We live in a world that is morally fluid in so many ways. For example, The Word of God, the Bible says in Genesis,
Genesis 1:27 (ESV Strong’s)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
But today mankind is the only creature who cannot tell the difference between a male and a female. Because of the fluid nature of our modern life, we now have male, female, not sure, confused, and haven’t decided yet!
Even the very vocal homosexuality community are in complete confusion about gender, as represented by the alphabet soup they now liable themselves with.
LGBTQQIP2SAA+ –Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Questioning, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, 2 Spirit, Agender, Androgen. Asexual, and Ally… They keep making stuff up and don’t know who they are!
This fluidity is also evident in other areas of modern life, such as morality, politics, etc., and even in the church, sadly the basics tenants and doctrines of church life and what we actually believe is at times fluid.
HAS WHAT WE BELIEVE BEEN CORONERED?
Although the pandemic has eased and lockdown is over, many Christians are deciding to stay home and not come back to church. They prefer to avoid getting dressed, fighting traffic and interacting with real people and instead sit at home in their PJs eating breakfast and watching a sermon on YouTube.
As I have said before, there are far better preachers and more spectacular worship online than we can provided here at Ignite, but they are not your tribe. When you go to a school play, there might be more popular, more talented, better looking kids in the show, but you are looking for your child, because they are yours. This is your home, and your people, which is what makes it special. TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer and John Macarthur might be good preachers, but they don’t know who you are.
Part of the pandemic hitherto unrecognised is that people, even pastors, are starting to compromise basic, established beliefs, long held doctrines based solidly in the Bible. It’s a huge concern that any idiot with a camera and a YouTube channel can make someone somewhere believe him!
But I am telling you straight, this church is going to be based on this book. If it ain’t in here it won’t fly here, and whatever we do or believe has to line up with this book.
John 8:31-32 (ESV Strong’s)
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
TRUTH IS ALWAYS TRUTH
If truth is changeable it was never truth! Truth should remain truth, regardless of what society says, what TV tells us, or how we feel. Pre and post COVID, God’s truth is still God’s truth.
Over the next few weeks I want to look at truths we hold as central to our lives, things like the Trinity, Salvation by Faith and other pillars of our faith. I will ask a couple of friends to help me. I’m not trying to bore you, I’m trying to excite you and ground you in God’s truth.
I heard recently of a pastor saying that Jesus was not God, He was just a perfect man. Thems fighting words! The deity of Christ is an established truth to me.
John 18:37-38 (ESV Strong’s)
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
People today are asking that exact question, what is truth? Perceived truth is so fluid these days, it changes every few weeks, so it is not truth at all. Over the next few weeks I want to make sure we are all on the same page… God’s page of truth. My opening salvo in this battle is to look at the inerrancy of the Word fo God.
LOOKING AT SOCIETY THROUGH THE BIBLE
I was once debating a relative of mine, and in frustration he decided to insult me. “The problem with you, Darin, is that instead of looking at the Bible through society, you look at society through the Bible.”
I thanked him for one of the greatest compliments ever paid to me! Yes, I believe we must view all of life through the Bible, not view the Bible through our ever changing, sin soaked, heavily manipulated modern society. As Paul said to Timothy,
2 Timothy 4:2-4 (ESV Strong’s)
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
If you look at the Bible through society, what is says is constantly distorted by what society tells you is the new normal. But if you look at society through the Bible, truth remains unchangingly truth, across every culture and generation.
THE BIBLE IS THE FOUNDATION OF WHAT WE BELIEVE
People often try and massage the Bible into their system of beliefs. They leave bits out they don’t agree with, and try and make it say things it was never saying. People, yes even Christians, start with a belief and then try and find verses to back them up.
Romans 10:17 (ESV Strong’s)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
God’s Word has a purpose, to guide, teach and inspire us. If you invest this Word into your life, it will never be in vain. It will never be wasted, and it will build faith. It is the basis of our life. And our job is to read, understand and most importantly obey God’s Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV Strong’s)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
We are not to try and squeeze God’s Word into our preconceived moulds, but rather to handle it correctly. Here’s a few things we should recognise and all agree on…
1. ALL OF THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD AND INSPIRED
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV Strong’s)
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.
The Bible is truth from cover to cover. You may not understand it all, you may not agree with it, you may not consider it all directly applicable to your life, but all of it is inspired by God. 66 books, over 40 human authors but one divine author, God Himself. There historical books, prophetic books, poetry, letters and gospels, originally written in 3 languages, Hebrew, Greek and a few in Aramaic, but translated into over 690 languages today, selling a million copies a year.
I have heard Christians say they feel the Bible is irrelevant, and that they don’t have time to read it, but that’s like saying you don’t have time to eat because you’re busy starving to death!
2. NOT ALL THE BIBLE IS DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TODAY
All Scripture is inspired by God, in Greek THEO-PHNEUSTOS, literally meaning breathed by God. However, this doesn’t mean all of it literally and directly should be applied today.
Psalms 119:160 (ESV Strong’s)
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
If you consider Old Testament laws, for example, they can be divided into 3 kinds… Moral, religious and civil laws. Civil laws were those given for the Israelites at that time in history, so do not apply to us today. Religious laws are about sacrifices and these were fulfilled in Jesus and thus again do not apply to us. But moral laws, like the 10 commandments, are applicable in every generation and culture, and they form the basis of our judicial system. It is these that are under attack today.
3. THE WORD COMES ALIVE
In Greek there are 2 words associated with the Word of God. Logos and rhema. Logos is used to speak of the written word, and also Jesus Christ as that revealed word…
John 1:1 (ESV Strong’s)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This Bible is logos, the expressed, written word of God. But the really exciting thing is when the logos combines with rhema, which in Greek means utterance.
In the Bible, The logos is the general word of God that communicates his ability to do something or his general will on a matter while a rhema is the word the Holy Spirit quickens to a specific person for a specific situation.
These written words might be inspired by God, but they are just print on a page until you allow the Holy Spirit to breathe His life into them, and then they pack a punch!
GOD’S WORD IS LIVING AND ACTIVE
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV Strong’s)
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
This verse says that God’s Word is living, that is it has breath, and active, in Greek ENERGES, from which we get energetic. It is a razor sharp sword and penetrates to the dividing or separating of soul and spirit. What does that mean?
We are made up of body, soul and spirit. The body is what we see physically, the souls is our mind, will and emotions and the spirit is the part of us that communicates with God and lives forever. This verse says that the Bible penetrates and separates our mind, will and emotions from our Spirit. And in case you’re not getting it, the next bit spells it out.
The Word discerns or judges the thought and intentions of the heart. Have you ever had an experience with God’s Word that made you feel exposed? Have you ever heard it preached and felt like it was directed right at you? Have you ever felt your soul sliced open by the Word, cut to the quick as it were. Like God is reading your life and designed this Word just for you? You might be experiencing this right now!
That’s the rhema word in action. The written word, combined with the Holy Spirit who indwells all who believe, and bam, your life is impacted.
GOD IS SPEAKING THROUGH HIS WORD TODAY, TO YOU
This is why I love the Bible. Every day I get with God in my quiet time and verses jump off the page, as if they are alive and speaking just to me!
Not only do we search God’s Word, but God’s Word also searches us. When we seek to understand God’s Word, we also seek to stand under its authority.
John 6:63 (ESV Strong’s)
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words (rhema) that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
God’s Word is not some 2000 year old story book. It’s not a bunch of antiquated rules and laws. It’s not a book of helpful suggestions or pretty poetry. This is the powerful, inerrant, unchanging, life giving, challenging, inspiring Word of God, and it is here right now for you.
Isaiah 55:11 (ESV Strong’s)
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
God has a purpose for every word, and you can be part of that.
In eternity, most of what we see and experience right now so cease to be. Your house, your car, your job, even your church will cease. Only 3 things remain, and we ought to invest in those 3 things…
God, His Word, and the souls of men and women.
Psalms 90:2 (ESV Strong’s)
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Greek, Apo ainio se aonio
Matthew 24:35 (ESV Strong’s)
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Matthew 25:46 (ESV Strong’s)
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
My challenge to you today is to invest in what will last. God, His Word and people.
THE CHALLENGE… READ THE WORD EVERY DAY!
1 John 2:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
This church going forward is not centred on entertainment or fellowship or worship, although we hope we have all those. No, it is centred on the Bible.
Bible reading plan. And the App.