(January 13, 2021) Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, challenges Christians to value and uphold God’s word!
A pastor was announcing the coming marriage seminar to his congregation.
To encourage his people to come along, he said: ‘Don’t worry! The seminar won’t have anything to do with the Bible so it’s safe to bring your friends along. there will be no Bible bashing!’
How misguided can you be! Four important issues to note here…
1. The Bible teaches God’s word, not humanistic reasonings…
This young pastor erred in having such a Bible centre-less seminar in his church.
- People can get humanistic teachings (that is, based on human reasoning) anywhere else.
- But the function of the church is to teach God’s word, not humanistic teaching. (Well, isn’t it?)
2. Bible – the ultimate marriage manual…
That pastor erred in thinking that humanistic teaching could help anyone in the matter of marriage and family relationships. It’s like the blind leading the blind! The Bible tells us that God is the creator of man and woman and marriage and family, not man.
As creator and designer of marriage God ought to know best what a marriage needs to function well, and he has given us the Bible as a book of instructions. We could call the Bible ‘the ultimate marriage manual!’
3. Bible-based Christians are 24/7 Christians…
This pastor and many like him, err in thinking that people outside the church would be attracted to the church when Christians don’t act like Christians! There is a subtle feeling in some churches that to attract the world we should resemble the world just as closely as we possibly can.
It’s time we came to our senses and realised that this is a mistaken idea birthed from Satan, the deceiver himself. Shouldn’t it work the other way around?
People outside the church are attracted to ‘true’ Christianity, to Christians living and acting like Christians ‘24X7’ and not being ashamed of what they stand for. What the world can’t stand are Christians that do not live by their beliefs or that are embarrassed to defend their faith.
Watered down Christianity is tasteless, like a meal without salt! Mahatma Gandhi once said: ‘I would be a Christian if only I could see one.’
4. The Bible is all-powerful…
Sadly in his announcement, this pastor subtly expressed to his congregation that the Bible is not enough, but it is: the Bible is –
- Powerful enough
- Effective enough
- Interesting enough
- Practical enough
- Up-to-date enough…
How sad that this infers that humanistic teaching is all these, and therefore greater than God’s word!
God’s word is alive!
If Christians themselves do not value the Bible at the living word of God, then why bother at all!
Perhaps we haven’t understood yet that humanistic teaching can only ever reach the intellect, but God’s word can reach the heart! God’s instruction manual ‘is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Only when the heart is reached can a life be changed.
It’s not enough to tell couples the do’s and don’ts of communication. Head knowledge won’t necessarily change their attitude towards each other and their marriage. They need to have change of heart to wish to spend time together and be open and sincere with one other. Only a change of heart can save a dying marriage. Humanism cannot change hearts – It can only swell heads.
I’m sure we all agree that the ‘family nucleus’ is severely stressed and deteriorating. If we think we can overcome Satan’s attack unleashed on the family just with humanistic teachings, we are woefully deceived. Is anyone really that clever? Isn’t this the reason the family is in such a mess in the first place? The Bible warns us: ‘Beware lest anyone should cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ’ (Colossians. 2:8).
God’s word is infallible!
Only by upholding the infallible authority of the word of God in our homes can we withstand the attacks of the enemy and even more, grow strong churches because after all: the strength of the church is in the strength of its families!
Perhaps it’s time we ask ourselves: Is the Bible the word of God – yes or no? If not… let’s all go home and forget about churches, missions, and such. But if yes, then for the sake of a dying lost world let us…
- Read it
- Believe it
- Preach it
- Live it, and –
- Share it!
God’s word is needed today
Christians need to value the Bible. It is alive, effective and powerful! Not only should it be highlighted in marriage seminars but the very centre of church services… and its truths, especially its gospel message shared to a world in need!
It’s been said that knowing God is to share God. We’ve just celebrated Christmas with joy is because we know that God sent the gift of his Son Jesus to be our Saviour. But now we’re into 2021 and what about the lost of the world who don’t know God and his love?
- Paul pointed out that… ‘How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?’ (Romans 10:14).
- And Psalm 96:3 calls for God’s people to ‘Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples.’
- Feeling hesitant about what to share? Perhaps we could all take God’s word to Moses in Exodus 4:12 as an encouragement to ourselves ‘Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’
As we move further into 2021, wherever we are we can serve God by sharing his word with others, especially the good news – the John 3:16 gospel of salvation – as we reach out to the lost.
Erica Grace, author of Foundations for the Family, a biblical teaching series suitable for whole congregations, and her husband Chris were missionaries for over 20 years in Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. Link: Mobile 0408 483 358