Hello Blog Readers!
I thought I would give you a little insight today on some things I believe about the Bible vs. the Word of God. Notice I said that as though those were two different things. I believe they are, and if you read on, you will soon see why.
I would like to share where I am coming from with regards to how I believe Scriptures ought to be viewed. Some people hold the belief that God was in full control when the Bible was written and compiled. My view is that Love does not control.
God is love. The very nature of love is that it never controls another. Control is something the enemy seeks to do to people so that they no longer have any power to decide for themselves - so that he can manipulate and use people, like a puppet on a string. This is not something our God of love would ever seek to do to another human being! That is not the nature of Love.
God is Love and His nature is such that He DESIRES that we be in sweet fellowship with Him. And within the context of that loving relationship, He DESIRES that we listen to Him and do what He says because everything He says and does causes light, life, peace, joy and love to flourish.
He is love and He would never ask us to do something apart from His love. And so we have the magnificent gift of choice always to allow Him to flow in and through us. We can choose to lay down our own desires to do what pleases the flesh, and decide to do what pleases Him. It is a choice we make though, every second, every moment of the day.
It is not like Holy Spirit enters a man and from then on, that man has no choice but to do good and to love as God loves. That would be impossible, for as soon as you remove the choice to love, there is no love. Because love is always a free choice. And God ALWAYS leaves us with that choice. No one can say that God ever seeks to control another. He only asks that we obey and work WITH Him to accomplish His will on the earth. We get to work WITH, IN and THROUGH Him (what a concept!!) just as He can work with, in and through us. This is a love relationship, not a control dynamic.
Just as with any of us who have Holy Spirit indwelling, He is only flowing through us as much as we allow Him to in any given situation. Each moment, with each breath we take and with each and every thing we face, whether it is a cranky complaining child to deal with, or a grocery list to fill at a store, we have a choice. We may allow and let Holy Spirit thoughts reign supreme in our minds, and be led by Holy Spirit motivation, and take Holy Spirit inspired action. Or, we can choose in each of those moments, to think, be motivated by, and to do what pleases our flesh. The choice is always ours.
Assuming you are a reader who loves God and wants to live to please Him only, do you think that you have ever lived out a 24 hr period where you were entirely and perfectly led by the Spirit of God, lovingly being filled with His thoughts, His motivations, and doing the work of His hands and feet - I mean for the entire day, not one moment excepted, fully and entirely submitted to God for that 24 hr period? With not one moment of lapsing into the flesh? Lets say the answer is no, because I would assume such for myself as well.
But lets just say you had a conversation with someone. And you knew, just knew somehow within you, that Holy Spirit was pouring love thoughts of Truth into your mind and the words you were speaking were coming out in a flow of love. And that you were motivated by Love and Truth. Perhaps you even surprised yourself at what you heard yourself say. Would you honestly be able to say, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that God was FULLY and COMPLETELY in control of your ENTIRE conversation with that person? Did you ever feel at any time, that you had no choice over the words that came out of your mouth? Or would you admit that you always had the choice to speak, or not to speak - always had control of your own tongue? And would you also admit that although you felt very led and very inspired, and that you knew Truth was coming out of you, that perhaps there was a bit of flesh mixed in now and then, just because you are an imperfect vessel, still learning and growing in God?
If you would say that Holy Spirit WAS fully in control of a conversation you had with someone, and that you did ONLY speak His words in a spirit of Love, then you have spoken The Word of God and if you are sure the Word of God flowing out of you is infallible, then you have got something pretty special indeed. (excuse my sarcasm)
I think if we are honest, we would have to admit that there are no solid days of complete and total submission and flowing in God's Spirit for any of us just yet. Neither are there conversations that don't have a little of "us" mixed into them, no matter how inspiring they may be.
In order to think that the Bible is the infallible word of God, and was fully controlled by Him as it was written, you would have to believe first of all that "control" is love. Because God is love, and if He controls people, then that must be what love is and does. That totally taking over a person's pen as they write, and not giving them ANY allowance to make mistakes would be love in action. In order for that to happen you would have to believe that God did in fact totally control another person, even for a set time as they wrote the book, not giving them any choice at all over what words were written down.
Secondly, you would have to believe that there WERE people, many people, as many people as there are Bible book authors, who WERE Holy Spirit controlled while they were writing those books and letters. Do you see what I am alluding to? If WE aren't infallible in our writings and speakings and doings, we who have Holy Spirit LIVING on the inside of us, then why should we think that there are "special people", exceptions to the rule, who COULD write and speak infallibly, controlled fully and completely by Holy Spirit?
Everything that has come to us through man has been tainted with man's flesh.
There is nothing man has done, ever, apart from The Man Jesus, that did not have some flaw, some mistake, some weakness, some error mixed in.
If God controlled the people who were putting pen to paper, writing the books of the Bible, then He went against His very nature to do so.
Even if He did control people while they wrote the words, and they took perfect "dictation" from God, then why is it that the writing style is different for each author? Where did those subtle literary differences come from? Wouldn't the writing style be consistent throughout, as coming from One Author? How could man's personality and writing style be included in the Bible (which it is) if God was controlling their pen?
If Jesus had written the Bible, then it would be infallible.
Jesus did not write the Bible. People wrote it, under His influence, under His guidance, and under His inspiration. Just as WE ourselves will write, speak and do things under the same unction. Yet knowing that there will be flaws, when we do speak, write and do things in His name, that is what keeps us seeking and searching for HIM. With a perfect Bible, one would never need to seek the Perfect God who wrote it. One could say he knew it all, just by reading and believing the infallible written word of God. One could get very lulled into thinking they were "right" or "righteous" because they read it, believed it and followed it. Isn't that exactly what the Pharisees were doing whom Jesus called "white-washed tombs"?
But God asked imperfect people with flaws to write the Bible. And in doing so, He has allowed the flaws. Why? So that we would seek HIM. So that we would seek the One Who inspired the book, so that we would get to know HIM and not just His words to us.
If you say the Bible is infallible, you have separated God's Word from the Godhead. You have in essence, said that what He said and who He is are two different things. But the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. His name is Jesus. He is not separate from God, He is God.
You can trust the Word of God who is Jesus, and by doing so, trust God. Or you can trust the written word, which are just words on a page. But you can't trust both. Its either one or the other.
Those who believe the Bible is infallible have added another God to the Trinity. For now there is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and God the written word.
We are to "test every spirit, to see if it comes from God"
We are to "rightly divide the word". What are we to divide it from? To divide it between what words are God's, and what words are man's.
And we are not to use our own mind to decide where man's messages are mingled with God's as we read the Bible. The Holy Spirit is the one Who brings us illumination on these things, so that we can rightly divide the word. It is within the context of relationship with God that we find the Truth. Not apart from it. We have the ability to hear Him on these matters, because His sheep know His voice. And another's they will not follow.
He illumines, through His very character, which is love. And as we get bigger and bigger revelations of His great love, we see the written word of the Bible more clearly and come to understand what passages mean and what He is trying to say in and through them. Through His relationship with us, we get excited over hearing Him speak THROUGH the scriptures, as we get closer and closer to Him.
Some may argue that Satan would love for us to believe that the Bible is not holy. But I say, Satan would love for us to believe the Bible IS holy and infallible. Because then we have no need of Holy Spirit to illuminate what He is trying to say to us. We can therefore falsely assume that we have no need of relationship with God as we are reading it, and no need to divide the word between the word of man and the word of God. Whats worse, we get a picture of God as wrathful, vengeful, violent, angry and as someone to live in dreaded fear over displeasing. Because if you are honest, the entire Old Testament and the book of Revelation, believed as written, paints this view of God.
Worse yet, we then have cause to be prideful - for if we believe the Bible is God's infallible word, then all we need to do is follow it to feel good about ourselves. All we need to do is everything it says and then we have ticked off the list of "must do's to please God" and we can feel awfully self-righteous about that.
God's Word is a Person, and His name is Jesus. God is not printed words on a page. The Word of God IS Holy and infallible, because The Word of God IS God. The Word of God is Jesus. He is our only True face of God and He alone can lead us to see what written words came from Him and what words came from man. Without Him, we can do nothing. We cannot understand the Bible, cannot grasp its' meaning, cannot know God.
When we have Him guiding us, we begin to see the words that are written that contradict His character. We see how the flaws of man have been mixed with words of truth into the written word. And He shows us what we are to cast off like chaff in the wind, and what He wants us to keep and digest - the hearty grains of Truth that become our Daily Bread. The Bread of Life who is Jesus.
Satan WANTS us to completely trust the written scriptures, for in that, there is no room to trust the LIVING GOD who IS The Word of God, who is Jesus.
I believe Satan wants us to doubtfully question God's Word (not the written word, but the Holy Living Word) - in other words, to question Jesus - and to question His Stellar Character.
I believe God wants us to read the Bible with the understanding that it has flaws, just as each of us do. And with that in mind, to turn to Him for help as we read. We are to let our reading of scripture be a time of sweet fellowship with Him. We have the privilege of reading the scriptures and to picture Him reading over our shoulders, pointing to this and that, whispering His Truth to our hearts, helping us rightly divide the word.
The written word is a wonderful gift to mankind. It is a pathway TO The Word of God. It brings us TO Jesus. But it is not on equal par with God.
You and I are a wonderful gift to mankind. We also are pathways for others to find God! We also bring people TO Jesus! But also, we are not God, we have flaws too.
We are living epistles. Imperfect as we are, yet we carry the Living Word of God to people.
So too is the Bible -- imperfect, as it was written by imperfect man, yet it too carries the Word of God to people.
I love to read the written word, the Bible. But I want to listen as I read. I listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit because I know I need Him to discern what I am reading. I want to find the Living Word as I read the written word. For He is all that I seek and long for. He is Love and He is Good. And He always has something life-giving and encouraging and kind to say to me. He can't help it, for He is love. :-) He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! And He is our reward! How wonderful to receive Him - to be embraced by Love Himself. He never ceases to amaze me!
Thanks for coming by Precious People! God bless!