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Posts Tagged ‘Study’

It is at the feet of God that the preacher must take his place

February 10, 2015 2 comments

Arthur PinkIt is at the feet of God that the preacher must take his place, learning from Him the meaning of His Word, waiting upon Him to open its mysteries, looking to Him for his message. Nowhere but in the Scriptures can he ascertain what is pleasing or displeasing unto the Lord. There alone are opened the secrets of Divine wisdom, of which the philosopher and scientist know nothing. And as the great Dutch Puritan rightly pointed out,

“Whatever is not drawn from them, whatever is not built upon them, whatever does not most exactly accord with them, however it may recommend itself by the appearance of the most sublime wisdom, or rest on ancient tradition and consent of learned men, or the weight of plausible arguments, it is vain, futile, and, in short, a lie. ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.’ Let the theologian delight in those sacred Oracles: let him exercise himself in them day and night, meditate in them, draw all his wisdom from them. Let him compass all his thoughts on them, let him embrace nothing in religion which he does not find there” (Herman Witsius).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The desire to please the congregation has caused a many minister to twist the scriptures

January 20, 2015 6 comments

Arthur PinkTo comply with what has just been said calls for an unbiased approach, an honest heart, and a spirit of fidelity, on the part of the interpreter.

“Nothing should be elicited from the text but what is yielded by the fair and grammatical explanation of its language” (P. Fairbaim). It is easy to assent to that dictum, but often difficult to put it into practice.

A personal shrinking from what condemns the preacher, a sectarian bias of mind, the desire to please his hearers, have caused not a few to evade the plain force of certain passages, and to foist on them significations which are quite foreign to their meaning. Said Luther, “We must not make God’s Word mean what we wish. We must not bend it, but allow it to bend us, and give it the honor of being better than we can make it.” Anything other than that is highly reprehensible. Great care needs ever to be taken that we do not expound our own minds instead of God’s. Nothing can be more blameworthy than for a man to profess to be uttering a “Thus saith the Lord” when he is merely expressing his own thoughts. Yet who is there who has not, unwittingly, done so?

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Word of God cannot be understood without a constant and laborious study, without a careful and prayerful scrutiny of its contents

December 30, 2014 1 comment

Arthur Pink“If any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:2).

The Word of God cannot be understood without a constant and laborious study, without a careful and prayerful scrutiny of its contents. This is not to say that it is recondite and obscure. No, it is as plain and intelligible as in the nature of things it can be, adopted in the best possible manner to give instruction in the holy and profound things of which it treats. But none can be instructed by the best possible means of instruction who will not take pains with the same. Promise of understanding is made not to the dilatory and indolent, but to the diligent and earnest, to those who seek for spiritual treasure (Proverbs 2:3, 5). The Scriptures have to be searched, searched daily, persistently and perseveringly, if the minister is to become thoroughly familiar with the whole of what God has revealed, and if he is to set before his hearers “a feast of fat things.” Of the wise preacher it is said, “he still taught the people knowledge, yea, he gave good heed, and sought out,” even “sought to find out acceptable words” (Ecclesiastes 12:9, 10), as if his whole soul was engaged in the discovery of the best mode as well as the best substance of instruction.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Why Theological Study Is for Everyone

August 25, 2014 3 comments

Mention the terms ‘theology’ or ‘theologian’ around most Christians and they will immediately go into a defensive position against these terms. I once was explaining a doctrine to a certain Christian lady and I simply stated, “Most Theologians believe….” and before I could finish she cut me off by stating, “I don’t like Theologians.” This attitude against the terms ‘theology’ and ‘theologians’ is prevalent among Charismatic/Pentecostals, who believe that the mind is not to be engaged when studying scripture, but instead the Holy Spirit just drops knowledge into you as you progress in your Christian life.

However, anyone who begins studying about God is studying theology and could be called a Theologian. They may not be a theologian in the professional sense of the term, but nevertheless they are still engaged in theology.

This is why I am pointing you to a good article by Jared C. Wilson. In this article Jared explains what the term ‘theology’ means and give three primary reasons why every Christian ought to be a theologian.

Here is a quote from the article:

Every Christian must be a theologian. In a variety of ways, this is something I tell my church often. And the looks I get from some surprised souls are the evidence that I have not yet adequately communicated that the purposeful theological study of God by lay people is important.

Many times the confused responses come from a misunderstanding of what is meant in this context by theology. So I tell my church what I don’t mean. When I say every Christian must be a theologian, I don’t mean that every Christian must be an academic or that every Christian must be a scholar or that every Christian must work hard at giving the impression of being a know-it-all. We all basically understand what is meant in the biblical warning that “knowledge puffs up” (1 Cor. 8:1). Nobody likes an egghead.

But the answer to formal scholasticism or dry intellectualism is not a neglect of theological study. Laypeople have no biblical warrant to leave the duty of doctrine up to pastors and professors alone. Therefore, I remind my church that theology—coming from the Greek words theos (God) and logos (word)—simply means “the knowledge (or study) of God.” If you’re a Christian, you must by definition know God. Christians are disciples of Jesus; they are student-followers of Jesus. The longer we follow Him, the more we learn about Him and, consequently, the more deeply we come to know Him.

 

To continue reading the article click here.

Most do not study, but only believe what they hear from the pulpit

Arthur PinkMAN is notoriously a creature of extremes, and nowhere is that fact more evident than in the attitude taken by different ones to this subject. Whereas some have affirmed the Bible is written in such simple language that it calls for no explaining, a far greater number have suffered the papists to persuade them that its contents are so far above the grasp of the natural intellect, its subjects so profound and exalted, its language so abstruse and ambiguous that the common man is quite incapable of understanding it by his own efforts, and therefore that it is the part of wisdom for him to submit his judgment to “holy mother church,” who brazenly claims to be the only Divinely authorized and qualified interpreter of God’s oracles. Thus does the Papacy withhold God’s Word from the laity, and impose her own dogmas and superstitions upon them. For the most part the laity are quite content to have it so, for thereby they are relieved of searching the Scriptures for themselves. Nor is it much better with many Protestants, for in most cases they are too indolent to study the Bible for themselves, and believe only what they hear from the pulpits.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Studies in the 1689 London Baptist Confession by Greg Nichols

November 5, 2013 4 comments

Have you ever wanted to study the 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith in detail? Now is your chance. Sovereign Grace Audio has made a series available, by Greg Nichols, wherein he teaches through the chapters of this Reformed Baptist confession. In order to listen to or download the lectures, click the link below:

 

Studies in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith 

The Word Bible

August 19, 2013 2 comments

theWord Bible Software

I want to spread ‘The Word’ about a new digital Bible that is making headway in the area of home Bible study. This Bible program has been developed with the amateur and professional theologian in mind. It incorporates the ability to read and study from various translations of scripture, while at the same time allowing the user to search various dictionaries or read material from some of the most popular pastors, theologians, and professors of Church history.

Therefore I give you a link to this exceptional and useful Bible study tool. Just click the picture above.

dcox-gravator-small50x50I also want to promote the work of my dear friend David Cox. David is a missionary, pastor, and evangelist in Mexico City. David has been working on creating modules for ‘The Word’ Bible program in which aides the Bible student in his study of scripture and knowledge of what some of the best theologians of church history have written concerning biblical and theological matters.

Here is a link to David’s page, on which you can download free modules to add to ‘The Word’ Bible program. While on his page feel free to thank him for his tremendous sacrifice of spending time on making these modules. As you download these modules, please consider supporting his work in Mexico.

Reformed on the Web is now on Youtube

February 25, 2013 2 comments

Reformed on the Web is now on Youtube. Check back from time to time to see what new videos I have up.

The channel page is here.

Faith and Prayer will make the Minister

Your inquiries respecting my own experience on this subject, must be answered very briefly. I have long since learnt, that if I was ever to be a minister, faith and prayer must make me one. I desire to seek the Lord’s direction, both in the choice and management of subjects; but I do not expect it in a way of extraordinary impulse, but in endeavoring to avail myself, to the best of my judgment, of present circumstances. The converse I have with my people, usually suggests what I am to preach to them. At first, my chief solicitude used to be, what I should find to say: I hope it is now, rather that I may not speak in vain. For the Lord has sent me here, not to acquire the character of a ready speaker, but to win souls to Christ, and to edify his people. As to preparation, I make little use of books, excepting the Bible and Concordance. Though I preach without notes, I most frequently write more or less upon the subject. Often when I begin, I am at a loss how I shall proceed; but one thing insensibly offers after another, and, in general, I believe the best and most useful parts of my sermon occur de novo while I am preaching. This reminds me of Luther’s maxim, Bene precasse est bene studuisse. When I can find my heart in frame and liberty for prayer, every thing else is comparatively easy.

I should be very glad if any thing I have offered may afford you satisfaction. The sum of my advice is this:–Examine your heart and views: Can you appeal to Him who knows all things, concerning the sincerity of your aim, that you devote yourself to the work of the ministry, not for worldly regards, but with an humble desire to promote the Redeemer’s kingdom? If so, and his providence has thus far concurred with you, trust him for your sufficiency of every kind, and he will not disappoint you, but will be near to strengthen you according to your day. Depend not upon any cisterns you can hew out for yourself, but rejoice that you have liberty to come to the fountain that is always full, and always flowing. You must not expect a mechanical sufficiency, such as artificers acquire by habit and exercise in their business. When you have preached well nineteen times, this will be no security for the twentieth. Yea, when you have been upheld for twenty years, should the Lord withhold his hand, you would be as much at a loss as at first. If you lean upon books or men, or upon your own faculties and attainments, you will be in fear and in danger of falling continually. But if you stay yourself upon the Lord, he will not only make good your expectations, but in time will give you a becoming confidence in his goodness, and free you from your present anxiety.

One thing more I must mention as belonging to the subject: That a comfortable freedom for public service depends much upon the spirituality of our walk before God and man. Wisdom will not dwell with a trifling, an assuming, a censorious, or a worldly spirit. But if it is our business, and our pleasure, to contemplate Jesus, and to walk in his steps, he will bless us: we shall be like trees planted by a constant stream, and he will prosper the work of our hands.

John Newton-Letter 2 Extract of a Letter to a Student in Divinity.

On Reading the Bible Pt 2

I know not a better rule of reading the Scripture, than to read it through from beginning to end; and, when we have finished it once, to begin it again. We shall meet with many passages which we can make little improvement of, but not so many in the second reading as in the first, and fewer in the third than in the second: provided we pray to him who has the keys to open our understandings, and to anoint our eyes with his spiritual ointment. The course of reading to-day will prepare some lights for what we shall read to-morrow, and throw a farther light upon what we read yesterday. Experience only can prove the advantage of this method, if steadily persevered in. To make a few efforts and then give over, is like making a few steps and then standing still, which would do little towards completing a long journey. But, though a person walked slowly, and but a little way in a day, if he walked every day, and with his face always in the same direction, year after year, he might in time encompass the globe. By thus travelling patiently and steadily through the Scripture, and repeating our progress, we should increase in knowledge to the end of life. The Old and New Testament, the doctrines, precepts, and promises, the history, the examples, admonitions, and warnings, &c. would mutually illustrate and strengthen each other, and nothing that is written for our instruction would be overlooked. Happy should I be, could I fully follow the advice I am now offering to you. I wish you may profit by my experience. Alas, how much time have I lost and wasted, which, had I been wise, I should have devoted to reading and studying the Bible! But my evil heart obstructs the dictates of my judgment, I often feel a reluctance to read this book of books, and a disposition to hew out broken cisterns which afford me no water, while the fountain of living waters are close within my reach.

John Newton—A Letter Written to a Certain Madam