God Has Spoken: The Power Of The Word
Without question, any true disciple of Christ Jesus would agree that the Word of God is powerful. Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) says, “For the Word of God is living and active (powerful), sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of morrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The theme of the 4:14 Conference at Central this year is, “Has God Spoken? Exploring The Bible’s Reliability.” As followers of Christ, we know in our hearts that the Scriptures are true and thus reliable. How do we know this? Simply put, we know the Bible is true because the Author of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21) is dwelling within us! The Third Person of the Trinity has removed our spiritual blindness and continuously illuminates the eyes of our hearts to what is indeed truth (John 14:17-20,1 Cor 2:14).
This, however, does not negate our need to be prepared, at any moment, to humbly offer a sound Biblical apologetic (reasoned defense) answer (1 Peter 3:15). In truth, we are fully culpable for how we conduct ourselves as ‘Christ-ones’ (2 Cor 5:10, Gal 6:5), yet we all sometimes fail to recognize that it is through the effectual and perpetual working of The Spirit’s power in us (Zec 4:6, John 15:26, Acts 1:8) that empowers us to live in total submission to Christ. You might say, “Brother Luke, I’ve heard all of this before and quite frankly, I get it!....let’s move on to the next thing.” There are two distinct problems presented with that thinking: Sometimes, we “don’t get it” - like we think we do. Or, even when we do “get it,” we often times ‘forget it’. Sound familiar, church? As the children of Israel “got it” and then would “forget it,” we too are very much the same as Christians. We, all too often, are very quick to say, “I believe the Bible from cover to cover, including the maps”, but the simple truth of the matter is, we can’t believe what we do not know. We also say things like, “I just want God to speak to me or to know God’s will for my life.” I deeply appreciate what Justin Peters said; “If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read your Bible out loud.”
Yes! God does speak to us, church, and He does so primarily through Holy Writ! The goal of the Christian life is to be more transformed, and thus more conformed, to the person of Jesus, for His Glory Alone (Soli Deo Gloria)! This can only take place by the renewing of our minds.
“Holy words long preserved for our walk in this world... they resound with God's own heart oh, let the Ancient words impart...Ancient words ever true changing me, and changing you...We have come with open hearts, oh let the ancient words impart.”
With the renewal of our minds, we will only then carry out the will of our Heavenly Father! (See Rom 12:1-2 / Matt 6:10) The totality of God’s revealed will is laced all throughout the Scriptures! My heart, in kind, resonates passionately with what John Piper said, “What God values most is our holiness in every decision, not in the precise decision itself!” If we are truly honest with God and ourselves, we are a self-absorbed people devoted to succinct details rather than being focused on the God of the details. To make holy, God-pleasing decisions, we absolutely must be people of the Scriptures! Some will say, “Well, I am no Hebrew/Greek scholar.” The reality today is that we actually possess and have access to a plethora of tools and resources to help us delve deep into the Bible as to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15, again 2 Peter 1:20). Even in our present day, many children are learning the likes of Shakespeare as early as kindergarten and first grade. Catechising our children or our church members is therefore reasonable and should be without excuse, regardless of age. What we want directs, and is, what we do! The Word of God is living and powerful to every generation! We either believe God’s word is powerful to transform lives or we don’t. If we truly believe that Scripture is the supreme authority over the church and that it is totally sufficient and clear, then we will get into the Word of God! Actually, Pastor Paul Dziadul said it correctly, “We don’t need to get into the Word of God, rather, the Word needs to get into us! Praise be to God for His potent Word, preserved for His Children to be “conformed to the image of his Son!”