Living Theology #1 – The Word of God

by Garrett Glende

God speaks. The truth is simple, yet profound. As the almighty creator of the universe, the one who has no beginning or end, God did not need to reveal Himself. However, He has indeed spoken to His creation through various means.

There are many different ways in which God has disclosed His word to us. The Old Testament is full of God’s word going forth either by His own speech, personal address to an individual, or through a prophet of His own choosing. We see God’s word in the opening words of Scripture when God says, “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3). Psalm 33:6 declares that “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made…” These passages describe God’s word of decree. God speaks and it is done. He also speaks directly to humans, which we call God’s word of personal address. God spoke personally to Adam and Eve, Moses, Abraham, and many others. Those who listened understood that these were the very words of God and that any disobedience would be to sin against Him. The prophets were also used to proclaim God’s word to the people. He used the likes of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses and others by putting His words in their mouths. Jeremiah tells us that “the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth’” (Jeremiah 1:9). The words spoken through the prophets were equally as authoritative as any other form of revelation.

Each of these methods gives us a glimpse of God’s will, His character, and His nature, yet they all have been perfectly expressed through Jesus Christ, the eternal Word. John speaks of Christ when he writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14). He continues the first 18 verses of his gospel account with a summary of the ministry of the Logos, concluding the prologue with the words, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:18). The Greek term for “made him known” is where we get the word exegesis, thus we can say that Jesus has explained God. This is, of course, the purpose of God’s word being proclaimed – that He might be known.

But God no longer speaks audibly and Jesus is no longer on Earth for us to observe, so we must turn to the written word of God in order to know Him. Thankfully, men carried along by the Spirit have written down for us all that we need to know concerning these things (2 Peter 1:21). Peter calls this word even more sure than his own first hand experience with the transfigured Christ. This form of God’s word allows us to deeply study and preserve God’s word so that it can have a long lasting impact on our lives.

When we read the words of Scripture we cannot look at them as just information about God. It is true that we do find words about God in the Bible, but do we see it as the very Word of God? This will be a key distinction in our mindset as we approach our times in Scripture because it will greatly affect our response to it. An attitude that sees the Bible as an encyclopedia of sorts will undoubtedly result in intellectual stimulation, but it will not affect our emotions. A true comprehension of the doctrine of the Word of God should make our quiet times more than just an exercise of our minds, but it should rather be a time where we seek to grow closer in our relationship with the glorious God who has revealed Himself to us. Emotions should be elicited while reading Scripture because the truths it contains are not just mere facts to be known. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it illuminates our hearts so that we can see the very mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:16).

If we claim that the God revealed in Scripture is more glorious, more holy, and more satisfying than any other created thing, then why do we not treat the means by which He has made Himself known as such? Our hearts should be captivated by the truths contained in God’s Word, yet so often we are drawn to other things. We are provided with a way to know the Creator of the universe, but sometimes we would rather watch the basketball game, update our Facebook status, or get an extra hour of sleep. When we choose these things before God we put ourselves in the same crowd as Israel and its idolatry. So the next time you engage in debate with yourself over whether to read your Bible or – insert whatever seems more important at the time here – may you be reminded that the book you have in front of you contains the very words of God and respond accordingly.

I’ll leave you with Spurgeon’s exhortation: “Drink of the unadulterated milk of the word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man’s word.”

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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