Friday, April 14, 2017

The Word-Driven Ministry of a God-Centered Pastor

"All Word and no Spirit, and the Church dries up; all Spirit and no Word, and we blow up; both Word and Spirit, and the people of God grow up."

Understanding the proper relationship of the Spirit of truth and the wholly sufficient Word of truth (that the Holy Spirit inspired) is an essential aspect of God-honoring worship and of Christian ministry (John 4:23-24; Colossians 1:29).

(The following is a series of articles written by a friend, Pastor Don Green about our former shepherd John MacArthur)... "I was first introduced to the ministry of John MacArthur in 1984. I had been a Christian for less than six months and was wrestling with the issues of the charismatic movement.

A friend recommended his book The Charismatics (1978) to me. It was the precursor to the better-known Charismatic Chaos (1992).

It was among the first ten Christian books I ever purchased.

It was by far the most strategic.

At that formative crossroads in my spiritual life, I read words that changed my spiritual trajectory: “Experience is not the test of biblical truth; biblical truth stands in final judgment on experience” (p. 14).
I immediately thought, “Of course. It could be no other way.”

God is God. The Bible is His Word.

That gives Scripture the controlling position in assessing truth claims.

The Bible is the final authority—not the opinions or experiences of man. If your experience contradicts the Bible, your experience is false, no matter how sincere your feelings are about it.

I never struggled with the assertions of the charismatic movement again. In that simple sentence from 1978, John MacArthur gave an anchor to my soul and an aspiration to my heart that has defined my imperfect life and ministry ever since.

The Bible is true. The Bible is precious.

The Bible must be taught. The Bible must be defended.

John MacArthur has been doing that for nearly sixty years.

Guys like me (2 Tim. 2:2) stand on his shoulders and follow in his wake.

The Bible and only the Bible, to the glory of God alone."