Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Words of God

Consider mankind. People are often careful in what they say for various reasons – political or business advantage, social position, politeness, fear, embarrassment, insecurity. But the Lord suffers from none of those things. He is God. He is Creator.

How many times have we read, “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), yet we live and act as if were the work of “mere men” (1 Corinthians 3:4)? We project our thoughts and ways upon the word of God, forgetting His declaration, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

God doesn't have to watch what He says. He has no superior to fear. He has no higher position to seek. The social conventions of men are beneath Him, and their scheming is not the product of His mind but of Satan's (Ephesians 6:11). In fact, God has taught us in His Son, “Let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (Matthew 5:37).

So why do men so often approach the Scriptures looking for hidden meanings? I believe that in order to properly understand the Bible, we have to start by assuming a literal meaning. Absolutely, there are figurative statements within God's word, but don't start your journey to understanding assuming that God is trying to hide something from you. As Moses learned so long ago, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The word of God is what He wants us to know, otherwise He would not have revealed them in the first place. He has spoken not for His own advantage, but for ours (Romans 1:17). So as you read the Bible, know that God speaks plainly.

Perhaps we would never have the boldness to say to someone, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” (Matthew 23:33). But Jesus did, because “He is Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14).

“Oh, but He's God, and I'm just a man. I could never say something like that.”

Really? Not even if the Spirit of God were within you? Acts 13:8-10 says that “Elymas the magician ... was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. [9] But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, [10] and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?”” See? In the Spirit of God, Paul spoke plainly.

Haven't you ever once wondered why the modern church doesn't see the same spiritual success as the first century church? I believe it is because today's church leaders are preaching acceptance, tolerance and a non-judgmental spirit, while the church that Jesus established and the leaders He chose were more concerned with accurately relaying the words of the Lord. As Paul said, “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [3] I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, [4] and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:2-5).

But the faith of the modern church is no longer resting on “the power of God.” As the apostle forewarned, we have around us men who are “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” The word of God is plain and direct, “Avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:5).

“Then who should I listen to?”


“But my preacher said ...”

If he hasn't set aside his opinions and pointed you directly to the word of God, he is no real servant of God.

We read of the birth of the church in the beginning of the book of Acts. It is said that “the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32). Why? Because “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

“But our church doesn't believe ...”

But Christ's church does. Those who truly belong to the Lord believe in the word of God. “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Thus David said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Thus Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

The question is, what do you say? I would only point you to the Scriptures, “in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. [22] Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:21-22).

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