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God's Letter of Intent (pt. 2)

Six questions that reveal what God meant to say in a text.

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This is part two of a two-part series. To see part one, click here.

Our task as preachers is not to say whatever comes to mind when studying the Bible, but to discern what God had in mind, what he intended, when inspiring the human author to write it, and to show how that intent is relevant for our hearers. This article focuses on the first half of that task: discovering original intent. The meaning that the text has for us today must be derived from and consistent with the meaning it had for its original hearers. To determine that, we must go beyond observation to interrogation. We respectfully ask of the text basic questions that focus initial observations and help us discern the intent of the author in the text. In this article, we look at the last three of six questions.

4. What response does this text call for? Accurate answers to the first three questions [see part one of this series] already incline us to certain answers to this question. So a text that is an exhortation concerning ...

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