Jul 28, 2015

The True Meaning of the Text Versus Your Ingenuity

David Allen has been posting excerpts from Marvin R. Vincent's 1884 volume, The Expositor in the Pulpit. This has been particularly valuable since this volume appears to be very difficult to find. And if you haven't been following along you would miss some great quotes like this one for the thirteenth post.
Your own ingenuity will often suggest tempting interpretations; but your invariable answer to this seductive Balak must be: “I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.” Far on in your ministry you will know what it is to have a chapter or a text suggest a novel and striking line of thought, and to feel that the sermon is as good as made, only to see your pet fancy dissolved under the touch of sound exegesis. Never try to rebuild it.

Sometimes it will seem as though the true meaning of your text yields you baser ore than your own thought about it; but work your shaft resolutely on the line of the Word, and you will soon be undeceived. God’s thought is always richer than man’s. You may groan over a vanished sermon, but your people will rejoice in a better one.

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