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Thinking of God

The Bible teaches us God’s Word

“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.” That’s the advice given by author John Stott in “Authentic Christianity”. It’s good counsel, since it’s based on what the Bible — “the Word of God” — teaches about its contents. The Bible claims to be from God. But I imagine you believe that. (If you’re among those who aren’t convinced The Book of books is from God, please examine its nature and claims carefully, because if it is, you desperately need to know that.)
Jesus told his apostles before his arrest, “… the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jn. 14:26) Beginning in Jerusalem at the Jewish feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), they taught all who would listen that “God has made Him both Lord and Christ” (Messiah — “anointed” — Acts 2:36). Verbally, as well as through correspondence, to individuals and groups of Jesus’ followers, the apostles and prophets of the “new testament” (or “will”) sought to educate others in what God wanted them to believe and how he wanted them to live. Preachers and teachers of the word continue that task today, seeing themselves accountable under Jesus’ command and promise to his apostles: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mk.16:15-16)
The apostle Paul assured the young preacher Timothy that “All Scripture is inspired by God [lit. “God-breathed”] and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
God wants His followers to be amply prepared to survive the devil’s repeated attempts to spiritually destroy them.     Additionally, he desires that we succeed in our “good works.” This is why, following His encouragement to “work out [their] salvation with fear and trembling,” Paul assured these Philippian Christians that “…it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13) God Himself is working “in” Christians, enabling them, through His grace and their obedience of His will, to be saved from sin and accomplish what God has for them to do, as faithful and trustworthy servants. (Cf. 1 Cor. 4:1-2)
If you think John Stott is too strong in his assessment of the Bible’s place in our lives, hear the writer of Hebrews, who, in an effort to impress his readers with the same urgent message, said:
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (4:11-12)
More on this topic next time. Thanks for the read.
    Larry Sheehy is the preaching minister at Statesboro Church of Christ. He can be reached at (912) 764-5269 or sborococ@frontiernet.net

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