Bad things happen when maturity is more defined by knowing than it is by being. Danger is afloat when you come to love the ideas more than the God whom they represent and the people they are meant to free......- Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling
....The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation. (Tweet This)
It might appear odd to suggest that pastors are somehow misusing the Word of God. The Word is the pastor’s major tool in their toolbox. Most pastors go to school (seminary) just to study a single book, getting to know it backwards and forwards. As pastors we understand just how essential it is to be a faithful and diligent workman with the Scriptures and to correctly handle, teach, train and preach the Word of God.
So if all of that is suppose to be true, why is it such a danger that the pastor may be ignoring the Word?
This point goes to the crux of Paul Tripp’s comments at the beginning of this post - there is a difference between knowing and being. It is the danger of simply having head knowledge at the expense of ignoring the heart.
The pastor can’t stand outside and above the Word of God simply treating it as an academic exercise only interested in teaching and preaching it to others. No, the pastor must, just like the congregations they teach, have his heart in a surrendered posture, ready to have the word transform him.
The pastor is in severe danger if he simply approaches the Word in a clinical manner. The pastor cannot approach the Word merely as an academician, but rather he must approach it as a student, a pilgrim, one who is on a spiritual journey - continuing to learn and grow. He must approach the Word with deep affection and expectancy. Eager to hear from the Lord and to respond to His voice with faithful obedience. The pastor must be yielded to the power and work of the Holy Spirit, allowing the Spirit to apply the truth of the Word to his heart and life.
The pastor can’t be simply someone who teaches the Word, but they must be willing to be taught by it as well.