31 May 2013

What God Says About His Word

On the heels of the discussion contained within the post "Adam and Eve and Andy Stanley," it seems appropriate to take a few moments to consider exactly what God, the Creator of all and the Author of Scripture, says about His own Word. Far too many professing evangelicals today are willing to undermine and compromise the inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God. It simply is not popular for a man to state unabashedly that the Bible is true, that it means what it says, and that men are subject to the truths contained within it.

Today's postmodern culture would rather that men stand in a pulpit (or more likely, on a stage) and perform a skilled tap dance around the truths of Scripture. The "all truth is relative" mentality has invaded the visible church and as a result many who call themselves pastors are nothing more than weak, wobbly-kneed men (or worse, women) who are more concerned about the world's opinions than the Lord's.

This simply will not do. These men may call themselves pastors, but they are not true under-shepherds of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are a myriad of terms for them: hirelings, wolves, blind guides, but they are not shepherds. They are not true pastors. Those who do not boldly preach under the authority of God's Word are not serving the Lord, no matter what they may claim. Those who would dare to diminish the authority of Scripture in any way find themselves standing in direct opposition to the God they claim to serve.

What, then, does God say about His own Word? Is the Bible actually something that was breathed out by God (2 Tim. 3:16), or is it instead just a mere "collection of ancient documents" as Andy Stanley has stated?

How God Describes His Word

Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!" (Ex 24:3)

You have today declared the Lord to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. (Deut 26:17)

How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. (Ps 119:2)

How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Ps 119:9–11)

I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. (Ps 119:15–16)

Seek from the book of the Lord, and read. . . (Is 34:16a)

Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, "Behold I have put My words in your mouth." (Jer 1:9)

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. (Rom 3:1–2)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:17)

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. (Phil 2:14–16)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col 3:16)

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. (1 Thess 2:13)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)

For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Pet 1:23)

It certainly seems from the above verses that God considers the Bible to be His Word. As one example, Isaiah 34:16 does not begin, "Seek from the collection of ancient documents. . ." but rather, "Seek from the book of the Lord. . ." And though it was not complete in Isaiah's day, Christians now have God's full, final and complete revelation in one book, that is the Bible.

This God-breathed Scripture, the only true and trustworthy Word, operates as far more than a simple collection of words on paper.

The Work of God's Word

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is [breathed out] by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:14–17)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. (Jas 1:21)

For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever." And this is the word which was preached to you. (1 Pet 1:24–25)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith." (Rom 1:16–17)

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Rom 10:17)

There is power in the Word of God. To attempt to preach without that power is to enter into battle unarmed. Dear preacher, do not try to contextualize the Word. Do not try to compromise the Word. And do not dare disparage the Word. If you claim to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), then you will instead gladly and humbly submit to the Word.

Further Reading

4 comments:

  1. Totally agree but there is a wider background as to why these hirelings of satan pose year after year and after year in a visible church and collecting money for their damning nonsense. The underlying reason is massive ignorance and illiteracy (not only biblical) in those who follow these "... waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit – twice dead, uprooted; wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame..." This massive ignorance has its own reason and that is dismissal and outright rejection of a gift of reason for the sake of emotionalism i superficial traditions of men designed to serve emotions of men. It is a sell out of the revealed truth of God for continually revealing "truth" of men which is really a lie deigned by satan to appease emotions of men. Feelings rule deceived and ignorant masses and those mega shamans appear as "experts" to those who are nescient and cannot read the Biblical text in a comprehensive, consistent and context ruled way but instead are emotionally whipped to spasmodic abuse of it as if the Word would be a phone book with thousands of independent entries and moldable sayings... Emotionalism is fed with sensationalism and bizarre for that is what masses want and will pay for.

    It has always been like that. Take a look:

    "There is nothing repugnant here to what was lately said, (chap. 7) that we have no great certainty of the word itself, until it be confirmed by the testimony of the Spirit. For the Lord has so knit together the certainty of his word and his Spirit, that our minds are duly imbued with reverence for the word when the Spirit shining upon it enables us there to behold the face of God; and, on the other hand, we embrace the Spirit with no danger of delusion when we recognise him in his image, that is, in his word. Thus, indeed, it is. God did not produce his word before men for the sake of sudden display, intending to abolish it the moment the Spirit should arrive; but he employed the same Spirit, by whose agency he had administered the word, to complete his work by the efficacious confirmation of the word."

    John Calvin
    Institutes of Christian Religion
    Book 1, Chapter 9 about fanatics, more: http://bit.ly/2U8EB6

    Despeville



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  2. Please help me understand your one reference "Seek from the book of the Lord, and read. . . (Is 24:16a)" I am lost. Maybe I don't understand the verse or maybe you have quoted the wrong verse?

    Thanks

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    1. Oops - Isaiah 34:16. Thanks for bringing that typo to my attention!

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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