Friday, March 12, 2010

Imperatives in context

Peter Mead encourages preachers to resist the temptation, when preaching a biblical text, of simply jumping to the commands without considering the broader context of the passage:
In a lot of preaching situations it is easier to simply present the text and press home the imperatives. Whether or not there is technically an imperative in the grammar, we can easily turn a passage into an instruction and press for change through our words.

I wonder how often we miss the opportunity to go a step or two deeper and recognize the “why” behind the “should”? Typically the epistles offer lists of instructions, but in the context of the letter, these instructions are very much set in the context of theological truth. We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, but it is in view of God’s mercies that we are to do so. We are to walk in a manner worthy, but specifically it’s in a manner worthy of the calling we have received.
Good points, and there's more at the link.


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