Tuesday, March 11, 2008

God Speaking

“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
– Isaiah 66:2

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
– Psalm 119:105

“Whatsoever the Divine Scripture says is the voice of the Holy Spirit.”
- Gregory of Nyssa (c. 372 AD)

“Therefore we yield to and agree to the authority of the Holy Scripture which can neither be deceived nor deceive.”
- Augustine of Hippo (c. 430 AD)

“The Bible teaches what we are to believe about God and our relation to Him, and it also reveals what is His will.”
- E.J. Young, Thy Word is Truth, p. 31

“Christian theology can only claim truth and authority in so far as it conforms to God’s self-revelation.”
- Mark Thompson, A Clear and Present Word, p. 52

Last week I had an email discussion with someone regarding hearing God’s voice. The discussion centered around how God’s voice is heard. For this person they were absolutely sure that God had spoken to them in giving them direction to leave a church. There was no debating it or no possibility that they could be wrong. It didn’t seem to matter that the direction given by God’s “voice” made no sense and was made outside of the counsel of Scripture. In fact, for this person, the logical and biblical inconsistency in it was a sign that it must indeed be God’s voice, because, after all, “God’s ways are not our ways.” It didn’t seem to matter that the Scriptures plainly teach that their direction was wrong. They had been attending a Bible-believing church, there were people that cared for them there, and there existed an accountability framework around them in which they could grow. It didn’t seem to matter that there were trusted and caring voices around them pleading for them to reconsider. What mattered was that they had heard from God, and they must obey.

Earlier last week and prior to this email discussion I found myself thanking God for His Word. I had read a chapter in a book that made my soul soar with thankfulness at the objective truth found in the Scriptures. I am glad we have a sure foundation in the Word of God. Simply spoken, I cannot be trusted to be the sole interpreter of God’s will and direction. The Holy Spirit works in and through the Scriptures. I am not wise enough, smart enough, or spiritual enough to discern God’s leading without the Scriptures. They are a wonderful and safe boundary for my interpretation of God’s will. In fact, they interpret God’s will for me. With the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures alone will make me wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15). I must be constantly aware that if I’m to be a humble man I must submit myself to the Word of God, and to the wise and godly counsel of those around me. In our day there seems to be a desire to “hear” God’s voice, but a lot less desire for the objective Word of God. We may not admit it, but we want God’s will our way and the Scriptures only impede our freedom. We want to be the unchallenged discerners of God’s ‘mysterious’ will, without the counsel and criteria of the expressed will of God in the Scriptures. This is very dangerous ground indeed.

A few months back I read this article on the Desiring God web site and I wanted to commend it to you. It is quite good and encapsulates this biblical perspective I’m speaking of. If you have an opportunity I hope you will read it.
At Christ Our Redeemer Church God’s Word must be the voice of God that we hear. We will end up in all sorts of confusion and error otherwise. Last week a revival began in my heart for the Word of God and this morning as I read devotionally I couldn’t wait to read more and hear God’s voice speaking. As I’ve prayed for you, as members of Christ Our Redeemer Church, I’ve begun to pray that you would love God’s Word more, and that you would hear His voice speaking clearly to you in the Scriptures.

With great affection for the God of the Scriptures.

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