Friday, July 17, 2009

"The God Of the Word and the Word Of God"

"Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:7).

"When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat" (Genesis 3:6).

Satan offered to Eve an experience of beauty, pleasure, and wisdom apart from the constraint and consequence of God's "Thou shalt not."

We are also tempted to desire God in personal terms only, and without the command and standard which His Word provides for us. There is no such experience, however, even as the Lord Jesus Christ declared: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). The complexity of our nature demands this dual knowledge of our Lord. Our walk with Him will be living, personal, and real as manifested in us by His Spirit, but also structured, defined and tempered in accordance with the authority of His Word. Our love for the God of the Word can always therefore be measured by our love for the Word of God, even as the Psalmist exulted, "I will delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments, which I have loved" (Psalm 119:47-48).

The New Testament of grace proportionally contains no fewer commands than the Old Testament of law. We are no less called to obey than were the Jews of old. The dynamic of such obedience is fundamentally different, however, as our capacity for obedience flows from God, as well as to Him. The Holy Spirit dwells within the born again believer to motivate and enable our doing the will of God. "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). United with this inner working is the written Word of God which guides, defines and commands for us that path which the Holy Spirit paves. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16. One does not and cannot exist without the other, and we must question any supposed obedience which does not flow from living relationship with God, and any supposed experience of Him which does not motivate love and allegiance to the written Word of God.

"Thy words were found, and I did eat them;
and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:
for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts."
(Jeremiah 15:16)

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