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1. Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange online

2. Dane C. Ortlund, Why Study the Book of 2 Corinthians? posted online August 2, 2016

3. Dr. Sandra Glahn, Biblical Womanhood: What is a Woman?

4. Dr. Tom Constables Notes on 2 Corinthians 2017 Edition

5. Heather Zempel, Community Is Messy

6. Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

7. John Newton, Advent for Restless Hearts

8. Joni Eareckson Tada, Just Between Us, Fall 2018

9. Kelly Minter, All Things New

10. Major Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ

11. NIV Study Bible 1985 Edition

12. Steve Hixon

13. The Bible Knowledge Commentary (New Testament), Walvoord and Zuck

Psalms Of Kindness

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Kindness has been taken to mean genuine caring or an action of goodwill. It is often employed in association with showing tenderness or caring. Kindness occurs in several scriptural texts. Interestingly, a biblical account dealing with Israel’s departure from Egypt shows that the Jewish people were not very kind as they left behind their experience of being held captive. As the psalmist points out,

When our fathers were in Egypt
they gave no thought to your miracles;

they did not remember your many kindnesses,
and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.

Yet he saved them for his names’ sake,
to make his mighty power known. (Ps. 106:7-8; cf. vv. 9-12)1

As Futato explains, “They forgot God’s many acts of kindness. They forgot all that he had done for them in the past. They forgot, in particular, his saving grace that had brought them out of Egypt. … That the memory of what God had done did not produce within them the response of obedience.”2

It is somewhat difficult for a person to show kindness when he or she has been treated wrongly or maligned. Yet, the Lord Jesus displayed true kindness as his contemporary kinsmen nailed him to the cross: “Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’” (Lk 23:34). What a consistent testimony Jesus displayed, even as he suffered crucifixion without cause, for being treated this way: “Jesus … addresses God as Father … and asks him to forgive them (the executioners) … on the grounds of their ignorance.”3 Indeed, even in facing a wrongful sentence of death, Jesus displayed the scriptural standard of being kind, whatever the circumstance.

“Kindness” is mentioned twice in Psalm 109. In this rather unusual Psalm, the psalmist asks the Lord to repay the “wicked and deceitful men” with the same sort of evil which they have employed (vv. 6-20). In this Psalm, the psalmist wishes that no one will show “eternal kindness” to a wicked person (v.12) because such a person “never thought of doing kindness” (v. 16). “He charges them on two counts. First, their words are untrustworthy. … Second, the deceptiveness of the wicked comes out of hearts of “hatred” (v. 3).4 Was David returning evil for evil? Not likely. But he does implore God to give them what they deserve.

Such stands in a distinctive contrast to David’s remarks in Psalm 141:5, where he mentions that if he really has done something needing correction, “Let a righteous man strike me – it is a kindness; let him rebuke me – it is oil on my head.”

How vastly different are David’s words in the closing verse of Psalm 18, where he concludes his psalm with praise to the Lord:

He gives his king great victories;
He shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
To David, and his descendants forever. (v. 50)

Not only was this true for David, God’s “anointed”, but to David’s descendants. In an interesting comment, Franz Delitzsch adds, “The praise of Jahve, the God of David, His anointed, is, according to his ultimate import, a praising of the Father of Jesus Christ.”5 Such a standard serves as a standard for all believers!

It is of further interest to note the proverbs that speak of kindness. For example, in Proverbs 11:16 (cf. 11:19) we read that “a kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.” How far better than wealth is that which comes from kindness (cf. Pr. 12:16b). Yet, as the psalmist in Psalm 55:22-23 observes, the cares of life can bring sustenance to the righteous, “

But you, O God, will bring down the wicked
Into the pit of corruption;

Bloodthirsty and deceitful men
Will not live out half their days. (v. 23)

May we as believers today be challenged to show kindness in all that we do so that others can see the loving kindness of our Lord and Savior in our lives as we live for Him daily. The hymn writer reminds us that:

In loving kindness Jesus came
My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
Thru grace He lifted me.6


1All scripture reference is from the NIV.

2 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms”, in The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, Il., Tyndale House, 2009), VII:338.

3 I. Howard Marshall, “Commentary on Luke” in the New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 867.

4 Willem A. Van Gemeren, “Psalms” in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, revised edition, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), V:805.

5 Franz Delitzsch, “Biblical Commentary on the Psalms” 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), I:269.

6 Charles H. Gabriel, “He Lifted Me”.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Devotionals

Q. What Denomination Does Bible.org Subscribe To?

Answer

This is a fair question. All too often those who do not stand true to the Word of God fail to reveal their association with any denomination or group. This makes it more difficult to discern their presuppositions and goals. One must be on guard when reading content that is not from trusted sources, and Bible.org has always sought to provide Bible teaching that is trustworthy.

The short answer to your question is that Bible.org has sought to avoid the limitations of associating with only one particular denomination, not to mention the fact that our staff and authors are associated with a number of churches and denominations.

In its early days, Bible.org was fairly closely associated with Dallas Theological Seminary. This is because many of the articles were written by authors associated with Dallas Seminary (either by having graduated from DTS, or by being on its faculty). Since the early days, our authors and articles have come to represent a broader portion of the evangelical community. We gladly associate with those churches and individuals who hold to the fundamentals of the faith (see our doctrinal statement: https://bible.org/article/doctrinal-statement), regardless of their denominational affiliation. We know that a denomination may differ strongly with the beliefs of other persuasions. When these differences do not deny any essential elements of the gospel, and are more a matter of conviction, we think it is profitable to present different sides of these theological persuasions, so that our audience can hear both sides of the argument and reach their own decision.

As far as our audience would go though, a fairly large segment of our audience would be those who belong to what is known as “independent Bible churches.” Having said this, we receive letters of thanks from many countries around the world, and from those associated with a great many denominations, protestant and Catholic. We have found that those who highly value the Bible and its teaching are attracted to Bible teaching, even though it may on some occasions differ from what they have previously been taught.

Related Topics: Administrative and Organization

Q. Is it okay to involve an unbeliever in church ministry?

Answer

Dear ********,

Thanks for your question. It is worth considering. I would have to acknowledge that Christians almost certainly differ greatly (and strongly!) in what answer they would give to your question. I know of churches that would encourage unbelievers to sing in the choir, or to play in the orchestra (or play a guitar, or drums).

But here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

First, what biblical precedent, in the Old or the New Testament, do we find for involving unbelievers in God’s work/ministry?

In the Old Testament there were some Egyptians who joined the Israelites at the exodus, but they were also the source of trouble.

The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men on foot, plus their dependants. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and flocks and herds– a very large number of cattle (Exodus 12:37-38, NET).

When the people complained, it displeased the LORD. When the LORD heard it, his anger burned, and so the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outer parts of the camp. 2 When the people cried to Moses, he prayed to the LORD, and the fire died out. 3 So he called the name of that place Taberah because there the fire of the LORD burned among them. 4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them craved more desirable foods, and so the Israelites wept again and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we used to eat freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now we are dried up, and there is nothing at all before us except this manna!” (Numbers 11:1-6)

I should add it is clear that believing Gentiles (like Rahab and Ruth) were rightly embraced into Judaism, but unbelieving Gentiles were not embraced in order to evangelize them. Indeed, the opposite often took place (Numbers 25; 1 Kings 11).

In the New Testament, Jesus did not encourage the uncommitted to follow Him as His disciples; indeed, He put them off:

As they were walking along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke. 9:57-62; see also John 2:23-25).

The apostles warned the church about those who would slip in among them (Acts 20:29; Galatians 2:4; Jude 1:4). In light of these warnings, does it seem wise to actually encourage unbelievers to participate in the ministry of the church?

Having said this, I am not suggesting that unbelievers should be unwelcome, and discouraged from attending church. They should be encouraged to attend, but as those who need to hear and respond to the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 14:20-25), but not as those who participate in carrying out ministry in the church.

Second, the Bible does seem to be clear in its instruction for Christians not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers, especially in ministry.

Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Third, is it biblical to assume that involving someone in God’s work may, or will, assist them to believe? I would suggest reading Acts 5:1-16, and the incident of God’s discipline on Ananias and Sapphira. Look particularly at the impact the death of these two had on outsiders. Note, too, that in spite of the fact that unbelievers were fearful about associating with the church, many were being drawn to faith, resulting in them being joined to the church:

Now many miraculous signs and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By common consent they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high honor. 14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, crowds of both men and women. 15 Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. They were all being healed (Acts 5:12-16).

Fourth, it seems to me that having an unbeliever help with the offering might actually be contrary to the goal of winning them to Christ. For example, it would seem likely that an unbeliever who helped with the offering would be considered a church member. Indeed, that individual might think that being part of a church and participating in its ministry made him (or her) acceptable in God’s sight. Making an unbeliever a participant in the church’s ministry might, in this way, be contrary to evangelism.

When it comes to taking the offering, let us remember that it was Judas who kept the money for the disciples, and that his love for money seems to have been a strong motive for his betrayal of Jesus.

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 So they prepared a dinner for Jesus there. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was among those present at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took three quarters of a pound of expensive aromatic oil from pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus. She then wiped his feet dry with her hair. (Now the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfumed oil.) 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was going to betray him) said, 5 Why wasnt this oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor? 6 (Now Judas said this not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box, he used to steal what was put into it.) (John 12:1-6)

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus into their hands. 11 When they heard this, they were delighted and promised to give him money. So Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray him (Mark 14:10-11).

I hope this helps,

Bob Deffinbaugh

Related Topics: Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry

Q. Questions About the Old Testament Law

First Question: About the Translation of Deuteronomy 6:1

NAU Deuteronomy 6:1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it (Deuteronomy 6:1, NAU).

In the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 6:1, the term mitsvâh is singular (“commandment”). The KJV, NIV, NLT, and NET renders the word as a plural (“commandments”), while the ESV, NASB, HCSB, ASV and YLT renders it as a singular (“commandment” or “command”). Why is there a difference in these translations? Logically, it would make more sense to use the plural (commandments) as there are many of them.

Answer: I think it may prove helpful to note all the texts in Deuteronomy where the same singular form for commandment is used (just as it is found in Deuteronomy 6:1):

CSB17 Deuteronomy 5:31 But you stand here with me, and I will tell you every command-- the statutes and ordinances-- you are to teach them, so that they may follow them in the land I am giving them to possess.’

NAU Deuteronomy 6:25 “It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.

NRS Deuteronomy 7:11 Therefore, observe diligently the commandment -- the statutes, and the ordinances -- that I am commanding you today.

NRS Deuteronomy 8:1 This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. (Deut. 8:1 NRS)

NRS Deuteronomy 11:8 Keep, then, this entire commandment that I am commanding you today, so that you may have strength to go in and occupy the land that you are crossing over to occupy, (Deut. 11:8 NRS)

NAU Deuteronomy 11:22 “For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,

ESV Deuteronomy 15:5 if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. (Deut. 15:5 ESV)

CSB17 Deuteronomy 17:20 Then his heart will not be exalted above his countrymen, he will not turn from this command to the right or the left, and he and his sons will continue reigning many years in Israel.

NAU Deuteronomy 19:9 if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in His ways always-- then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three. (Deuteronomy 19:9, NAU)

ESV Deuteronomy 27:1 Now Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, “Keep the whole commandment that I command you today (Deuteronomy 27:1, ESV)

NET Deuteronomy 30:11-16 “This commandment I am giving19 you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it too remote. 12 It is not in heaven, as though one must say, “Who will go up to heaven to get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, “Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 For the thing is very near you – it is in your mouth and in your mind20 so that you can do it. 15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What21 I am commanding you today is to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are about to possess.22

NET Deuteronomy 31:5 The LORD will deliver them over to you and you will do to them according to the whole commandment I have given you.

I find it interesting that the various translations are not completely consistent in the way they translate mitzvah, which is singular in all these passages.

I am inclined to read Deuteronomy 6:1 and the rest in the light of Deuteronomy 5:31-33:

31 “But you stand here with me, and I will tell you every command --the statutes and ordinances-- you are to teach them, so that they may follow them in the land I am giving them to possess.’ 32 “Be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or the left. 33 Follow the whole instruction the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live, prosper, and have a long life in the land you will possess” (Deuteronomy 5:31-33, CSB17)

I believe that the singular mitzvah is used to sum up the whole of the law, as that which God has commanded and which we are to obey. I think that the CSB handles this quite well, showing “statutes” and “ordinances” are a subset of the whole law.

Jesus sums up the whole law in terms of one primary and one secondary command:

35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:35-40 NAU)

Paul sums the law up in one command as well:

8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:8-10, NAU).

“The commandment” is thus the whole law, while at the same time it has various components.

Second Question: About the various terms employed in reference to the Law: I am trying to understand the relationship between mitsvâh, chôq & mishpât. These three words are used throughout Deuteronomy (e.g. Deuteronomy 6:1). Could you point me to any online resource or article in Bible.org that would help me understand the relationship between these words.

Answer: Note the different terms employed for God’s “law” found in the first 8 verses of Psalm 119:

  • Law
  • Testimonies
  • God’s “ways”
  • Precepts
  • Statutes
  • Commandments
  • Righteous judgments

I have not done any serious work on this, and at present no particular work on it comes to mind. But “the law” has many facets, just like a parent’s teaching of their child (Proverbs will bear this out). There are some commands that are really illustrations of certain guiding principles. Thus not sowing two kinds of seed, or wearing a garment made up of two kinds of material (Leviticus 19:19) teaches one about separation. To restrict the application to just cattle, seeds to plant, or clothes to wear misses the point, in my opinion.

The command to put a parapet on one’s roof (Deuteronomy 22:8) is not just about roof railings, it is about thinking about the safety of others (seat belts?).

Thus, various terms are needed to capture the thrust of the Old Testament instructions, each with its own shading of meaning.

I hope this helps,

Bob

Related Topics: Law

What’s Next?

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The word “next” has many applications. Most commonly it refers to what is to follow immediately. For example, in sports, next in baseball could refer to the one who is in the on-deck circle waiting for his opportunity to go to bat. In any team sport it can refer to the team your team is to face. Interestingly, some Psalms employ “next” to refer to what is to follow. Thus, in Psalm 48:13 we read

Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them to the next generation. (Ps. 48:12-13)1

Among the various understandings as to the meaning of this verse, perhaps the most likely was suggested by Willem A. Van Gemeren: “In the light of the tenor of the psalm, it is most likely that the physical defense system of ancient Jerusalem symbolized a far greater strength – the protection of God himself.”2 By application, it may well be that this psalm and especially this verse can find many applications to contemporary Christian living. As such it may well assure believers that “The close connection between material security and dependence on the Lord-Protector go hand in hand.”3 Indeed, may all Christians look to God for their protection and guidance, especially when telling and explaining this to those of the next generation.

This may well entail such activity even into one’s advanced years:

Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,

till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come. (Ps. 71:18)

This stands in conformity to the scriptural mandate of being faithful to the end. As I have written elsewhere, “May each believer be ever faithful to the end, mindful of the resurrected, risen, Christ’s instructions to the church in Smyrna: ‘Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life itself’.” (Rev 2:10)4

Encased in this regard is Asaph’s teaching in Psalm 78, where he declares:

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter hidden things, things from of old –

what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children,
we will tell the next generation. (Ps. 78:2-4)

Asaph goes onto say that God,

… Decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,

which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children

so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children. (Ps. 78:5-6; cf. Deut. 6:4-9)

Indeed, as we live even into old age, we should continue to instruct God’s people as to the basic necessity of passing on to, and stressing the importance of, God’s decrees. As Futato remarks, “This instruction was never intended solely for the original audience but was envisioned as being passed on to each subsequent generation.”5

Instructions concerning the next generation are also found in a later Davidic psalm, Psalm 109. This psalm is one in which David calls for God’s judgment against the evil doers. So severe is David’s condemnation that he says,

May none extend kindness to him
For he never thought of doing a kindness
but hounded to death the poor
and the needy and the brokenhearted. (Ps. 109:12, 16)

In this Psalm David presents a distinct contrast with those psalms which have favorable instructions for the next generation. Although he closes this psalm with a plea to the Lord for deliverance from evil doers, he also suggests that God deal in judgment against David’s evil accusers. Such a request does present a distinct contrast with Jesus’ words in Luke 23:33-34 where on the cross Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. As we read in the Faith in Action Study Bible notes on Luke 23:34:

The cross is at the heart of God’s gracious offer of forgiveness to those who embrace it -- to all who are willing to turn from the selfishness of sin. Reconciliation with God not only transforms our relationship with him but also alters the way we relate to others.”6

As Ira B. Wilson wrote:

Tell the sweet story of God and His love,
Tell of His power to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove,
True, every moment you live.7


1 All scripture citations are taken from the NIV.

2 Willem A. Van Gemeren, “Psalms” in The Expositors Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman II and David E. Garland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), V:419.

3 IBID.

4 Richard D. Patterson, “Faithful to the End”, Biblical Studies Press, 2012.

5 Mark Dl Futato, “The Book of Psalms” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Grand Rapids: Tyndale House, 2009), VII:260.

6 Faith in Action Study Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 1732.

7 Ira B. Wilson, “Make Me a Blessing”.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Devotionals

Lion Psalms

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In the tenth Psalm the author speaks about the way of the wicked one who plagues society. Being the arrogant person that he is, he bursts with self-confidence and attacks others by lying in wait.

He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent
watching in secret for his victims.

He lies in wait like a lion in cover;
he lies in wait to catch the helpless
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. (Ps. 10:8-9)1

So great is his attack that he crushes his victims and “they fall under his strength” (v. 10; cf. Ps. 17:11). Nevertheless, the true believer can count on the Lord’s intervention and support (vv. 16-18). As Futato writes: “We may plead with the Lord in times of trouble. In spite of appearances, the Lord does see our trouble and grief. In his own time he will “arise” to help the helpless.”2 Indeed, as Van Gemeren observes with regard to the believer’s foe:

The wicked are “like a lion” …in their pursuit of the one godly person. Their beast, like nature, finds expression in the callous (v.10a), arrogance (v. 10b; cf. 5:9), pursuit to the death (v. 11a), and violence (v. 11b).3

In Psalm 22 David speaks of great difficulties he was facing:

Many bulls surrounded;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

Roaring lions carrying their prey
open their mouths wide against me. (Ps. 22:12-13)

Although he tells of great difficulties he was facing (cf. 14-17), he counts on God’s help in delivering him. So it is that David declares:

I am in the midst of lions;
I lie among ravenous beasts –
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
And therefore call out to God:
Be exalted, O God,
let your glory be over all the earth. (Ps. 57:4-5)

Although the lions seek and find their food from the Lord, they do so in the course of a day’s activities.

In Psalm 22 we note that David asks the Lord for help, since he is suffering greatly. In so doing he cries to the Lord:

But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my strength. come quickly to help me.

Deliver my life from the sword
my precious life from the power of the dogs.

Rescue me from the mouth of lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen. (vv. 19-21)

Here David turns to the Lord crying for his help and deliverance from danger, including lions.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, the listing of the animals in verses 19-21 reverses those in verses 12-13,16. Indeed, these form an interesting contrast with each other.

The psalmist at times speaks of lions and the need to deal with them. Thus, in Psalm 58 David asks the Lord to deal justly with unbelieving rulers testing them in accordance with their actions. In noting David’s words, one senses the propriety of the Lord’s dealing with rulers who deal harshly with believers. So it is that David pleads:

Break off their fangs, O God!
Smash the jaws of these lions, O Lord! (Ps. 58:6)

In Psalm 21 we note that the true believer is assured of a good and long-lasting life here on earth (Ps. 21:9-12). So great is the Lord’s protection and deliverance that the psalmist can add:

Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength;
we will sing and praise your might. (v.13)

Accordingly, believers should live in full communion with their Lord and Savior

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Fear the Lord, you his saints --
for those who fear him, lack nothing.

The lions may grow weak and hungry
but those seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:8-10)

Yes, indeed, those who place the Lord himself at the center of their lives may be assured that they “will lack no good thing.” (cf. Ps. 7:1-2, 10-11, 17).


1 All scripture citations are from the NIV.

2 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms”, in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed.  Philip W. Comfort (Grand Rapids:  Tyndale House, 2009), VII:60.

3 Willem A. Van Gemeren, “Psalms”, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, rev ed., eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), V:198.

Related Topics: Devotionals

Q. Must an Elder’s Children Be Believers?

Answer

Dear Friend,

Your question pertains to Paul’s words in Titus 1:6. Notice the different ways it is rendered by various translations:

NAU Titus 1:6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.

ESV Titus 1:6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

CSB17 Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless: the husband of one wife, with faithful children who are not accused of wildness or rebellion.

NKJ Titus 1:6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.

NET Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion.

NIRV Titus 1:6 An elder must be without blame. He must be faithful to his wife. His children must be believers. They must not give anyone a reason to say that they are wild and don’t obey.

NIV Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

KJV Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

So, let us begin with several observations:

First, these translations offer two different ways of viewing this verse and its requirements. Either Paul requires that an elder’s children must be professing believers, or he requires that an elder’s children must be faithful children, who are obedient to their father.

Second, the differences in these translations reflect two different possible meanings for the Greek word pistos. This difference is indicated in Friberg’s Lexicon:

21988 πιστός, , όν (1) active; (a) of persons trusting, believing, full of faith, confiding (JN 20.27); (b) absolutely, as an adjective believing (in Christ) (AC 16.1); as a substantive believer (2C 6.15); οἱ πιστοί literally the believers, i.e. Christians (1T 4.3); πιστή female believer, Christian woman (1T 5.16); (2) passive; (a) of persons trustworthy, faithful, dependable (CO 4.7), opposite ἄδικος (dishonest); (b) of God trustworthy, faithful (HE 10.23); (c) of things, especially of what one says sure, reliable, trustworthy (1T 1.15)

When you look at the way the Gospels use this term, it more often is employed in the passive sense of faithfulness or dependability:

“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? (Matt. 24:45 NAU)

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. (Lk. 16:10 NAU)

Although the term is also used of believing faith:

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (Jn. 20:27 NAU)

Paul uses this term in his epistles to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:12, 15; 3:1, 11; 4:3, 9, 10, 12; 5:16; 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:2, 11, 13) and Titus (Titus 1:6, 9, 3:8). We can see that Paul used the term with both meanings:

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. (1 Tim. 1:15 NAU)

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. (1 Tim. 3:1 NAU)

Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. (1 Tim. 3:11 NAU)

men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Tim. 4:3 NAU)

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1 Tim. 4:10 NAU)

This should bring us to the point where we recognize that the term pistos can mean either “dependable/faithful” or “believer”. So which of the two meanings is it in Titus 1:6? I believe several lines of evidence point us to the answer:

First, we have to look at the phrase Paul employed in the same verse to explain what he meant by the term pistos in our text:

namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. (Tit. 1:6 NAU)

It seems quite evident that Paul is saying that an elder’s children must be disciplined and obedient. This is something for which the father is responsible, and which is clearly stated elsewhere as an elder qualification:

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (1 Tim. 3:4 NAU)

If the elder is to maintain discipline and order in the church, surely this should be evident in his own family (1 Timothy 3:5).

Second, to insist that an elder’s children (all of them) must be saved creates theological problems. A child’s salvation is not the choice of the father, although he should surely endeavor to lead his children to faith. But in the end, it is a decision which the child must make (and one which God must originate – John 6:37, 44, 65).

Third, to insist that all of the elder’s children must be saved creates serious practical problems. This requirement (were it legitimate) would put a lot of pressure on the parents, particularly the father, to press his children to make a premature profession of faith, one for which the child is not really ready or willing, a commitment that he or she does not really understand. Salvation is ultimately the work of the Spirit and the Word of God. Conviction of sin (John 16:8) and bringing one to faith is the Spirit’s task (John 3:5-8).

There is another problem as well. What happens if an existing elder’s wife bears a child? Does the elder step down until it is evident that this child has come to faith? And how long does one wait for this to happen?

Finally, let us consider the duration of this requirement. How responsible is the elder (the father) for the actions of his child after they have grown up and left the home? Well it should be clear that Paul’s requirements set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 (related to an elder’s children) should apply as long as the child lives under the parent’s roof, because they should live under the authority of the father.

My inclination is to say that the father is not nearly as accountable for the child’s life and lifestyle after they have grown up and left the parents’ home. It would be something like an elder’s responsibility to the conduct of a church member who has moved to a different place and is a member of another church (though Paul’s response to sin in Corinth – 1 Corinthians 5 – should not be ignored).

I should add that I had a friend (now with the Lord) who felt the role of an elder was so important that he needed to step down because of his daughter’s lifestyle choices, even though she was older and living far from home.

I hope this answers your question,

Bob Deffinbaugh

Related Topics: Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Pastors

The Net Pastor's Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 32 Summer 2019

Summer 2019 Edition

A ministry of…

Author: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
The Institute for Biblical Preaching
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 519-620-2375

Part I: Strengthening Expository Preaching

“Strengthening Applications” (Pt. 1)

Introduction

Application of the biblical truths you have explained in your sermon is often the weakest area of most sermons. Unless the truth is concretized, visualized, personalized, and actualized the sermon is merely an exposition of abstract truth and remains in the realm of philosophy (ideas, concepts, truisms).

Perhaps Application Is Often Done So Poorly Because…

1) We spend so much time in exegesis that it is hard for us to make the switch from the theoretical to the practical.

2) We accumulate so much data from exegetical research that we don’t have time to communicate anything else.

3) We feel a tension between theory and practice.

4) We value the truth so highly as truth and enjoy it as such that to apply it seems to degrade it.

5) We are afraid of the response of our audience. When we become specific in application, we become personal and that sometimes generates negative responses because we touch nerves, expose sore spots, and activate consciences.

6) In order to apply the Scripture to others, we must first understand it and apply it to ourselves before applying it to others. That can be painful.

The tendency is to stress either exposition or application. Some preachers stay in explanation; others focus on application. On the one hand, for preachers who do their homework in sermon preparation and who spend a great deal of time figuring out what the text means, the tendency might be to focus on explanation (teaching) and neglect application. On the other hand, for preachers who spend little time studying the text, the tendency might be to focus on application (significance) and neglect explanation.

Preaching involves both exposition and application. If you do not apply the truths that you explain, then you fail to show how the truth is relevant to life. We must explain the meaning of the text and its relevance for daily living. People want and need the truth applied to where and how they live – their relationships, their thoughts, their habits, their beliefs, their problems etc.

To preach the explanation without the application is to leave the preaching task incomplete. To engage in exegesis without thinking about its application is to do only half the job. As you study the text to understand its meaning, you must also consider its significance to practical realities. You can’t study the Scriptures without relating them to contemporary life. That’s where the truth is lived out. That’s what the Scriptures are for – to be obeyed.

Unless we cross over from the biblical world to the contemporary world, we leave the truth and our hearers in its ancient context and of no useful purpose other than intellectual.

Biblical preaching must move from the “what” to the “so what” to “now what?” When we explain the truth, we deal with the “what” of the truth (i.e. what does the truth mean?). When we apply the truth, we address the “so what” of the truth (i.e. what difference does it make?). When we actualize the truth, we propose the “now what” demanded by the truth (i.e. what we must do now and how it should change us).

Some would argue that the Holy Spirit does the application, not us. Of course, without the application of the Word by the Holy Spirit to the heart, mind, conscience, and will, our preaching will have no effect. Ultimately, it is only the application of the Word by the Spirit that changes lives. But the same could be said of preaching the gospel – only the Holy Spirit can make it effective, so, some would ask, why preach it?

We preach it because preaching is the God-appointed means of communicating his Word to us (Rom. 10:14-15), both its meaning and its application. The Holy Spirit uses human instruments in delivering both the explanation and application of the text. The preacher has the responsibility to show the people how the Word applies to their lives in concrete terms.

Application Is An Indispensable Component Of Biblical Preaching Because…

1) It links together the truth of the text with the life situation of the hearers. Our job is to understand the context and purpose that the original author is addressing and determine how that message applies to our congregation today. In that way, you relate what you have just explained from the text to how it affects your people’s lives.

2) It bridges the gap between God’s instructions to his people in the past and his instructions for us today.

3) It connects the wise counsel of Scripture with the reality of each person’s life - their need for joy; for intimacy with God; for healed relationships; for obedience to the Word; for hope in Christ etc.

4) It overcomes the “so what” objection of the audience – i.e. “What does this have to do with me?” Or, “What must I do or change in response to the Scriptures?”

5) It moves from the “what” of biblical truth to the “how” of Christian practice.

6) It makes clear how the biblical truth that has been explained actually affects how a Christian should live in the marketplace, at home, at school, in the neighbourhood etc. So many of our people come to church on Sunday but live like non-Christians the rest of the time. That’s why application is so important.

7) It turns the principle that has been taught into a practice that is to be followed - a doctrine to be believed; an attitude to be adopted; a relationship to be changed etc.

In Application, We Urge People…

a) We urge people to “visualize” / “concretize” the truth they have heard. Acceptance is not merely mental assent but experiential change, life transformation. What good is it if they understand the truth but do nothing about it? Our task is to help them see (visualize) the truth (what it looks like in real life) by moving from the truth as abstract philosophy to a concrete, tangible, living reality.

Helping them to “concretize” the truth gets away from people’s subjective impressions about what “God is saying to me” - i.e. without trying to ascertain what the author of the text intended. It is this shift that is very hard for many preachers - how to demonstrate the biblical truth in tangible, experiential ways; how to relate the truth to people’s everyday lives.

We must show the people what the truth looks like so that they can see it and relate to it in their own lives. We want them to say: “Yes, that’s true in my life. I need that. I experience that.” We want them to incarnate the truth – i.e. to live the truth. After all, the entirety of Christian living is incarnational, isn’t it? It is about being like Christ and, thus, manifesting the truth of Christ in our lives.

The big question is: “How can we do that?” We can do that by giving “concrete” situations and examples that cover the spectrum of our audience (at their age, status, jobs, relationships, economy etc.). and that help them visualize what we have been talking about.

b) We urge people to “personalize” the truth they have heard. We want the people to say: “Yes. I need that. I want to be like that or do that or submit to that, or believe that” etc.

c) We urge people to “actualize” the truth they have heard. We want them to adopt it, practice it, make it real. We call people to subjection and obedience to the Word because truth is to be obeyed. We call for obedient response and practical action so that people’s lives conform to the truth. We help them “actualize” the truth by inviting them and challenging them to commit in practical ways to changing their lives in the way the message has impacted them.

A. Application Must Be True To The Biblical Text

Expository preaching is not a running commentary just to pass on information. Its focus is to apply to the believer’s life the principles that are explained from the text. You cannot apply principles without explaining the content of truth from which they are drawn. You cannot explain the “how” without the “what”. You cannot insist on duty without knowing the doctrine on which it is based. Therefore, application must be based on the biblical text from which you are preaching. This is probably one of the greatest flaws in preaching today. Preachers go off on a tangent into application without having satisfactorily, accurately, or clearly explained the meaning of the text. If the audience doesn’t understand the meaning of the text (which is the authority for what we preach), how can we expect them to obey it?

Further, not only must your application be “based on” the biblical text, your application must also be limited by the biblical text. In other words, your application is limited to the subject and scope of the text under consideration. Application has to be based on the truth of the text and then applied appropriately. You are not at liberty to make any application you want from any text. Just as your exposition is limited to the context and subject matter of the biblical text, so is your application. In other words, application has to flow out of your explanation of the text.

That said, I do believe that we are at liberty to “stretch” the application fairly extensively within the boundaries of the overall intent of the original author and the subject matter of the text. This gives us latitude to apply the text to many different situations and challenges that our congregations face while still being true to the text.

One of the ways we can legitimately “stretch” the application is by the use of deductive logic or inference. Thus, application includes “implication” which, by definition, gives you greater scope for application. We are made with the capacity to reason. Therefore…

1) Be logical about application. Show how your text leads you to the logical application you are making.

2) Be specific in application. Give examples.

In every sermon, the listener wants to know three things:

1) What are you preaching on? (the dominating theme of the text – i.e. its subject).

2) What’s your argument? (the integrating thoughts of the text – i.e. its main points and sub-points).

3) What do you want me to do? (the motivating thrust of the text – its application and purpose in my life).

Remember, you have no right to invite people to respond to the truth you have not explained and that they do not understand and, therefore, cannot visualize.

B. Application Must Be Intentional

As expository preachers, we must be very intentional both in the exposition and in the application of the text.

1. We Must Be “Personal” In Our Application

This requires us to be confrontational without being divisive or offensive. Application demands personal reception and obedience to the truth. Therefore, listeners must:

a) Receive the message.

b) Internalize the message – i.e. reflect on how this impacts their own life.

c) Identify what needs to be changed by asking what they need to do about it.

d) Decide to change and make a plan to do so. Perhaps this requires an accountability to someone, or a change of routine or habits etc.

In order to make your application personal, it is important that you try to address the broad spectrum of your audience in concrete and personal terms of where and how they live their lives. Think about how you can apply your sermon to their personal life, family life, work life, church life, community life. Also, try to apply the sermon to their minds and hearts – e.g. their attitudes, beliefs, relationships (with God and with others), behaviour, desires, motives, values, priorities, and character.

2. We Must Be “Practical” In Our Application

Here we are talking about “how” people should respond? It’s not enough to know only the “what” of the message. We have to tell them the “how” as well. The tendency is to stay with the “what”. While the “what” is very important it does not constitute the entirety of the sermon.

a) There must be a call to biblical repentance both of believers and unbelievers.

b) There must be a call to biblical renewal. Every preaching event must be a time of renewal and revival of the believer and regeneration of the unbeliever.

c) There must be a call to biblical reality. Because we are living in a day of cultural Christianity, not biblical Christianity, there is a tendency in our society towards artificial Christianity. Preachers need to call their people to biblical reality.

3. We Must Be “Purposeful” In Our Application

Our preaching must have a goal, a target. All texts lead to Christ (Col. 1:27-29). This is the ultimate and primary goal for preaching, so that when people leave they are more like Christ. That’s the primary reason for preaching.

C. Application Must Move People To Action

Every sermon needs a fourfold movement to activate personal application in the hearers in the form of obedience:

1. The “Mind” Must Be Educated By Our Preaching (Discernment)

Every sermon must educate - stretch the mind to think about and understand things that it had not considered or understood before. Solid food (i.e. “meat”) belongs to those of full age (Heb. 5:14). You have to progress beyond the ABC’s of Christianity. Shallow preaching produces shallow Christians.

2. The “Heart” Must Be Touched By Our Preaching (Desire)

You have to aim at the heart in order to “move” someone to action. The heart is the chief organ of physical life. The “heart” is the word that describes the hidden springs of human life and the sphere of divine influence.

The heart must be reached in order to effect “movement” (action) in the hearer. The mind alone will not do this. The heart is the great motivator.

Preaching to the heart enables the hearers to identify with characters and issues in the passage and make the principles of the passage their own. This involves, obviously, moving from the general to the specific.

The “heart” in Scripture describes the place where decisions are reached and where choices are made. It’s the place where the mind and the will meet. It’s not sufficient to only stretch the mind. You also need to touch the heart.

The emphasis here is on desire rather than discernment. Preach to motivate the heart to respond. The heart must be stirred. To do this, preaching must have passion.

3. The “Will” Must Be Directed By Our Preaching (Decision)

It is not sufficient to only educate the mind and touch the heart. You need to also guide, focus, and shape the will to surrender to the authority of the Word, to die to self and live for Christ, to put off the old self and put on the new (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:22-24).

If only the mind and heart are affected, that’s not good enough. There must be direction of the will to voluntarily submit to the truth of the Word and, thus, to live out its teaching.

4. The “Conscience” Must Be Pricked By Our Preaching (Detection)

The conscience is a powerful tool in application. It is a strong motivator to obey. It detects where people have failed in obedience to the truth. It reveals where there may be sin in a person’s life that needs to be judged.

Thus, biblical preaching will activate the conscience so that the people respond in obedience.

Conclusions

Application must be personal, practical, and purposeful to the end that it affects the entire personality – mind, heart, will, and conscience. While the heart is the great motivator to action, if you can combine the conviction of the mind with the desire of the heart, that is an even more powerful force to activate the conscience which, in turn, motivates a person to submit their will and obey the truth.

D. Application Is Best Done Throughout The Sermon

By applying the truth throughout the sermon, your hearers will not forget the principle which governs the application. It ties principle and practice tightly together. You connect the application tightly to the text you have just explained. This gives your application much greater authority as it is the text that is speaking, not you.

Some preachers do their application at the end of the sermon. This is permissible but it has several drawbacks:

1) If it is done routinely, your audience will figure it out quickly and then you lose the impact, because they are ready to tune you out (“Oh, here it comes again”). I would suggest that application at the end serve only as an intensification and reconfirmation of the application you have already done throughout the sermon.

2) It separates the explanation of the truth from the application of the truth such that your audience will not intuitively connect the one to the other.

I recommend that you apply the truth continuously from the introduction right through to the conclusion of the sermon.

1) In the “introduction”, you apply when you…

a) Establish the need to listen; the need for this message.

b) Make the link to the biblical text.

c) State your “sermon-in-a sentence” (i.e. your thesis, proposition).

2) In the “body”, you apply every truth principle…

a) In the wording of each of your main points and sub-points. They should be worded in applicational form – i.e. in such a way that your audience is included, sees themselves in the truth-principle.

b) During or at the end of your explanation of each main point.

c) In illustrations and examples.

3. In the “conclusion”, you apply the truth…

a) When you summarize the sermon.

b) When you actualize and personalize the sermon one last time.

E. Why Is Application So Hard?

1. Because Its Hard! It’s Hard Work Because:

a) It requires accuracy to Scripture.

b) It must be relevant to the people and their culture.

c) It demands personal introspection and honesty.

2. Because Preachers Think That The Application Is Intuitively Obvious

It’s easy to think that the connection between your explanation of the text and its practical application to the lives of your hearers is intuitively obvious, that it does not need to be stated, that your hearers can figure it out themselves. It’s easy to assume that our hearers “get” how the truth impacts their lives.

This, of course, is often just not true. Application does not automatically jump out at you any more than the truth principles jump out at you. Someone needs to point it out.

3. Because Preachers Misconstrue The Purpose Of Preaching.

The purpose of preaching is to change people’s lives to be more like Christ and we do that by explaining the truth and then pointing out how that should change us. That is application.

Application is the means by which we connect biblical truth to the everyday lives of the audience. That means giving examples of what it looks like in the lives of your people, exhorting the congregation to change, naming error, rebuking wrong attitudes and relationships etc.

Remember, all theology is eminently practical. Its purpose is to impact one’s behaviour, desires, priorities, values, goals, relationships etc.

Good sermons not only teach the truth but also show what it has to do with “me”. A carefully crafted and complete sermon leads to application. Truth is to be obeyed (Rom. 6:17). That’s what will change the lives of your people – not the clever wording of a few main points, but the life application of the truth that causes people to change.

4. Because Preachers Have To Think Through The Application Prior To Preaching.

Too many preachers think that they can wing the applications on the fly. You can’t. They need to be well thought out ahead of time because you have a diverse congregation with diverse life situations and they all need to be reached. You have…

a) Young people, middle aged, old people

b) Professionals, blue collar workers, office workers, factory workers etc.

c) Married people, singles, divorced and separated

d) Yuppies, retired people

e) Families, couples, singles.

f) Public school, high school, and college students

g) Rich, poor, and middle class people.

To effectively apply the word to such diversity requires careful thought before preaching.

F. Discovering The Applications

The question we face is, as you expose each principle in the text, how do you move to application? How do you discover the real life applications while remaining faithful to the subject of the text and the intent of the original author?

As a general principle, I would suggest that the application of the biblical principle must fall within the same scope of application as that in the text. This just emphasizes how important it is to discover accurately the subject of the text. You must make a direct link between the explanation of the principles that you preach and the application you make.

First, start by asking yourself the following questions:

a) What was the author writing about?

b) Why did the author write this to these people?

c) What were the circumstances in the life of the people that needed correction, encouragement, comfort, assurance, rebuke, guidance etc.?

d) How did the author apply the principles to the lives of his readers?

e) What response did the author expect and want from them?

The answers to these questions set the parameters for your application.

Second, uncover contemporary applications by asking yourself:

a) What universal, abiding truths in the text relate directly to life today?

b) What contemporary situations, challenges, questions etc. are similar in nature to that of the original audience? In what ways do our contemporary audiences experience the same situations as the original audience?

Third, move from general implications to specific and personal applications. General implications may speak to how the truth of the text speaks to the home, work, church etc. for everyone. This is good but I would encourage you to try to move even further than that to specific applications to life in your culture and circumstances. This is the hard part. So, how do you do that?

Again, you probe into the personal applications of the truth by asking questions:

a) What does this truth mean for my people in their everyday lives?

b) What challenges, needs, lifestyles, beliefs, and circumstances in the church need to be addressed - be it personal, economic, congregational, community, relational, spiritual, ethical etc.

c) Where in our lives could this truth be applied?

Fourth, consider the response you expect and want from your audience. How do you want them to change their values, priorities, relationships, beliefs, attitudes, practices, motives, desires, character etc.?

Finally, challenge your congregation to ask themselves:

a) What does God want me to do about this truth?

b) How can I achieve this change? What do I need to do?

c) How should I start?

G. Preaching The Applications You Discover

1. You Must Know Your People And Your Church

As you ask the above questions, you are asking them not only about your own life, but particularly about the lives of the people in your congregation.

So as you ask the questions (searching for relevant applications), you must keep in mind your people by visualizing them in the pew, or going through your church directory, while you recollect their life situation, needs, problems, challenges etc.

2. From That Exercise You Draw Up A List Of Suitable Applications

Now you are applying the passage to real needs which correspond with the needs addressed in the passage. These applications will not identify anyone in your congregation nor will they disclose confidences. They will still be a bit general in nature, but you are drawing the net tighter and making clear how the principles apply by giving examples of how they might apply to your people in particular situations.

So, you might say: “If you live a holy life, you’ll demonstrate this in your workplace by… (e.g. not crossing the line with opposite sex”) etc. etc. Then, you can suggest ways to put these applications into practice.

From the application examples you preach, your people will be prompted to make the transfer into their own specific life situation.

3. Try To Give Enough Examples To Cover The Entire Spectrum Of Your Church

You dot this by drawing in the different age groups, marital status, economic status etc. in their life situation. There are four situations that embrace everyone:

a) School

b) Workplace

c) Home

d) Community

4. Don’t forget to word your points as applications, if possible

There are several advantages to this:

a) Application will be a continuous process throughout your sermon not just in particular sections of it.

b) The principles you establish in your points will be personalized rather than remaining abstract truths.

c) Your points will have more impact.

Conclusions About Application

Theology, properly preached, is thoroughly practical. The Bible is not written just to fill our heads with knowledge but to also change the way we live and think and act. Specifically, every sermon should help us to become more like Christ by putting into practice the universal, timeless truths of Scripture. For that reason, we must explain the text clearly and accurately and apply it relevantly and personally.

Part II: Sermon Outlines

To listen to the audio version of these sermons in English, click on the these links: Link 1 - Jn. 21:15-17; Link 2 - Jn. 21:18-19; Link 3 - Jn. 21:19-25

Title: “Called To Serve”

Theme: Lessons in Christian service

Point #1: The pledge in serving the Lord is to love him (15-17)

a) Despite our feeble loyalty, Jesus still values our love

b) Despite our feeble loyalty, Jesus still wants our service

Point #2: The purpose in serving the Lord is to glorify him (18-19a)

a) We are to glorify him when we are younger (18a)

b) We are to glorify him when we are old (18b-19a)

Point #3: The pattern in serving the Lord is to follow him (19b-23)

a) We follow him by responding to his call (19b)

b) We follow him by keeping our eyes on him (20)

c) We follow him by minding our own business (21-23)

Related Topics: Pastors

La Revue Internet Des Pasteurs, Fre Ed 32, Edition du l’été 2019

Edition du l’été 2019

Un ministère de…

Author: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
The Institute for Biblical Preaching
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 519-620-2375

Partie I : Renforcer La Predication Par Expose

“Renforçer les Applications” (Pt. 1)

Introduction

L'application des vérités bibliques que vous avez expliquées dans votre sermon est souvent le domaine le plus faible de la plupart des sermons. À moins que la vérité ne soit concrétisée, visualisée, personnalisée et actualisée, le sermon est simplement un exposé de la vérité abstraite et reste dans le domaine de la philosophie (idées, concepts, truismes).

Peut-Etre Que L'application Est Souvent Si Mal Faite Parce Que…

1) Nous passons tellement de temps en exégèse qu'il nous est difficile de passer de la théorie à la pratique.

2) Nous accumulons tellement de données de recherche exégétique que nous n’avons pas le temps de communiquer autre chose.

3) Nous sentons une tension entre la théorie et la pratique.

4) Nous estimons la vérité si haut comme une vérité et l'apprécions comme telle que son application semble la dégrader.

5) Nous avons peur de la réponse de notre public. Lorsque nous devenons spécifiques dans l'application, nous devenons personnels et cela génère parfois des réponses négatives parce que nous touchons les nerfs, exposons des points sensibles et activons les consciences.

6) Pour appliquer les Ecritures aux autres, nous devons d'abord les comprendre et les appliquer à nous-mêmes avant de les appliquer aux autres. Cela peut être douloureux.

La tendance est de mettre l'accent sur l'exposition ou l'application. Certains prédicateurs restent dans l’explication ; d'autres se concentrent sur l'application. D'une part, pour les prédicateurs qui font leurs devoirs lors de la préparation d'un sermon et qui passent beaucoup de temps à comprendre ce que le texte signifie, la tendance pourrait être de se concentrer sur l'explication (enseignement) et de négliger l'application. D'autre part, pour les prédicateurs qui consacrent peu de temps à étudier le texte, la tendance pourrait être de se concentrer sur l'application (signification) et de la négliger l’explication.

La prédication implique à la fois une exposition et une application. Si vous n'appliquez pas les vérités que vous expliquez, vous omettez de montrer en quoi la vérité est pertinente pour la vie. Nous devons expliquer le sens du texte et sa pertinence pour la vie quotidienne. Les gens veulent et ont besoin de la vérité appliquée à l'endroit et à la façon dont ils vivent - leurs relations, leurs pensées, leurs habitudes, leurs croyances, leurs problèmes, etc.

Prêcher l'explication sans l'application, c'est laisser la tâche de prédication incomplète. S'engager dans l'exégèse sans réfléchir à son application, c'est ne faire que la moitié du travail. Lorsque vous étudiez le texte pour en comprendre le sens, vous devez également tenir compte de son importance pour les réalités pratiques. Vous ne pouvez pas étudier les Écritures sans les relier à la vie contemporaine. C’est là que la vérité est vécue. C’est ce à quoi les Écritures sont destinées-à être obéi.

À moins que nous passions du monde biblique au monde contemporain, nous laissons la vérité et nos auditeurs dans son contexte ancien et sans autre but utile qu'intellectuel.

La prédication biblique doit passer du « quoi » au « alors quoi » à « maintenant quoi ? ». Lorsque nous expliquons la vérité, nous traitons le « quoi » de la vérité (c'est-à-dire que veut dire la vérité ?). Lorsque nous appliquons la vérité, nous nous adressons au « alors quoi » de la vérité (c’est-à-dire quelle différence cela fait-il ?). Lorsque nous actualisons la vérité, nous proposons le « maintenant quoi » exige de la vérité (c’est-à-dire ce que nous devons faire maintenant et comment cela devrait nous changer).

Certains vont argumenter que c'est le Saint-Esprit qui fait l’application, pas nous. Bien sûr, sans l'application de la Parole par le Saint-Esprit au cœur, à l'esprit, à la conscience et à la volonté, notre prédication n'aura aucun effet. En définitive, c’est seule l’application de la Parole par l’Esprit qui change des vies. Mais on pourrait en dire autant de la prédication de l'Évangile - seul le Saint-Esprit peut la rendre efficace. Certains demanderaient pourquoi, pourquoi prêcher ?

Nous le prêchons parce que la prédication est le moyen désigné par Dieu pour nous communiquer sa Parole (Romains 10 :14-15), à la fois son sens et son application. Le Saint-Esprit utilise des instruments humains pour expliquer et appliquer le texte. Le prédicateur a la responsabilité de montrer aux gens comment la Parole s’applique concrètement à leur vie.

L’application Est Un Elément Indispensable De La Prédication Biblique Parce Que…

1) Il relie la vérité du texte à la situation de vie des auditeurs. Notre travail consiste à comprendre le contexte et le but de l'auteur d'origine et à déterminer comment ce message s'applique à notre congrégation aujourd'hui. De cette manière, vous établissez un lien entre ce que vous venez d’expliquer dans le texte et comment cela affecte la vie de votre peuple.

2) Il comble le fossé entre les instructions de Dieu à son peuple dans le passé et ses instructions pour nous aujourd'hui.

3) Il relie le sage conseil de l’Écriture à la réalité de la vie de chaque personne: son besoin de la joie; pour l'intimité avec Dieu; pour des relations restaurées; pour l'obéissance à la Parole; pour l’espérance en Christ etc.

4) Il surmonte l'objection "alors quoi" de l'audience - c'est-à-dire "qu'est-ce que cela a à voir avec moi?" Ou "Que dois-je faire ou changer en réponse aux Ecritures?"

5) Cela quite du «quoi» de la vérité biblique au «comment» de la pratique chrétienne.

6) Cela montre clairement comment la vérité biblique qui a été expliquée affecte réellement la manière dont un chrétien doit vivre sur le marché, à la maison, à l'école, dans le quartier, etc. Un grand nombre de nos gens viennent à l'église le dimanche, mais vivent comme des non-Chrétiens le reste du temps. C’est pourquoi l’application est si importante.

7) Cela transforme le principe enseigné en une pratique qui est à suivre - une doctrine à croire; une attitude à adopter; une relation à changer etc.

Dans L’application, Nous Encourageons Les Gens :

a) Nous exhortons les gens à “visualiser” / “concrétiser” la vérité qu'ils ont entendue. L'acceptation n'est pas simplement un consentement mental, mais un changement dont on a fait l’expérience, une transformation de vie. À quoi sert-il s'ils comprennent la vérité mais ne font rien à propos ? Notre tâche est de les aider à voir (visualiser) la vérité (à quoi cela ressemble dans la vie réelle) en passant de la vérité en tant que philosophie abstraite à une réalité concrète, tangible et vivante.

Les aider à «concrétiser» la vérité éloigne les impressions subjectives des gens sur ce que «Dieu me dit» - c’est-à-dire sans chercher à savoir ce que l’auteur du texte voulait dire. C’est ce changement qui est très difficile pour beaucoup de prédicateurs - comment démontrer la vérité biblique de manière tangible et expérientielle ; comment relier la vérité à la vie quotidienne des gens.

Nous devons montrer aux gens à quoi ressemble la vérité pour qu'ils puissent la voir et en établir un lien avec propre vie. Nous voulons qu’ils disent: «Oui, ça c’est vrai dans ma vie. J'ai besoin de ça. Je vis cela. » Nous voulons qu’ils incarnent la vérité, c’est-à-dire qu’ils vivent la vérité. Après tout, toute la vie chrétienne est une question d’incarnation, n’est-ce pas? Il s'agit d'être comme Christ et donc de manifester la vérité de Christ dans nos vies.

La grande question est: "Comment pouvons-nous faire cela?" Nous pouvons le faire en donnant des situations "concrètes" et des exemples qui couvrent le spectre de notre public (à leur âge, leur statut, leurs emplois, leurs relations, l'économie, etc.). et cela les aide à visualiser ce dont nous parlons.

b) Nous exhortons les gens à «personnaliser» la vérité qu'ils ont entendue. Nous voulons que les gens disent: «Oui. J'ai besoin de ça. Je veux être comme ça ou faire cela ou me soumettre à cela, ou croire cela ”etc.

c) Nous exhortons les gens à «actualiser» la vérité qu'ils ont entendue. Nous voulons qu'ils l'adoptent, la pratiquent, la rendent réelle. Nous appelons les gens à se soumettre et à obéir à la Parole parce que la vérité doit être obéie. Nous appelons à une réponse obéissante et à des actions concrètes pour que la vie des gens se conforme à la vérité. Nous les aidons à "actualiser" la vérité en les invitant et en leur demandant de s'engager de manière pratique pour changer leur vie de la manière dont le message les a touchés.

A. L’application Doit Etre Vrai Selon Text Biblique

La prédication par exposé n'est pas un commentaire en cours simplement pour transmettre des informations. Son objectif est d’appliquer à la vie du croyant les principes qui sont expliqués dans le texte. Vous ne pouvez pas appliquer des principes sans expliquer le contenu de la vérité dont ils sont tirés. Vous ne pouvez pas expliquer le "comment" sans le "quoi". Vous ne pouvez pas insister sur le devoir sans connaître la doctrine sur laquelle il est basé. Par conséquent, l'application doit être "basée sur" le texte biblique à partir duquel vous prêchez. C'est probablement l'un des plus grands défauts de la prédication aujourd'hui. Les prédicateurs entrent en application de manière tangible sans avoir expliqué de manière satisfaisante, précise ou claire le sens du texte. Si le public ne comprend pas le sens du texte (qui est l'autorité de ce que nous prêchons), comment pouvons-nous nous attendre à ce qu'ils y obéissent?

En outre, non seulement votre application doit être "basée sur" le texte biblique, mais elle doit également être "limitée par" le texte biblique. En d'autres termes, votre application est limitée au sujet et à la portée du texte en question. L'application doit être basée sur la vérité du texte, puis appliquée correctement. Vous n'êtes pas libre de faire n'importe quelle application que vous voulez à partir de n'importe quel texte. Tout comme votre exposé se limite au contexte et au sujet du texte biblique, il en va de même de votre application. En d'autres termes, l'application doit découler de votre explication du texte.

Cela dit, j’estime que nous avons la liberté d’étendre l’application assez largement dans les limites de l’intention générale de l’auteur original et de l’objet du texte. Cela nous donne la latitude d'appliquer le texte à plusieurs situations et défis différents auxquels nos congrégations sont confrontées tout en restant fidèles au texte.

L’un des moyens dont nous pouvons légitimement «étendre» l’application consiste à utiliser la logique déductive ou l’inférence. Ainsi, l’application inclut une «implication» qui, par définition, vous donne une plus grande marge pour l’application. Nous sommes faits avec la capacité de raisonner. Donc…

1) Soyez logique à propos de l'application. Montrez comment votre texte vous conduit à l'application logique que vous faites.

2) Soyez spécifique dans l'application. Donne des exemples.

Dans chaque sermon, l'auditeur veut savoir trois choses:

1) Sur quoi prêchez-vous? (le thème dominant du texte - c’est-à-dire son sujet/ thème).

2) Quel est votre argument? (les pensées intégrantes du texte - c’est-à-dire ses principaux points et sous-points).

3) Que veux-tu que je fasse? (la motivation du texte - son application et son but dans ma vie).

N'oubliez pas que vous n'avez pas le droit d'inviter les gens à répondre à la vérité que vous n'avez pas expliquée et qu'ils ne comprennent pas et, par conséquent, ne peuvent pas visualiser.

B. L’application Doit Etre Intentionnelle

En tant que prédicateurs en plénière, nous devons être très intentionnels à la fois dans la présentation et dans l’application du texte.

1. Nous Devons Etre “Personnel” Dans Notre Application

Cela exige que nous soyons ‘’agressif’’’ sans créer de division ou sans être offensif. L'application nécessite une réception et une obéissance personnelle à la vérité. Par conséquent, les auditeurs doivent :

a) Recevoir le message.

b) Intégrer le message - c’est-à-dire réfléchir à la manière dont cela influe sur leur propre vie.

c) Identifiez ce qui doit être changé en se demandant ce qu'ils doivent faire à ce sujet.

d) Décidez de changer et dressez un plan pour le faire. Cela nécessite peut-être d’être redevable envers quelqu'un, un changement de routine ou d'habitudes, etc.

Afin de personnaliser votre application, il est important que vous essayiez de vous adresser au large spectre de votre public de manière concrète et personnelle, en indiquant où et comment il vit. Réfléchissez à la manière dont vous pouvez appliquer votre sermon à leur vie personnelle, leur vie de famille, leur travail, leur vie d’église, leur vie en communauté. Essayez également d’appliquer le sermon à leur esprit et à leur cœur - par exemple. leurs attitudes, leurs croyances, leurs relations (avec Dieu et avec les autres), leur comportement, leurs désirs, leurs motivations, leurs valeurs, leurs priorités et leur caractère.

2. Nous Devons Etre "Pratiques" Dans Notre Application

Nous parlons ici de «comment» les gens devraient réagir? Il ne suffit pas de savoir seulement le «quoi» du message. Nous devons aussi leur dire le ‘’comment’’. La tendance est de rester avec le «quoi». Bien que le «quoi» soit très important, il ne constitue pas la totalité du sermon.

a) Il doit y avoir un appel à la repentance biblique à la fois des croyants et des non-croyants.

b) Il doit y avoir un appel au renouvellement biblique. Chaque événement de prédication doit être une période de renouvellement et de réveil du croyant et de régénération du non-croyant.

c) Il doit y avoir un appel à la réalité biblique. Parce que nous vivons à une époque de christianisme culturel, et non un christianisme biblique, notre société a tendance à adopter un christianisme artificiel. Les prédicateurs doivent appeler leur peuple à la réalité biblique.

3. Nous Devons Avoir Un "Objectif" Dans Notre Application

Notre prédication doit avoir un but, une cible. Tous les textes mènent à Christ (Col. 1: 27-29). C'est le but ultime et primordial de la prédication. Ainsi, lorsque les gens partent, ils ressemblent davantage à Christ. C’est la raison principale de la prédication.

C. L’application Doit Pousser Les Gens A L’action

Chaque sermon a besoin d'un mouvement quadruple pour activer l'application personnelle des auditeurs sous forme d'obéissance :

1. «L’esprit» Doit Etre Eduqué Par Notre Prédication (Discernement)

Chaque sermon doit éduquer - inciter l’esprit à penser et à comprendre des choses qu’il n’avait pas considérées ou comprises auparavant. Les aliments solides (c.-à-d. La «viande») appartiennent aux majeurs (Héb. 5:14). Vous devez progresser au-delà de l’ABC du christianisme. La prédication peu profonde produit des chrétiens peu profonds.

2. Le «Cœur» Doit Etre Touché Par Notre Prédication (Désir)

Il faut avoir pour objectif de toucher le cœur de quelqu'un pour le «pousser» à l'action. Le coeur est l'organe principal de la vie physique. Le «cœur» est le mot qui décrit les sources cachées de la vie humaine et la sphère d'influence divine.

Le cœur doit être atteint pour effectuer un «mouvement» (action) chez l'auditeur. L’esprit seul ne fera pas cela. Le coeur est le grand motivateur.

La prédication au cœur permet aux auditeurs de s'identifier aux personnages et aux problèmes du passage et de s'approprier les principes du passage. Cela implique évidemment de passer du général au particulier.

Le «cœur» dans les Ecritures décrit l'endroit où les décisions sont prises et où les choix sont faits. C’est le lieu où l’esprit et la volonté se rencontrent. Il ne suffit pas de relaxer l’esprit. Vous devez également toucher le coeur.

L'accent est mis ici sur le désir plutôt que sur le discernement. Prêchez pour motiver le cœur à réagir. Le coeur doit être agiter. Pour ce faire, la prédication doit avoir de la passion.

3. La "Volonté" Doit Etre Dirigée Par Notre Prédication (Décision)

Il ne suffit pas d’éduquer l’esprit et de toucher le cœur. Vous devez également guider, focaliser et façonner la volonté de vous soumettre à l'autorité de la Parole, de mourir de vous-même et de vivre pour le Christ, de remettre l'ancien et de revêtir le nouveau (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4: 22-24).

Si seulement l’esprit et le cœur sont touchés, cela ne suffit pas. La volonté doit être guidée de se soumettre volontairement à la vérité de la Parole et ainsi de vivre son enseignement.

Si seulement l’esprit et le cœur sont touchés, cela ne suffit pas. La volonté doit être guidée par la volonté de se soumettre volontairement à la vérité de la Parole et ainsi de vivre son enseignement.

4. La "Conscience" Doit Etre Piquée Par Notre Prédication (Détection)

La conscience est un puissant outil dans l’application. C'est un facteur de motivation important pour obéir. Elle détecte où les gens ont échoué dans leur obéissance à la vérité. Il révèle où il peut y avoir un péché dans la vie d’une personne qui doit être jugée.

Ainsi, la prédication biblique activera la conscience pour que les gens répondent avec obéissance.

Conclusions

L’application doit être personnelle, pratique et avoir pour but de toucher toute la personnalité - esprit, cœur, volonté et conscience. Si le cœur est le grand facteur de motivation pour agir, si vous pouvez associer la conviction de l’esprit au désir du cœur, c’est une force encore plus puissante pour activer la conscience qui, à son tour, incite une personne à soumettre sa volonté et obéir à la vérité.

D. L’application Est Mieux Faite Si Pendant Le Long Du Sermon

En appliquant la vérité tout au long du sermon, vos auditeurs n'oublieront pas le principe qui régit l'application. Cela lie le principe et la pratique étroitement ensemble. Vous connectez étroitement l'application au texte que vous venez d'expliquer. Cela donne à votre application beaucoup plus d'autorité car c'est le texte qui parle, pas vous.

Certains prédicateurs font leur application à la fin du sermon. C'est permis mais cela présente plusieurs inconvénients:

1) Si cela se fait régulièrement, votre public le comprendra rapidement et vous perdrez alors l'impact, car il est prêt à vous faire la sourde oreille (« Oh, ça revient encore »). Je suggérerais que l'application à la fin serve seulement d'intensification et de reconfirmation de l'application que vous avez déjà faite tout au long du sermon.

2) Il sépare l'explication de la vérité de l'application de la vérité de sorte que votre auditoire ne connectera pas intuitivement l'un à l'autre.

Je vous recommande d'appliquer la vérité continuellement, de l'introduction à la conclusion du sermon.

1) Dans “l'introduction”, vous appliquez quand vous…

a) établissez le besoin d'écouter; la nécessité de ce message.

b) Faites le lien avec le texte biblique.

c) Énoncez votre « sermon dans une phrase » (c'est-à-dire votre thèse, proposition).

2) Dans le «corps», vous appliquez tous les principes de vérité…

a) Dans la formulation de chacun de vos points et sous-points principaux. Ils doivent être formulés sous forme d'application, c'est-à-dire que de manière à ce que votre public soit inclus, se voit dans le principe de vérité.

b) Pendant ou à la fin de votre explication de chaque point principal.

c) Dans les illustrations et exemples.

3) Dans la «conclusion», vous appliquez la vérité…

a) Lorsque vous résumez le sermon.

b) Lorsque vous actualisez et personnalisez le sermon une dernière fois.

E. Pourquoi L’application Est-Elle Si Dure?

1. Parce Que C'est Dur ! C’est Un Travail Difficile Parce Que:

a) Cela nécessite une précision dans les Ecritures.

b) Cela doit être pertinent pour les gens et leur culture.

c) Cela demande une introspection personnelle et de l’honnêteté.

2. Parce Que Les Prédicateurs Pensent Que L'application Est Intuitivement Evidente

Il est facile de penser que le lien entre votre explication du texte et son application pratique dans la vie de vos auditeurs est intuitivement évident, qu’il n’est pas nécessaire de le préciser, que vos auditeurs peuvent le comprendre eux-mêmes. Il est facile de supposer que nos auditeurs «comprennent» l’impact de la vérité sur leur vie.

Ceci, bien sûr, est souvent tout simplement faux. L'application ne vous saute pas automatiquement dessus, encore moins les principes de vérité ne vous sautent pas aux yeux. Quelqu'un doit le signaler.

3. Parce Que Les Prédicateurs Interprètent Mal Le But De La Prédication.

Le but de la prédication est de changer la vie des gens pour qu’ils ressemblent davantage à Christ et nous le faisons en expliquant la vérité, puis en soulignant comment cela devrait nous changer. C'est l'application.

L'application est le moyen par lequel nous relions la vérité biblique à la vie quotidienne de l’audience. Cela signifie donner des exemples de ce à quoi cela ressemble dans la vie de votre peuple, exhortant la congrégation à changer, indiquant des erreurs, réprimant les mauvaises attitudes et relations, etc.

N'oubliez pas que toute théologie est éminemment pratique. Son but est d’avoir un impact sur le comportement, les désirs, les priorités, les valeurs, les objectifs, les relations, etc.

Les bons sermons n'enseignent pas seulement la vérité, mais montrent aussi ce que cela a à voir avec «moi». Un sermon soigneusement conçu et complet mène à l'application. La vérité doit être obéie (Romains 6:17). C’est ce qui va changer la vie de votre peuple - pas la formulation intelligente de quelques points principaux, mais l’application à la vie de la vérité qui amène les gens à changer.

4. Parce Que Les Prédicateurs Doivent Réfléchir A L’application Avant De Prêcher.

Trop de prédicateurs pensent pouvoir faire évoluer les applications à la volée. Vous ne pouvez pas. Elles ont besoin d’être bien réfléchies à l’avance, car vous avez une congrégation diversifiée avec des situations de vie différentes et ils doivent tous être atteints. Vous avez…

a) jeunes, personnes d'âge moyen, personnes âgées

b) Professionnels, cols bleus, employés de bureau, ouvriers d’usine, etc.

c) Personnes mariées, célibataires, divorcées et séparées

d) Yuppies, retraités

e) Familles, couples, célibataires.

f) Elèves d’écoles publiques, lycéens et des étudiants universitaires.

g) Les gens riches, pauvres et de la classe moyenne.

Appliquer efficacement le mot à une telle diversité nécessite une réflexion approfondie avant de prêcher.

F. Decouvrir Les Applications

La question à laquelle nous sommes confrontés est, au fur et à mesure que vous exposez chaque principe dans le texte, comment passez-vous à l’application ? Comment découvrir les applications de la vie réelle tout en restant fidèle au sujet du texte et à l'intention de l'auteur original ?

Comme principe général, je suggérerais que l'application du principe biblique soit dans le même champ d'application que celui du texte. Cela souligne à quel point il est important de découvrir avec précision le sujet du texte. Vous devez établir un lien direct entre l'explication des principes que vous prêchez et l'application que vous en faites.

Tout d'abord, commencez par vous poser les questions suivantes :

a) De quoi l’écrit de l'auteur était-il question ?

b) Pourquoi l'auteur a-t-il écrit ceci à ces personnes ?

c) Quelles étaient les circonstances dans la vie des personnes qui nécessitaient des corrections, des encouragements, du confort, de l'assurance, des reproches, des conseils, etc. ?

d) Comment l'auteur a-t-il appliqué les principes à la vie de ses lecteurs ?

e) Quelle réaction l'auteur attendait-il et souhaitait-il d’eux ?

Les réponses à ces questions définissent les paramètres de votre application.

Deuxièmement, découvrez les applications contemporaines en vous demandant :

a) Quelles vérités universelles et éternelles dans le texte ont un rapport direct avec la vie aujourd'hui ?

b) Quelles sont les situations, défis, questions contemporaines, etc. similaires à ceux du public d'origine ? De quelle manière notre public contemporain vit-il les mêmes situations que le public d'origine ?

Troisièmement, passer des implications générales aux applications spécifiques et personnelles. Les implications générales peuvent indiquer comment la vérité du texte parle de la vie à la maison, au travail, à l'église, etc. pour tout le monde. C’est bien, mais je vous encourage à essayer d’aller plus loin que cela pour des applications spécifiques à la vie dans votre culture et votre situation. C'est la partie difficile. Alors, comment faites-vous cela ?

Encore une fois, vous explorez les applications personnelles de la vérité en posant des questions :

a) Qu'est-ce que cette vérité signifie pour mon peuple dans leur vie quotidienne ?

b) Quels sont les défis, les besoins, les modes de vie, les croyances et les circonstances dans l'église qui doivent être abordés - qu'ils soient personnels, économiques, de congrégation, communautaires, relationnels, spirituels, éthiques, etc.

c) Où dans nos vies cette vérité pourrait-elle être appliquée ?

Quatrièmement, considérez la réponse que vous voulez et attendez de votre public. Comment voulez-vous qu'ils changent leurs valeurs, leurs priorités, leurs relations, leurs croyances, leurs attitudes, leurs pratiques, leurs motivations, leurs désirs, leur caractère, etc. ?

Enfin, défiez votre congrégation de se poser les questions :

a) Qu'est-ce que Dieu veut que je fasse à propos de cette vérité ?

b) Comment puis-je réaliser ce changement ? Qu'est-ce que je dois faire ?

c) Comment dois-je commencer ?

G. Precher Sur Les Applications Que Vous Decouvrez

1. Vous Devez Connaître Votre Peuple Et Votre Eglise

Lorsque vous posez les questions ci-dessus, vous ne leur posez pas seulement des questions sur votre propre vie, mais en particulier sur celles des membres de votre congrégation.

Ainsi, lorsque vous posez des questions (recherchant d’applications appropriées), vous devez garder à l’esprit vos collaborateurs en les visualisant sur le banc d’église ou en parcourant votre annuaire d’église, tout en vous rappelant leur situation, leurs besoins, leurs problèmes, leurs défis, etc.

2. À Partir De Cet Exercice, Vous Dressez Une Liste Des Applications Appropriées

Vous appliquez maintenant le passage à des besoins réels qui correspondent aux besoins abordés dans le passage. Ces applications n'identifieront personne dans votre congrégation et ne dévoileront pas de confidences. Elles seront toujours de nature un peu générales, mais vous resserrez le filet et expliquez clairement comment les principes s'appliquent, en donnant des exemples de la manière dont ils pourraient s’appliquer à votre peuple dans des situations particulières.

Ainsi, vous pourriez dire : « Si vous vivez une vie sainte, vous le montrerez sur votre lieu de travail en… (par exemple, en ne franchissant pas la frontière avec le sexe opposé »), etc. etc. Vous pourrez ensuite suggérer des moyens de mettre ces applications en pratique.

À partir des exemples d’application que vous prêchez, votre peuple sera invité à effectuer le transfert dans sa propre situation de vie.

3. Essayez De Donner Suffisamment D'exemples Pour Couvrir Tout Le Spectre De Votre Eglise.

Vous y parviendrez en faisant apparaître les différents groupes d’âge, l’état matrimonial, le statut économique, etc. dans leur situation de vie. Il y a quatre situations qui concernent tout le monde :

a) L’école

b) Le lieu de travail

c) La famille

d) La communauté

4. N'oubliez Pas De Formuler Vos Points En Applications, Si Possible

Il y a plusieurs avantages à cela :

a) L’application sera un processus continu tout au long de votre sermon et pas seulement dans certaines parties du sermon.

b) Les principes que vous établissez dans vos points seront personnalisés plutôt que de rester des vérités abstraites.

c) Vos points auront plus d'impact.

Conclusions Sur Application

La théologie, correctement prêchée, est tout à fait pratique. La Bible n’est pas écrite pour remplir notre tête de connaissances, mais aussi pour changer notre façon de vivre, de penser et d’agir. Plus précisément, chaque sermon devrait nous aider à ressembler davantage à Christ en mettant en pratique les vérités universelles et éternelles des des Écriture. Pour cette raison, nous devons expliquer le texte de manière claire et précise et l’appliquer de manière pertinente et personnelle.

Partie II : Plan Du Sermon

Pour écouter la version audio de ces sermons en anglais, cliquez sur les liens suivants: Link 1 - Jn. 21:15-17; Link 2 - Jn. 21:18-19; Link 3 - Jn. 21:19-25

Titre : “Appelé Pour Servir”

Thème : Des leçons dans le service Christian

Point #1: S’engager à server le Seigneur c’est de l’aimer (15-17)

a) Malgré notre faible loyauté, Jésus valorise toujours notre amour

b) Malgré notre faible loyauté, Jésus veut toujours notre service

Point #2: Le but de servir le Seigneur est de le glorifier (18-19a)

a) Nous devons le glorifier quand nous sommes plus jeunes (18a)

b) Nous devons le glorifier quand nous serons vieux (18b-19a)

Point #3: Le model de servir le Seigneur est de le suivre (19b-23)

a) Nous le suivons en répondant à son appel (19b)

b) Nous le suivons en gardant les yeux sur lui (20)

c) Nous le suivons en veillant sur nos propres affaires (21-23)

Related Topics: Pastors

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