June 29, 2016

Pastor’s Shouldn’t Read the Bible for Themselves

I confess. That’s a provocative, albeit true, title. I want people, especially pastors, to read and understand this concept though. We need to stop reading the Bible for us. Of course we benefit, and benefit greatly. But if our benefit is our purpose, we have reduced the Word of God to a self-help book, another Oprah approved pseudo-theology.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31

This is an extremely important statement. Our actions should always be pointing to the glory of God. In 1Corinthians, Paul is dealing with a dinner party involving a lost host and a Christian brother. The brother is convicted about the meat’s preparation (sacrificed to idols) and informs you (though you’re not convicted like he is) about the idol sacrifice. The instruction is to forego your liberty and lack of conviction on a Biblically neutral matter in order to edify your convicted brother. You don’t eat the meat. This love of brother glorifies God. Earlier though, Paul says don’t worry about the idol sacrifice and investigate every piece of meat that you buy. Just give thanks to the Lord and enjoy. Eat the meat and glorify God. We can use that moment at the dinner party as a time of teaching and love into the weaker brother and help lead him out of legalism, all the while being respectful of where he is spiritually. It all glorifies God, and it all should be about God.

This is the way with our personal Bible study. It’s about Him, about God. We study to know Him, to love Him, to observe Him, to share Him, to bow to Him. It’s not about us. The Bible says it like this:

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2Peter 3:18

Our reading, receiving, and submission to  the Word of God is worship. To make it about us and our feelings is to profane the God of the universe. Not a small thing. We must stop reading the Bible for us. This protects us against violating the holiness of God. Realize the goodness and greatness and gravity of the words that you are reading. The all-powerful Creator of the universe spoke His Word to mankind for the redemption of souls for the glory of His great name.

In short, when we seek after God through the study of His Word, He will most assuredly advance our efforts towards holiness because we are seeking His kingdom, His righteousness first. Study the Bible in worship to God.

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