Does God Have Something To Say?
Is the bible relevant? Is it accurate? Does it contradict science? How do I know I can trust it when so many people disagree? There are a lot of apologists who have spent centuries answering those questions, and they are not all in agreement, why? Partly because we parse words and their meanings, and partly because of sin, and partly because man doesn't like authority and seeks to undermine it at every opportunity. He will destroy anything that promotes itself as ultimate authority.
The bible says "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 complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16. There are some assumptions in this verse.
- The Scriptures are accurate and reliable. Paul doesn't try to argue for its authenticity or infallibility, he assumes that to be true.
- The Scriptures are relevant. Identifying not only what he has written, but everything that has come before him through other Apostles and Prophets as having practical application for his readers.
- The scriptures are from God, and as such carry authority above any other written or spoken source.
For these reasons the word of God is a powerful sword against anything that sets up worldly speculations against the kingdom of God. So, how does the word of God help us to stand agains the evil one?
1. It is true. Lies and deception are all around us and it is the only objective truth that gives us an anchor in an unsure world. Some people call it blind faith, I simply call it faith. Faith trusts that an all powerful, all knowing God has a better handle on the workings of the universe then mortal men. Therefore, when in doubt trust what God says is true.
2. It leads us to righteousness not self-righteousness. Self righteousness is believing that by better performance a person is of greater worth. Righteousness is a right moral standing before a holy God. Since we are imperfect we can not obtain righteousness, but Christ bought righteousness for us in his death and resurrection. Through faith he clothes us in his righteousness that allows us to walk in that righteousness every day.
3. The word of God helps us to understand the balance between judgement and forgiveness, wrath and reconciliation, law and love. God has both in perfect balance and displays them appropriately at the right time. His wrath and judgment is against sin and disbelief. His love is for all who accept his righteousness through Christ.
4. The word of God distinguishes the difference between our responsibilities and God's. Vengeance is mine says the lord. Don't judge lest you be judged. Give room for the wrath of God. On the other hand we are to love those who persecute, love those who hate, and do good to those who insult. We are to stand against sin within the household of God, but to offer love and reconciliation to those outside. It is the kindness of God set against his holiness that brings people to repentance, not our self righteous judgment.
5. The word of God gives us a framework for living. It lays down commands and principles that teach us how to relate to family members, to employers, to the government, to the foreigner, to the oppressed, to the hurting, to the widow, to the orphan, to the poor, to the rich, and to God. It teaches what tempts us and what causes disunity. It encourages and chastises. The word of God teaches us what sin is and how to confront it and forgive it.
6. The word of God is ultimately a story of God's love for man, how the relationship was broken, and God's work through history to reconcile the world to Himself. It is the greatest love story ever, and we are a part of it.
God is the jilted lover who doesn't give up. He fights for us even we we shun his advances. He sacrifices in the face of our abuse, and he gives himself even when we rail against him. That is love. Then, when we embrace his love he tells us to go out and do the same; to fight, to sacrifice, to give ourselves so that others will know His love. That's how we stand against the evil one. That's how we maintain the high call of unity. That's how we stand firm in our faith. It's all in his Word. I'm just saying.