Is a Sermon Incomplete Without Application?

This is not just a post for preachers. It’s for anyone who takes the Bible seriously. So many of us sit in the pews (or chairs) on Sundays waiting for the “most important” part of the sermon: the application. It’s so important that many preachers and many congregants think that unless a sermon gives you a “to do” list, it is incomplete. The problem, of course, is that Christianity is not a “go and do” religion. There are obviously exhortations and commands to follow, and some sermons need to say, “You just need to do this if you are a … Continue reading Is a Sermon Incomplete Without Application?

How Not to Read the Bible

Part 4 in a 10 part series. View series intro and index. We are taking a step backwards a bit in our Gospel-Centered Devotions series. Before I get to how to keep Christ at the center of the New Testament (part 8), I want to briefly walk through some unchristian ways to read the Bible. We learn how to read the Bible from the spiritual “experts” in our lives (usually the three “P’s”: pastors, professors, parents). People especially read the Bible the same way it is preached to them. These unchristian ways to read the Bible run rampant in pulpits all across … Continue reading How Not to Read the Bible

The Psalms and Jesus

I am passionate about gospel-centered ministry and interpretation. Perhaps Luke 24:27 has influenced me recently more than any other verse. After Jesus’ resurrection, he is walking to Emmaus with two disciples. They are depressed because Jesus has died and they thought he was the Messiah. Jesus snaps them out of their depression and tells them that the whole Old Testament is about him. Luke writes, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (24:27). I have taken this to heart in my ministry and in how I interpret the Scriptures, especially … Continue reading The Psalms and Jesus

Hear the Music, Don’t Learn the Steps

Part 5 in a 10 part series. View series intro and index. If you are anything like me (let’s hope not), your bent is to read the Bible to get information. You want to mine the peaks and valleys of Scripture for intellectual ascent, to out-wit, out-smart, or out-argue someone else in a theological debate. You want information because filling your brain makes you feel enlightened, special, smart, or just plain better than others. If you aren’t like me, I’m willing to be you are still a bit like me (too bad) in that you read the Bible for information, yet in … Continue reading Hear the Music, Don’t Learn the Steps