Starting With God

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The Bible is book given to real people living real lives in real history.  This is contrary to my habitually assuming that, for instance, when Matthew sat down to record his gospel, his eyes rolled in the back of his head and he foamed at the mouth as he wrote on primitive paper like a ouija board.

This isn’t the case though.  One thinks of the personality all over Paul’s letters.  For example, he writes, “I am speaking as a fool” and “I am talking like a madman” (2 Cor 11:21-22).  We have to ask ourselves when we open  our Bibles, “Am I okay that the Spirit-breathed Word of God includes phrases like ‘I’m talking like a madman,’ and ‘son of a perverse, rebellious woman (1 Sam 20:30)?”

Sinners wrote down the Bible.  Here’s what I mean:  Sinners saved by grace and under the guidance and power of the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead formulated sentences, wrote in their personal style, and selected certain words instead of others.  This is possible because our view of Scripture finds its basis in that the Son of God, referred to as the Word of God, became a man who walked, ate, laughed, told jokes, cried, went to the bathroom, etc.  If we start there, it’s not as difficult to understand how God could speak through stuttering Moses or the elderly John.  What I mean is, these guys were not ethereal beings that floated around.  They walked on dusty ground, and some of them may have had plantar fasciitis and migraine headaches like I do.

The Bible is given to a fallen world, that is, a planet populated by sinful people who need rescue.  Rescue at its foundation is to be saved from the wrath of God against sin.  This is provided by Christ, who was punished in our place.  But rescue is fully manifested the kingdom of Christ engulfs the kingdoms of the world and when the presence of sin is removed and God’s people are brought to Him for all eternity.

Though this communication from God is clear, it is cloudy (to us at least) until full rescue comes.  Because of this, even Christians often doubt the power, goodness, wisdom, sovereignty, and plans of God.  We have to say with the father of the demonized boy, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

Here’s the main point of this post:  Doubt-conquering Christianity starts with God.  There are a few different texts to consider:

  • Genesis 1:1–  The Bible presents all of reality in reference to God.  Moses wrote that first verse in the midst of a messed up world, as if to say, “If we are to make sense of this, we have to start with God as our powerful, good, sovereign Creator.”
  • 2 Kings 19:15- When Hezekiah is facing God-mocking kings, he begins his prayer to God, “O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.”  Hezekiah, when facing crisis, looks to Genesis 1:1.
  • Isaiah 6:1- At the death of King Uzziah, Isaiah sees the LORD exalted on His throne.  This certainly speaks to a world that expects salvation to come from elected politicians.
  • Matthew 16:22-23- Peter rebukes Jesus for predicting His own death and resurrection.  Jesus in turn rebukes the Satanic influence in Peter, which finds its source in “not setting [his] mind on the things God, but on the things of man.”
  • Luke 18:27-  The disciples doubt how anyone can enter the kingdom of God.  Jesus agrees that with men it is indeed impossible, but all things are possible with God.
  • John 3:8-  Nicodemus marvels at Jesus’ words concerning the new birth because he has his mind set on the things of man (see Matthew 16).

Nothing in this world makes sense apart from God.  Do you look in the mirror and think, “There is no way that God would or even could rescue someone as messed up as me,” or “There’s no way anything good could come out of this”?  Certainly, if it was up to us, it would be impossible, but it is not left up to us.  The reason why Jesus’ sacrifice is trustworthy and efficacious to save sinners is grounded in who He is.  He is the Word spoken in Genesis 1:1 that brought light into the world, and He is the Word that brings light into the darkness of our hearts (2 Cor 4:6).  Just think for a minute–Your surroundings, everything you know and experience in this life, makes no sense apart from God in Jesus Christ.  When facing doubt upon doubt upon sin upon sin, “in the beginning, God…”


Written by keywoodblog

March 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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