Disciples Abide In His Word

When the Gospel message is diluted down to the bullet points of man's sin nature, Jesus sacrifice, and a sinner's prayer repeated after the pastor with heads bowed and eyes closed – all for the express purpose of a ticket to heaven so that eternity isn't spent in hell – many of the most important facets of Jesus' gospel are left on the cutting room floor. Jesus didn't say repent of your sins so you can go to heaven when you die. He said repent because the Kingdom is now. The differences between these two methodologies are staggering.

Nevertheless, the religion of Christianity has been plastered with many misnomers and traditions that nullify the life transforming power of the Word in our lives. The Word isn't a buffet and we don't get to pick and choose the parts we like and don't like. Disciples have a responsibility to understand how to rightly divide the Word. Even the difficult parts can make sense if you have an understanding of a few basic principles and don't take portions of scripture out of context without accounting for the larger picture of the Word's whole counsel. Doing that is the bedrock of all bad teaching.

Moreover, as our ultimate standard, true disciples have a Berean responsibility to take any teaching, book, sermon, song, television or radio broadcast back to the Word and see if that's really what the Bible says. We have a responsibility to take whatever we hear about God, and hold it accountable to the only True North our moral compasses have – God's own testimony on the matter. Men are fallible and anyone can make a mistake. This doesn't mean disciples don't listen to what others have to say. On the contrary it means that disciples have honed the skills of biblical discernment and understand how to properly explain where unsound teaching goes awry as well as explain what the Bible really says on the matter.

Disciples are responsible to always have an answer for the faith that is in us. We have a responsibility to have good apologetic techniques in our repertoire. We have a mission critical imperative to understand the questions the world is going to ask, and have a ready response when they do. This means disciples have a responsibility to make continual learning and study a regular part of their everyday lives.

At Rainmakers, the peer pressure is to be not just a hearer of the Word, but a doer also. There are no spectators. Laziness isn't tolerated. No one is too good, too dumb, or too busy to not be in the Word – and quaint little devotionals don't count. In this church, it's common place to have what you believe challenged, if only to see that you are ready with a cogent, scripturally accurate defense. There are no dumb questions. The only real thing you can do wrong is not to have any. We believe there's a reason God created man on day six of creation week. It's because He didn't want our opinions on days one through five. God is the ultimate arbiter of truth, and Truth to God is reality as He originally created all things.

Questions lead to answers. All of our answers lead us back to the Word. We don't pontificate with human reason, and we don't philosophize with eloquent words. We dig into the Bible, and we find the answers.

It's never failed us yet. It's not likely to start any time soon.