Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why Scripture? (Part 3) Isn't it good enough to live by the 'Golden Rule'?

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. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

What is Scripture good for? Everything! Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) His words are life!

The problem comes in when we translate His words to human understanding. Isn't it good enough to live by the 'Golden Rule'? No, that's not the point, not the main one anyway.

As humans, we want structure, organization, and rules for conduct, all given with authority. So, we naturally look for those things in the Bible. We are inclined to interpret the Bible on our terms.

I've heard some people use the word 'BIBLE' as a cute acronym intended to sum up its purpose: 'Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth'. Some others say it's all one long love letter, fitting with "For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16) Still others interpret it as a very stern rule book with stiff penalties for the slightest infraction.

What's really going on Scripture for the church age is all about identification. The New Testament contains spiritual information, not human information, for those members in the body of Christ, the church. The key to understanding this age-defining spiritual information is in understanding what Paul called the mystery. The mystery is not salvation, which was known to previous generations. But understanding of the mystery comes through the gospel, the salvation of your soul. (Eph 3:1-5) We must come humbly before His word in prayer to comprehend it, any of it.

To disseminate this pertinent information, He has created a system of evangelists and pastor/teachers (2 roles, 1 person) for the growth of His church (Eph 4). God's word is intended to transform us by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). It's to help us understand how we are in Christ and Christ is in us (John 14-17). It is knowledge of His ways that makes us distinctly Christian, not good and moral behavior.

But, we must accept His word, His teaching, His reproof, His correction, and His training in righteousness on His terms. Can you imagine what it means to be a New Creation in Christ, where the old has gone and the new has come (Gal 5:17)? If not, turn to God's word with all humility and prepare to be delighted to find out just how much He has prepared for you.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)

Once you are born of the spirit you are saved. Your salvation is now 100% His responsibility, and nothing will snatch us out of His hands. Once saved, the issue is not the maintenance of your salvation, it's growth, from the milk of the word to the meat of the word, maturity in Christ. Don't confuse complex concepts as meat just because they're complex. You may not be ready for meat until you have fully assimilated the milk. That's okay! Let God's word, with the help of the Holy Spirit, gently guide you into all truth (John 16:13).

Will you submit to His word, rather than the common misconceptions rampant in the world?

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