Don’t Just Understand the Bible

Posted: February 8, 2011 in bible, discipleship, exegesis, quotes

Here is a helpful thought that those who “labor in preaching and teaching” the Word of God would do well to remind themselves of:

“The immediate aim of the biblical student is to understand the biblical text.  Exegesis [attempting to draw out the meaning of a text], however, should not be an end in itself.  Exegetical essays put forward as “sermons” are usually as dry as dust, informative perhaps, but seldom prophetic or inspirational.  Therefore, the ultimate aim of the biblical student is to apply one’s exegetical understanding of the text to the contemporary church and world.” – Gordon D. Fee, New Testament Exegesis, p. 1-2.

Let us not forgot that Jesus’s command to make disciples entails teaching them to obey all that He commanded, not just understand all that He commanded (Mat. 28:18-19).  Teaching someone to interpret the Bible is only half the battle (perhaps even less); we must teach people to apply the Word of God to their lives as well.  We often assume that pastor-teachers are needed for interpretation, but forget that pastor-teachers are needed for application as well, which is often much harder!

True discipleship entails walking alongside a person, taking their arm, and saying to them, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ,” (1 Cor. 11:1).

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