Thursday, July 17, 2008

The importance of the word of God

Have you ever wondered why it is that Christians seem to talk about God's word so much?

I've joined the Men's Bible study group at St Matthew's Ashbury, and we've just started doing the Matthias Media 'Blueprint' studies - a series of 9 studies that look at Christian doctrine. This week's study was on God's word.

There were all sorts of great things we were reminded of, like the fact that God created the universe by his word, he inspires his word, he has made his word available to us in a language we can understand. But the point that particularly struck me was the fact that as we read God's word, not only do we hear about the things that God has done in the past and a bit about what he is like, but we come to know God himself.

For many of us, we don't need convincing of the need for regular reading and thinking about God's word - but I wonder what we think is happening as we do that? 2 Tim 3:16-17 talks about us being corrected, rebuked etc - and that is true. We must look to the word of God for all guidance in matter of faith and conduct.

But I think we need to be reminded that we can go one step more. Not only can we know what God wants for us as we read his word - but we can know God as well. What a special honour that is!

Now before we get too puffed up with our own self importance and we think we can read God's word and 'work him out', we need to make sure that we understand the part the Holy Spirit plays in or understanding.

"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 Cor 2:12-13

The Holy Spirit allows us to know God as we read God's word. Again, what a special honour.

If you are like me, sometimes (OK - more than sometimes) Bible reading can drop off, get squeezed out by those important things like sleeping or watching 'The Amazing Race'. But I was reminded at Bible study as we thought about God's word to again read it to be corrected and instructed, but also to get to know God.

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