The Purpose for Pastor's Space
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Back to Calvary Distinctives.
This is the one I am most passionate about as a pastor. If not for God's Word, there would not be distinctives to know,
learn and teach. This is a matter so desperately missing in today's church.
There is plenty of talk about bible principles a scripture reference may be given, followed by a lot of philosophy and self help entertainment. This passes for "church" for so many and it produces biblically illiterate people with superficial faith.
This very well describes my DNA in Calvary. Thank you Pastor Chuck and Pastor Jack.
Your faithfulness to teach God's Word is a wonderful marker to me.
Chapter 6: The Priority of The Word
"Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." I Timothy 4:13
Another primary distinctive of Calvary Chapel is our endeavor to declare to people the whole counsel of God.
We see this principle illustrated when Paul met with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20. As they were on the shore of the Aegean at Miletus, around the coastal area of Ephesus, Paul said that he was innocent of the blood of all men,
"For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." Acts 20:27
Now, how is it possible for a person to claim to have declared, 'the whole counsel of God?" The only way a person could make that claim to his congregation would be if he taught through the whole Word of God with them, from Genesis to Revelation.
Once you've taken your congregation through the Bible, then you can say to them,
"I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God."
This can't be done with topical sermons. Topical sermons are good, and they have their place, but when you're preaching topically, you're prone by nature to preach only those topics that you like.
And there are topics in the Bible that aren't very inspiring. They don't excite the people,
but they are necessary issues that have to be dealt with. The human tendency, however, is to avoid these.
If you're only preaching topically, you may also tend to avoid controversial or difficult topics,
and the people won't gain a well-balanced view of God's truth.
So the value of going straight through the Bible is that you can say,
"I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God."
Now, I believe that I can say to the people at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa,
"I have declared unto you the whole counsel of God,"
because we have taken them from Genesis to Revelation seven times. We're currently beginning the eighth round.
We don't skip anything. And that's why in the majority of the Calvary Chapels, and the most successful ones, you'll find the systematic teaching of the entire Word of God, going through the Bible from cover to cover.
For the most part, the teaching ministry of Calvary Chapel is expositional in style. It doesn't mean that on occasion we don't address a particular topic or give topical messages. We're not saying that topical messages are wrong or evil.
They have their place. We don't want to fall into strict legalism where we analyze every sermon to see if it was homiletically correct and expositionally presented.
Another advantage of teaching the whole counsel of God is that when you come to difficult issues that deal with problems in an individual's life or within the Church body, you can address them straightforwardly.
We need not worry about people thinking, "Oh, he's aiming at me today." People in the congregation know that it's simply the passage of Scripture being studied that day. So it can't be, "Oh man, he's really picking on me," because they realize that you're going straight through the Book, and you're not jumping from topic to topic.
We're just going straight through the entire Word of God.
In Nehemiah chapter 8 verse 8, when the children of Israel had returned from captivity and were rebuilding the city, the leadership gatherd the people together and constructed a little playform.
They began in the early morning to read the Word of God to the people.
Nehemiah 8:8 declares,
"So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading."