Why (and how) we should “grow up in Christ”; growing in both knowledge and love.
The first of three sermons answering the question “Where can I find God?” In this sermon we learn about God revealing himself in his created World but we are warned to be careful to worship the creator himself and not created things.
The Bible is very comfortable with the idea that you can talk to God. Depending on the Bible version you look at ‘prayer’ is referenced over six hundred and fifty times!
If you could not be present, what factors would you find helpful to establish the truth of an event today?
What place should the Bible have in a Christians life? Any tips?
An essential Christian discipline is to read or listen to the Bible regularly through the week. It would be a shame if the secular news cycle had more of a voice into your life each week than the Word of God.
The battle to put the Word of God before the word of the world is ongoing. Each time you read or watch the news (an activity which in itself is not wrong), you subject yourself to the opinions of the journalist who is accountable only to an opinion that makes news! Our secular press are rarely accountable to anyone but their ratings – it is not difficult for truth to get lost or skewed in the pursuit of a growing readership.
How is it that the Bible arrives in the form we have it?
The Apostle Paul, along with Timothy, writing to the church in Thessalonica said:
‘we thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe’ (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
The word received, was handled down by God through those who had first heard it and their job was to tell others.
Of course that begs the question – how can the Bible be from men but really from God? How can we be sure that humans who spoke and wrote actually have the spoken and written word that God wanted them to express?
The clearest way to know God is to listen to what he says!
One of the first things that we learn about God in the opening Chapter of the Bible is that he talks. ‘In the beginning God created’ and how did he do that? By his word ‘And God said: ‘Let there be light’…., and then God said: ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters…, and then God said: ‘let there be sky’… and so it goes on for seven days (Genesis 1:1-2:3).
Each of the special acts of creation come about by the word of God. What he creates is new and wonderful and he does that by uttering his words.
If the significance of that is lost on you, give it a go! Test the power of your words. Create something by your words and only your words – ‘Let there be a ham sandwich’! How did you go? I think I can guess!
Christians are people of the Word – the written and spoken word. I am not saying that Christians are just bookworms, but I am saying that at ground zero, a Christian is shaped by God’s Word. It informs, it motivates, it comforts, it rebukes, it sharpens, it directs and does so all by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you have just become a Christian you are faced with this big volume of 2 testaments, 66 books, 1189 chapters, 31,103 verses and you may think – is it worth it, how do I read it, where do I start?
And if you have been Christian for a while, then you may recognise the struggle it often is to read the Bible regularly and well – to let the Bible work on your heart and change your mind and apply to your behaviour. In short, to shape your life.
They are good concerns.
Yet, without the Bible, a person will struggle to grasp the fundamental Christian truth that while they were still a sinner, Christ died for them (Romans 5:8). Without the Bible it is impossible to understand what it really means to be Christian.
Don’t run away from the Bible – ground yourself with it!
For more in this Series:
Listening to the Word
Grounded in the Word
God makes himself known – look around!
God makes himself known – look at ourselves!
God makes himself known – look his Word!
How can the Bible be from men but also from God?
What does a Christian do with the Bible?
How can I trust that what was written down in the Bible is reliable?