Your word is a lamp to my feet
Volume 02, Number 20
In this issue:
I love the study of evidences. The more we dig and search, the more we build a proper case for believing in our Creator. The study of evidences is the collection of proofs that point to a great power, beyond our limitations, that caused us-and all that we know-to be. Psalm 19:1-6 declares the use of proofs as evidence for the Creator.
Now, all that being understood, our knowledge gathered from the Creation alone is limited to "there is a power beyond our limits that created all of this". That is all we can possibly know. However, our Creator is also a Communicator, who has not left us to wonder. He has revealed to us the knowledge that we could not know with this revelation. We call this great source of information the Bible. There are many things that we only know because God gave us the word, but these three in particular will be our focus today. Let's consider these points from the Scriptures, that we cannot know without the word of God.
We Wouldn't Know God
The trees, the rocks, and the rivers all demonstrate a Creator, but not one of them identifies the Creator. Any reasonable and logical approach to the world around us should lead us to want the identity of the great power that made us. Without the word this pursuit is hopeless, we need more than the natural world to provide the answer we seek.
Our Creator, in infinite wisdom, reveals Himself to us through the word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:17-25). Through the word, our Creator identifies Himself as God (Genesis 1:1; Genesis 15:1). We learn that the Godhead is made up of all those who are God-the Almighty Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (All clearly seen in Matthew 3:16-17). Through the word, we learn of God's eternal nature (Hebrews 9:4; Revelation 4:8). His omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). His means that His directions, warnings, and promises are always true.
We Wouldn't Know God's Warning
Throughout the Bible, the God of Heaven seeks to save the souls of His creation. He provides warning and instruction, so man to prepare and be prepared. One thing we clearly learn is that God follows through with His warnings. In the days of Noah, God warned of the coming destruction (Genesis 6:11-13). It happened just as God said (Genesis 7:20-23). The earth and all its inhabitants, except Noah and his family, were destroyed. When God determined to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt, He warned them about the tenth plague (Genesis 11:1-6). God gave instructions so they might choose to be prepared (Genesis 12:3-13). It happened just as He said it would (Genesis 12:29-30).
There is an incredibly important warning for you and me, in the New Testament. God warns us concerning the end of this world (2 Peter 3). We must not disregard or mock this warning (2 Peter 3:1-7). We cannot know when, but we must trust that it will be just as God warns (vs. 8-09). God will destroy the world with fervent heat-all that we know will be consumed (v.10). With the warning, God also revealed instructions, and right now is our time to prepare (2 Peter 3:11-18). We prepare ourselves by taking on "holy conduct and godliness". Maintaining our forgiveness [being "…in peace, without spot and blameless…"]. And also, growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Trusting in the word leads us to understand that the last warning has been given-there will be no more- it is in Revelation 22:20. Just like all of God's warnings, our warning will receive the same follow through. The destruction will come.
We Wouldn't Know God's Plan
Yes, God will destroy the world and perhaps that scares you, but He has a plan for us that we would not know without the word. God wants us to have Heaven as our everlasting home (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). The plan is revealed in His word (John 8:31-32). We must read and study the Bible to know what is expected of us (2 Timothy 2:15). We are to look for the instructions, the examples, and the evidence to learn God's plan.
What is the plan? The plan is referred to as "the gospel" in the Scriptures (Romans 1:16; Acts 8:25). The record of Jesus, His life, His teaching, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, His ascension, the instructions in gaining what He provides for us-this is the gospel, the message of Jesus (Acts 8:35). We must have faith in what Jesus has done for us and what His plan expects of us (Romans 10:13-17). We must repent of the sins in our life (Acts 2:38; 2 Peter 3:9). Sin is what took us away from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23a). We cannot intentionally continue on in sin and also continue in the plan (Romans 6:1-2). We must confirm our belief through our personal confession of Jesus Christ the Son of God (Romans 10:8-11). This point of belief is required to move forward in the plan (Acts 8:36-37). We must be baptized in water, for the remission of sins. Following the clear teaching of the Scriptures (Mark 16:16). Not just any baptism, a specific baptism is needed (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 19:1-5). We come up out of the water with a fresh start.
Cleansed from our past sins (Acts 22:16). We regain the newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). We must purpose to shun the sins of our past and maintain the new way of righteousness (Ephesians 4:17-32).
Far too many refuse these scriptural facts in God's plan. God has warned us of the end and instructed us as to be prepared-He will follow through, and we must too.
We need to know more than "some great power beyond" Truly we need to know more than the fact that God is. What we need to know is what our current relationship is, to our Creator God. What God expects from us. What we should expect from Him.
God has shown us His power in the natural world all around us, but even more through His word. He has told us who He is and what He expects. God has clearly warned us that this life is temporary. God has given us a plan and the ability to follow His plan. Do you trust the word of God? The apostle Paul said, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). Why are you waiting?
The Bible never flatters its heroes. They are portrayed "warts and all!" We
tend to look at the heroes of Scripture as super human beings, incapable of
sins of any consequence. But we need to understand that the men and women of
Scripture have feet of clay, and when the Holy Spirit paints a portrait of
their lives, He's a very realistic artist. He never overlooks, ignores, or
denies the worst i. e., their dark side is not painted over.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 05/13/2023
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.