Let me make a bold statement: Christianity is not predominantly a teaching religion. We have been almost overrun these days by the cult of the speaker. The person who can stand up and expound correct doctrine is viewed as essential; without such a talent the church would not know what to do. The North American church has made the sermon the centerpiece of the meeting, rather than the throne of grace, where God acts in people’s lives.The Jewish faith in Jesus’ day was dominated by rabbis—teachers of the Law. Their doctrine was thorough. Jesus told them “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40, italics added). They knew the written Word of God very well, but not the living Word, even as He stood before them.The Scriptures are not so much the goal as they are an arrow that points us to the life-changing Christ.Unfortunately, the rabbis never did realize who was among them. In the last few days before His crucifixion, Jesus wept over the city as He said, “You did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44).It is fine to explain about God, but far too few people today are experiencing the living Christ in their lives. We are not seeing God’s visitation in our gatherings. We are not on the lookout for His outstretched hand.The teaching of sound doctrine is a prelude, if you will, to the supernatural. It is also a guide, a set of boundaries to keep emotion and exuberance within proper channels.But as Paul said, “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). If the Holy Spirit is not given an opening among us, if His work is not welcomed, if we are afraid of what He might do, we leave ourselves with nothing but death.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
This is very good and it reminds me of something I read this week from The School of Christ by T.A. Sparks;"Everything for God and for us is bound up with a heart-revelation of the Lord Jesus. Oh, it will not be, as I have said, in trying to recover the New Testament technique. It will not be in a restoration of New Testament order. It will not even be in the re-affirmation of New Testament truth and doctrine. These are things, and they can be used to form a framework, but they can never guarantee the life, the power, the glory. There are plenty here in this earth who have the New Testament doctrine and technique and order, but it is a cold, dead framework. The life, the glory, is not there; the rapture is not there. No, God's way of the glory is in His Son: God's way of the life is in His Son: God's way of the power is in His Son: God's way of the heavenly nature is in His Son. And that is John's Gospel in a few words, what God is there saying. It is all in the Son, and the need, the only need, is to see the Son, and if you see the Son by God's act of opening the eyes, then the rest will follow. That is John's Gospel again."-excerpted from The School of Christ Chapter 3 Learning By Revelation