This is Not a Game!

Many pastors today are guilty of the very thing that God has called them not to do in their pulpits.  They’re guilty of using a particular Bible passage for their own ends rather than the end which the original author intended.  What I mean by this is that the modern preacher comes up with the points of a sermon in his mind, then goes to the Bible to back himself up – rather than prayerfully choosing to go to the Bible and determine the points of the sermon by the meaning of the text or passage in view.  This is not a game, it is treacherous to do such a thing to God’s Word and God’s people.  Preaching like this is not only ungodly, it is man-centered and unedifying to God’s people.  Hear John Calvin call you out:

Since it is almost his (the interpreter’s) only task to unfold the mind of the writer whom he has undertaken to expound, he missed the mark, or at least strays outside his limits, by the extent to which he leads his readers away from the meaning of his author…It is…presumptuous and almost blasphemous to turn the meaning of Scripture around without due care, as though it were some game that we were playing.  And yet many scholars have done this at one time. (The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, John Calvin, page 1)

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