The Written Word

The written word is living, powerful, sure, light, life, truth, exalted, fire, eternal, and it is my meditation.

It is the agent of salvation, spiritual growth, sanctification, cleansing, and the Spirit’s filling.

We are to hear it, read it, receive it, believe it, keep it, obey it, teach it, preach it and remember it.

It brings love, faith, hope, joy, wisdom, strength, boldness, growth, conviction, power, healing and judgment.

The written word reveals Christ.

Have you seen Him today?

Living By Faith

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” John 4:24.

Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as the substance of things hoped for (confidently assured of) and the evidence of things not seen. Because God is a Spirit, John 1:18a declares “No man hath seen God at any time”.  The triune God in his divine essence has never been seen by mortal flesh, but all men know he is there.  His law is written upon our hearts.  The heavens declare his handiwork and testify of God’s invisible presence which we see through the eyes of faith.

The source of faith is God.  Faith is a gift from God.  Romans 12:3 says that we are to “think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith”.  Speaking concerning the distribution of gifts by the Holy Spirit, I Corinthians 12:9 says “to another individual – is given faith by the same Spirit”.  Hebrews 12:2 says “Looking unto Jesus (who is God), the author and finisher of our faith”.  

W.E. Vine’s dictionary of New Testament words defines faith as a firm persuasion or conviction based upon hearing.  “So then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17. If you want to have faith or to increase the faith that you already have, then study the Scriptures with a willing heart.  Developing a strong faith is a process of growth in God’s word, line upon line, precept upon precept.

Faith is vitally important.  Faith is necessary to please our Creator. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” Hebrews 11:6.  God desires to give the gift of faith to all men, but he will not give it to those who resist his Spirit.

Saving faith is faith which rests only upon Christ’s merit and work on the cross.  His once for all death, burial, and resurrection give us access to God’s gift of salvation.  Although our works do not factor into salvation, when one is saved or born again, works follow salvation.  James 2:20 says that faith without works is dead.  

II Corinthians 5:17 states “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”  After a person is saved, the things or works that characterized his/her life as an unbeliever fade away and are replaced by new things or works that are characterized by obedience to Christ and His word.  Faith that does not produce “new things” is dead.

In our everyday Christian life, there should be a proper order concerning; what our faith is based upon, our faith itself, and our feelings.  The facts of Scripture always come first.  Our faith is built upon God’s promises, therefore our faith follows the facts of Scripture.  Feelings are last and should always follow in that order.

Sometimes as Christians we do not feel saved, loved, or secure in our relationship with God.  We must always remember that our faith is built on the facts of God’s word (God cannot lie), not our feelings. If we allow feelings to take the lead, our Christian life will take on the roller coaster ride that feelings often do.  We will become unstable and inconsistent Christians.

Hebrews chapter eleven is the “Hall of Faith”. The whole chapter is devoted to hero’s of the faith. There are many familiar faithful listed and some that may be  surprising.  

There are many results of faith.  When faith is properly placed we have access to salvation (Ephesians 2:8&9), peace (Romans 5:1), rest (Hebrews 4:1-3), joy (I Peter 1:8), understanding (Hebrews 11:3) and more. Check them out.

“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).  Faith is a way of life.  It is not a blind leap in the dark.  Faith is founded upon the truth of God’s word.  Faith’s objective is to know Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection.  

If you are not a believer, you should know that “as many as received him (Jesus Messiah), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on his name” (John 1:12).

For Christian Wives

Review “Walking in the Spirit” in this blog.  Submission for both husbands and wives is a characteristic of being filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit.

Review “For Christian Husbands” to get the context of biblical submission for both the husband and the wife.

For wives, God provides only one word-picture concerning submission and it is found in verse 22 of Ephesians 5.  The word-picture is to submit unto your own husbands as the church submits unto Christ.  Please note that it says to submit to your own husbands.

  • Remember, submission to one another is a characteristic of being filled or controlled by the Spirit.  For the Christian it is the result of yielding to God’s word and obeying it.  Biblical submission covers many more relationships than just the husband/wife relationship.  See Ephesians 6:1-9.

Submission is a necessary part of every day life for both believers and unbelievers.  Everyone must obey traffic laws, although some obey less than others.  Working people have a boss to whom they must submit or risk losing their job.  Government is an authority in most people’s lives and there are penalties for ignoring this reality. Authority and submission create an atmosphere of order and responsibility.

The presence of authority and the reality of submission do not make those who are submitting inferior.  When God the Son submitted to God the Father, His submission made the Son no less God than He already was.

  • Those in authority over others have the greater responsibility.

Those in authority will give account for those under their care. They will give account for their decisions that have affected the ones under their leadership.

It is the husband and father to whom God has assigned spiritual leadership.  It is the husband and father who will give account for the spiritual atmosphere of his home and the spiritual training of his children.

Wives should help the husband maintain the spiritual atmosphere and spiritual training, but the wife should not assume this responsibility for the husband or enable him to shirk it altogether.

In my opinion, it is just easier for husbands to give up this responsibility.  Many wives will gladly take the spiritual leadership role from the husbands, but it may very well be at a cost.**

A popular family radio ministry recently put out statistics on how the children are affected when the father assumes spiritual leadership as opposed to when the mother provides the sole spiritual leadership.

The statistics show that when the father provides spiritual leadership, the children are more likely to follow his leadership as an adult.  The father’s role in this area is pivotal.

If the husband and father is a reluctant spiritual leader, the wife must be patient.  Know that God understands all situations. Although it may seem impossible for one’s husband to become a spiritual leader, with God nothing is impossible.  The wife should let God change her and God will use that to change the husband (I Peter 3:1).  Husbands should note that this also works in reverse.

  • Read the book of Esther and take note of how she was used of God to save the Israelites from the scheming of Haman.  Did she make demands?  Was she patient?  How was her patience manifested?  How did she deal with the absolute authority of the king?
  • Make a list of the characteristics of the church’s submission unto Christ (Ephesians 5:22).
  • Meditate on ways to make the characteristics of the church’s submission to Christ, the characteristics of your relationship to your husband.
  • Share what you’ve learned with someone else.
  • Place the list in your Bible and periodically review and revise it, if necessary.

 ** The wife may be perfectly capable of providing spiritual leadership in the home.  She may have been a Christian longer than the husband.  She may be more mature spiritually.  She may know more Bible than her husband.  She may be a better teacher and reader when it comes to presentation and family devotions.  

Why not let her take the ball and run with it?  The answer is simple; it is not God’s order.

So what does a Christian wife and mother do if her Christian husband is not as well educated, gifted or spiritually mature as she?  Provide him with input and respect his decisions.

Even a fool will come to respect the consistent input and wise perspective of one who is always graciously supportive.


The Social Gospel is Still With Us – Part IV

Note:  This is one article in a series which build on one another.  It would be helpful to the reader’s understanding to scroll back and review the previous articles in this series.

A key to identifying neo-orthodoxy is its view of the written word of God.  While neo-orthodoxy speaks the language of Scripture, it does not endorse what the Bible says about itself.  In it’s intellectual prowess neo-orthodoxy discredits the words of the Lord Himself (See Part III). 

The neo-orthodox remedy for it’s destruction of Christ’s credibility is to divorce the historical Christ from the “Word or Logos” of John 1.   The “Word or Logos” of John 1, detached from Scripture, becomes the Christ of one’s imagination.  

The Lord Jesus Christ warned that many would come in His name. The Christ of neo-orthodoxy cannot be the Christ of Scripture, because neo-orthodoxy’s Christ does not, by their own admittance, require the foundation and anchor of Scripture.  

Without the foundation and anchor of Scripture, anyone can make a Christ to their own liking.

It is clear in John 1 that the “Word or Logos” is God; “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” John 1:1. 

It is also clear that the “Word or Logos” is Jesus Christ; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth” John 1:12.  This is not the detached from Scripture Christ of the neo-orthodox; this is the Emmanuel of Matthew 1 “….which being interpreted is, God with us.”

It is clear throughout the Gospels that Jesus Christ endorsed the authority of the written word.  He quoted the Old Testament over and over again.  He resisted Satan’s attacks by rebuking the devil at each temptation with the declaration; “It is written…., it is written,….it is written!”  

Jesus Christ expounded the Old Testament repeatedly to the multitudes as He taught them.  He re-affirmed all of the Ten Commandments but one.  He constantly referred to the OT prophecies concerning Himself.  The Lord continued to expound the OT passages from Moses, the prophets, and all the Scripture concerning Himself, after His resurrection.  

“These (the Scriptures) are they which testify of me” He declared, “and ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” 

Can a man declare his love for Christ in one breath and in the next breath deny His very words?  

  • Let the Lord be the judge:  “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:” John 14:23 & 24a. 
  • Let the written word be the judge: “And this is love that we walk after his commandments.  This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ………..Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” II John 6&7, 9-11.
  • See also John 3:18, John 14:15, John 15:10, & I John 5:1-5.