That’s a key question when we come to the issues we will look at in our Reforming Church series over the next few weeks. And we are about to hit on some hot issues.
One of the things I notice happen as we serve in gospel-centred expository teaching of the Bible to people is that many folks are just not used to this way of teaching. We are not used to opening the Bible and reading through books of the Bible, with the topics ordered through books the way God ordered them. We are not used to seeing the Scriptures explained, chapter to chapter, verses by verse, and letting God speak without human agenda driving the series. We are not used to letting God speak at His word. What this results in sadly is that we waste minutes during sermon time simply stumbling in our hearts on what is being read aloud or explained from the Scriptures because culturally these passages are generally skipped. Following that, more time is then wasted during our Sunday and our week critiquing the sermon, and worse – the Scriptures, rather than being changed by the very words we heard.
So to guard against just having a reaction rather than being reformed by God’s word, my biggest tip is to be a reader of God’s word. Ask, “what does the Bible say?” It’s actually not my tip, not my invention. I don’t know who came up with that saying, but it’s a trustworthy one. And why not start by reading ahead for this Sunday in 1 Corinthians 11. You can waste time on Facebook (and yes it is not lost on me that this post ends up on Facebook), but reading the Bible will never be a waste of your time. I’m praying that we would be a church of readers who keep asking the question: “What does the Bible say?” For if we ask that, what we’re doing is hearing what God says.