"Be and Teach Hearing and Doing of the Word"

by Jeff Robinson

The minister who would be faithful to his calling must take care not to be self-deluded and he must not produce a congregation of people who falsely believe themselves to be Christians, said R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, told the spring graduating class there are two types of people who hear the Word of God: those who believe it and seek to conform their lives to it and those who listen to it but remain unchanged-like the man of James 1:23-24 who stares at his reflection in the mirror.

 "It is an awful thing to contemplate a congregation of people who think they are Christians who are deluding themselves," he said. "This contrast between mere hearing of the Word and doing of the Word is something we need to confront and by which we need to be confronted again and again."

The minister will know that the Word has been rightly received when his teaching

and preaching result in transformed lives in his congregation. "Our preaching is not a performance," Mohler said. "Our acts of ministry are not submitted for public consideration as something that just might have a gospel point.

"We are to center our ministries, ourselves, and all that we do in the teaching and the preaching of God's Word, and in the demonstration [of it], motivating others likewise to be doers of the Word. We will know that our ministry is effective-if we dare use that word-if our congregations show what God's Word is in their lives."

He reminded the graduates that it will not be enough for them to study God's Word or even to preach it unless they are clearly living out its demands.

With ministers facing so many temptations to compromise biblical truth to the whims of contemporary culture, Mohler said it will not take long for faithful preachers to become distinguished from unfaithful ones.

"We live in an emotive age when many people judge the authenticity of their faith by how they feel," he warned. "But if we give our primary consideration to feeling, eventually we will no longer even be able to feel."

 "I think I can say on the basis of an observation of the times that we will soon find out who are the doers of the Word," Mohler said. "In this day there will be no more cultural Christianity. In the white-hot heat of our current confrontation, there will be no casual Christianity.

"We must confront the church of God with this truth. We must arm Christians with this realization. We must challenge ourselves and others with the task and the litmus test of true faith, which is its demonstration. Your ministry will demonstrate Christ, Christianity, and Christian truth or it will quickly fall and falter."

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