I have seen several ladies like this over the years.
The lady was angry: “You don’t tell me what I’m expected to do! All you do is talk about God!”
What is seems you do is explain what the text says about God and who He is and what He does. Romans 9 does that a lot.
I might admit that while I spend a lot of time in the sermon about how good and great and authoritive God is, I had a relatively brief invitation to the people to seek more of God.
I learned from John MacArthur that preaching is only as good as God will bring the message to the hearer’s heart and mind. When I finish with the text, I step back and leave room for the Spirit to spend time with His followers, to offer His own applications to the sermon.
So what kind of preacher/teacher do I need to be that will give the best results? What kind of results do you want Charles? Well, I would like people to live like Christ. To reflect His likeness.
How are you going to get people to do that? Well, make them feel guilty????? Many preacher do that.
Other preachers give a number of life principles that is a do list of instructions that is designed to help them learn how to live a Christian life of does and don’t. Well that might work.
I could be like Moses. His work was to ride herd on a throng of mostly-unbelieving Israelites (Hebrews 4). Sounds like a lot of preachers today. A church of unbelievers who need to be whipped into action.
On the other hand is there another way of preaching to bring about change in the lives of people?
I could have a lot of counseling and self-help guides that will instruct people in “steps-to-success-with-God. That should do it. Being there and done this a lot.
So what just what is the answer than: Well, what does the Bible teach us, (via John MacArthur years ago):
Apart from the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians2) and the New Birth, that is the coming of the Spirit to live within us – is the only “how to” that makes a difference in us (John 3 and 2 Corinthians 3)'
Here is the point preachers, if we really want to see change that is real, and transforming application, listen to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is so good and effective in speaking to the spiritual dead souls, or deaf souls. And hear this, only the Spirit can stir the will to any authentic works that God want to appear rather than the work of the flesh.Here it is preacher, without the active presence of the Holy Spirit on Sunday or Wednesday, in the listener’s heart, no preacher stands a ounce of making that person who is sitting in the pew into more than a nicely polished Pharisee.
I want more than just to get people to cultivate compliance to rules on conduct. What I want is to invite those in the pew to Jesus who offers us “rivers of living water’s (Rivers of Joy ) by His Spirit’s coming into our lives, hearts, John 7:38-39 will do.
In some churches the Bible is dismissed or disbelieved. Here the Bible is but a token and the sermons reflect some kind of cultural political or contemporary bias determined by the preacher.
They say about the Bible, its not really the reality of today’s thought. If God wrote the Bible today He would not have the same views as the Bible did when it was original written.
For the most part the Bible they say is more of a “mythology” in text.
While in the church where they whole to the authority of the bible it is preached, explained and applied and honored as it is in our church.
SO HOW IS THE BIBLE USED IN DIFFERENT CHURCHES AND PREACHING?
Peter Meads gives three uses to be found in different ministries
1. BIBLE ROLE #1 Instruction Manual
Peter points out that the Bible is used as a basic instructions before leaving Earth. BIBLE. Listen and Obey
Here the bible is held aloft and honoured like a mechanical guide for fixing the care of your life. The Bible contains instructions that are to be obeyed in order to achieve successful independent living. The instructions may be moral code or life principles. The leverage will tend to be greater pressure and some form of guilt.
2. BIBLE ROLE #2 Experience Gateway:
Let’s look at it to see that what God is doing in our midst today is what he has always done, turn with me to the narrative of……. role of the Bible
Here the Bible is used as an endorsement of something to be experienced by the more spiritual. Using a more obscure corner of scripture, the wording is used to drive home a personal pursuit of profound experience.3. BIBLE ROLE #3 Personal Introduction
Here the Bible is used to introduce God . God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is reveled and here I really long for you to meet Him.The Bible is not honored in itself, like the KJV is to be honored. But the Bible is a gift from God. The Bible then is a personal revelation of God the Father in the person of His Son by the work of the Spirit, that calls for response for the sake of relationship.
The leverage hre is to be the presenter’s delight in fellowship with God.
Some respond with delight in what they see and read and hear in the Bible, learning in and discovering A god that is a delight to know.What some learn and are amazed is that God is so wonderful and they discover that God is a delight to know. They are amazed that God loves them to the point of saving them even when they don’t deserved it at all.
And some will be as a result of knowing God will gradual but profoundly transformational. In the course of time, these people will seem warmed from the inside-out as the work of God in their hearts spills into their attitudes and actions.
While others will resisted what is being presented by the Bible and the preaching by the preacher.
What most people do in hearing this kind of preaching will be to complain because their deepest desire is essentially something other than genuine fellowship with this Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ..
Some just might prefer (1) to be guiled with pressure to perform. or (2) instructed so they can tick the boxes and press ahead (3) or they might just prefer a super-spirituality that is shaped by something other than the biblical marital motif.
Here is the bottom line my flesh is attracted to role 1 and 2. My heart is stirred by role 3.