is to colonize earth.

Only after focusing on God’s priorities, does Jesus place his personal physical desires and needs on the necessities of daily substance. Translation: we all need food, clothing, and shelter and since God created all the resources at our disposal, he can also lead us to them.

Then his emphasis is on relationships. Translation: we mend relationships by forgiving others. In our walk-through forgiveness, we learn humility and love for God, others and ourselves.

Next, he acknowledges the struggle of temptations which may turn into a sorry state of affairs IF not defeated. Translation: instead of blinding ourselves to the strength of sin’s influence, our request needs to keep asking for help to keep these battles far from us and minimal in quantity.

He also acknowledges the evil around us: Translation: this alone should prompt us to keep in close contact with Him who can help us in times of trouble.

And lastly, he closes where he began by acknowledging God is here forever and His kingdom is forever, and His rule is forever, and His fame is forever. Translation: he is the One who needs to remain the center of everything we think, do, and want to be. Life is His story being played out through humanity.

Final thought: Is it possible one reason Jesus taught this prayer with his disciples is to highlight the important priorities of God and how the needs of mankind work hand-in-hand with His ultimate plan for humanity?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Theology 101

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:9

theology 1

Why is theology important?

Recently we had a lively discussion regarding the importance of theology. The majority of the group believed that the Bible was all that they needed. That theology was man’s attempt to lead people astray. They looked at the Bible through the eyes of one simple worldview. They admitted that all they knew was what they initially learned. They didn’t want to take the time to understand why their brothers and sisters in other denominations believed what they do. As far as they were concern, what they believed was right and others were wrong. They didn’t realize that everyone already has a theological belief. The question is “what is yours?”

First, theology is simply the study of God. It studies the Bible from a wholesome point of view. Instead of extracting pieces of the Word at a time, it looks to bring all the pieces together to form a coherently understanding of God’s hand in the matter.

There is a study of God for a multitude of different subjects. For example, the theology of salvation, the theology of grace, the theology of creation, the theology of the Kingdom of God, the theology of (add whatever subject you can think of and there probably is already a formal study on the matter).

The thought that what one believes may not be absolutely correct bothers some people. The idea that others may have more truth on a subject matter may also be humbling for a few.
The relevancy of any theological belief is simply the Christ-like fruit it bears. If love, joy, and peace is the mainstay of a person’s life, then maybe one may want to listen and learn. We all have a theological belief system in play. The question comes to how close is the study to reality and truth. Of course reality and truth is measured through one person: Jesus Christ. And yes there is a theology of Christ, called Christology.

The more we come to know and understand God, the more we are humbled and at awe of His divine work and physical masterpiece. The better we understand the beliefs of others, the easier it becomes to communicate and relate with them. Therefore, when one’s theology is grounded in Christ, His Word, and Spirit, the journey through life becomes more immeasurable with gratitude, love, and joy.

I may not agree with others theological position at times, but I do love and respect them. My heart fully understands that whoever may be closer to the truth, God in His time will reveal that to us too. The important thing is to continue grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is a simple theological position that every mature believer I meet quickly agrees too. And so do I.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Preach What?

jesus 1

“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12 ESV

 

The other day a pastor on TV emphasized that He preaches the Bible. Another preacher on the other station states that he preaches Jesus Christ. It raised the question. Which is the message of the Kingdom? The Bible or Jesus Christ?

Whenever one elevates the Bible or equates the written word with the personal Word, my historical journey is recalled and danger flags are now waved. It begs the question, how do you interpret the Bible? What is the basis of your preaching? Is the main thing the Bible or who the Bible points to?

When a person preaches Jesus Christ as Savior, Messiah, and Lord, the focus in on the main thing – Jesus. The Bible introduces the reader to Jesus. The Incarnate Jesus reveals God to us. As we read and study the life, work, and heart of Jesus, we learn more about God. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we learn to follow in his steps. As we study the Bible through a Jesus-centered Triune God worldview, we have a more solid basis of interpreting scripture.

Our focus is to build a stronger relationship with the eternal God. The Bible is simply a means to this end.

Our partnership and participation is with Jesus; not the Bible. He is redeeming humanity; not the Bible. Our job is to abide and follow Him. To listen to His word as He communicates to us. The Bible serves as a means for God to communicate to us through His Spirit. As we read and study the inspired word, we are open to hear his voice. As we learn to hear his voice through scripture, we are more attuned to recognize Him during the activities of the day. It is His Spirit that inspires us, encourages us, and opens us up to serve those around us.

Again, the Bible is the means, not the message. The message is Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His Domain. Secondary, but including in that message is how we participate with Him through the sanctification phase.

Jesus is the reason we have the Bible. Therefore, if the preaching is not centered around Jesus Christ, be careful. If the message doesn’t explain how Jesus is the foundation of your growth, service, and faith, be on guard. If the emphasis is on what you need to do and not what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do, be suspect. Remember, Jesus came with good news; not more burdens, yokes, and hurdles for you to climb.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married