Friday, January 4, 2013

Properly Handling the Word of God

Mat 22:29  But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. Mat 22:30  For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. Mat 22:31  And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: Mat 22:32  'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living." 

While there are some interesting things taught here by our Lord concerning marriage and the heavenly state, I want to focus on what I believe to be the most important point he makes in this encounter.  What he teaches indirectly is how we are to view and use the Bible as we see how he uses the Scriptures.  What we learn is that the Bible is how we understand all that is.  It is what gives us the meaning of reality.  And specifically every detail is to be seen as authoritative.  Jesus says that the tense used in the very first book can be trusted in to base one’s world view.  Specifically he teaches that there is life after death and ultimately a resurrection because God uses the present mode when speaking to Moses.  He says that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were living even though they had been dead for a few hundred years. 

Liberal theology tells us that the Bible at best is men talking about their experience with God and religion in their own words and so you must keep that in mind when you read it.  This is how the first two chapters of Genesis can be denied.  Such books were written long ago by primitive, ignorant, unsophisticated men and so we cannot assume it to be accurate or reliable let along authoritative record from God of reality.  They deny the biblical statements on inspiration.   

But Jesus says something quite different.  Not only did he believe Genesis but he told these men that they erred; they were wrong because they did not know and believe it.   He holds them accountable to study and believe all of what the Bible says and even its verb tenses must be understood as there for a reason.  If we do not do so it will cause us to be unable to correctly understand reality and in turn cause us to be unprepared for judgment.  I always find it amazing for someone to call themselves a Christian, a follower of Christ’s teachings, and yet hold to different views from those that Jesus held.  One thing discernment does is to cause us to listen only to teachers who actually believe what Jesus taught and don’t pick and choose what they will believe.

But do you see what I am saying here?  When Jesus said that man shall live by every word that comes from God there is only one thing he could be speaking of and it is the book in your lap.  And we aren’t left up to trying to follow it in some vague way as if the details can’t be trusted and all we are responsible for are some vague main points.  Every word is given for a reason and we are responsible for it.  For a Christian to think that some general knowledge of the Bible is good enough and that we are free to listen to this world for life’s answers also is a contradiction to what Jesus is saying.  Jesus shows what it is to believe that the Bible is the very Word of God.  God isn’t confused about the universe he created and so he didn’t inspire something full of mistakes and confusion.

So we live by every word from God as our first and authoritative source for truth.  To base your life and eternity on anything else will bring the wrath of God because we don’t understand God as the ultimate source of wisdom.

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