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THE RELIABLE WORD OF GOD
by Philip Owen

             Many have rightly marveled at the vision and wisdom our forefathers expressed in the writing of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Nearly two hundred fifty years after its creation and despite the greatest and most profound changes the world has ever witnessed, it remains a document preeminently prepared to guide a free society.  That said, our founders could not have hoped to anticipate everything citizens face today.  And as wonderful as the Constitution is, it is not a perfect document.  The Bible, on the other hand, is in a category all by itself.  Though its most recent words were penned nearly two thousand years ago, it remains, not merely an excellent document, not only a work with viable advice, but a perfect Constitution for men in general, and the church in particular.  Authored by an omniscient God, the Book is more relevant than any book published this year.  Furthermore, it is true, and right, and authoritative.  If we fail to discover in its pages, the answers we need to our questions today, the fault lies with us, not with God’s Book.  God foresaw A.D. 2014.  And the counsel He provided does not have an expiration date.  In His Word, God has given us a good and wonderful and sufficient gift.  This truth includes multiple implications, two of which we will note below.

            We can rely on God’s Word.  “Thy Word is truth,” Christ asserted in His High-Priestly prayer as He faced crucifixion (John 17:17).  If there were ever a time when Christ might have been permitted to question the validity of God’s Word, it was in the moment He, in perfect holiness, complete righteousness, and absolute obedience to His Father, faced the awful wrath of the Father poured out on Him.  But it was in that very moment that the Lord acknowledged the perfection of God (“O righteous Father . . .” He prayed [John 17:25]) and avowed the perfection of the Word (noted above).  In addition, the Psalmist announced:  “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89).  The verb settled may be translated literally as “stands firm.”  If the Word of God “stands firm” in the eternal heavens, surely it is sufficient for today. 

            How wonderful it is that we have a book that counsels us thus:  “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isa. 30:21).  No one wishes to be lost.  No one desires not to know where he is now, or where he’s supposed to be, and how to get there.  An amnesiac confronts a dreadful plight, having “forgotten” who he is, who his family is, where he belongs, and what he does.  But the world is full of spiritual amnesiacs, people who don’t know who they are, what their condition is, or where they’re going.  The Bible, however, supplies all that information to the believer who is ready to believe and accept it.  Because of the Word, he lives confidently in a world secure and full of meaning and purpose. 

            We must rely on God’s Word.  Not only can we rely on the Word, but since it alone is perfectly true, we must rely on it.  Human knowledge and wisdom are fallible; human experience is limited; human emotion is deceptive.  All are false guides.  The moment we rely on anything but the Word of God, we are relying on something that will lead us astray—sooner or later.  In fact, the moment we turn to something other than the Word of God for direction, we have already taken a step in the wrong direction.  The person who relies on fortuitous circumstances or his own native intelligence has set himself up for a fall.  We must rely on the Word of God; it is a more faithful beacon than the North Star ever was to the wayfaring sailor.  We must rely on the Word of God as gills rely on water or the lungs rely on oxygen:  there is not a suitable second choice.  Fish filter water or they die.  Mammals breathe air or they die.  Men live according to the Word of God or they die spiritually.  Do not deny or even neglect this gift.

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