How do we use the Bible as a guide to life?
- by Pastor John Torgerson
Some basic facts about how to view the Bible.
The Bible is a story book - one exception might be the book of Proverbs, but even in this book the writer is named as Solomon (and some others) and so these sayings spring from human life stories as these stores connected with God's story.
The Bible was guided by the Holy Spirit in its writing, in its selection by human beings of writings to include, and in its preservation.
The term "Word of God" means Jesus. John 1:1 says that. The early Church understood that. Look up all references to "the word", "the word of God", and the "word of the Lord" in Acts. It is clear that in each case "the Word" is Jesus.
The Bible story records God speaking in all kinds of ways and situations. But the clearest and last written record is Jesus. Hebrews 1:1
We read the Old Testament in the light of Jesus. Any preaching and teaching from the Old Testament has to relate to Jesus. Bryan Chapell's "Christ Centered Preaching" instructs his readers to never preach a "Be like" sermon (e.g. be like David, Abraham, Isaac, etc.) The central character of Bible stories is not the human character; it is God. "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 24:27)
See Preach the Word of God by Jonathan Steep
We make a mistake in reading Bible stories and letters and making laws out of them.
With a little research you can prove this for yourself. Below are New Testament sin list and virtue lists. You may not always agree as to what constitutes a list, but I am confident that this compilation is pretty correct.
Ask yourself, "What is the reason a certain behavior is a sin or an act of righteousness?" (You may have to read around the passage - even as much as a chapter before or a chapter after.) You will not find a body of law to be the authority of these lists - not even the Ten Commandments - not even the preserved teachings of Jesus. Jesus is the authority, as he spoke through the Holy Spirit.
Virtue Lists from the New Testament
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
1 Timothy 3:2-13
Sin Lists of the New Testament
1 Corinthians 5:9-11
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
2 Timothy 3:1-5
Revelation 21:8, 27
To Preach the Word