Photo by Olga Caprotti
I am very grateful that our leadership team is spending time examining the values that we hold dear as a church body. These values will help us understand more deeply why we believe what we believe and do what we do. Both Nathan and Stephen have led us thus far to see who we strive to be as a local church and what it looks like to worship passionately. If you haven't read their posts yet, I hope you will do so soon.
This week, I want to help us understand the value of thinking Biblically and the means of doing so. A.W. Tozer rightly said, "What we think about God is the most important thought one could have." But how do we think about God? How can we know him more intimately?
To think Biblically, we must begin with the obvious: the Bible. It is God's Word about Himself. It contains His promises and commands to His people, His warnings about sin, and ultimately His revelation to us of Jesus. Jesus is at the very core of the Word. The gospel of John tells us that Jesus is the Word and that the Word became flesh. This Word was the light of men. When we glorify God, we glorify Jesus, because He is God. At Vintage Church, we believe the Bible is the inerrant, inspired, true Word of God. Not only do we believe this, but we strive to practice this as we preach it. Our desire is much like the Apostle Paul's in Acts 20:27: to “not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
Our primary means of doing this is expository preaching during our Sunday morning meetings. This means that we examine the text that we preach each week, explain it to the hearers, and give practical application that we can all put to use in daily life. We examine the texts historically to give context into why the author of the passage said what he said under the unction of the Holy Spirit. Since the Bible was originally written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, we also examine the grammar at times. Our modern-day English words don't always mean what they meant 2,000 years ago in another language. This is an important part of exposing the Scripture.
One pastor rightly said, "Spirit-empowered preaching and Spirit-helped listening are a major way God matures His people." The blazing center of our preaching is Christ, and we must have the Spirit to guide us into all truth. One of the benefits of expository preaching is that we get to see the grandeur of Jesus in the big picture of Scripture as we preach through major sections or books of the Bible. It also forces us to examine the tough words of Scripture that we may otherwise ignore. We may not always like to hear what is preached, but everything that is preached is necessary. You can trust that our leadership team strives to hear the Word of God by the Spirit of God so that we can deliver the Word of God for the glory of God.
Not only should we listen to expository preaching in a local setting on Sundays, but we need to study the Word this way as well. If you are getting good preaching but not feeding yourself each day, that Sunday morning meal won't be as enjoyable, and you will be malnourished. In his first epistle, Peter said, "Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow into salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." Our delight ought to be in the sweet honeycombs of the Word. When we delight in the Word of God, anything less is not fulfilling. Also, when others stray from the Word, we can give the Word as means of correction and healing.
The Word of God is sufficient for our life, not just our Sunday meetings and missional community gatherings. If we really want to know God, we need to know His Word. We need to help others know Him as well. Over the next couple of posts, we will hear from the Word why missions and relationships matter to God and ought to matter to us.
Much more could be said about thinking Biblically from men stronger in the Word than I, so here are a few resources to help strengthen your walk with God and give you a greater passion for God's Word.
The Bible- More important than any resource. Read it. Love it. Study it. Obey it.
Taking God at His Word- Kevin DeYoung
God's Glory in Salvation Through Judgment- James M. Hamilton, Jr.
Systematic Theology- Wayne Grudem
Hope this helps you!
In Christ Alone,