Practicing the Bible not Biblicism

(audio sermon)

The Bible says ‘greet one another with a holy kiss.’ Must we, or is that cultural? Should we preach ancient culture as applicable today? This sermon is about practicing God’s enduring word rather than the ancient expressions it is wrapped in.

Speakers notes follow –

Practicing the Bible not Biblicism

Greet one another with a holy kiss (Ro 16.16) – holy handshake

Are we disobeying the Bible? – handshake isnt there! No – about being welcoming, warm, loving / God’s word ‘love’ – human expression ‘kiss’

Scripture involves human expression – culture

Don’t preach human expression (kissing) preach God’s heart (loving)

Practice the Bible not biblicism

Biblicists – ‘Bible God’s Word without human affect’ / ‘Can be taken at face value’ / ‘Has answers for everything – don’t need doctors, psychologists, scientists’ – making the Bible into what Its not – dangerous

Islamic influence – Koran seen as dictated – no human element / Bible inspired – has human affect – God spoke through human limitations – language / culture / knowledge

So – When Scripture is Cultural? – ask what’s the heart of the message

When Scripture is Unclear?

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak but must be in submission. If they want to inquire about something they should ask heir husbands at home” (1 Co 14.34) They should cover their heads when they prophesy (1 Co 11.5)

illiterate wives shouting to husbands in men section? – wives questioning husbands prophecies in public? Big rule to enforce when its not clear

Important – God doesnt seem bothered leaves it unclear – he knows we don’t know – Perhaps because its human expression and cultural

There are many controversial verses lacking clarity – church argues – why do we make important what God doesnt?

When Scripture is Silent?

Scripture not only lacks clarity on some things – it doesnt say much on many things!

Though there are doctors, businessmen, carpenters we’re not told how to practice medicine, run businesses, or make a chair. Nothing on how to cook, exercise either.

When we say its a manual for life we are not saying it has answers for everything – we’re saying it leads us to God through Jesus and that transforms all we do

Some Christians attempt to bring verses together to talk of Bible foods (fat) or Bible business – they collect verses that are incidental to the Bibles message

lts important to know what the Bible is for, and what its not for

When Scripture has Priorities?

Not all verses are equally important. Is ‘when you come bring my cIoak that I left with Carpus at Troas’ (2Ti 4.13) as Important as ” For God so loved the world … ‘

or – ‘A young man wearing nothing but a linen garment was following Jesus. When they seized him he fled naked (Mk 14.51) ‘But you will receive power … ‘

Clearly verses related to the gospel are highly important and others are less important

The Bible is not flat, with all words equal – its like a mountain

Once we see this we can stop making a big issue of less important verses that divide the church

When Scripture Points Away from Itself?

The Bible points to Jesus – He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24. 44) You study the scriptures because you think  that in them you have eternal life . These are the very scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me. (Jn 5. 39)

The last one shows knowing the scriptures isnt knowing the Word – the Bible can be a barrier to the Word. Reading may stop us experiencing Jesus.- supposed to relate to a person not a book

Jesus – The Word was with God and the Word was God (Jn 1.1)

The Bible points to the Way, Truth, Life, Saviour

When Scripture is Temporary?

The Bible can be up to date and out of date at the same time. The divine is always up to date – its eternal, The human is out of date – Its ancient.– In clothing, transport, communication, farming – you dont have to live the ancient way! This is not the revelation – this is the humanity the revelation is clothed in. Jesus was clothed in ancient robes.

The Bible is also out of date in astronomy, geography, climatology, anthropology – science in general. God does expect us to embrace such views – these are ancient wrappings – his revelation is inside

Christmas is almost here – celebrating Gods Gift – we celebrate giving gifts – we remove the wrappings – its what Inside that we are after – likewise we peel away the ancient and temporary in scripture to find the timeless Word within

Let’s practice the Bible not biblicism!

If you enjoyed this sermon you may also like: INTERPRETING THE BIBLE IN CONTEXT

Feel free to comment below or share this message with others.
You will make us really happy if you click LIKE in our Facebook fan box on the right above (below on mobile). Thanks.