The Word vs. Their words (They walk among us)

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:14&17 certainly spells out clearly what a pastor is supposed to be teaching.

Often today when one listens to a “sermon” or teaching from someone in church leadership, there is little, or no scripture taught or read. Many times, sermons are filled with other facts such as history, science or the latest news. While that doesn’t make the sermon necessarily good or bad on its own, it does leave a rather large void in the ability to rightly divide the Word. Simply because there is no Word given. It becomes more difficult to discern a teaching when little scripture is used, more importantly there is no life or life changing elements in them; “the Word is quick and powerful” Heb. 4:12 nothing else.

Unless you know exactly what and where a partial verse is that the pastor may mention in passing, the ability to fact check is lost. Let’s face it, even before everyone had a cell phone, most church goers stopped bringing their Bibles to church. Pastors stopped saying “turn in your Bibles to whatever chapter and verse the message was on. Instead there was a verse thrown up on the big screen. More often than not, verses and Scriptures are merely:

  • alluded to but not quoted
  • or a book of the Bible is mentioned, but not chapter and verse number.
  • often just partial verses are quoted, again with no reference to book or chapter.

The definition of allude: (əˈluːd) vb

  1. to refer indirectly, briefly, or implicitly
  2. (loosely)to mention

So, what we end up with in many sermons today is just an indirect, brief mention of scripture, in passing. There is a famine of exegetical preaching and many Christians today are spiritually starved, most have no ability to feed themselves with the Word. Some have the ability to discern and know when scriptures are twisted or even cherry picked by false teachers, but it does become more difficult when sermons preached and taught are deficient in rightly dividing the Word. Of course, just alluding to verses should flag out as something to be wary of for sure.

 Remember the Bereans in Acts who fact checked the Apostle Paul?

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The problem is, when verses in scripture are just alluded to, rather than sited and read, the teaching/sermon then becomes watered down; also making it much easier to interject one’s own “opinions” as a filler where scripture should be, thus leading to error.

For example, a now popular lawyer/preacher named John Haller does a weekly prophecy update, who only ever presents current events, using weekly news clips yet uses maybe one verse at the beginning of his message.  I would have to ask, how is this prophetic? Or even biblical?  There is no life given element of the Word of God.  And to interject any verses into weekly news clips would have to be considered eisegeses as news clips cannot validate biblical prophecy.

It is a fact that as churches have progressed in size, technologies and entertainment, the much needed “washing of the Word “of God has been set aside and or thrown out altogether. We have churches full of congregations that are full of nothing but the church program and know all the spiritualized catch phrases. Granted there is a time in all believers walk that one should decide to be accountable and responsible with our faith and learn to self-feed but with little or no discipleship coming from the pulpits it becomes more difficult to navigate. It then becomes easier to learn the chanted catch phrases and partial bible quotes.

  • “on earth as it is in heaven”
  • “no weapon formed against me shall prosper
  • Pray a hedge of protection
  • All things work together for the good
  • God has a plan for your life

Just to name a few.

How is it that even in sermons today so little of God’s Word is actually spoken or taught? What becomes of us without the hearing of the Word?

Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Eph 5:26-27  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

It is the hearing of the Word that brings life.

Psa 119:104-105  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

Pro 4:20  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 

Pro 4:21  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 

Pro 4:22  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

If we are no longer fed the Word from the pulpit how can there be any expectations of the promises of God’s Word if it’s not spoken or read in sermons? Many end up ignorant of God’s Word and their faith shipwrecked. Others end up living in a diminished understanding of who God is and His will for their lives.  Their spiritual life is shallow.

Amos 8:11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.”

Let’s look at the definition of what would be the opposite of the word allude {which is to “loosely mention}. Some of the words that are opposite the meaning of allude are, publicize, advertise and announce. 1.  So when we listen to a sermon there’s needs to be and expectation of  literally hearing the Word of God preached not alluded to.

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

The following quote drives home the message of the importance of hearing the Word of God.

“There are no other spiritual truths from any other sources that we can feed off of that will cause any kind of true spiritual growth to occur in this life.

Any other source is just dead meat. It has no supernatural life or ability to change us because it is not coming direct from God the Father and thus has no anointing on it.” 2

Sensationalism and extra-biblical experience have replaced expository preaching. However, neither can provide what God has promised in His Word alone.  As always, we have Jesus and the Apostles, who’s example we should both follow and never compromise.

When Scripture is only alluded to, instead of the life giving breath of God’s word, preaching becomes only a vox et preterea nihil (a voice and nothing more; sound without substance). Yet Jesus in Luke 24:27 sets the standard for expository preaching.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Expounded is diermēneuō used six times in the scripture and means to explain thoroughly, to interpret.  He unfolded the meaning of all that had been written in the Old Testament concerning Himself.  He held nothing back!

Paul in Acts 20:20-21&27 to the Ephesian elders said:

“And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ…For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

What ever was to their spiritual benefit, Paul taught, holding nothing back, without discrimination nor seeking the favor of men.  Paul gave not only the fundamentals of the gospel, but all truth which was vital to godly growth.  And with it warnings concerning false brethren who would creep in drawing men after themselves.  Today we have an over abundance of men who have made a name for themselves yet withhold the whole counsel of God.  We know the names of Bill Johnson, John MacArthur, Francis Chan, Chuck Swindall, Jacob Prasch, even John Haller, but hear very little of Jesus of Nazareth.  We know their books, have watched their videos, studied all their material, yet very little is taught about Jesus of Nazareth.  People will fight to the death to defend their favorite preacher yet will not stand in the defense of the Gospel. People will take their word as gospel thinking they have been feed yet will not search the scripture to see if those things are so.



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