Posts Tagged ‘God’s word’

Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 11:04-06 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.

The Corinthian believers were falling for smooth talk and messages that sounded good and seemed to make sense. Today there are many false teachings that seem to make sense. Don’t believe someone simply because he or she sounds like an authority or says words you like to hear. Search the Bible and check his or her teachings against God’s Word. The Bible should be your authoritative guide. The false teachers distorted the truth about Jesus and ended up preaching a different Jesus, a different spirit than the Holy Spirit, and a different gospel than God’s way of salvation. Because the Bible is God’s infallible Word, those who teach anything different from what it says are both mistaken and misleading.

Paul was saying that these marvelous teachers (“super-apostles”) were no better than he was. They may have been more eloquent speakers, but they spoke lies and were servants of Satan.

Paul, a brilliant thinker, was not a trained, eloquent speaker. Although his ministry was effective (see Acts 17), he had not been trained in the Greek schools of oratory and speechmaking, as many of the false teachers probably had been. Paul believed in a simple presentation of the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 1:17), and some people thought this showed simple-mindedness. Thus, Paul’s speaking performance was often used against him by false teachers.     Content is far more important than the presentation. A simple, clear presentation that helps listeners understand will be of great value. God’s Word stands on its own merit and is not dependent on imperfect human beings to create its own hearing. Many people feel that if they can’t sing, speak, teach, or preach as well as their idolized heroes, they are insecure about saying or doing anything.

Lets Bring it Home: Don’t apologize for your inadequacies. Accept your limitations with the same humility that you accept the strengths God has given you.

Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

Paul condemned those who twist God’s Word. Preachers, teachers, and anyone else who talks about Jesus Christ must remember that they stand in God’s presence—he hears every word. Many Christian ministers and leaders twist Scripture in their attempt to motivate audiences. Others take Scripture out of context to promote their own views.

Lets Bring Home: When you tell people about Christ, be careful not to distort the message to please your audience. Proclaim the truth of God’s Word.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God.  It is not a human book.  Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed his person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down his message for his people (2 Peter 1:20,21).  This process is known as inspiration.  The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts.  Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write.  Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing.  Its words are entirely authoritative for our faith and lives. 

The whole Bible is God’s inspired Word.  Because it is inspired and trustworthy, we should read it and apply it to our lives.  The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true.  It is our safeguard against false teaching and our source of guidance for how we should live.  It is our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved.  God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him. 

In our seal for the truth of Scripture, we must never forget its purpose-to equip us to do good.  We should not study God’s Word simply to increase our knowledge or to prepare us to win arguments.  We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world.  Our knowledge of God’s Word is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good. 

Lets Bring it Home: How much time do you spend in God’s Word? Read it regularly to discover God’s truth and to become confident in your life and faith.  Develop a plan for reading the whole Bible, not just the familiar passages.  The Bible is “God-breathed.” Read it, and use it’s teaching to guide your conduct.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 2:8-10  (8) Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my gospel, (9) for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.  But God’s word is not chained.  (10) Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 

False teachers were a problem in Ephesus.  At the heart of false teaching is an incorrect view of Christ.  In Timothy’s day many asserted that Christ was divine but not human-God but not man.  These days we often hear that Jesus was human but not divine-man but not God.  Either view destroys the good news that Jesus Christ has taken our sins on himself and has reconciled us to God.  In this verse, Paul firmly states that Jesus is fully man (“descended from David”) and fully God (“raised from the dead”). This is an important doctrine for all Christians.

Philippians 2:5-7 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!

The incarnation was the act of the preexistent Son of God voluntarily assuming a human body and human nature.  Without ceasing to be God, he became a human being, the man called Jesus.  He did not give up his deity to become human, but he set aside the right to his glory and power.  In submission to the Father’s will, Christ limited his power and knowledge, Jesus of Nazareth was subject to place, time and many other human limitations.  What made his humanity unique was his freedom form sin.  In his full humanity, Jesus showed us everything about God’s character that can be conveyed in human terms.

Paul was in chains in prison because of the gospel he preached.  The truth about Jesus is no more popular in our day than in Paul’s, but it still reaches receptive hearts.  When Paul said that Jesus was God, he angered the Jews who had condemned Jesus for blasphemy; many Jews, however, became followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24).  He angered the Romans who worshiped the emperor as god; but even some in Caesar’s household turned to Jesus (Philippians 4:22).  When Paul said Jesus was human, he angered the Greeks who thought divinity was soiled if it had any contact with humanity; still many Greeks accepted the faith (Acts 11:20,21).  The truth that Jesus is one person with two united natures has never been easy to understand, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

Lets Bring it Home: The truth of God’s Word is being believed by people every day and changing their lives for eternity.  Despite the opposition, continue to proclaim Christ.  Some will listen and believe.