Every church is preaching the Word of God, the Bible, by the Holy Spirit of God. Or are they?
It can be confusing. What church publicly says, ‘We don’t really think the Bible matters.’? Instead, most churches, of almost every flavour, say ‘The Bible is God’s word. We love it. We live under it.’
So how do you know if a church is really teaching God’s word? Here’s six questions.
1. Does the preacher show us what God's word (the Bible) is saying?
2. Does he show us how he got the message / idea that from the Bible?
3. Does he challenge us to think / feel / live differently under God's word? (And is he living under it?)
4. Does he show how God's word ultimately is all about Jesus?
5. Over time are the great themes of God’s word being taught? (Here are the themes I’m talking about: God’s love, God’s authority, God’s holiness, God’s hatred of evil, God’s salvation in Jesus, Jesus’ death, Jesus’ resurrection, God’s judgement on evil and wickedness.)
6. Was the passage of the Bible taught in the context of the chapter or book of the Bible? (Or, was it ripped out of context?)
Another way to see if your church is teaching God’s word is to get out a stop watch. Time the talk. How long did the talk take? How much of the talk was explaining God’s word and its implications? How much was about something else? This is a very rough guide but it will help you see if you need to start asking the questions above.
If the answer is consistently ‘No!’ to the questions above, over several talks, then this church is not teaching you God’s word. It might be teaching you. But it isn’t teaching you God’s word. Find a different church.
And if you’re at the church I lead and I stop teaching God’s word, leave. And take your friends with you.