Category Archives: Bible

God’s Word as a means to fellowship

Fellowship

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

How can we have fellowship with God?  We know that we’re called to fellowship and that it’s spiritual in nature, but how do we arrive at that kind of relationship with God?  There are two major means by which we can really fellowship with Him.  One is His way of speaking to us and the the other is our way of speaking to Him.

God chose to reveal Himself to us through Jesus, the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).  His Word became flesh in the person of Christ (John 1:14) and since we don’t live in the time when Jesus walked the earth, what we have is the written Word of God.  This is the inspired, God-breathed, revelation of the Lord to mankind.  He speaks to us by means of the Scriptures.  If we want to hear from Him, we don’t need to look for signs or perform rituals.  We need to read.

Contained within the 66 books of the Bible are God’s answers to life’s questions, His outpouring of love, His story of redemption, His offer of forgiveness, His character and His will.  Searching with the intent of knowing God more intimately will lead to deeper fellowship with Him as we hear Him.

For such a time as this

Esther 4:14  For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Sometimes it’s amazing how things come together.  Our position in life, our finances, even our forgetfulness or laziness can all be used by God at the precise timing and for the exact purpose He has called us to. Queen Esther lived this out when she had been chosen as queen during a time of great struggle for her Jewish people. One of the king’s officials was trying to wipe out all of the Jewish population and Esther’s uncle urged her to make a plea to the king on their behalf.  In this time the king had to extend an invitation before anyone could enter into his court.  The uninvited could be punished by death unless the king extended his scepter to grant them immunity.

Esther was justifiably nervous to approach the king and face death, but her uncle reminded her that she didn’t just wind up in this high position.  It may very well be that God placed her there for the exact purpose of approaching the king to plea for the lives of the Jews.  It was no coincidence that she had been shown such great favor by the king.  Esther knew Mordecai was right and decided to make the move, knowing that she may die in the process, but confident that this is why she was there at this time in this place. The story ends well and Esther is not killed for entering the king’s court uninvited and her people are saved. What an amazing story and God orchestrated it all.

This can be the case in our own lives as we see things unfold one bit at a time to reveal a bigger plan.  It’s theses small things that are a testimony to just how much God is at work in our lives, using even the most seemingly insignificant details to bring about His purpose.  Don’t ever doubt that God is working in you and through you.  Sometimes even when He doesn’t let you know it, He’s doing something bigger than you could imagine in your life.

Infallible

God’s Word

Numbers 23:19  God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Not only is God’s Word without error, but it’s incapable of error.  Because the Scriptures are inspired by God Himself and since He is without error or fault, so too is His holy Word.  Because He is perfect and makes no mistakes, the Bible cannot contain mistakes.

Now is when you ask, “But what about all of the different translations we have today?”  Yes, there are many translations and interpretations of the Bible some with particular agendas.  So how can they all be without error if they do not say the same thing?  This is where faith comes into play.

God’s inspired Word was given to the authors of the original text and therefore this is completely inerrant Scripture.  Throughout the years, we’ve translated the text in all different manners and changed the way His Word is presented.  The truth is that the Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).  We’re naked and exposed before God on account of His Word.  No matter who translated it, God’s Word does not return void.  It will accomplish whatever purpose the Lord has for it (Isaiah 55:11).  We need to worry less about what man is doing and rely more on what God is doing.

He’s working in the hearts of people through His Word, regardless of what version they pick up to read.  What may seem like corrupted versions of the Bible can still be redeemed by the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who read it.  He will have His way.  No translator is going to thwart that.

Inerrant

God’s Word

 Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Once one has established that the Bible is divinely inspired, breathed out by God, the next logical conclusion is to consider it to be without any errors.  This can only be the case if God is Himself without error and if He is the author of Scripture.  As previously stated, it can be argued that God spoke the words verbatim for biblical authors, that He gave them inspiration as to concepts, or that He gave them the words to summarize in their own way.  In any event, the human author is capable of error, but God is not.

One of God’s attributes is perfection.  His holiness, the quality of being “set apart” and transcendent, gives Him the right to set the standard of what truth is.  God is incapable of lying because truth is based on what and whom He is.  Because He is also omniscient, He is not able to make mistakes.  He knows all things, even events that have not yet happened.  Because of this, He is the only one capable of authoring a text free from errors.

God’s Word is trustworthy because it contains no errors, as it comes right from the mouth of the Lord.  He is incapable of error, infallible.  And His Word is infallible as well.

Inspired

 

God’s Word

 

2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

 Our understanding of God and our view of His Word, the Bible, are closely related.  When we view the Bible as anything less than the divinely inspired Word of God, we tend to get our theology, what we know about God, from other sources.  Sometimes this leads to false ideas in our heads about who God is and how He works.  Taking a closer look at the Bible as one of the core necessities to Christian belief, we have to start with inspiration.

Scripture is “breathed out” by God.  There are many theories as to exactly how the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the 66 books contained within the Bible, ranging from actual verbal inspiration to the writers getting an idea of what concepts to write rather than the exact words.  No matter the view you hold on this part, what’s important is that you believe the Bible came from God rather than just from man.  Yes, He used people to write the Scriptures, but that makes it even more amazing that this book contains so much of God’s revelation of Himself to man.

In order to believe many of the other essential doctrines of Christianity, you must start with believing that God chose to reveal Himself to man through His Word.  The entire Bible is God’s message to us.  Though there are parts that are harder to understand than others, the Bible is the way God chose to speak to us and we have to make it a point to learn what He wants us to know.

Sufficient

God’s Word

 2 Timothy 3:15-17  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

If God’s Word is inspired, contains no error, is incapable of error, and has authority over all matters pertaining to God, is it then not also sufficient for all things?  What more do we need to add to the very breath of God, His self-revelation to man?  But we do it anyway.  Though God has already spoken to us in His Word, we try to desperately to find other sources of authority to put our faith in.  We seek answers from anywhere and everywhere, sometimes passing right over the one place where we can find them.

The Bible is one story, not a series of disconnected events that w’re supposed to make sense of.  There is a purpose behind exactly which writings made it into the final book.  There is no more to be added to it.  No more needs to be added to it.  It’s a finished work.

The book is closed.  God has spoken.  Everything we need to know about Him has been revealed.  Everything we need for salvation is written on paper that it might be written in our hearts.  The Lord said what needed to be said and now it’s up to us to listen.

Authoritative

God’s Word

 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Though God may use any way He pleases to speak to His creation, He chose one main method.  In the Bible we find God’s self-revelation to man, His letter addressed to us that we might know Him.  If we want to know what God thinks about something, here it is before us in His Word.  If we want to know more of who He is, what His character is like, we have answers.

We can have a tendency, though, to ignore this very important method of communication.  We go around searching for God’s will or “feeling” what He’s telling us without any regard for what He’s already said on the matter.  When we think or feel something about God or His will, we should consult His Word to see if we’re in line with it.  If we feel something contradictory to what God revealed of His character, we’re wrong.  Because the Bible is inspired by God Himself it has the authority on all matters.  We can’t say that we think our feelings or thoughts are correct if they’re not in line with Scripture because this is God’s primary means of communicating to us.

The neglect searching the Word in favor of trusting in ourselves is bad enough, but to read it and then disregard it because we think we know better is even worse.  The Bible stands the test of time as the authority above all others in regards to God and His ways.  It should not only guide our moral standards, but lead us loving others and worshiping our Lord.

Jesus is greater than Moses

Hebrews 3:3-6 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

If there was ever a man who had earned God’s favor it was Moses. The one chosen to lead God’s people out of slavery and into the Promised Land had many flaws, like you and I do, but altogether he lived a life devoted to the Lord. And yet still, the author of Hebrews wants us to know that even Moses doesn’t stand up in comparison to Jesus Christ.

There could have been lost of examples here. Jesus is greater than David, Abraham, or even John the Baptist, but the author of Hebrews had good reason to make a distinction using Moses. To this Jewish audience, Moses was the guy. He was the one that wrote much of the Old Testament, primarily the books that Jews consider most holy, the Torah. It was Moses who received the ten commandments straight from the hand of God. It was Moses who handed down the Law and it was Moses who led God’s people out of Egypt. He was kind of a big deal in the Jewish religion and many of these early Christians had once been Jews. They knew Moses. The author of Hebrews wanted to acquaint them with Jesus.

The point to take away here is that no one, regardless of their standing can even come close to Jesus. Moses gave God’s Law to the people, Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Moses plead with God not to destroy the people, Jesus gave His own life as a sacrifice so that we wouldn’t face destruction. Moses led God’s people out of slavery, Jesus came to truly set us free. If Moses did it, Jesus fulfilled it. He’s greater than Moses. And everyone else who has ever walked the earth.

Jesus is greater than angels

Hebrews 1:4-14 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” And, “You, Lord, laid the  foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

The author of Hebrews goes out of his way to make the point that Jesus is greater than the angels. Why do you think that is? For the Jewish worshipers hearing this message, it was commonplace to hear of the works that angels do on behalf of God. They are His ministering spirits, His messengers. Before Jesus, the message of God to His people was entrusted to angels. In the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God’s message was on display. God appeared in person instead of sending His message through His workers. Jesus isn’t God’s messenger. He’s God’s message.

The angels were sent to serve those who were to inherit salvation. Jesus is our salvation. Angels serve the King of Kings. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is no one else higher, no one else greater. Even the Father has not counted himself higher than the Son. He has elevated Him to the throne. He has made the name of Jesus the name above all names. It’s to Jesus that every knee will bow on heaven and on earth, not to angels. Even the angels will fall down before Him in worship and sing praises to Him.

We get caught up in a lot of religious things and that can include putting too much emphasis on angels. Angels are good. They’re God’s servants. But they’re not God and they’re not worthy of worship. Jesus though, Jesus is worthy of all worship. He’s the one to whom the angels answer.

Jesus is greater

Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

Have you ever read a really great book and just wished you could interact with the author? I mean, what’s better than actually being able to go right to the source with your thoughts, your questions, and to just really get great insight? What if you could do that for God’s Word?

The great news is that you can! The author of Hebrews tells us that just as God spoke to the prophets of old through direct messages, He spoke even more clearly in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is “the exact imprint” of God’s nature, meaning that anything God ever wanted us to know about himself He told us through Jesus. His character, His works, His words, all of Jesus’ life was a message. He was and is the Living Word of God.

What could be greater than getting to know God in the flesh? Nothing. This is made clear to us through Hebrews and in other books of the Bible like Colossians. There is nothing we need to know about God that we can’t discover through His Son, God with skin on. So if you really want to know God, study Jesus. Get to know Him in a real relationship. If you seek out the truth, God will reveal it to you.

Nothing is greater than Jesus. If we spent a lifetime learning about Him, we would still never discover the depths of His being.