"Therefore," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Jeremiah 23:30
As parents do we honor the promises our children say we made when we cannot recall making them to our children? Donít we reply that is not what I said or you are misunderstanding what I said? On the other hand we as Christians are asked to believe teachings that are not mentioned in the inspired word of God. Those words often come from men who have several years of experience proclaiming the word of God and are honored as great men of God.
There are times we donít understand words correctly and our comprehension is not exactly what you could call true. Then again there are times our opinions are not the same as others have expressed them because we add our two cents. We sometimes get our source of information from a second hand source and that source may not be accurate. Confronting the true source is the only way to correctly determine whatís right and whatís wrong with our understanding.
Itís difficult to proclaim the word of God in the terms you understand without adding some of your opinions. Perhaps we donít understand that Godís word proclaimed from the pulpit is always a second hand source of information. So what do we have to do to ensure that we have the honest to God truth?
The fact is we can be sincere in what we say but be absolutely wrong. The sheer volume of those who proclaim the word of God weekly can guarantee some information has not been properly handled. The pressure to produce a sermon invites shortcuts and makes mistakes through haste. Again we can receive a surrogate message that gave birth to a message of opinions originating from another person, who just happens to proclaim the word of God. There has to be a way to know the veracity of what we hear.
Commentaries are great for a quick message but then as Ambassadors of Christ we are not supposed to present a surrogated message or a book report but first and foremost proclaim the word of God. What I am trying to say is that commentaries should not be our primary source that we proclaim the word of God from. Most people who proclaim the word of God are convinced that the bible is their primary source but every so often they use terms not established by the bible but are found in commentaries. It makes one wonder where did that idea come from?
When those terms are not found in the bible how do we verify them to ascertain a personal understanding? The only way to test the veracity of the truth proclaimed is to weigh or compare every word with the word of God.
Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
Every person thinks differently so what is proclaimed as truth about God may not be what God said. When face to face with God we may hear that is not what I said or that idea or teaching donít agree with anything I inspired. This will happen when we are not prudent enough to carefully exercise good judgment or common sense. God says test everything. Hold on to the good. It is entirely possible to trust the person proclaiming Godís word more than the person who inspired Godís word?
Are Pastors using well authored books other than the bible to preach from or is there a mixture of the two? Sermons often quote other sources within their discourse to make their points however quotes should never make or complete the sermon. God is against those who steal from one another to present Godís word to his children. The offense is not in repeating Godís word but in presenting ideas that will lay extra burdens on his children and possibly lead them away from the truth.
In context Jeremiah 23:30 spoke of the prophets of Jeremiahís time who were denying the message that Jeremiah was inspired to preach. Jeremiah even told the leaders of his time that the prophetís message came from their own imagination. Still the outcome of the prophets words made the king feel Jerusalem was invincible and would never fall under the rule of Babylon. Still Jeremiah warned them of the coming dangers and to repent while there was still time.
The opposing prophets outnumbered Jeremiah and the king sided with peer pressure coming from the crowd of prophets. Today the people using commentaries sources outnumber those who preach from the word of God. Are they going with the crowd? The consensus of opinion normally is correct and usually comes up with the truth. However we must use the words that originated from God as our guide so the spoken word may be verified. The Bible says we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Paul wrote more of Godís inspired word than any other prophet of God. Godís word is the foundation and rock that Jesus tells us to build our lives upon and then put his words into practice.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 3:10-11
Commentaries build on the foundation God has laid but they should never be our primary source that we proclaim the word of God from. If commentaries are the primary source that we proclaim the word of God from than all we would be doing is to proclaim an opinion of another person leaving the question were they inspired by God?
If commentaries are our primary source of information, than we are not speaking the word of God but the words of well-intentioned men. How is God glorified when his words are misrepresented with good intentions that come from human knowledge?
"This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
We stand on is the rock of Jesus Christ which is the truth of Godís word. The words found in commentaries are well intended but they also contain terms and opinions not found in Godís word. In essence when these commentary terms are used to propagate the gospel they could be considered stolen words allegedly from God. In addition those terms add requirements to what the Christian already has to do, and those who proclaim Godís word may not lift a finger to help you.
Those who publicly expound the word of God for the most part have good intentions, but they may feel pressured to preform and do their best in every sermon. They feel the pressure to preach the word of God and may take shortcuts to accomplish that task. However in accomplishing their God given task it is entirely possible they are proclaiming things God has not mentioned or spoken about if they donít correctly handle the word of God.
God has given me a responsibility to test every idea that enters and passes through my mind so I will not misunderstand his laws and decrees or be deceived. God had a purpose in commanding mankind to renew their minds and test everything for its validity. Regardless of human rationality, letís consider that man is capable of being genuinely sincere but still be wrong. Itís is our task to bring it into proper understanding with God. 10/02/2014