Power of God's Word to Make us Alive Again
This summer I have taught to the Thursday Morning Men’s Bible Study group a unit on the history of the Bible. As I prepared the lesson packets, I was reminded that the authority of the Word of God begins with God. God is the author of our salvation. Even in Genesis 1 we are introduced to a speaking God. God communicates. Genesis 1 uses the verb “to say” eleven times. Then Genesis 2:16 shows God talking with man. Genesis to Revelation shows a communicating God in the action of communicating. God speaks and light happens. God speaks and relationships happen. God speaks and there is life. When God’s word is absent and placed far from our ears, we find ourselves in the dark about God’s will. Sinful people replace the authority of God’s Word with our own selfish and sensual desires.
If you hold to a view of the Bible as a creation of men and women, then it is just an anthology or collection of writings by people that are limited by their powers to share anything meaningful. People are limited by their own experiences and intellectual abilities to tell you how God is at work in this world. Peter cautioned us from abandoning the apostolic message in this naturalistic manner when he wrote about false teachers, “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:2). We naturally bend the truth to serve our own desires and self-justify our sinful lives.
A supernaturalistic worldview understands that God purposefully speaks into our lives through the Bible. God inspired the writers of the books in the Bible. God speaks into our world his truth. Peter wrote about the character of inspiration, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The Word of God is not limited by the knowledge or experience of people to speak truth for our lives. The Word of God is more grand than anything we can produce from our experiences.
The authority of the Bible is not found in how it confirms my own desires to do what I want or desire. The power of the Bible is found in its ability to be a witness to the will of God. The fruitful use of the Scriptures is centered in the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. I find the Law of God which shows that I fall short of God’s created order and purposes. I am a sinner, and I cannot rescue myself from this truth. I need the truth of salvation that Jesus Christ is my redeemer.
Reading the Bible is unlike any other reading. I become involved in the story that the Bible reveals in the inspired words. God speaks to the estranged world. I find the truth that I am lost and condemned. The Word of God slays my soul. This very same Word of God that reveals that I am dead in sin reveals that by faith in Jesus Christ I am made alive. I am born again through the Spirit to live in the kingdom of God. Faithful reading of the Word of God shows God’s desire to kill my sinful self and to raise me up new again. Become a faithful reader of God’s Word. Discover Jesus who is more than confirmation of your own sensual desires. Jesus is the way, truth, and life.