Tuesday, December 20, 2005

222 Christmas Party A Success!!

We had a great time Monday night at the 222 Christmas Party. Many thanks to all who came and brought food & drinks (we even enjoyed a deep fried Turkey!). Pastor Jeff shared some devotional thoughts on the Christ of Christmas, we played a few games, and ended the night with a mean game of Dirty Santa.

Three books were the "hot items" of the night - Mahaney's "Humility", Packer's "Faithfulness and Holiness", and Piper's "Counted Righteous in Christ". All being "frozeN" before the game ended. Other coveted gifts were Naomi's shock pen, Elijah Park's poweder puff purse, a sponge Bob calender and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure DVD.

Thanks again, to all who were able to make it. If you missed it, check out the photos by clicking here. And, if you took some digital photos on your camera, email me and we'll try to get them posted as well.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Nuclearity Podcast and Narnia

"Nuclearity Podcast?" If neither of these words mean anything to you, then you've not spent much time in the cyberworld lately. Podcasts are the latest in audio downloads that can be fed directly to your ipod or computer. They're like blogs, but in audio form. Anyone with a microphone and a recording device can create a podcast...and anyone can listen. So, there's a LOT to listen to out there...all at your own discretion!

So anyway..."Nuclearity" is a new podcast offered by Familylife and primarily produced by my good friend (and supervisor/boss, of sorts), Hugh Duncan. Hugh's productions are extremely creative and reflective of his desire to be biblical, while not always...typical.

So, check out this new podcast - "Nuclearity" and Hugh's blog as well. And to further intice you, Hugh's latest two podcasts are all about Narnia - "Narnia: From A to Z". If you like what you hear, please go to PodcastAlley.com Feeds and submit a vote for the podcast!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Providence and Prayer: A Practical Purview

If you've looked ahead in your copy of Bible Doctrine, you'll notice that following the chapter on Providence is a chapter on Prayer. Needless to say, this is providential... and purposeful! For one barely gets a grasp of God's divine providence before he is asking the question, "How does my praying fit with God's providence?" Maybe you've asked yourself some of these questions:
  • Does God work because of my prayers, or in spite of my prayers?
  • Does prayer change God, or change me?
  • If God is sovereign, then why pray?
  • Does God know what we are going to pray? If so, then do we even need to ask?

These are only a few questions that arise when considering the doctrine of providence and how it relates to the doctrine of prayer. So, upon concluding the chapter on Providence and before entering the chapter on prayer, we are going to consider several possible (some impossible) views of providence and prayer.

Aaron will lead us in this survey, aided by a book written by Terrance Tiessen called (of course): Providence and Prayer. In this book, "...Tiessen presents ten views of providence and prayer and then wraps things up with his own proposal. The result is a book that puts us at the intersection between theological reflection and our life and conversation with God. It prods our understanding, making us better theologians and better prayers." (taken from back cover of book)

We're going to try something a little bit different this Sunday. After Aaron gives a brief summary of each of the 11 views, we will break up into groups, each group will be assigned one of the views, and we will go to the Scriptures to see how God's Word either supports or refutes each particular view. Hopefully this will spark some great dialogue and Scripture searching (Acts 17:11) amongst the class. Several of the undershephers will be faciliating the small groups.

Until then, here's a couple of personal questions to be thinking about for further discussion either this coming Lord's day, or in your Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

  • What do I believe about God's providence?
  • What do I believe about prayer?
  • Is the way that I pray and are the things for which I pray, consistent with what I believe about prayer and providence?
  • Are they consistent with what the Scriptures teach?
  • Do I ever cheapen God's providence with the way that I pray?
  • Do I ever minimize the power of prayer with my views of God's providence?
  • How does the Bible instruct me to pray to a sovereign, providential God?

Hopefully the chapter on providence, the questions above, and our plans for an interactive study time this Lord's day (December 11, 9:00am) will stir up your thinking on this subject and be an encouragement for you to join us as continue to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

CLICK HERE for Aaron's notes and outline study of "Providence and Prayer" by Terrance Tiessen.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Calling All Single Women...

Don't get excited...we're not starting a 222 Dating Service :o). There is, however, a fairly new blog for single gals by Carolyn McCulley. She's been a recent guest on Revive Our Hearts as well as FamilyLife Today.

Carolyn McCulley is the author of Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?, Trusting God with a Hope Deferred (Crossway, 2004), a contributor to Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor (Crossway, 2005), and she is a contributing author for Crosswalk.com's single channel. She coordinates church and ministry relations for Sovereign Grace Ministries, based in Gaithersburg, MD, where she has worked since 1998. Prior to joining Sovereign Grace, Carolyn was a freelance writer whose work appeared in publications ranging from Christianity Today to the Washington Post. She has also worked in corporate communications, and as a television and commercial film producer. Carolyn studied at the City of London Polytechnic (England) and received her B.S. in journalism from the University of Maryland in 1984. She is a member of Covenant Life Church, and is the proud aunt of six nieces and nephews (to whom she dedicated her book).

So ladies, enjoy reading Carolyn's blog, Solo Femininity.

222 Christmas Party - You're Invited!

222 Christmas Party
Monday, December 19th at 7pm

Hosted by Aaron & Anita Wilson
in their home at 4805 Westwood Avenue
click here for google map

Pastor Jeff Crotts will be sharing a Christmas Devotional with us
We'll be playing "Dirty Santa", so bring a $5 gift
There will be plenty of Christmas music,
sweet fellowship and great food (*see note below on what to bring)

Hope to see you there! Merry Christmas!
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, The Babe, the Son of Mary.
~What Child Is This, Will­iam C. Dix

*Please look at the list below, then see Anita, email her, or give her a call (562-7008) before Sunday, December 18 to sign up for a food item

Food Sign Up List (contact Anita and let her know what you'd like to bring):
2 Liter Drinks: 6 total
3 bags Tortilla Chips
2 Cheese Dips
4 Desserts
4 Finger Food/Appetizers
2 Coffee Creamer

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Child Is This?

Has this "standard" Christmas carol become meaningless over the years?
As I was pasting it into this blog entry from Cyberhymnal, I realized that this version is different than the one I've always sung.

Try reading it....slowly. Notice the first two verses are in the forms of questions, the last verse being a command. Then the chorus - the answer - the response - the proclamation using such language as: "THIS, THIS IS CHRIST THE KING...HAIL THE WORD MADE FLESH...RAISE A SONG ON HIGH"

Next time you sing it, may the chorus be your proclamation to the world - your "song on high", of the Christ child, the King, "the Babe, the son of Mary".

May your "loving heart enthrone Him".

What Child Is This?
Will­iam C. Dix, The Man­ger Throne, 1865.
Music: “Green­sleeves,” 16th Cen­tu­ry Eng­lish mel­o­dy

What Child is this who, laid to rest

On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

For more Christmas Carols and Hymns, go to Cyberhymnal.

Friday, December 02, 2005

New Worship Blog from Sovereign Grace Ministries

This excerpt taken from the latest Sovereign Grace Enews. To subscribe, click here.

The world of blogs is expanding every day, but few bloggers write about biblical worship and the local church. That's why we're pleased to announce the debut of Worship Matters, a new blog by Bob Kauflin, director of worship development at Sovereign Grace.

In his posts Bob discusses a variety of worship-related topics and recommends resources for a biblical perspective on worship. He kicked off the blog with a discussion of definitions of worship. A series of posts on worship and suffering, called "Songs for the Hard Times," featured a free download (still available) of "God Moves" from the Worship God Live CD. On Mondays you'll find posts about devotions, and Fridays feature a Q&A format.

Bob's current series addresses "Idolatry on Sunday Mornings."Worship Matters has already won praise from Justin Taylor at Desiring God, who says, "I expect it to become a must-read." Although the site is targeted primarily to pastors and musicians serving in the church, any readers who want to grow in their love for the Savior will benefit. Check it out at www.worshipmatters.com.

Also, for you ladies, Carolyn Mahaney & her daughters have their own blog, GirlTalk!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 8 (Part 1)

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 8 (Part 1) that was taught on November 27th on the subject of God's Providence. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Eight (Part 1):

For further study, click here to link to some other articles on God's Providence.

Remember to check the 222mission Calendar to find a Bible Study group near you - there are now four groups meeting: UCA, UALR, UAMS and West Little Rock.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 7 (Part 2)

Group Leaders, in lieu of study notes, please refer to the application questions at the end of the chapter to continue your discussion on the Creation chapter. Also, you might find the links below helpful. Please be discerning, as always, with the material on these sites (Acts 17:11).

Institute for Creation Research

Answers In Genesis (w/ Ken Ham)

Biblical Creationism by Henry Morris (GBI Books link)

The Battle for the Beginning by John MacArthur (GBI Books link)

Purified By Faith (personal website of Bob Connelly, BCLR member)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

THIS SATURDAY: The Door of Hope & The Lambano Sanctuary

THIS SATURDAY...November 19th is a chance for God’s people to share in what is taking place on the other side of the world. Missionaries Brian and Anita Biedebach need our help and this is our chance to help them.
On November 19th, a concert will be put on by the Door of Hope ministries. Admission to the concert is free, but a love offering will be taken. All the proceeds that evening will be sent over to South Africa to the Lambano Sanctuary.

Lambano Sanctuary was founded in May 2001 by Melanie Streicher and Leon van den Berg mainly because of a calling on their lives. As Melanie could not have any children of her own the call on her life was clear when the following verses from Isaiah 54 touched her heart: "Sing O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of they habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left…" (Is 54:1-3). Read more about Lambano Sanctuary by clicking here.

Please come out THIS SATURDAY, November 19th at 6:30pm for a night of worship featuring the band First Election and BCLR Worship Pastor Todd Murray, at the Bible Church of Little Rock (19111 Cantrell/Hwy 10). You can give financially towards this missions endeavor, and/or volunteer to help out. For more information and to find out how you can help with the event, email Jason Lapp.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Monergistic Mug Shots

Here's a fun & yet edifying site...click on either of the pics below for a biographical sketch, or Click here to see other characatures of C.J. Mahaney, R.C. Sproul, D.A. Carson, Sinclair Fergeson, and other "Contemporary Reformers."

Anyone wanna do a sketch of Crotts?

The Historic Christain Faith From a Classic Reformed/Evangelical Perspective
(illustrations by ©Steve Hesselman, 2005) Click on images

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 7 (Part 1)

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 7 (Part 1) that was taught on November 13th on the subject of Creation. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Seven (Part 1):

Remember to check the 222mission Calendar to find a Bible Study group near you - there are now four groups meeting: UCA, UALR, UAMS and West Little Rock.

For further reading, you might consider John MacArthur's book, Battle for the Beginning.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 6 (Part 2)

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 6 (Part 2) that was taught on November 6th. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Six (Part 2):
The Trinity

Remember to check the 222mission Calendar to find a Bible Study group near you - there are now four groups meeting: UCA, UALR, UAMS and West Little Rock.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Answers to Objections to Going into Missions by John Piper

Answers to Objections to Going into Missions: What I Said at Missions in the Main Hall
November 2, 2005 by John Piper

When I spoke at Missions in the Main Hall Sunday night, I tried to give a biblical response to possible obstacles that are in the way for some people that may keep them from moving forward toward missions. My prayer is that God would use these responses to call more of you to go. Here are eight objections and a biblical response.

Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thanks Jeff & Judy!! We Appreciate You Both!!

Wednesday, October 26th during 222mission, we presented Jeff & Judy Crotts with a gift showing our appreciation to Jeff as our pastor and his dear wife Judy. Thanks to a lot of sacrificial giving, Jeff & Judy received a gift certificate to Elizabeth's (restaurant) in North Little Rock, as well as a cash gift of $240.00!

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."

1 Timothy 5:17-18



*Perhaps you'd like to leave a comment briefly explaining how Jeff and/or Judy have influenced your life...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sola Shirtus on Backus

(please know that this is partially tongue in cheek)
Now you can spread your reformation roots with the latest in reformation gear! From bobble heads to baby bibs, there are ways for everyone to take their stand! Mom won't let you dress up for Halloween, then dress up for Reformation Day!
Check out the following reformation clothing & gift shops online:

New Reformation Press

Theological Pursuits

A Puritan's Mind

Old Lutheran

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Join us at 222mission, Wednesdays at 6:30PM in the choir room at BCLR. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Christianity In 3 Easy Steps

Please excuse the personal blog entry, but I thought this would be extremely helpful for those of you in the early stages of independent life...

Aaron Job has successfully summarized practical theology into three easy steps, in this letter to his mommy:


Dear Mommy,

I love you so much. I will not love Satan. I love God better than you. I hope you will love me too.

Love A.J.

Here's all you need to know guys...Love your mom, don't love Satan, love God more. Got it?

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 5

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 5 that was taught on October 16th. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Have fun!

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Five:
The Character of God: “Communicable” Attributes

Monday, October 17, 2005

More On Reformation

Here's another article, as promised, in anticipation of Reformation Day - October 31st. Since Jim Eliff writes better than I, and since he's our trusted friend, I've borrowed from his library of articles once again. Enjoy! (BTW, that's Luther in the photo, not Jim...they do kinda favor though...)

October 31st, 1517Wittenburg, Germany
It was October 31st, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany.
Martin grasped a hammer and a long piece of paper covered with his writing. He walked out into the street and straight over to the castle church door. It was here that community messages were often posted.
Martin nailed his 95 points of discussion on the door. He only wanted to lay out his newly discovered views of the Bible to other church leaders in the Medieval Catholic church. He thought he was free to do so even though his thoughts were radical. After all, he was an Augustinian monk and a professor of theology.
Martin called himself a “stinking bag of maggots,” and certainly did not dream of being a leader in a revolution of thinking in Germany and across Europe that shaped history in a powerful way. But God had determined something far bigger than the monk Martin Luther expected when he penned those 95 Theses.
Without his knowledge someone printed his words on the newly invented Gutenburg press, distributing it all over Germany. Within a very few days, Martin found that he was the subject of everyone’s thoughts. In the cathedrals and great stone castles of his homeland, the pubs and peasant’s cottages—everyone was talking about the views of Luther. Without a signal to announce it, the Protestant Reformation had begun!
Just what was the Protestant Reformation all about? What did Luther and others protest?
The protesters were seeing something new about how a person is accepted by God—that is, new to them. They protested that the church had been teaching the wrong view about the most important issue of life. They discovered that the Bible says we are not accepted on the basis of our religious deeds, or even our good deeds along with our faith, but that we are accepted before a holy God only through faith in Christ.
“Through faith alone in Christ alone” began to be heard all over Europe. The people must transfer their confidence for salvation in the church’s religious traditions to Christ alone. The reformers wanted the people to return to the Bible’s plain teaching on how to be a true Christian. Because heaven and hell were at stake, the passions rose very high. Many would be persecuted and some even killed for this truth. But through it all, tens of thousands of people were converted to Christ and were assured of heaven.
We have been feeling the effects of the Protestant Reformation ever since. Many of our churches have their historical roots in the Reformation. Returning to the Bible as the source of understanding about how we are to relate to God has shaped nations. Perhaps no other religious period since the coming of Christ has been so influential as this one.
But many people, and even many churches, have forgotten the great lessons that were made so clear beginning on October 31, 1517. What difference can this mean to you nearly 500 years later?
This passage from the Bible is a good place to start. It describes God’s way to understand salvation:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
Through these 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, and throughout time, men and women, youth and children have come to Christ in this simple way—through faith alone in Christ alone. Placing our full confidence in Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death for sinful people is the only way to God. It is not that good works are not important—they are a result of true faith in every believer’s life. But those works cannot save. Salvation is a gift of grace, not a reward for trying to be good.
Like Martin Luther, you may come by faith alone to Christ alone even now, all these years later. In fact, this is the very way the first New Testament believers came to Him!

Copyright © 2002 Jim Elliff Permission granted to copy in full for non-profit use, including all copyright information. Other uses require written permission.
For more information see our website at:

www.WayToGod.orgThis article is also available in tract format.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


There are 21 new photos posted. These were taken Wednesday night, October 12th - before, during and after our 222mission weekly meeting. Click here to view the photos (you'll be taken to our flickr photo page)

If you've never been
to our Wednesday night meetings (which meet in the choir room at BCLR - 6:30pm), you'll get a glimpse of the fellowship & teaching time we all enjoy each week.

We had a couple of new guests that night - namely, Aimee Williams' dad (all the way from Maine) and...the coffee pot!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bible Doctrine - Chapter 4

Click the link below to open a Word doc. of Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter 4. Remember, this will be a rough outline, but should assist those in Bible Doctrine Study Groups.

Have fun!

Jeff's notes for Bible Doctrine, Chapter Four:
The Character of God: “Incommunicable” Attributes

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bible Doctrine Study Groups Are Meeting

Until we come up with a catchier name with no cheese, we'll refer to them as "Bible Doctrine Study Groups". These are small groups meeting on different campuses right now - and soon, at different locales in Little Rock - where we will meet to discuss the Bible Doctrine lesson from the previous Lord's Day.

So far, we have groups forming at UCA, UAMS and UALR. Anyone is welcome to attend any of the study groups - even if you weren't in the class on Sunday morning. You can get the outline and application questions here on this blog, and Lord willing, we'll have the audio from those classes available online soon! (Be praying about this!). This is also an opportunity for you to invite friends - use this as an evangelism tool and an open door to invite them to our 222mission fellowships on Wednesday nights & Sunday mornings as well.

Just click on the calendar icon below or in the sidebar (top right of page), and find a group that's meeting near you. Then, click on the event, and the meeting time, place and contact person will pop up in another window. We look forward to seeing you there!

Blog Spotting - Uncle Blog Wants You!

I'm finding out the hard way that many of you have your own blogs. Share the love brothers & sisters! If you have your own blog site, let me know. I'd like to link it on the 222mission blog- with written consent, of course.

Pork chops and applesauce. Gonna be a sun-shiny day!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A More Spontaneous and Genuine Evangelism

From our friend, Jim Elliff

It is an elementary lesson in understanding the original languages to see that Matthew 28:19 is not a command to "go" but to "make disciples of all the nations" as you are going." It was not Jesus' intent to say that the individual Christian must change locations in order to evangelize. But it is most certainly the whole church's responsibility to see to it that we make disciples where we are, now. Evangelism is not to be done later when the move takes place, or when the trip is taken to another far off country, or when the special evangelistic project commences, though it is certainly inclusive of these.
Yet, nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, "evangelize!," and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor's brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it.
In my view, much of our fear comes because we've made evangelism too difficult and confusing.
First, we often try to do evangelism in a vacuum. Without a group of people enjoying and discussing the opportunities they have had, and without a leader among them who is active in this area, most of us will not find the ongoing stimulus to keep it up. However, when you find this happening, there is a built-in excitement about evangelism. Being in such a group for a long time myself, I'm finding constant motivation to continue. As I hear the stories of normal people, some of them quite reserved, doing what they can to get the word out, I'm charged up and reassured that God can use even me. That's the first help I want you to consider.
For some of you this might mean establishing a weekly small group meeting just to communicate to each other about what is going on in your evangelism. It might be as simple as coming together 30-40 minutes prior to a regular meeting of the church, or meeting with a team of motivated people for breakfast. This meeting should be about your encounters (even the little ones), your concerns, your creative ideas for reaching others, and specific prayer for those you have spoken to or will speak to. In our case, we take 30-40 minutes weekly in our main church meeting in an open session. Much of that time is spent talking about evangelistic encounters. We also take time at the end of the session to pray for each unconverted person who was mentioned. This provides a powerful motivation to do more.
Second, we have the mistaken notion that evangelism is a choreographed set of ideas well laid out, perfectly transitioned and flawlessly presented. Forget it. It's not this way. Many of us have tried this with frustration. It is much better to think of evangelism the way the Bible does—"sowing the seed" in any way you can. Any of us can do that. Ever seen a weed grow in an otherwise barren parking lot? Somehow the seed got there and flourished. The simple word in the right place, or the tract well-placed might be the means God uses. Well-oiled presentations frustrate because there is no room for serious questions and discussion on the one hand, and it rules out the less verbal among us, on the other. Rejoice over even the smallest of advances! You are sowing the seed.
I don't wish to say that there is no value at all in memorizing a set plan. But there are many limitations to such methods. The proof is that the enthusiasm for such plans often dies away after the weeks of concentrated effort are finished. Also, among the least desirable aspects of most of these plans is the fact that they may not encourage listening to the person you are addressing. It's primarily about getting a set of concepts across, rather than finding out the real questions people have and the dilemmas they face. There are people using block plans who work hard at overriding this obstacle, thankfully, but they more prove my point than void it.
Third, we have not made enough of the fact that evangelism has a great deal to do with what you expect God to do. If you raise your antennae as the day begins and ask God to make you an instrument for divine encounters during the day, it will happen—almost every time. Christians living in anticipation of being used by God are like cats on the lookout for mice. They never lose their focus. They seem to sleep with their eyes and ears alert. When you stay ready, you are actually living by the faith you claim to exercise!
Fourth, we have missed the idea of context. Have you ever gone on a mission trip and then come back determined to focus on others who need Christ the same way you did overseas? What happened? You gradually got sidetracked by all the distractions of life. What you need is a mission field here! I'm sure of one thing: If you put a true believer who has his lights on into a dark place, he or she will make a difference. In addition to all the other opportunities "as you are going," you need someplace, or perhaps several places, where your focus is all about people and sowing seed.
For instance, you might make a regular stop at a coffee shop early in the morning. Get to know the workers and the regular customers by name. Then, at the appropriate times, insert a clear word about Christ or pass on a piece of literature for your friend's comments, or whatever gets the seed out. Others of you might join a club or participate in a community college class (or even teach the class!). You might meet people at the gym, or walk regularly in a mall, or . . . you name it. You can bounce these ideas around in your seed-sowing group. Your regular places for seed sowing will help keep you alert for all the other serendipitous moments you might encounter. (see "The Value of Hanging Out" at
Fifth, we have often not made the best literature available in abundance. God brought the gospel to us, not only in the person of Christ, but in words. The history of the use of words in evangelism is remarkable. You should always keep materials available in your purse, car, brief case, and appointment book. In our church we make some key tools available at all times for the group to use. Each week people carry out handfuls of books or booklets for use in evangelism. Some also make use of CDs of evangelistic messages. I love for people to write out their own testimony to slip into a booklet. This multiplies the value of the item you are giving away and makes it much easier for people to receive. "Here's my story about how my life was changed along with a booklet that explains the truths that made the difference. I'd like to give you a copy to see what you think?" This approach is costly. We spend a lot of money providing the best tools for people. But we think it is worth every penny.
Sixth, we have not trained ourselves well in three important areas. It is important to work together on: 1) the content of the gospel, 2) how to converse and build relationships, and 3) some apologetic issues. Interestingly, these are largely untaught. Rather than teaching a block plan, why not study these three strategic aspects of the gospel and its presentation as your training approach?
Teach the content of the gospel itself, not just a set of phrases about the gospel. A man can talk for hours about a car if he understands what's under the hood. A woman can spend the day talking about decorating the home when she has concerned herself with learning the philosophies and combinations that are involved. But when a plan is learned and there is not much biblical and theological knowledge behind the phrases spoken, the presenter is unsure and uncomfortable. He has memorized a few statements and transitions, but what does he actually know? It is no wonder the believer does not want to venture out. "What if someone asks a question?" he thinks. It is the person that knows the most theology that can answer the best and has the least fear.
Learning how to converse provides a wonderful practicum for the group also. My common way of evangelism is to ask questions. I just keep probing until I discover the person's philosophy concerning root issues. It doesn't take a lot of brains to ask the questions. I've learned to get into the thinking of the person. They appreciate that. I respect them as I converse, but I keep probing. Sometimes I say, "That's very different than my view, but please tell me more." I don't explain my view yet; I'm just salting the conversation. I don't mind asking personal questions either. In turn, they eventually ask, "So what is your view about this?" This provides an excellent way to present what I believe about the problem and the solution in Christ. It would do the church well to study the simple art of having a meaningful conversation.
Basic apologetics provide another field of preparation. Although simply understanding the theology of the gospel will take most people a long way, learning how to address certain questions and/or objections that might arise with sound biblical apologetics is also very useful. I am more philosophical in my approach to apologetics, but am not without some interest in hard evidences as well. When you don't have a ready answer, you can just say so. Perhaps you can arrange for another meeting to discuss the issue further, or get the person's address and send him a book on the subject. It's OK not to know everything. Nonetheless, it is part of our improvement in evangelism to have some understanding of apologetics.
I've been evangelistically-driven for most of my life, talking with scores of people personally all over the world about the good news. I've thought this through a lot. Even though I began with a block plan for evangelism, I soon found out its serious limitations. I believe what I'm proposing is a much improved way to make viable, life-long disciple-makers. I think I can prove this with the people God has placed under my care. There is nothing novel or exceptional about what I've said, I realize, but I believe these concepts offer some significant help to those who care about rising above guilt to action.

Contact www.CCWonline.org for evangelistic tools.
Copyright © 2005 Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc.201 Main, Parkville, MO 64152 USAPermission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright.Other uses require written permission. Write for additional materials.

New Retreat Photos Added 10-5-05

Kinda late, I know, but about 20 new pictures from the Fall Retreat have been added to the Flickr page. Just click on the photos on the right side of the page. Thanks to Hannah Johnson (her flattering shot on the left) for taking these shots. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

J.C. Ryle - Pastor, Preacher, and Pamphleteer

"My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of men; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth." ~J.C. Ryle

This summer the men of 222mission read through J.C. Ryle's "Thoughts For Young Men". They were exposed to this great man of God and his though provoking and conscience stirring writings. He was converted around the same age many of you are (20), and he spoke of his conversion experience in his memoirs to his children,

“…Nothing I can remember to this day appeared to me so clear and distinct as my own sinfulness, Christ’s preciousness, the value of the Bible, the absolute necessity of coming out of the world, the need of being born again and the enormous folly of the whole doctrine of baptismal regeneration. All these things…seemed to flash upon me like a sunbeam in the winter of 1837” (Packer, Holiness intro p. ix).

Pastor Jeff has written and extensive outline of the life of J.C. Ryle, CLICK HERE to read it. Many of Ryle's books are available online for free! (Including the classic, Holiness) CLICK HERE to read them. There are also sermon manuscrips and audio sermons (read by others, of course) available here. You will want to familiarize yourself with this great pastor, preacher, and pamphleteer.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ministry Opportunity

Saw this announcement (below) in Sunday's bulletin, and wanted to bring it to your attention. This is an easy, yet tremendously vital ministry role at BCLR that's ideal for singles your age. Why not get a bunch of 222er's to sign up, and have a church cleaning party once a week?! :o) We do hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to serve. You can complete your janitorial duties basically anytime during the week that fits your schedule.

MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY: It is time to rotate the Janitorial Ministry Teams. If you are interested in a six or twelve month commitment for approximately 1-2 hours per week, please contact Gary Bass at 224-2732.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I Am Salty!

After a worship service on Sunday, a little girl was heard singing loudly in the back seat of the car "I am saaaalty!! I am saaaalty!". The parents, wondering what their child was singing, soon remembered what they had sung during the worship service that morning, the worship chorus, "I Exalt Thee!". What was sung and what the little girl heard was two different things. Although in her case, she was singing about another biblical concept - being salt and light in the world.

Or what about the guy who was singing "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing", and when he got to the line "God and sinners reconciled...", he sang, "gold and silver make me smile". Again, misunderstood lyrics.

Alright, what's the point of all this, anyway? Well, as in the examples of these songs, there is only one correct interpretation of the song, yet different people hear it and "translate" it in many different ways - very different. This is often the case with God's Word. It only means one thing (i.e., there is only ONE correct interpretation), and yet people come up with the craziest ideas! This fun illustration helps introduce the first of three topics for this weeks' Bible Doctrine lesson.

Can the Bible be rightly understood? Is it even necessary? And is it really ALL we need in life?

Any quotes are taken from "Bible Doctrine" by Wayne Grudem, Edited by Jeff Purswell
Remember, this is only a skeletal outline.

The Clarity, Necessity, and Sufficiency of the Bible
Can I understand it? Why do I need it? Is it all I need?

A. The Clarity of Scripture

The clarity of Scripture means that the Bible is written in such a way that its teaching are able to be understood by all who will read it seeking God’s help and being willing to follow it. ~Grudem, pg. 52

1. The Bible is clear about the Bible being clear.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7— for children
Psalm 19:7; 119:130—for the simple
2 Corinthians 1:13-14 - early church & new believers

So what’s the problem? The problem lies not in the Scripture, but in the reader!

2. The Bible is clear about who can understand it.

It’s not an intellectual problem, it’s spiritual.
The simple answer: sin
  • Mark 4:11-12 (cf. Matt 13:11ff)—parables
  • John 6:60—offensive
  • John 8:31-47—cannot bear to hear
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:4—wise & foolish
3. Why don’t we get it?

  • Mark 4:10-13; 6:52; 8:14-21; 9:32
  • Luke 24:25
  • John 8:27
  • Psalm 119 - cf. passages asking for God's help in understanding, "open my eyes..." "give me understanding"
We fail to exercise two basic study disciplines:
Hermeneutics “to interpret” - study of correct methods of interpretation
Exegesis—process of interpreting a text (to draw out)

4. Don’t be discouraged!

Only 2 possible causes for disagreements over Scripture:

a. We’re being dogmatic where Scripture is silent
b. Somebody is wrong (or all are wrong)

5. Sit under studied men.
A good book is like a good pastor...sit and let him preach to you.

B. The Necessity of Scripture

1. The Bible is unnecessary for some things:
a. Knowing God exists—Ps 19:1 & Rom 1:19
b. Knowing moral laws—Rom 1:20-21, 32, 2:12-16

2. The Bible is necessary for the knowledge of the gospel
a. Romans 10:13-17
b. Psalm 19:7ff

3. It is necessary for living out the gospel
a. Matthew 4:4
b. Psalm 119

C. The Sufficiency of Scripture (Sola Scripture)

Scripture contained all the words of God he intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly. ~Grudem, Pg 58

1. Solely Sufficient Self Supporting Scriptures:

a. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
b. Luke 16:19-31
c. Psalm 119:1 (other selected verses)
d. 2 Peter 1:3
e. Psalm 19:7ff
f. Revelation 22:18-19
g. Hebrews 4:12-13

2. What about areas to which it doesn’t speak?

a. 1 Corinthians 8-10
b. Romans 12:10; 14

Application Questions:

  1. What are some Bible passages/verses that you have never really understood? After studying the “Clarity of Scripture”, what might be your attitude toward these passages now?
  2. Are you guilty of judging others who might not understand or believe the way you do about certain doctrines? (I.e., doctrines of grace) How should you respond to others who disagree with you on different issues? Which are “hills worth dying on”?
  3. How much time and effort to you put into Bible study? Do you read solid books/articles/web sites/blogs about doctrinal issues to further your understanding? Do you own any study tools (commentaries, lexicons, etc.)? What can you do differently to assist you in understanding the Scriptures rightly?
  4. Though we believe the Bible to be sufficient, we also see the value in other solid, biblical literature. How would you respond to someone who says “The Bible is the only book I need.”
  5. Explain the difference in “general revelation” and “special revelation”. What can each do and/or not do?
  6. How does the doctrine of sufficiency encourage you as a believer? List from memory any “sufficiency” passages you know. Refer to your notes, if necessary.
  7. How should the doctrine of “necessity” and “sufficiency” influence your evangelism?
A extensive list was handed out Sunday, of suggested reading
material in several areas of theology.
CLICK HERE to see that list
(you're welcome to print it out) or CLICK
HERE for a condensed version
compiled by Pastor Tim Senn.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Only 31 Shoppings Days Left 'Til Reformation Day!

Throughout the month of October, we'll be posting several articles, weblinks and other helpful information about the Reformation of 1517, so be watching the blog.

In the meantime...

In honor of every good Calvinist's favorite holiday...
and just in good 'ole fun...we present:

The Reformation Polka
by Robert Gebel

Sung to the tune of "Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious"

When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law;
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head,
I took my vows, an Augustinian! Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter's profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints' Bull'tin board:
"You cannot purchase merits, for we're justified by grace!
Here's 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!" Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exempleror;
The Pope, however, hauled me up before the Emperor.
"Are these your books? Do you recant?" King Charles did demand,
"I will not change my Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand!" Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Duke Frederick took the Wise approach, responding to my words,
By knighting "George" as hostage in the Kingdom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin's model if the languages you seek,
Stay locked inside a castle with your Hebrew and your Greek! Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Let's raise our steins* and Concord Books while gathered in this place,
And spread the word that 'catholic' is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets his chance,
So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance! Oh..

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

*The Bible Church of Little Rock and 222mission does not promote nor condone the raising of "steins"...the drinking from steins...the collecting of steins...the franken of steins...nor the shopping at Steinsmart. :o)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Jim Elliot, Missionary, Martyr, Man of God

Wednesday night at 222mission, we heard brief sketches and insights into the life of Jim Elliot and the story of the Auca Indian massacre in January 1956. The primary work cited was The Journals of Jim Elliot, edited by Elisabeth Elliot. Clicking here will take you to amazon's page.

Here's a link to a bio of Jim's life - I'm not sure how accurate it is. And also the Billy Graham Center Archives link where you can borrow audio sermons and other archival material about Jim Elliot (Sorry, it was incorrectly said that one could hear Jim's sermons online, however you can possibly "check out" the tapes by clicking here.)

Below are just a few topical headings used to sum up different quotes from Jim regarding different subject matter. These page numbers are from an earlier edition (than above) of the book, so they may be off a page or two, but the dates should aid in locating each entry. This is a good read and is recommended, especially if you've already read Shadow of the Almighty, Through Gates of Splendor and/or Passion and Purity.

Allegorical Bible Interpretation

January 19 – pg 14
February 23 – pg 29
March 17, 19 – pg 39-40
E.E.’s intro – pg 203
January 16 – pg. 208

Legalistic tendencies

Feb 13 – pg 24

“Self righteous” thoughts

January 29 – pg 18


April 16 – pg 49
October 18 – pg 95
October 22 – pg 96
November 20 – pg 474 – struggles with devo’s
December 31 – pg 475 – last journal entry, ever.


Page 93 – Devo’s 3 x’s, including Greek
January 9 – pg 205 on Forgiveness (Heb/Rom)
December 5 – pg 353 on preaching with power

Against “easy-believism & decisionism”

April 12 – pg 442-443

Elisabeth(Betty or Betts) Howard

June 8 – pg 64-65
September 20 – pg 84
September 22 – pg 85
October 18 – pg 346
August 6 – pg 406
January 16 – pg 464 – married life


December 2 – pg 190 (on letter from Betty about “love”)

August 26 – pg 410


December 19 – pg 194
December 25 - pg 197-98
July 31 – pg 404-05
March 25 – pg 440
March 29 – pg 441-2
June 13 – pg 446
July 21 – pg 449

Great Quotes

January 29 – pg 18 “light these idle sticks…”
February 2- pg 20 “make my way prosperous…”
June 18 – pg 69 “fix my heart wholly…”
October 27 – pg 97 “send trouble that I might know peace”
April 27 – pg 129 “Word & the Cross”
October 28 – pg 174 “He is no fool…”
November 24 – pg 186 “firmness without hardness…”
November 29 – pg 188 “God’s quietness”

Use of Greek in study

November 10 – pg 181

Calvinist or Arminian??

January 19 –pg 14
November 9 – pg 180
February 3 - pg 214

Interesting(?) Interpretations

March 24 – pg 43 “finger of God’
September 30 – pg 344 (or prophetic on Christ’s wounds/suffering)

“Prophetic” Utterances/Heaven

October 9 – pg 91-92
October 22 – pg 96
October 28 – pg 97
November 1
November 6 – pg 178
December 31 – pg 200 First mention of Ecuador
January 4 - pg 204-05

August 22 – pg 409-10

And don't forget the viewing of Beyond the Gates of Splendor,

NEXT WEDNESDAY, October 5th at 6:30! We'll probably show the movie back to back, to allow the orchestra students to see it after their practice.

And lastly, a few notes & comments about ALLEGORISM:

Allegorism – beneath the literal meaning of Scripture was the true meaning.

hidden meaning – Grk “hyponoia”
If literal sense was body of Scripture, allegorical sense was it’s soul.
Literal meaning wasn’t useless, but was for the immature

If there are no cues, hints, connections, or other associations which indicate that the record is an allegory, and what the allegory intends to teach, we are on very uncertain grounds.
-Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation

The Christian church up to Reformation, had pure motives for allegorizing – the OT was a Christian document…(OT conceals what NT reveals), but they used it to excess.

Historical sense was usually ignored
Unfamiliar with progressive revelation
Considered OT & NT filled with parables, enigmas & riddles
Blurred allegorical with typical

They did, however, retain the true Gospel & kept in central (as did Elliot)

“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hand of the exegete.” – Ramm

“When the historical sense of a passage is once abandoned there is wanting any sound regulative principle to govern exegesis…The mystical [allegorical] method of exegesis, is an unscientific and arbitrary method, reduces the Bible to obscure enigmas, undermines the authority of all interpretation, and therefore, when taken by itself, failed to meet the apologetic necessities of the time. – K. Fullerton, Prophecy and Authority, p. 81, quoted in Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation

Misinterpreted 2 Corinthians 3:6 “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”

Luther of allegorism: “dirt…scum…obsolete loose rags…a harlot…a monkey game” (but only for Catholics, if Christians used it for Christ, then it was somewhat allowed)

Reformers solidified proper hermeneutics – Luther, Calvin, Puritans – even so, post-reformation brought on “tyrannous confessionalism; the curse of exorbitant systems; the curse of contentious bitterness…The read the Bible by the unnatural glare of theological hatred.” – Farrar

Out of the post-reformation stiffness came “pietism”
Pros: Devotional & practical emphasis in Bible reading is necessaryCons: Easy to allegorize (esp. OT when it’s more “dry”), and Devo’s may substitute for the necessary spade work of exegetical studies.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

When Does 2.22 Meet?

2.22 meets weekly on Friday nights, at 6:30pm in the Activity Center of the Bible Church of Little Rock. We meet for fellowship (& good food!), worship, preaching, and small group accountability/prayer.

The Bible Church is located at 19111 Hwy 10/Cantrell Rd in Little Rock, Arkansas.

For more info...
You can contact the church at 501-227-4980
or email Jeff Crotts or Aaron Wilson

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Jeff Crotts' Sermons and Mexican Food


Be watching the 222mission blog for links to Pastor Jeff's messages from Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. The obvious benefit for posting this audio will be for those who are unable to attend. Specifically, if you'll be attending a small group study on a campus or within the city, and weren't able to hear the Sunday am lesson on Bible Doctrine, you'll want to listen before you meet so you'll be able to contribute to the discussion.

Also, we'll be posting (pending copywrite permission) the study questions and possible the outline from our Bible Doctrine class for your further study. Please see the earlier blog entry if you're interested in ordering the book (not mandatory).

So keep watching the blog for Jeff's first posted message from Psalm 32 entitled:

Forgiveness: Lifting the Whole Enchilada of Sin

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Email Call

If you are not already receiving email notices for 222mission and would like to, please email Aaron Wilson so he can put you on the email list. Whereas most dates and information will be posted on this blog, there will be occasions when timely announcements will be made via email.
By the way, if you've never received a 222mission email from Aaron, then we don't have your email address.

C'mon, be a neighbor! Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

Beginning Sunday, September 18th (in Room 210), 222 will have our own Equipping Hour class at BCLR. Pastor Jeff Crotts will be the primary teacher, and we will be working through Wayne Grudem's Bible Doctrine. This is a new, condensed version of his extremely popular Systematic Theology.

It is not mandatory that you buy this book
to attend the new Equipping Hour class, but it is highly recommended!! It's a great volume to add to your library.

You can look inside and/or purchase this book at amazon.com or perhaps cheaper at alldirect.com.
Again, it is not mandatory to buy this book , it's only recommended because of it's scholarship and readability.

You can keep up with what chapter we'll be covering via our
new calendar, and discussion questions will be supplied for use in any weekly small groups that are ocurring throughout the week. You may also leave your comments and questions here as you either read through this text or attend equipping hour.

Passion '06

Interested in going? Check out the 268 Declaration below, the Passion website and contact Peter Witkowski if you're interested.

268 Declaration
"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your Truth,we wait eagerly for You,for Your name and Your renownare the desire of our souls."Isaiah 26:8
I desire that my life be a part of a generation that livesfor the glory of Your name. (Psalm 86:11-12)
My desire is reflected by the following statements and prayers:
Because I was created by God and for His glory, I will magnify Him as I respond to His great love. My desire is to make knowing and enjoying God the passionate pursuit of my life.
[God, give me a desire for You like the desire that You have for me.]
Colossians 1:16-18, John 17:3, Revelation 3:20, Philippians 3:7-10, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Psalm 73:25-28, Psalm 16:11, Isaiah 43:7
Because Christ established the Church for God's glory, I desire to magnify God as I use the gifts He has given me to serve and build up the local church. I will pray for continued renewal in my church through the work and power of the Holy Spirit.
[God, renew in me a love for Your Church, the Body of Christ.]
Ephesians 3:20,21, 4:1-13, 5:25-27, Hebrews 10:23-25, Acts 2:41-47
Because God is glorified greatly when believers love each other, I desire to magnify Him as I humbly yield to and pray towards unity among all Christians on my campus.
[God, give me a desire to lift up Your name above all other names.]
John 17:20-26, John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 3, Psalm 133:1, Colossians 3:12-17
Because many on my campus are hopelessly separated from God, I desire to magnify Him by sharing the life and love of Jesus where I live. As I share, I will earnestly pray for revival on my campus and in my world.
[God, break my heart for those with whom I live.]
Romans 10:11-15, Isaiah 6:1-8, 62:6-7, Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Peter 2:9-12, Philipians 2:12-16, 1 John 5:14-15
Because God is seeking worshipers of all peoples, I desire to magnify Him among the nations. I actively commit my life and energy to participation in His global purposes in my generation.
[God, kindle in me the desire to go anywhere, at anytime, at any cost, to do anything to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.]
Psalm 86:9, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Isaiah 49:6, Revelation 5:9-14, Matthew 28:18-20, Psalm 67, Acts 1:8

[2000-2004 passion © all rights reserved]

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why I Do What I Do The Way I Do It

The Biblical Basis and Theological Significance
of Expository Preaching
By Jeff Crotts


I was a Christian for about a year before I was exposed to expository preaching, and once I tasted it my hunger quickly grew to hear the preaching of the Word primarily in this way. My new ranking of expository preaching over other forms wasn’t speaker-based as much as content-based due to what this kind of preaching brought to me. Frankly, what I was hearing in these expository sermons was better because these sermons drew me into the Word of God. They were teaching not only who the Bible authors were and what they said, but also who the original recipients of the instruction were. I found myself responding to preaching in a new way, now clearly seeing the implications of Scripture as they were brought to bear on my life. As a newborn babe in the faith, my thirst for the truth was being slaked for the first time (1 Peter 2:2). Also, I was gaining greater access to the Scriptures than ever before – now knowing how to read, study and think my way through a Bible book. It didn’t take me long – in fact, after my very first exposure to expository preaching - to conclude why expository preaching was changing my world. It’s biblical! The Bible says to preach this way – the Bible describes, defines, and commands preaching to be expository preaching (Nehemiah 8:8, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 4:2).

Expository Preaching Definitions

Though theologically, philosophically, and methodologically expository preaching is derived from Scripture – different authors (most of whom are preachers) on the subject preaching define it in a variety of ways. A noted scholar put it this way: “Most of us who aspire to employ the method [expository preaching] believe that it is synonymous with truly biblical preaching, yet pinning down a working definition of it is not so easy.”[1] Because of this noted elasticity I’ve chosen several definitions in order to capture expository preaching’s differing angles along with its common biblical themes.
“Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through him to his hearers.”[2] “[It’s]…essentially the practice of explaining the meaning of a passage of Scripture…The expository sermon should, I believe, be defined in terms of the preacher’s method and approach irrespective of its results.”[3] At essence expository preaching is “Bible-centered preaching.”[4] Another man of God captures what expository preaching is by saying that “expository preaching is the Spirit-empowered explanation and proclamation of the text of God’s Word with due regard to the historical, contextual, grammatical, and doctrinal significance of the given passage, with the specific object of invoking a Christ-transforming response.”[5] “Exposition presupposes an exegetical process to extract the God-intended meaning of Scripture and an explanation of that meaning in a contemporary way.”[6] “Expository preaching sheds some ordinary light on the path that leads to understanding a text…The right amount of light expertly shined not only exposes the path but also helps those on the path to find their own way in the future.”[7] One succinct way to boil it all down is to say “it’s the proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher.”[8] Ultimately, no matter how it’s defined or nuanced, the expositor is commanded to grammatically, exegetically, historically and theologically interpret and proclaim the Scriptures with biblical accuracy and Spirit-energized power as a kingdom messenger and disciple maker. These are some of expository preaching’s “primary components:
1. “it clearly derives its content from the Bible;
2. it accurately explains what the Bible is saying; and
3. it effects the change God intends for the Bible to effect.”
This last component, which is based on life “change” or “effect,” has - in my opinion - been a neglected emphasis in expository preaching as of late. However, based on how Jesus’ preaching ministry often challenged his hearers saying “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; Luke 8:8; 14:35,) along with the apostles Paul and James’ New Testament emphases to hear and obey the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:2; James 1:22-25) this third principle a necessary aspect of expository preaching.

Principles of exposition

Applying these definitions and understanding the “how-to” of biblical preaching is both practical and necessary for the preacher, because otherwise it’s all just theoretical. If the preacher neglects thinking through the principles of exposition or the action-steps for expository preaching he might fall prey to what could be called preaching an academic data-dump. To avoid doing this, the preacher must understand that “to expound is not simply to give the correct grammatical sense of a verse or passage, it is rather to set out principles or doctrines which the words are intended to convey… [in other words it’s] doctrinal preaching [conveys] specific truths from God to man.”
[10] To help the preacher reach this high goal, here are five “minimal elements:
1. The message finds its sole source in Scripture.
2. The message is extracted from Scripture through careful exegesis.
3. The message preparation correctly interprets Scripture in its normal sense and its context.
4. The message clearly explains the original God-intended meaning of Scripture.
5. The message applies the Scriptural meaning for today.
Practically speaking, this is the way men of God have preached for thousands of years. Ezra, the quintessential model for expository preaching, is pictured handling the OT Law “translating to give the sense so that they (the Israelites) understood the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). Another clear biblical “example is Jesus’ expounding of Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue (Luke 4:16-22).”
[12] This passage clearly shows Jesus’ value for biblical exposition (cf. Luke 24:27 - Jesus’ teaching on road to Emmaus). Here Jesus deliberately chooses to expound the words from Isaiah as the way to tell the world why he was here and what he aimed to accomplish while on planet earth. In essence, Jesus again gave the sense of the passage.
Ultimately all preachers should follow these examples, preaching like Ezra and Jesus, possessing both skills for communicating the meaning of the Word along with humble hearts and minds that bow to the authority of God’s Word. Regarding skill, the expositor must be able to connect the biblical time period and customs to the here and now. And if he is unable to bridge these two worlds – biblical times to present day - then he risks turning a preaching moment into a classroom lecture. However, when this skill is developed and practiced in the pulpit, the exposition promises to be both profound and compelling.
Regarding humility toward Scripture, “it is only when mental labor passes beyond the bounds of common sense that the mind becomes enfeebled by it, and this is not usually reached except by injudicious persons…but…to young men like ourselves the vigorous use of our faculties is a most healthy exercise.”
[13] I was taught early on that when preparing to preach the difference isn’t how many times you go through the Bible, but how many times the Bible goes through you. This is the Bible’s challenge for the man of God: to work hard and study (2 Timothy 2:15) while not trusting in rhetoric nor man’s wisdom to change the hearts of people (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). The Bible gives fair warning that if the preacher is not faithful to this task then judgment awaits him (James 3:1). Consequently, the right attitude for the expositor boils down to one essential thing – that of being wholly dependant on God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). “Unless…wholesale dependence on God marks the modern expositor’s preaching, his exposition will lack the divine dimension that only God can provide.”[14]

Theological significance of biblical preaching

As stated earlier, the Bible models and describes preaching as expository preaching, which is the reason that it makes sense to preach this way. 2 Timothy 3:16 declares Scripture to be “inspired by God - profitable for teaching, for reproof , for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Simply put, because the Bible is “inspired by God” - literally breathed out by God – by God whose nature is impeccably perfect (Matthew 5:48; Titus 1:2), we know that it is perfect (Psalm 19:7 “The law of the LORD is perfect”). This of course is the doctrine of inerrancy, which automatically affirms expository preaching. “With a commitment to inerrancy, the expositor is equipped with a true message, with true intent, and with true application. It gives his preaching perspective historically, theologically, contextually, literally, synoptically, and culturally. His message is God’s intended message.”
[15] “Inerrancy demands an exegetical process and an expository proclamation. Only the exegetical process preserves God’s Word entirely, guarding the treasure of revelation… Expository preaching…is the essential link between inerrancy and proclamation…mandated to preserve the purity of God’s originally given inerrant Word and to proclaim the whole counsel of God’s redemptive truth.”[16]

Identification of biblical preachers and examples of biblical preaching

Not only is expository preaching rooted in biblical theology (i.e. inerrancy) it is also documented throughout biblical history. “The expository sermon is the systematic explanation of Scripture done on a week-by-week, or even day-by-day, basis at the regular meeting on the congregation. This practice goes back to the worship of the synagogue long before the time of Jesus, when the Law was read through Sabbath by Sabbath, beginning each time where one had left off the Sabbath before. The idea was that the whole Law would be regularly read through in the course of worship.”
[17] Moses, one of God’s first preachers, marks an historic precedent for how preachers handle God’s Word today. When Moses received the Law directly from God, what he did first, there at the foot of Mount Sinai, was read it - some say Moses preached it - to the people with great solemnity. A second significant preacher in biblical history was Ezra, a man whose ministry, like Moses’, was precedent-setting. Ezra stands out as Israel’s key spiritual leader during Israel’s reconstitution after exile (see Nehemiah 7:5ff.), and the way he lead God’s people was by reading and explaining the Law – God’s Word. Nehemiah 8:8 is clear - the Law was read from beginning to end and then explained. Here God established a tradition that carried on throughout Old Testament times up through Jesus’ ministry. Jesus read and expounded the Law during temple worship on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16 “As was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read”). The Apostle Paul, in the same way, establishing the New Testament church, read and explained the Scripture in the synagogues on the Sabbath (Acts 17:2 “Paul…as was his custom…on three Sabbath days…reasoned with them from the Scriptures”). Understanding this long-standing biblical history clearly shows why the New Testament church is designed to gather corporately for the public reading and expository preaching of Scripture (1 Tim. 4:13). Consequently, this tradition has rightly been passed down throughout the centuries beginning with the early church to present.
Rehearsing this legacy of the public reading and preaching of God’s Word serves as a timely reminder of the value of biblical exposition in the church today. Beginning from the earliest biblical history to present here is a brief overview of the mountain-peak expositors from Moses to present documenting this means of grace – preaching.
Moses, as I mentioned before, was a trailblazing preaching. He received the Law of God at Mount Sinai and his first step was to publicly read it to his congregation – Israel. Moses’ preaching doesn’t stop with public reading but immediately (like all expositors must do) calls the congregation to commitment - to obey God’s word (Exodus 24:1-11).
[18] I believe in this context Moses was fulfilling the ministry of an expository preacher. Even though he was reading the Law he had received directly from God, note that Exodus 21-23 is an exposition of the Decalogue from Exodus 20. The case can be made that chapters 21-23 of Exodus, though inspired Scripture, is also preaching – maybe the first of its kind.[19] This is found again in the book of Deuteronomy, which is the second Law or reiteration of the Law. What was the content of Moses’ preaching? Simply put he emphasized three things:
1. “remembrance…recounting God’s saving acts…
2. interpretation…elaboration and application of the law…[and]
3. constant urging that Israel be obedient to the Law.”
From Moses’ ministry of the Word it can be seen that preaching was then, and remains today, the means by which “we [God’s people] experience God’s presence.”
[21] In essence God chose to reveal himself through heard truth, and this auditory ministry stood in stark contrast to the rebellious visually-driven idolatry which Israel so quickly fell into (Exodus 32). The New Testament says it this way: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). “God has not revealed himself to our sight but rather to our hearing; he has revealed not his form but his will.”[22]
Though prophets are typically held out as the preachers of the Old Testament, the priests also exercised a ministry of interpreting the Word of God. “Priests were concerned with the interpretation and application…as it was revealed in the Law of Moses, while the prophets were concerned with proclaiming the Word of God as God revealed that Word directly to the prophet.”[23] Samuel, for instance, functioned both as priest and prophet, both presiding at a sacrifice at a high place where Saul sought him out to inquire of the LORD, and soon after anointing Saul as the first King of Israel. However, because Saul disobeys the Lord early in his reign, Samuel taking his prophetic role proclaims God’s judgment to Saul in stinging rebuke (1 Samuel 15:22 “To obey is better than sacrifice”).[24]
Isaiah, a man who interceded for Israel in a priestly role (Isaiah 6:1-7,) is also known for his ministry as prophet. He was a man whose life was given to receiving and preaching oracles from God (Isaiah 6:8). Like the other prophets, Isaiah’s prophetic preaching at times expanded beyond his immediate audiences. For instance, when King Ahaz spurned Isaiah’s message to him, his reply turns out to be the wonderful Messianic promise of the birth of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14-17). This being the case, its important to remember that the prophet’s primary role was calling people of their own day to repent and obey the Lord (Isaiah 1:2-31) along with explaining it.[25]
Understanding prophecy like this reveals clear parallels between prophets and preachers. For instance, the very obvious homiletical nature and delivery from prophets like Amos is noticeable when read in terms of its original context.
[26] Understood this way, the prophets were men of God who were preachers.
By the same token, some of the Wisdom literature should also be remembered in the subject of preaching and biblical history. For instance, the book of Ecclesiastes is known as a sermon preached by Solomon the preacher (Ecclesiastes 1:1). Because of this, I’ve heard it suggested that not to teach Ecclesiastes as a sermon is to do an injustice to the book, since it is a written sermon.
The New Testament wastes no time highlighting the preaching ministry of John the Baptist. This prophet and preacher’s life was given to declaring the coming Christ, and calling men to repent and believe (Mark 1:4; John 1:15, 29.)
[27] John’s preaching ministry appropriately fades to the background when the preaching ministry of Jesus comes on the Jewish scene (Mark 1:14).
Jesus’ entire ministry was summarized in his exposition from the text he chose in the synagogue – Isaiah 61:1-2. From this, “the principle that Scripture is to be interpreted by Scripture was…well established.”
[28] “The sermons of Christ…the Sermon on the Mount… [and] at Nazareth, are modes of explanation and exposition for all time.”[29] When Christ preached “’you have heard that is was said…but I say to you…’ In so doing, He instructed and enlightened His listeners and amplified the text, much to the people’s amazement.”[30] Jesus above all else was a kerygmatic or gospel preacher, expounding passages from Isaiah 56, Psalm 111 and Psalm 118. His preaching “proclaims that the promises of God have been kept and the Scriptures have been fulfilled…”[31] Jesus also instructed in an ethical dimension (i.e. The Sermon on the Mount). When preaching what’s known as The Sermon on the Mount “Jesus interprets a number of the cardinal precepts of the Law, the commandments of the Decalogue itself.”[32] Jesus’ ministry as the preacher of preachers manifested itself in all dimensions including parables (where Jesus masterfully used analogy and illustration), woe judgments (Matthew 23), prophecy, and commissioning his followers to be preachers (Matthew 28:18-20).
The early church was initiated through expository preaching. Much of the preaching from Acts is gospel preaching that centers on redemptive history. “The messages of Peter (Acts 2:14-36), Stephen (Acts 7:2-53), [and] Paul (Acts 17:16-31)…have elements of both revelatory and explanatory preaching.”
[33] The common call is for the hearers to repent and believe. These preachers made connections between OT prophecies and the Messiah. There was also an equally great emphasis in the early church on regular teaching (Acts 2:42 and 6:4 clearly indicate this priority).
The Apostle Paul, as the preeminent leader, preacher, and teacher in the New Testament church, was consumed with preaching – specifically with preaching Christ (1 Corinthians 1:23, 2:2, and 2 Corinthians 4:5). Throughout the book of Acts and the Pauline epistles it’s clear that he preached Christ by expounding the Scriptures (Acts 17:2-3). One thing is certain: Paul not only preached, he deeply believed in the power of preaching (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). He understood preaching as a “means of grace” which is instrumental for all who would believe (Rom. 10:14-15, 17).
[34] Even though for Paul, preaching was his life, the majority of what we have from Paul isn’t sermons but letters to the church, or epistles. Still it is from these NT epistles that we have a strong awareness of what his preaching was like. This is because these letters are, in a very real sense, sermons. “They were not carefully written out by someone sitting at a desk; they were poured out by someone striding up and down a room as he dictated, seeing all the time in his mind’s eye the people to whom they were to be sent.”[35]
For the first four hundred years of the early church, there were “many preachers but few true expositors.”[36] This is known to be the case because of the small amount of expository material that came out of the post-NT church era (i.e. the apostolic fathers - ca. 96-125).[37] In the third century Origin stands out as a leading preacher. This is not only because he possessed a brilliant mind, but also because the majority of existing third century preaching material is from Origin. Though Origin interpreted the Bible allegorically, because his preaching was biblically driven he was used to resurface interest in expository preaching in the church.[38] Origin’s view of Scripture is the reason behind his great commitment to it. Old makes the point that “somehow Origin sees the simplicity of Christian preaching as a witness to its divine authority. It convinces not because it is elegant, but because it is true… because it’s divinely inspired…”[39] Perhaps because of this high view of the authority of Scripture Origin’s sermons from Genesis and the Gospel of Luke are recorded in a consecutive fashion. Another positive side to his preaching was his method of explaining Scripture with Scripture – especially in regard to his affirmation of the Old Testament (even with his faulty allegorical hermeneutic).[40] John Chrysostem (347-407), another man from this preaching era “rejected the allegorical approach…[and] preached verse-by-verse and word-by-word expositions on many books of the Bible…[his] preaching was characterized by simple Bible exposition…of morality rather than dogma.”[41]
Apart from a few splinter groups during the medieval period, the trend in the church through the ages was allegory rather than exposition until the likes of John Wyclif (1330-1384) and William Tyndale (1494-1536).
[42] Then came the dawn of the Reformation Period (1500-1648) with great preachers like Martin Luther whose conviction to preach came from the reformation doctrine “Sola Scriptura” which meant “the freedom of Scripture to rule as God’s word in the church.”[43] Luther knew of the transforming power of the Word because he “became a believer through his efforts to learn and expound the Scriptures.”[44] John Calvin was known as “the most significant expositor of the Reformation era,” and valued “clarity and brevity” as virtuous in preaching.[45] This conviction is reflected by Calvin commenting on Isaiah 55:11: “The Word goeth out of the mouth of God in such a manner that it likewise ‘goeth out of the mouth’ of men; for God does not speak openly from heaven, but employs men as his instruments, that by their agency he may make known his will.”[46] Finally, the Puritans beginning in 1649 through the end of the eighteenth century saw “the distinguishing mark of true Chrisitanity as compared with religion.”[47] A puritan like Richard Baxter represents his passion for preaching when he said, “I preach as never like to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”[48] After the puritans there were John C. Ryle (1816-1900), Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D. Martin Lloyd-Jones and today John MacArthur who have faithfully heralded the truth – through expository preaching.

Effects from biblical preaching

Faithfully preaching God’s Word always brings one of two results in the spiritual realm. There is either a receptivity to the Word accompanied by what Paul calls “a fragrance from life to life” or a hardening of heart which Paul calls “a fragrance from death to death.” Only God opens blind eyes to receive the proclamation of Scripture (2 Corinthians 4:2-6), still the preacher must interpret God’s Word accurately and trust Him for the results. Remember the results after Paul preached the resurrection of Christ to the philosophers at the Areopagus: “Some mocked. But others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’...some men joined him and believed” (Acts 17:32-34). We should expect no less and no more.

[1] Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), p. 119.
Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible, p. 120 quoting from Haddon W. Robinson, Expository Preaching, (Leicester: IVP, 1986) p. 20.
Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible, p. 120.
Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible, p. 120, quoting from Sidney Greidanus, The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), p. 11, quoting from Merrill Unger, Principles of Expository Preaching (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1955), p. 33.
Stephen F. Olford and David L. Olford, Anointed Expository Preaching (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1998), p. 69.
John MacArthur, Jr. et al., Rediscovering Expository Preaching (Dallas: Word, 1992), p. 3.
Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), p. 99.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 24, quoting D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 222.
Michael Fabarez, Preaching That Changes Lives (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002), p. 15.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 12, quoting Lloyd-Jones from Iain H. Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith 1939-1961 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1990), 2:261.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 12-13.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 13.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 16 quoting Charles H. Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1876), p. 47.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 19.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 30.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 35.
Hughes Oliphant Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church, Volume One: The Biblical Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), p. 9.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 22.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 24.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 37-41.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 26.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 39.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 41.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 44.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 39.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 56-58.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 40.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 102.
MacArthur, Rediscovering, p. 40.
MacArthur, Rediscovering, p. 40.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 119-120.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 139.
MacArthur, Rediscovering, p. 41.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 182.
MacArthur, Rediscovering, p. 41.
MacArthur, Rediscovering, p. 44.
MacArthur, Rediscovering, p. 44.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 44.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 309.
Old, Reading and Preaching, p. 314, 319.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 44-45.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 46.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 47.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 47.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 49, quoting from T. H. L. Parker, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 51.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 49, quoting from John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 22 vols (reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), 8, 2, 172.
MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 51, quoting from D. M. Lloyd-Jones, The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1987), 380.
[48] MacArthur et al., Rediscovering, p. 53, quoting from Clyde E. Fant and William M. Pinson, Luther to Massillon 1483-1742 (20 Centuries of Great Preaching), 13 vols., (Waco, Texas: Word, 1971), p. 238-239.