Let me say something that might surprise you:
Knowing biblical teaching will NOT change your life.
Yep, I just said that. And yes, I am a pastor. Let me explain.
We live in an age and culture that has more access to scripture and scripture teaching than any generation/culture before it. We have hundreds of translations, millions of books, and endless online sermons. Yet, the statistics on church decline (in America) are staggering.
It is my contention that our issue is not knowing biblical teaching (although I know the studies on this are troubling also). It is my contention that we are educated beyond our obedience.
Knowing biblical teaching will not transform your life. Obeying biblical teaching (living it) will transform your life.
Each week there is a growing pressure on pastors/teachers to give a “new and exciting” teaching. We have itching ears to hear something we “have not heard before”. However, are we missing the point? If we are brutally honest, there is almost no expectation that the community of believers will actually put into practice the implications of the gospel. Sermons are a big deal. Living the content of the sermons are optional.
The predominant question of folks leaving worship is this “How did you like the sermon?” One pastor, aware of this, created a report card. The report card, however, was not designed to grade the sermon. Instead, it was given to the community to grade themselves- their faithfulness and obedience to the life of Christ.
What grade would you give yourself this week? Do you live the biblical teaching you hear each week?
(Read the parable of the houses built on the sand and rocks (Matthew 7). What is the difference between the two?)