We started our series on “Ekklesia: Living as Called Out Ones” by focusing on our worship as God’s people, but now we’re shifting focus to the importance of the Word to God’s people.
There are a lot of different views on how we should ‘interpret’ Scripture. Is it figurative? Literal? Allegorical? Metaphorical? Do we consider syntax, semantics, idioms and genres? Are we free to add to it or take away from it? Is it subordinate to our personal conscience or is it supposed to be the other way around?
But let’s simplify it: we either hold to a ‘high view’ of Scripture or a ‘low view’ of Scripture. The high view believes the Word is real and true; the low view believes it is something else. Our church (and church tradition) holds to a high view of Scripture. It means that we believe the Scriptures are our final authority. It is our go-to source for life and for our church.
We believe the Father has chosen to reveal Himself through His Word: The Written Word (scriptures), the Living Word (Jesus), and the Inner Word (the Holy Spirit). All three testify and work together to lead us to God’s Truth, and they never contradict one another.
A high view means we don’t dismiss it, erode it, forget it, avoid it, edit it, or ignore it. Instead, we gather around it, read it, teach it, preach it, value it, live it, meditate on it, and even love it [read Psalm 119].
Those who subscribe to the low view reject certain parts of the Scriptures they find troubling, undermining its legitimacy in many different ways. But why do we do this? The Father gives us some insight to this, but we have to search the Scriptures to find the answer.
[Read Isaiah 30:9-11; Psalm 50:16-17; John 12:48; Romans 2:8; Jeremiah 6:10]
Here’s the short summary: We want our ears tickled. We want to use the parts of Scripture that fit with our personal agenda. We want to be gods over our own lives. We want pleasure. We want to determine our own good and evil.
Isn’t it interesting that we do the same thing with the Word of God that the serpent did in Genesis 3? “Did God really say…?” We do the same thing now when we make Jesus and His Word subordinate to our own personal conscience. We’ve perfected the craft of diminishing the Word of God.
Jesus in John 12:48 gave us a pretty straight-forward warning about rejecting him or his words. To reject the Word of God is to reject Jesus! He tells us that his Word would never pass away [Luke 21:33]. It is not out of touch; it is eternal. It is not irrelevant; it is life-giving. It is not oppressive; it is freedom. It is not fable or fiction; it is Truth.
The Scriptures are authoritative. I know we don’t like authority, but… The thing is, God’s laws are good (and good for us). His Word is a gift! We don’t need to fumble around in darkness, because He has illuminated our path. And when we submit ourselves to its counsel and obey, it is an act of love (not my words but Jesus - John 14).
The Scriptures are trustworthy. The Father is a word-keeper, and the Scriptures are God-breathed [2 Timothy 3:16-17]. We’ve worked hard the last few years to help our church see the reliability of God’s Word. We’re working to build on a strong foundation.
The Scriptures are powerful. The Scriptures bring stability in chaos and direction in life. It revives the soul, bringing joy and delight. As we embrace the Word (Jesus, Holy Spirit & Scriptures), our life is transformed by the Living God.
The Scriptures deserve priority in our lives. Interestingly, we’re told to ‘hide it’ in our hearts. This goes way beyond treating Scripture as trivia or a mere intellectual exercise. No. We love it. We embrace it. We welcome it. And we infuse it into our lives.