Tuesday, July 15, 2014

word-saturated ministry

I need to continually remind myself that my life and ministry needs to be saturated with God's Word. God alone knows his thoughts and He alone is qualified to reveal this to us.  His revealed truth is the basis of our confidence and competence in Christian ministry... 

"But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."  (Acts 6:4 ESV)

"And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."  (Acts 20:32)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..." (Colossians 3:16) 

"Now the church has not received this Scripture from God in order to simply rest on it, and still less in order to bury this treasure in earth.  On the contrary the church is called to preserve this Word of God, to explain it, to preach it, to apply it, translate it, spread it abroad, recommend it, and defend it -- in a word, to cause the thoughts of God, laid down in Scripture, to triumph everywhere and at all times over the thoughts of man.  All of the work to which the church is called is the effort at, and the ministration of, the Word of God.  It is a service of this Word of God, when it is preached in the assembly of believers, is interpreted, and applied, when it is shared in the signs of the covenant, and is maintained in discipline.  And in a larger sense much more is part and parcel of this service of the Word: this, for example, that in our own hearts and lives, in our profession and business, in house and field and office, in science and art, in state and community, in works of mercy and missions, and in all spheres and ways of life, this Word be applied, worked out , and made to rule.  The church must be the pillar and ground of truth (1 Tim 3:15): that is to say, a pedestal and foundation bearing up the truth and maintaining and establishing it over against the world.  When the church neglects and forgets this, the church is remiss in its duty and undermines its own existence."    

(Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, p. 118)

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