This is the first in a series of posts to honor the most memorable teachings of my once-pastor.
The first thing I would like to share that my pastor taught me is:
The importance of the Scriptures, all of the Scriptures.
Expository, Exegetical Preaching
From the first day we attended the church in September of 1996, he has preached the whole counsel of God. He was preaching through 2 Samuel; if I remember correctly, I know we were there before chapter 9, because I remember his sermon on Mephibosheth. He and the church are committed to expository, exegetical preaching from chapter 1/verse 1 through the end of the book; even through the “tough stuff” like Leviticus’ sacrificial law or Genesis’ genealogies.
Context is King
Context is very important. In order to interpret a passage of scripture, one must interpret it in light of the surrounding context: the immediate verses before and after, the preceding and succeeding chapters, the entire book of the Bible, and the Whole Counsel of God, or the entire Canon of Scripture.
Benefit of the Old Testament
Later, as it seemed we worked through Old Testament narrative in the likes of 2 Samuel and Joshua, through diligent exegesis, interpretation and application, I began to see the sovereignty and love of God in the OT and the beauty of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ flow out of it.
Sometimes, we would be a few weeks in a passage, like a genealogy, and for every sermon, every week his first point of application (of many) would always be:
2 Timothy 3:16,17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
It is through these two passages of Scripture that opened my eyes to the beauty and, frankly, importance of the Old Testament.
Thinking and Seeing Biblically
I can vividly picture my pastor, presenting any number of points of application, placing the Bible on top of his head and saying “through the Bible, we must filter all of life; we must think biblically.” Then he would hold his opened Bible up to his eyes and “look” through it like it was binoculars and state “we must see all things in light of the Bible; we must see biblically.”
God is Always Right
Finally, on this point my pastor has stated numerous times, “If you are in a situation and you are thinking or doing something one way, but the Bible states something else: God is always right, you are always wrong.” The Bible is sufficient for everything (2 Timothy 3:16,17) and my heart is desperately wicked, even I can’t know its depths (Jeremiah 17:9).