Implications or Applications?: Preaching Biblical Narratives

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Some preachers produce abundant applications (or, implications?) for their congregations from biblical narratives, whether they are Old Testament historical narratives like Judges 4 or New Testament Gospel narratives like Mark 3. Other preachers insist they should offer only theological and practical implications. Still others refuse to recognize any implications or applications from Scripture narratives. They declare, “Biblical narrative is only descriptive, not prescriptive.” Which practice is best? Which practice is legitimate and in keeping with sound biblical interpretation?

New Testament Teaching

No matter what the topic, one should always begin with the Scriptures themselves. What does the Word of God teach?… Continue reading

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Readiness = Godliness

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“Ready or not, here I come” is a common phrase used of children (or their parents) when playing Hide-and-Seek. This phrase could also be applied to Jesus’ return. God the Father has set redemptive history before the foundation of the world and Jesus’ return will come exactly when He has planned. The question is, are you ready? Because He is coming whether you are ready or not. Let’s explore readiness for a few moments.

There are two major sermons in the Gospel of Matthew. The first being the Sermon on the Mount in chs 5-7, in which Jesus shows what kingdom people look like.… Continue reading

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Reprise: Still Be Discerning about Discernment Ministries

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inspector_pp“Although originally written two years ago, I believe this is still a topic that needs some serious thought. In fact, many of my concerns about many of these ministries have been magnified as some prominent ones have degenerated into de facto internet  gossip columns and platforms to pursue personal grudges against pastors,theologians and churches.”

One of the great things about being a 21st century believer is the dazzling array of resources that are literally at our fingertips. The internet, yes I said internet, can be a boon to the believer. Virtually every sermon in every church, at least in the western evangelical world, is recorded and available for free download.… Continue reading

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Encouragement and Compliment Are Brothers but Not Twins

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“Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Heb. 3:13)

Encouragement is a powerful weapon. Did you know that you are commanded to encourage others? How’s that going for you? I’ve been thinking about this lately. I’m not a great encourager and the Lord has been working on me. Encouragement is commanded in multiple places: 1 Thess 4:18, 5:11; Heb 3:13, to name a few. Along with these verses, there is overlap with other “one another” concepts like loving one another (1 Jn 3:11), serving one another (Gal 5:13), and being kind to one another (Eph 4:32).… Continue reading

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Help! I have to Help!

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Walk with the Lord and you will have opportunities to minister to people. There are times where this is easy, “Can you give me a ride to the airport? or “Can you pray for me?” Those are fairly easy to do. By easy, I mean, do not require me to break out of a comfort zone or do something unfamiliar. Yet, situations and serving opportunities will come up requiring me to get heavily involved. At some point, a friend struggles or needs more than just a ride. The Lord engages us to struggling people. A friend comes to you with a problem.… Continue reading

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