Preaching Articles

Trying to live a life informed by scripture will likely end in a disappointing wreck.

Wait! Don’t many of us--preachers of varying stripes--teach that our thinking and decisions should be informed by scripture?

Yes, and it's a not-quite-accurate picture of what we need to pursue.

For many,  to be "informed" by scripture is to have the Word of God be yet another external source from which we are "informed." That's certainly not God's idea, nor the intent of scripture that we see described in the Bible. The Apostle Paul gave definition to the goal when writing to the Galatians:

"Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives," Galatians 4:19.

The goal Paul gives isn't one of a person simply being "informed" by scripture; a little information does not result in a life's transformation. Rather, it's of one where the Living Word of God (Jesus) fully envelops the life, and is fully formed within the believer, or as Paul put it . "... until Christ is fully developed in your lives."

To be "informed" by the Word of God is to have some knowledge which we may --- or may not --- use, or use correctly; but to have the Living Word of God fully "formed" within us is to experience transformation.

We need to do more than simply be informed by the Word, but to be formed and transformed by it.

Minister, clinical pastoral counselor, life and business coach, certified personal trainer, writer, leader, businessman James Scott has done a few things over the years, but being a servant of Jesus Christ is why he exists, and the greatest passion of his life is to help people better understand, and apply, God's Word to their lives.

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John E Miller

commented on Apr 12, 2012

This short article is very accurate and most important. Many people and I include non-Christians, even atheists, as well as many who profess Christianity regard the Bible as an instruction manual for living a good, useful life. In 2 Timothy 3:15 the Apostle Paul spells out the primary purpose of God's sacred word.

Scott Reeves

commented on Apr 12, 2012

The title of the article is quite misleading. While I believe most preachers would agree with you on the topic I also believe the author stopped short by not describing how he accomplishes this task in preaching. Information, application, transformation, explanation; where does one move from one category to the next?

Clyde Douglas

commented on Apr 12, 2012

Isn't transformation the work of the Holy Spirit? We are told to PREACH the Gospel

Alexander L. Gibson

commented on Apr 12, 2012

We need to distinguish between what is preaching and what is the presentation of information. Too many times we as a body of believers fail to understand the difference between the two. Preaching is the proclamation of the "Gospel". On the other hand teaching is imparting information. Are Savior the Lord Jesus Christ was called a teacher, not a preacher althought He did preach. Paul in his letters start off by teaching doctrine (information) which in turns leads to duty (Look at the epistle to the Ephesians) I'm sure those who were at Ephesus were transform, hopefully like we should be today. Powerful preaching should lead to transformation, but so should inform teaching.

James R. Warren Jr.

commented on Apr 12, 2012

I agree with Clyde. Galatians 5:22-23, clearly says that the Spirit will produce spiritual fruit in our lives if we "keep in step with the Spirit." Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 3:7 says, "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grows." Transformation happens when the Word of God is applied to our lives and we repent by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). I believe without a doubt that Jesus was a teacher (Rabbi), but you can't tell me he didn't preach Matthew 23! LOL.

John E Miller

commented on Apr 14, 2012

Please read 2 Tim.4:1-4

Norman Janse Van Rensburg

commented on Apr 14, 2012

I don' think we can transform anyone. We can plant the seed , and then God is making it to grow. It is also about making the choice, to choose to Him to become part of my life

John E Miller

commented on Apr 14, 2012

James Scott, I don't know anything about you but I believe what you wrote in your short article is right. I think that those who have criticised it have not taken the trouble to read it carefully. If a preacher merely informs, the message is dead. The term "powerful preaching" as in 2 Cor. 2:4 assumes the activity of God's Spirit. We see the result in the next verse. If that is not transformation, I don't know what is!

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