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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Lessons from Ruth

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All of last semester, I had the privilege of walking my youth through the book of Ruth. It is a short story, but in it are simple and profound truths. Diving deep into its contents you will find themes of working faith, repentance, kindness, covenant faithfulness, loyalty, redemption, modesty, and integrity. In each of these, you will find encouragement for your soul and blessing to live the life of a godly man or woman.

Last Wednesday, I gave my students some concluding truths from the book of Ruth that I would like to share with you today.

God Works in the Ordinary, So Be Ordinary.Continue reading

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My Pilgrim Songs: A Birthday Meditation

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billbarrick1948January 5 comes around right regularly—every year—on my birthday. Yes, my parents were among the “Greatest Generation” who fought and lived during World War II. My birth took place in the first year of the “Baby Boomers.” January 5 marks the traditional twelfth day of Christmas—“twelve drummers drumming,” according to the popular Christmas song. I share my birthday with a number of friends and acquaintances (at least two others in our church family). Famous people also populate the birthday list: Diane Keaton (same day and year; actress), Elena Barrick (my grand-daughter), Robert Duvall (actor), Jim Otto (NFL; his son was one of my students at The Master’s Seminary), Mercury Morris (NFL), Juan Carlos I (king of Spain), Konrad Adenauer (German chancellor), Walter Mondale (American politician), Charlie Rose (TV anchor, host), Carrie Ann Inaba (“Dancing with the Stars”), Umberto Eco (semanticist and one of my favorite authors), Jane Wyman (actress, President Reagan’s first wife), George Reeves (actor—Superman), Kathleen Kenyon (British archaeologist who excavated in Israel), Stephen Decatur (US naval officer in the American Revolution), and many others.… Continue reading

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“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

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slide_jer-7_23God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.

Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading

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How to Suffer Well

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Suffering will come. This is a promise. “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29). Just like God made us believe in Him, He also equally promised we would suffer for Him. Why do we have to suffer? The answer to this question is simple, “because God deemed it so.” Ask Job. God tests people. Suffering and trials reveal the real person. Suffering allows believers to better know the hope we have in us (Rom 5:1-5). Psalm 11 describes a situation where the wicked seek to destroy the righteous.… Continue reading

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