Daniel Ledama is passionate about learning and teaching the Word of God and making disciples. He serves with the national IFES movement in Rwanda and with Preach the Word Rwanda and is much involved in evangelism and discipleship among University students in Rwanda. He writes from Kigali on two types of Bible ministry…
Rightly handling God’s Word
Nowadays, with so many different denominations and so many churches present and more opening, there are many types of preachers too and there is currently much debate about which ministry is authentic and which is not. Eventually the question has to arrive at this: do all people who hold the Bible and preach remain faithful to God’s message – at the Sunday Pulpit, Bible study groups, in prayer meetings and every occasion where the opportunity presents itself?
To come to terms with what Scripture says about authentic ministry, we look at Paul the great preacher as a good example and we learn that there are only two types of preachers/ministry, one approved by God or one disapproved by God.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV)
At the heart of being a preacher/ workman/minister who is approved is correctly handling God’s Word. This is so because the Bible is GOD speaking! God graciously revealing Himself to us through stories that we can understand and know what He is saying and know who He is and how to live for Him. Therefore handling the word incorrectly will only be a tragedy (a biblical tragedy) for all those who will hear such a spokesperson. They will worship a false God, base their lives on a false faith and remain in darkness as they are led astray.
The make up of a tragedy
Let’s take an example of how such a tragedy actually happens even while the Bible is open and someone is supposedly “preaching the Word of God”.
John’s Gospel introduces the big story with the Word (Jesus), and how this Word was God and Creator, how the Word became flesh, how He came to reveal the Father, some believed in Him and some didn’t and how to all those who believed in Him He gave eternal life. John develops the story of Jesus throughout chapters 1 – 21, developing the points mentioned above and he concludes by saying “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31 NIV).
John has a big theme, a purpose for which he takes pen and paper. to tell his hearers all of Chapters 1 – 21 and that after reading they would believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing in Him they would have life in His name.
Now, how does the Biblical tragedy happen in this example of John’s Gospel?
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