Please take a moment and look at this picture to help understand the purpose of the Word of God.
After Jesus resurrected He gave His disciples, “The Great Commission.” This was His final marching orders… “Go and make disciples of the nations by baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything I commanded.”
Sadly, many churches have forgotten this important command and now use the Word of God to entertain and accommodate people’s life of sin.
Take for example, the preacher that continually looks in the Bible for the “encouraging verses,” yet never gives the context and the other four aspects of that Word. What happens is you have a malnourished Christian that doesn’t know how to be a command-keeping-disciple.
In other words, it is the job of the preacher and the disciple to properly feed the Word of God to people (including feeding ourselves). We are to eat a well-balanced diet of the Word of God. Which according to Paul is five main parts- teaching, rebuking, correcting, training and encouraging. Now if you notice, only one of those five parts is the “sugary desert”- “encouragement.”
The other four parts take backbone and resolve to receive. But a true born again disciple will readily receive the teaching of God’s commands, rebukes for breaking them, correction to remove their errors and instruction with accountability to live by them. Why? Because they desire to be like Jesus in all they do.
Take a moment to both judge the preaching you’re listening to and the heart you have in hearing the Word of God. Maybe these questions will help you discern things rightly:
- Do I only like “encouraging preaching” and consider rebuking and correcting preaching “not nice” and “un-Christ-like”?
- Do I make excuses to keep breaking God’s commands because I like what a certain preacher said about how much God loves me?
- Do I receive godly rebukes, correction and training as good things?
THE BOTTOM LINE: Jesus commanded us to be disciples that obey His commands, it’s time we let the Word of God do its work in our lives so that we can be equipped for every good work!