Monday, March 23, 2015

The Truth of God's Word

Authentic Christianity has always held that the Scripture is absolute, objective truth.  It is as true for one person as it is for another regardless of anyone’s opinion about it.  It has one true meaning that applies to everyone.  Every passage has one true interpretation.  Every passage has one true interpretation that applies to everyone in every age. 
The meaning is determined by God; it is not determined by you, or me, or anyone else.  It isn’t determined by you because you feel this is what it might mean.  It isn’t determined by me because I’m some kind of a scholar.  The meaning is determined by God.  It’s like any other truth; it’s like any other reality.  It is reality; it is truth.  What is true is true. 
In no way is any truth in Scripture decided by your experience.  Whether it affects you or doesn’t affect you subjectively has nothing to do with its truthfulness.  Now this deals a very heavy blow to vast numbers of people in professing Christianity who look at the Bible like some kind of a verbal Ouija board and run their fingers in their minds through it waiting for some kind of esoteric impulse.  And you hear people get together in a Bible study and say, “What does this mean to you?” 
Who cares.  Who are you?  What does this mean to God?  What did He say and what did He mean by what He said?  Biblical truth is objective; it is true in and of itself.  Psalm 119:160 says this:  “The entirety of Your Word is truth.” 
Now, friends, the very starting point and necessary foundation for a truly Christian world view is right there.  The Bible is all true, absolutely true.  It is God-breathed.  Every word has come from God.  It is objective truth in and of itself.  It is external to you, and your experience, and your mystical feelings.  If you give that up, you have wondered into non-Christian paganism.  You give up the ground of biblical truth that is objective, and whatever belief system you have left isn’t worthy to be called Christian, even if it has some vestiges of Christian symbolism. 
You see this all the time.  You listen to people talking about the fact that they’re Christians and they advocate Christianity.  Sometimes they say they’re Roman Catholics.  But they’re for homosexual marriage.  You have just eliminated the foundation of Christianity. 
That’s not Christianity.  You have literally taken the Bible, set it aside, and made yourself God.  You can’t pick and choose.  True Christianity begins with objective truth revealed by God.  That’s the first word, “objectivity.”
Second word, “rationality,” rationality.  What does that mean?  That the objective revelation of God breathed into the Scripture can be understood by normal reasoning.  It can be understood by normal reasoning.  Scripture is logical, non-contradictory, clear, subject to mental assessment. 
Listen, there are no errors; there are no discrepancies; there are no contradictions; there are no lies; there are not unsound principles.  I’ll go step further; anything that contradicts the Scripture is untrue.  There are no fantasies; there are no absurdities; there are no avatars; there are no inconsistencies; there are no weird things; there are no myths; there are no allegories.  It is absolutely true, and it is reasonability true and understood by reason in a normal process of using the mind....
The context informs the reason.  The flow of the argument, every passage of Scripture is making a case, presenting truth, and it is reasonable truth.  There are no secret meanings....
If you’re an engineer, or you’re a mechanic, or you’re an architect, use your reason to do your work and come to the right conclusion.  That’s essentially what a student of the Bible does.  I use my mind.  I don’t sit and wait for some special delivery from heaven.  The meaning of the Scripture is the Scripture, and the meaning is there, clear to be understood by the normal process of reason. 
What do I mean by rationality?  I mean that the Bible is to be understood in normal ways.  It is regular language, real people, actual history; and you learn to interpret it that way...
It’s all true and it’s all necessary for life and godliness.  It’s the truth by which all other truth claims are measured.  It’s the truth which exposes all error.  And you only have the truth if you have the meaning right, and that takes a refined mind and a trained mind.  The Bible is not about inducing feelings or emotions, it’s about divine truth....
We are then committed to the truth.  We have to be committed to the truth.  So when we get into dialog with the sinners of the world, whether they’re our friends, or our family or, classmates, or the guys we work with, ladies we work with, or whether or not we’re in the media or wherever we are, we don’t have dialog.  We don’t have dialog.  Why?  Because there’s really nothing to dialog about.  I’m always happy to show up and say, “I’m glad I’m here because I’m telling you the truth.  I’m just telling you the truth.”
Contemporary evangelicals like the idea of dialog because, again, remember now, if you’re going to make the Bible an issue, hostility toward the Bible is natural to sinners.  So modern evangelicals prefer dialog.  They don’t want to clash with every-other idea, every-other world view.  We want dialog.
So what do we do to get dialog?  We minimize biblical authority; we minimize biblical clarity; we minimize judgment.  I mean we do that all the time anyway....
Do we make enemies?  We already have enemies.  God has enemies; Christ has enemies; the Bible has enemies.  Jesus told His disciples, “If they persecuted Me, they’re going to persecute you.  If they hated me, they’re going to hate you.”  But if you know the truth, then you can only speak with authority; you can only speak with author. 
But it’s not really stylist to speak with authority like that; not really popular, not in this particular age.  People like soft words, words that don’t trouble the mind, don’t trouble the heart and leave room for everybody’s opinion.  They see this as some kind of tenderness, some kind of acceptance, some kind of tolerance.  But it’s really the opposite....
One writer put it this way:  “The one who really wanted a tender heart would be calling for a jackhammer.”  Hard words, hard teaching, hard truth is the jackhammer of God and it takes a great deal to break up hard hearts.  And the God of all mercy is willing to do it, but He always does it according to His Word, and His Word is not easy on us.  
Jeremiah 23:  “Is not My Word like a fire?” said the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces.”
When people call for smooth words, easy words, the result is hard people.  When we submit to hard words, we become the tenderhearted of God.  Well, I hate to tell you folks, but we can say it with love, but we’re the jackhammers in the world, to break up the hard-hearted, buried under lies....
We started with objectivity and then we went to rationality.  We understood that that yields veracity, truth, divine truth. That gives us literally delegated authority from God to speak.  And now the noose tightens right around the neck to the point where you begin to feel the rope burn.  Here is comes: truth is absolutely incompatible with error.
To put it in the language of 1 John 2:21, “No lie is of the truth.”  What a great statement:  “No lie is of the truth.”  Truth is in the end – listen – absolutely and finally intolerant.  It doesn’t mean you have to be mean or unloving, just the opposite.  But the truth itself is intolerant.  It is intolerant.
1 Corinthians 16:22, “If you love not the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re condemned.”  Listen, tolerance toward people is good, biblical.  Tolerance toward error is bad; that’s a sin.
God hates lies, doesn’t He?  The Old Testament says God hates lies.  He hates lying tongues and he hates the liars who waggle them.
Isaiah 8:20, “To the law, to the testimony Scripture: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because no light is in them.”  It’s incompatible with error.  So here we are in the world.  They, by nature, like we were once, hate the Word of God.  And we have the truth, and we have to proclaim it with authority and let them know it is incompatible with all error. 
~ Excerpts from John MacArthur, "The Essentials of Handling the Word of God Part 2 
I recently shocked and dismayed a Christian by saying that not only does Scripture clearly teach a literal six day Creation week in Genesis 1-2, but that it is sin to believe in the theory of evolution. Before that I had told a young seminary student that John Piper indeed is not faithful to Scripture because he denies Genesis 1-2 as it states (he holds to the fantasy of theistic evolution --old age earth--and denies God is creating on days 2-6). 
Listen, if people reject the Beginning which is so clearly and emphatically stated, then they will reject other portions of Scripture and it's doctrines as well, since they have already sat in judgment against it and denied the foundational truth of Creation. They have committed treason against God and have waged war on the Word. They are in fact, traitors to the Creator Himself and side with Satan who said in the Garden, "Hath God said?" They allow foolish, God-hating, irrational, and hostile men and women of so-called science to interpret the Holy, living, inerrant, and clear Word of God in order to dethrown His lordship, His kingship, and His judgment. They no longer have a Christian worldview. They have borrowed from the atheists and have a worldly worldview, antagonistic and hostile to God's absolute authority  and pronouncements over all Creation and all people everywhere.

Whatever sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ--anything that is not of the pure, pristine, divine truth, is a lie---is to be rejected wholly as treasonous and from God's enemy, not of the Spirit of God in any way. 
2Co 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 

Ideas have consequences. Biblical truth leads to biblical thinking and biblical living. It leads to living by faith and not by sight. It leads to glorifying God in all things beginning with our thoughts. It causes us to stand back and not walk into temptation and sin. It causes us to be wholly loyal to Christ alone. It protects us from spiritual harlotry, as well as physical adultery. It causes us to love God more and to walk in that love. Lies cannot do that because lies are from Satan, the father of lies.

If we claim to be mature, faithful Christians, or if we strive to be so, we must submit ourselves to the Scriptures and stop arguing against it with ungodly hostility and using the world's arguments as  a way to not only not submit to its teaching, but to disobey it's commands.

1 comment:

johnny rodriguez said...

Good job encouraged by the TRUTH- glory to Father God! !!