Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sermon Summary 7-9

The Holy Spirit has been telling me that we Christians need to be spending more time with the Bible. Too often our time with the Scriptures gets set aside for other things, often to the point where we no longer even pretend to have a commitment to regular Bible study. This sermon is the result of that confession:

I believe that my biggest problem in Bible Study was that I didn't understand what the Word of God is. Originally the "Word of the LORD came" to the prophets "saying". Their prophecies gave the people a connection to God and answers to the deepest questions of life. The result of their prophecies is the Bible we have today (2 Pet. 1:19-21), a reliable source of information about God and answers only He can give.

So the Bible is the Word of God, but there's more to it than that, because the Bible says the Word of God is something beyond itself. The Bible says that the fullest expression of the Word of God is actually Jesus Christ (John 1:1-4,14), the Living Word (Heb. 4:12), who shows us exactly who God is. The Bible, the Written Word, is the Word of God to the extent that we find Jesus Christ in it (John 5:39,40), and if we presume otherwise, we practice the Biblidolatry (replacing God with the Bible) of the Pharisees.

Jesus claimed to be the way, truth and life (John 14:6).
I think that the most important implication of this claim is this: If the Word of God is a person than God is a person, not a phenomenon, and truth is relational, not objective or subjective. That's why the Bible is a book of stories, not a philosophy text. And Jesus is revealed through it from beginning to end. If our study of the Bible does not lead us to encounter God through the God-man Jesus, we have not gained anything; but if we experience the Living Word each time we open the Written Word; there will be life changing power in our lives.

If Bible study has become a boring chore for you, give it another shot. As you read ask yourself three questions: (1) How does this bring me closer to God? (2) How does this show me what love is? And (3) How does this power my life? Let the Word of God live in you.

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