Reflections on the Word of God
Reflections on the Word of God
How may are really born again? How many are truly born of the Spirit? truly indwelt by the Spirit? truly guided by the Spirit of God through the Word of God? Alas, so many here are proud of their 'sound doctrine' without having the living experience - the experience of being 'born from above', and 'walking in the Spirit'. What has gone wrong with modern evangelical Christianity?
We live by the word of God as it speaks to us. The Bible is not merely a book of doctrine, but it is the living word of God - to meet every situation that we face in life, to supply every need of ours. Therefore we kneel before the word of God and pray, 'Lord, speak to me, for You have the words of eternal life.' The word that God speaks to you in your Quiet Time is life and strength and blessing... But do you have ears to hear? Only a truly born again child of God is given ears to hear the still small voice of God.
When the word of God is preached, it becomes either a word of grace or a word of judgment. What is your attitude to God's word? The moment you hear God's word, you become responsible. The gospel is proclaimed; you either accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord, or you don't. You hear the word and understand it; you must either accept it, or reject it. Postponing your response, after God has spoken to you, amounts to rejection. Light rejected becomes darkness. The word of God refused results in a hardened heart.
God's word has the potential to bear much fruit. Not only the fruit of the Spirit, the graces of Christ-like character, in Gal 5:22, 23, but also other fruit, such as [i]. souls saved through your preaching of the gospel; and [ii]. saints strengthened through your ministry of the word in church. The fruit of the tree is for God's glory and for blessing to others. Is that three-fold fruit seen in your life?
I've been meditating on the Sower Parable, the key parable regarding the word of God. It is also the parable of the soils, the soil of the human heart. We have four categories of hearers of God's word: i. the hard-hearted; ii. the shallow-hearted; those with a divided heart; iv. those with a good & honest heart (the open-hearted, the humble-hearted, the ones with a really NEW heart!)
The parable of the sower tells us of man's responsibility. There is God's sovereignty; there is also man's responsibility. Matt 13:10-17, especially 12-15, makes that very clear. The Jews, God's people, were saturated with God's word through the prophets; but their hearts were resistant to the Gospel (Acts 28:23-27). They rejected Paul’s message, and brought condemnation on themselves.
People are fond of these little capsules of doctrine, one such being the Five Solas. They seem to be under the erroneous impression that believing in the Five Solas is equivalent to true faith. You can believe in all the right doctrines, and yet not have real, living, true faith! True faith comes by revelation; true faith reveals Christ and receives Christ. It has to do with the Person of the Lord Jesus.
The word of God and the Holy Spirit are closely linked. Read Col 3.16 with Eph 5.18, 19. The first passage begins, Let the word of God richly dwell within you... The second passage says, Be filled with the Spirit. Then follows in both passages the identical portion: 'speaking to one another in psalms & hymns & spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your heart to God'. The Spirit of God cannot be divorced from the Word of God. Pentecostals and Charismatics, beware!
Only when we receive the gospel - the word of salvation, the word of grace, the word of eternal life, the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1.12) - can we proceed to receiving the full value of the entire Word of God. You can spend years in a seminary studying the Bible, but of what use is it if you don't receive Christ, if you don't have Christ? Pastors and preachers need to realize this. I've seen many pastors and preachers and teachers in America and elsewhere who clearly are NOT born again. If Christ comes into your life, it is a radical severance from the world, and a continual crucifixion of the flesh, and an utter humbling of the self.
Can you say that the word of God is to you like milk (1 Pet 2.2), bread (Deut 8.3), meat (Heb 5.14), honey (Ps 19.10, 119.103), gold (Ps 19.10, 119.72), light (Ps 119.105, 130), fire (Jer 23.29), the seed that bears fruit (Luke 8.11) and a sword that pierces into the depths of your heart (Heb 4.12)? A genuinely born-again person, who is walking with the Lord all the way, can say Yes to all those nine comparisons!
Do we know that the Word of God is eternal (Isa 40.8, Lk 21.33); imperishable (1 Pet 1.23), pure (Ps 12.6), tested & proved (Prov 30.5, Ps 18.30), powerful (Jer 23.29), and full of life (Jn 6.68)? It is a cleansing word (Eph 5.26), sanctifying word (1 Tim 4.5), reviving word (Ps 119.50), strengthening word (Ps 119.38), healing word (Ps 107.20), comforting word (Ps 119.76), and a restraining and protective word (Ps 119.9,11). It has so much goodness and grace that truly we CAN live by 'every word that proceeds from the mouth of God' Matt 4.4
'The word of OUR God stands forever.' Isa 40:8b. I don't think many have noticed the pronoun. It speaks of a personal relationship with God. How does He become OUR God? Through the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the Way, John 14.6; He is the Door, Jn 10:9. We must receive Christ, the Living Word, before we can meditate upon and receive the Written Word of God.
Matt 13:5-6. The seed that fell on rocky places, had no depth of soil. Underneath there was rock; it was difficult for the roots to penetrate. Deep within our hearts lie hidden prejudices: of caste, creed, color, country, background, upbringing. The Jew remains a Jew; the Greek remains a Greek - and there is' no oneness in Christ. These (the rocky places) are superficial, 'easy believers', in whom the cross has done little work.
The word of God...piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow...' Heb 4:12. Joints and marrow? No sword can divide like that! Going down into the very marrow - into the very depths of a person. 'And able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.' The Word must expose us with its blazing light. That's what real preaching does. Read 1 Cor 14:25.
- Further Spiritual Reflections
The Blessed Life There is a Christian life which, when compared with that experienced by the majority of Christians, is as summer to winter; or, as the mature fruitfulness of a golden autumn...(Enjoy these reflections!)
- Observations on the Christian Life
The story of the wedding at Cana. We learn some important lessons. i. Invite Jesus. If He hadn't been there at the wedding, it would have ended in shame & reproach for the bride and groom... [Be enlightened by these observations; grow in grace!]