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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Biblically Equipped for Life

I wonder how well Tiger Woods would play golf if he had only a wedge. Sure, he might beat some weekend-warrior golfers, but he would not be as effective as he is with a full set of clubs. Unfortunately, some Christians try to play the game of life with only a couple of Bible verses in their “bag.” They know John 3:16 and perhaps Romans 3:23, but they haven’t equipped themselves with full resources of Scripture. Dwight L. Moody’s counsel holds true today, as it did more than a century ago. Referring to the Bible as “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17), Moody advised Christians to take the whole Bible, not just a part of it, because the soldier of the Lord can’t win battles with a broken sword.

Are we losing battles because of broken swords? Are we losing our Christian distinctiveness by pursuing a lifestyle that resembles that of our unregenerate culture? Are churches scuttling the Book while relying on entertainment to attract unbelievers? And once those churches have attracted unbelievers, what are they doing to acquaint them with inspired Scripture that is able to make them wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15) and then spiritually mature (vv. 16, 17)?

Fluff-and-feathers, touchy-feely sermons are about as effective for building lives as cotton balls are for constructing a high-rise office building. Expository preaching has become scarce, but it should be plentiful. The systematic teaching of Scripture in context with emphases on God’s character and appropriate life application beats gushy, pop-psychology preaching as a builder of strong Christians. It does so as handily as Tiger Woods with a full set of clubs beats weekend-warrior golfers.

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