Here is an interesting passage from a book I’m excited to get and read. The book is all about the Bible and what we know to be true about it (and how we know it). The book is called “The Doctrine of the Word of God” and it is by a guy named John Frame (who was one of Pastor Jeff Black’s teachers in seminary!). This is from the first chapter, and remember the context is that he’s beginning a book on getting us think about our relationship with scripture. I was encouraged by this because it was reminding me that the Bible is, in fact, how God speaks to me.
“Imagine God speaking to you right now, as realistically as you can imagine, perhaps standing at the foot of your bed at night. He speaks to you like your best friend, your parents, or your spouse. There is no question in your mind as to who he is: he is God. In the Bible, God often spoke to people in this way: to Adam and Eve in the garden; to Noah; to Abraham; to Moses. For some reason, these were all fully persuaded that the speaker was God, even when the speaker told them to do things they didn’t understand. Had God asked me to take my son up a mountain to burn him as a sacrifice, as he asked of Abraham in Genesis 22, I would have decided that it wasn’t God and could not be God, because God could never command such a thing.
But somehow Abraham didn’t raise that question. He knew, somehow, that God had spoken to him, and he knew what God expected him to do…[And] if God is God, if God is who he claims to be, isn’t it likely that he is able to persuade Abraham that the speaker is really he? Isn’t he able to unambiguously identify himself to Abraham’s mind? Now imagine that when God speaks to you personally, he gives you some information, or commands you to do something. Will you then be inclined to argue with him? Will you criticize what he says? Will you find something inadequate in his knowledge or in the rightness of his commands? I hope not. For that is the path to disaster. When God speaks, our role is to believe, obey, delight, repent, mourn—whatever he wants us to do. Our response should be without reservation, from the heart. Once we understand (and of course we often misunderstand), we must not hesitate. We may at times find occasion to criticize one another’s words, but God’s words are not the subject of criticism…
That’s the biblical story: a story of God speaking to people personally, and people responding appropriately or inappropriately. Scripture is plain that this is the very nature of the Christian life: having God’s word and doing it. Jesus said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:21). Everything we know about God we know because he has told us, through his personal speech. All our duties to God are from his commands. All the promises of salvation through the grace of Christ are God’s promises, from his own mouth. What other source could there possibly be, for a salvation message that so contradicts our own feelings of self-worth, our own ideas of how to earn God’s favor?”
Those of you who are adept at baking, please feel free to bake your own batch of brownies and bring them along to the outreach on the 20th of this month. They will all go to the outreach with Mark Abrams.
Just a heads up: this Saturday (November 20th) from 9 am till noon we’ll be helping Women’s Ministry pack baked goods which they will use the next day for an outreach with Mark Abrams and Calvary North Philly. Let us know if you’re interested in helping us on that Saturday morning.
Flyers are out for Turkey Bowl XVII. Check out the rules for entering a drawing to win the T-Shirt contest. Give us a good idea, and you could have your drawing on this year’s shirt!