Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

The Need For Biblical Insight

Proverbs 2:1-5 (ESV) “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

I believe one of the greatest needs in the Church today is the need for biblical insight. By this I don’t just mean people who read their Bibles but by this I mean disciples of Jesus who hide God’s Word in their hearts (Psalm 119:11). The Scripture teaches us that we are to meditate on the Word of God (Psalm 1:1-3), to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2), and to abide in the Word of God as Jesus’ true disciples (John 8:31-36). Further, James tells us that the Word is able to save our souls (James 1:21) and Hebrews 5:14 tells us that it through the Scriptures that we are able to discern good from evil. Peter tells us that we are to hunger for the Word like newborn babies (1 Peter 2:1-3) and for those of us who have children we know the cry that comes from a baby who is hungry. The only thing that can satisfy a crying, hungry baby is milk!

It should be clear then that we are to be a people of the Book (as referred by Muslims). The Bible should be much more than my theology aid but it should bring life to my spirit and refreshment to my soul. Romans 15:4 reminds us that the Bible gives us hope to endure. Paul also told Timothy to remain in the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15-4:5). Isaiah 55:11 tells us that the Word of God will not return to God void but will accomplish what he so purposes for it to achieve. Hebrews 4:12-13 furthermore reveals that the Scriptures can cut us deep even to the point of dividing soul and spirit and is able to judge our hearts.

Errors on Every Side
The great tragedy I see taking place in the Church is that we are willing to allow errors simply because of our biblical ignorance. We are willing to allow “Bible teachers” to get on “Christian” television and preach a false health and wealth gospel without anyone questioning their teaching. We allow sin in our churches nearly every week because we feel that we are not to judge (John 7:24) and we simply don’t know enough of God’s Word to offer a response to someone in sin anyway.
Each week in our churches in the United States, pop psychology replaces biblical exegesis. Cute sermons have replaced biblical theology. Topical messages have replaced expository teaching. In this day of entertainment, the last thing we want is a lecture on theology but we want to “feel” good about the lesson. In fact, many Bible teachers probably spend more time preparing their power point demonstration then they do on their faces in prayer with their Bible open waiting on God to reveal his heart.
Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses knock each week on our doors and yet we can offer no biblical reply even on the basic doctrines of our faith (Hebrews 6:1-2). We are confounded that on average a Jehovah Witness will know 25 verses to the average evangelical members 1. Where is the insight? Where is the Bible knowledge? Where are those who will give a defense for their faith (1 Peter 3:15)?
What Is Needed?
  1. Biblical Teaching – We need men of God who will once again boldly proclaim the truths of Scripture without compromise and with godly integrity. James 3:1-2 reminds us that not many should become teachers because our lives must reflect what we teach (1 Timothy 4:16). We don’t need more CEO leaders in the Church but we need men of God who pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18) and are armed with the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). When I consider the rich history of the Church I think of great men of prayer and preaching such as Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, A.W. Tozer, Richard Watson, Myer Pearlmen, Leonard Ravenhill, Samuel Chadwick, and many more. Sadly the age of exposition as been replaced by the age of entertainment.
  2. Expository Teaching – Along with Biblical teaching we need men of God who will faithfully instruct the people verse by verse from the Word. Expository teaching allows the Scriptures to speak for themselves. While topical teaching has its place (at times), I personally believe that expository teaching is by far the best form of biblical teaching since the main points come directly from the text and allows the teacher to direct the minds of the disciples to the Bible and not the thoughts of men. We must heed the words of Christ in Mark 7:1-8 and avoid teaching the doctrines of men over the doctrines of God.
  3. God-Centered Teaching – I love the ministry of John Piper because of his heart to glorify God in all that he does. While I don’t always agree with Piper, I agree that biblical teaching must be God-centered. The purpose of the Bible teacher is not to impress others with our knowledge or to entertain but to focus the disciple upon Jesus. The purpose of the Scriptures is to glorify Jesus (John 20:31). If our prayers and our Bible teaching would become God-centered then we would truly see the awesome presence of God in our lives. May we have the heart of John the Baptist, the greatest prophet, as seen in John 3:30. Keep in mind the rebuke of Jesus in John 5:39 and glorify Jesus above our pet doctrines. We should always teach (and study) the Word with an eye on pleasing God (2 Timothy 2:15).
  4. Praying For Insight – Remember that Proverbs 2:3 says that we are to “call out for insight.” We are to pray for insight. The Holy Spirit can take the Scriptures and teach us his ways. My heart is to pray earnestly for God to show me his glory in his Word. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 19:7-14 and I find myself praying these verses more and more. How I long to hunger for the Word more than I hunger for gold. Psalm 19:11 says that in keeping the Word there is great reward. What is the reward? I believe that the reward is Jesus himself living through me for his glory (Hebrews 11:13-16).

Conclusion

I believe that we are living in an age of lawlessness and sin. However, I also believe that the grace of God is working (Romans 5:21). I believe that God is raising up a generation that longs to be true disciples of Jesus and to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). I believe that biblical insight will again flow to the Church as the Holy Spirit raises up a passion in the heart of God’s saints.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/27/2007 at 7:17 PM

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