Looking Back: 1st Installment

Five Viewpoint articles, two Studies and five Principles — that’s what has been published here since March 8. If you’ve read them all, or even if you haven’t, your head is probably swimming with what might be some pretty strange sounding stuff. You might be confused, or you may be asking this question “What do these things have to do with understanding the Bible?” You probably have other questions, too. So before going any further, I’m going to try to help by recapping some of the more important points that have been made so far.

We’re going to be talking about four topics. Rather than post one long article dealing with all four subjects, I’ve decided to cover each topic with a separate posting. They will be posted in two to three day intervals. The four articles are:

1.  The More Sure Word
2.  Embrace Change
3.  Duality: Everything Has a Flip Side.
4.  Two Realms: Flesh and Spirit

Following these, I will post a fifth article on a new subject … Commonality. Presented below is the first of the five articles.

The More Sure Word

The whole point of all of our discussions was pretty well summed up in the first Viewpoint posting entitled Welcome. God spoke from the cloud on the Mount of Transfiguration, and as a result of His speaking, Peter proclaimed that the prophetic word had been made more sure.

When God spoke from the cloud, He said that Jesus was His son, then He added, “Listen to Him.” The spoken more sure word delivered to and received by a believer is a call to obedience and action. Let me give you an example. The great commission says we are to go into all the world and make disciples. Yet, most believers are not foreign missionaries. Are believers who are not foreign missionaries disobeying the commandment? Of course not! If all were missionaries, no one would be at home to build local congregations. The reason all believers aren’t doing missionary work in foreign lands is that not all believers have heard the more sure word calling them to the foreign mission field. The ones that go are the ones that hear the call. Like most believers, I’ve personally read the great commission many times, but I have never felt led to become a foreign missionary. But I am certain of this: If the Holy Spirit says I am to be a missionary to a foreign country, I’ll be packing my bags. I think most believers feel the same way.

Consider some famous missionaries of the Bible. Abram heard God speak and he packed his bags for an unknown land. Moses stopped to look at a burning bush … he heard the voice of God, and he headed to Egypt. The prophets acted on the spoken word of God … Samuel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and a host of others … all heard the call of God. Then we recall Peter who heard God’s voice about clean and unclean food … he packed his bags and went on the first missionary journey to Gentiles. And let us not forget Paul’s call that led to the spreading of the body of Christ outside of Israel.

While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

Today we have the written, prophetic word … the sure word. We also have the prophetic word made more sure … the word of God spoken to believers by the Holy Spirit.

The spoken word of God that confirms and fulfills the written word, spoken by the Holy Spirit to believers, is the bedrock of the Christian faith. Without it the edification, direction, power and ability to bring lost souls into the kingdom of God is lost, or at best, severely diminished. Individual believers, congregations and the entire body of Christ are either hearing and obeying the more sure word given by the Holy Spirit, or they are being led by their own ideas and schemes.

That’s my Viewpoint, what’s yours? Whether the same or different, your viewpoint is welcome and encouraged. It’s all right for us to have differing viewpoints. Different points of view hasn’t been a problem for the body of Christ. Resolving differences has. Most conflicts over doctrine, practices or beliefs usually end in arguing and division. It need not be that way. We’ll be having an in-depth discussion about proper conflict resolution in the body of Christ at a later time.

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