Tag Archives: Authority

Husbands, Be Good Managers

1 Timothy 3:4-5 says of those called to the office of ruling elder in the church, “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (ESV).  There are many qualities listed by Paul in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 that are requisite for a man who would be an elder.  Many of those qualities can be summarized under the heading of “spiritual maturity.”  An elder is to be able to teach (or be teachable) as well as one who is dignified and respected in the community.  In addition, he should have an interest in ministry to people in the context of the church (1 Peter 5).  The thread that holds it all together is having a mature and lively faith in Christ.  One of the clearest signs that a man has the proper temperament, wisdom, and faith is how he operates in his home if he has a family.

Paul says that he must manage his own household well.  The word translated “manage” can also be translated “rule” as it is rendered in the Authorized […]

Between Irrelevance and Inspiration: Rob Bell’s “What is the Bible?”

I imagine it was a paradisiacal day—whatever happy, joyful, and blissful picture that gives your imagination—when the serpent slithered to the woman in the Garden of Eden. He did not come armed with bow or sword but only with his tongue and a simple but provocative question: “Did God actually say?” There was the starting point of humanity’s tragic descent into sin and misery. Its origin was doubt, disbelief, and misinterpretation of God’s word. I cannot help but hear an echo of that fateful question in Rob Bell’s new book, What is the Bible?

For many evangelicals and Reformed folk Rob Bell is, perhaps, a relic of the past. His departure from some of the main tenets of Christianity have made him all but irrelevant. So why should we care that he has written a new book? Well, if there is any value in this book it is simply that it offers a popular representation—without big vocabulary or complex hermeneutical rules—on where many people place the Bible in their understanding of Christianity. Rob Bell doesn’t write without knowing exactly to what audience he is writing, and he has learned well to connect with that audience in a captivating way. This book […]

Preaching with Authority

Every preacher who stands behind a pulpit or on a street corner should desire to preach with authority.  He should hope that when people hear him that they are rather hearing God speaking to them through him.  He should long for his preaching to be effectual, moving people into obedient response to the Word of God.

For this is how Jesus preached. Following one of his sermons, this is the description of the response:  “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).

So how does one preach with authority?  Certainly the preacher should pray that God would bestow authority upon him as he proclaims the gospel.  Yet are there principles he can follow so that when he preaches he just does not sound like he is just attempting to be authoritative, but actually preaches with authority?  I believe so, especially if we remember the context where this statement regarding Jesus’ preaching was made.  The crowds were amazed at the teaching of Jesus as they heard the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

The Incarnate Word and the Written Word

The doctrine of the Word of God has come on hard times among professing Christians.  This sad state of things is no surprise.  At the very beginning of human history, Satan assaulted the Word of God, which is to insult the character of God.  In so doing, the “father of lies” ushered mankind into spiritual ruin.  Particularly sad in our day, though, is the fact that many professing Christians believe that they are honoring Christ by denying that God’s written Word, the Bible, is everything it claims to be in its self-attestation and self-authentication.