Consider the writings of Paul the apostle. They are filled with godly advice for the churches he wrote to. That’s because he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In those writings he addressed things that were happening in the churches that should not have been happening. He also addressed things that should have been happening in the churches but were not.
We can greatly benefit from Paul and the other apostles’ letters. The guidance found in those letters is practical because it addresses things that were actually happening in real churches. The guidance is reliable because it is divinely inspired.
Whenever one of the apostles wrote to a local church, it was to be regarded as a call-to-action from God. He expected the church members to be doers of the Word and not passive hearers or readers only. The reason for this is simple. It is only when we put God’s Word into practice that it can help us.
Now let’s use the above as the basis to talk about the ministry of the Word in our churches today. Those of us who minister the Word of God must be prayerful about the things we minister. We need God to speak to us through His Word so we can in turn speak to His people through the Word of God.
The ministry of the Word is God’s call to action to His people. When I am preparing a sermon, for example, I don’t only want to understand what God is saying through the verses. I also want to know what God would have me say to His people through the text. In other words, what is God’s call-to-action to His people? We have not effectively delivered God’s message to His people unless we tell them what God wants them to do about what we have communicated.
What I am saying is equally applicable to preachers, Sunday school teachers, youth ministers, and Bible study leaders.
In the epistle of James he writes, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…” (James 1:22). No one benefits much from passively reading the Bible or listening to a sermon. The Word of God is life-changing only when God’s call to action is communicated clearly to the people and the people respond by being a doer of the Word. That was true during the days of the apostles when they wrote their epistles. It is also true today when we preach and teach the Word of God.
Would you characterize yourself as a doer of the Word or a passive hearer and reader?
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.