“The Authority and Sufficiency of the Bible”

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When we begin to look honestly at our own lives, and in our churches, we must confess that Biblical Christianity is certainly at a low-ebb in our day. Now, why is this so? Well, there are many reasons for this: Our own indwelling sin, the man-centeredness of our pulpits and worship services, religious self-deception, chronic prayerlessness, a lack of instruction about and living out the spiritual disciplines, the absence of true revival in America since 1858, failing to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), etc., etc. … Put very simply, a shell of religion usually overshadows the church when we become weary in the every-day spiritual battle. At such times, repentance, holy resolve, and the pursuit of godliness become very hollow, or non-existent. 

However, many protestant church-goers today say that nothing is more precious to them than God’s Word, yet they live their lives as if God has never spoken (Matthew 7:21-23). They have learned to live double lives: one life which says, “Jesus is Lord!”, while the other life rarely consults God’s Word for living Monday-Saturday in this sin-soaked world (2 Timothy 3:5). Then, as soon as they or their children become depressed or hyperactive, they run to the “professional” instead of the one who must give an account for their soul (Hebrews 13:17). At such a time, their first thought is not, “I must go to God’s Word or one of our church’s leaders for counsel”; but, “what pragmatic, blame-shifting path can I take to not make me feel that I have not been a consistent and spiritually-competent Christian, spouse, or parent.” This morally and spiritually wicked practice of giving God’s Words mere lip-service while exchanging them for a lie (Romans 1:25), is no more clearly seen than in the modern church’s reception and integration of modern psychology into its ministry. The sad result is the church’s wholesale rejection, in every sphere, of the absolute authority of God’s Word for both its personal, familial, and body life. How long ago did this shift begin to take place? It began when pastors, church leaders, and those in the pew everywhere, began to think that the immaterial part of a human being can be better understood by psychology, rather than through God’s Word. And the sad result has been the spiritual-crippling of today’s visible church. Biblical Counselor Davis Powlison nailed it, when he said, “The Church [has] lost that pastoral skill ... [which] knows people, how they change, and knows how to help them change.” Beloved, it’s time for all evangelical churches to return to the Word of God as its starting point for all faith and practice. Our Lord said this, in so many words, when He proclaimed, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). It’s time to see the Word of God for what it truly is, the mind of God, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13). And dear believer, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)! In conclusion, let us draw near to God, first, by taking heed to our heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our public Worship service, both through our praises and prayers to Him, with God’s people; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria! Happy Reformation Year 500!!

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