And the Word was Made Flesh
John 1:14 (KJV) 14 And the Word was made 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.
Isaiah 55:7-11 (NRSV) 7 let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 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 succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NRSV) 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
I may have lived too long. When I was a child, we carried our Bibles to church. When the preacher asked that we turn in our Bibles to the Scripture of the day, we did so. There was only one translation used at that time, the King James, and the words of Jesus were printed in red. The Bible was revered as the Word of God.
Today, men and women emerge from seminary with the belief that the Bible’s only role is to lead us to salvation. Once that act is completed, the Bible is no longer relevant, and we should change our thinking about the Word of God, seeking answers from our culture rather than being the change agent in our culture. In fact, we are encouraged to disregard much of the Bible lest we are thought to worship the Bible rather than the God of the Bible. I may have lived too long, because to me, when John said the Word was made flesh, it is impossible to separate the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit from the Word.
I may have lived too long, because we seem to have rejected the caution issued by Isaiah that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and instead have elevated our intellect to a level above God. We seem to have forgotten that Paul told Timothy that these sacred writings not only lead us to salvation, but also is used for teaching, reproof, correction, and righteousness.
In my life, I have come to understand that intentional discipleship, the search for holiness, is not a one-time event. Instead, we must be willing to submit our lives in their entirety to staying in relationship to the Most High God. How is this accomplished? We stay in relationship to God by staying in the Bible. We pray as we read the Word that the Holy Spirit would shine the light of truth upon the words we read, and that our hearts would be quickened so that we can embrace the truth and be transformed.
As a preacher, my job is to proclaim the Word of God. For this reason, when I stand in the pulpit the first thing I do is read the Word aloud. My sermons are based upon the Word–I explain the context of the Word, the author, the audience, and then I relate the Scripture to our world today. If my message is unrelated to the Scripture, then why am I there? To impart my own wisdom?
I believe without stipulation that the Word of God is more than history, although it is indeed the history of man, particularly the Jews. I believe that the Word includes the mystery of how this Holy Word was made flesh, born of a virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus spoke the Word, and when there was a misunderstanding, He explained the Word. I believe the Word was meant for all time and all people, and that Jesus is truly the only way to salvation. I believe.
Father God, we pray that the Holy Spirit will pour out another Great Awakening, where new disciples are made, and those who have taught their congregations that the Bible is no longer relevant will either be given a fresh anointing or be removed from their pulpits. pray that current disciples will stand strong, and will continue to use their Bibles not as weapons, but as guides. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Posted in: Blogs