Summary: 2nd of 5 in the series"A Light Unto My Path: Growing Through God’s Word." What’s the point of Sermons Sunday School and Bible Studies and Fellowship Groups?
What am I standing up here for and why? Why should pastors spend so much time studying and delivering sermons and what’s the point of Sunday School and Bible Studies and Fellowship Groups? Those are the questions we’ll deal with today as we look specifically at the role of the Bible in the Church and Bible Study.
There are 5 specific things that I’d like to suggest that Scripture accomplishes as we break bread together. The first is that it…
Romans 10 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"[g]
16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"[h] 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
One of the primary roles of the Scripture in the life of the church is to bring new souls to faith in Christ. The Scripture says that it pleases God to use the foolishness of preaching to bring people to faith in Jesus. It’s not a human effort it’s a god thing, done through a human instrument, but the content of that preaching can’t be human reason, it must be the truth of the Word of God.
Somehow, the Holy spirit supernaturally energizes that product of divine/human cooperation and uses it to pierce men’s hearts and convince them of the truth. That God became a man and died to pay the price of men’s sins and trusting in that truth, souls are saved and receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
In some sense this convicting work goes hand in hand with the convincing work but I believe that even after we have trusted in Christ, God uses Scripture, particularly Scripture preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to convince men and women of their sin.
John Wesley used to ask two questions of the young men whom he sent out to preach. The first was, "Has any one been converted?" And the second was “Did Anyone Get Mad?”
If the answer was, "No," to both, he told them he did not think the Lord had called them to preach the Gospel, and he sent them back to their business. When the Holy Ghost convicts of sin, people are either converted or--they don’t like it and get mad.
That’s not to say that the goal of preaching or the point of Scripture is to make people mad, it’s just that the Word faithfully preached leads to conviction, and conviction leads to repentance or it leads to getting mad at the preacher. One radio preacher became very concerned when he stopped receiving critical letters, because he figured if everyone was happy with his preaching, the Lord was not.
We should expect to be challenged by God’s word, for that is one of the functions of the Scripture in the Lord’s church, convicting us of sin.
1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The British Weekly published this provocative letter: It seems ministers feel their sermons are very important and spend a great deal of time preparing them. I have been attending church quite regularly for 30 years and I have probably heard 3,000 of them. To my consternation, I discovered I cannot remember a single sermon. I wonder if a minister’s time might be more profitable spent on something else?
For weeks a storm of editorial responses ensued. . . finally ended by this letter: I have been married for 30 years. During that time I have eaten 32,850 meals--mostly my wife’s cooking. Suddenly I have discovered I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet . . . I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago.
Peter says we should crave pure spiritual milk, so that we might grow up. One of the most important ways we receive that nourishment we need is through the faithful preaching teaching and study of God’s Word.
We don’t come to worship or Sunday School or Small group simply because we enjoy it or feel like it, but because we desperately need the nourishment they provide for our spiritual growth. Without that nourishment we languish in our spiritual condition.