This is part six of a multi-part series on “He Has Spoken,” a study published by The Colson Center. This post discusses the final presentation and discussion in the five lesson DVD curriculum. The fifth lecture and discussion are entitled “Under the Word: Assuming a Posture Worthy of Scripture.”
John Stonestreet’s lecture starts with a popular illustration from Karl Barth. Imagine people in a warehouse who have lived in the warehouse their entire life without a clear view of the outside world. Imagine that a person comes into the warehouse, takes the person outside, and introduces them to the world beyond the warehouse. What a wonderful thing it would be.
That’s what the Bible does for us. It shows us the way things are in the real world; the eternal, spiritual world we inhabit.
If our thoughts about this eternal world are out of line, we are in essence idolaters. We make idols out of our misunderstandings and mistakes that distract us from the things that are. We worship our false ideas of God instead of God Himself in all of His reality.
We must approach Scripture with the proper attitude. We are to approach the text of the Bible: with great humility, with a willingness to repent, with obedience, with others, and with expectation.
This is not our world; this is God’s world. We must be humble enough to know that the story is not about us; it’s about Him.
“The Scripture does not endorse us, it exposes us.” We need to find out where we have fallen short and change our thinking about that sin and let that change of thinking change our actions (repentance). The Bible is not about encouragement. It is about the truth, and that truth should change our lives.
We should be willing to do what the Bible says. Stonestreet reminds me at this point of what the Westminster Confession of Faith says: “By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein; and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come” (Chapter 14, paragraph 2a).
Stonestreet says, “The Scripture were not just given to us, they were given to others.” We should read and study the Bible with other Christians to gain their perspective. Also, we should approach the Bible in view of what the church has taught in history. The historical perspective is important as well.
God reveals Himself to us in the Bible because He wants us to know Him personally. We can expect this revelation each time we read the Bible.
The conversation between Stonestreet and T. M. Moore that accompanies this lecture is titled “Living Under the Authority of God’s Word.” Moore makes several key points.
If we go to the Bible “looking for the wrong thing,” with a selfish attitude we “are not going to find” what we expect. We must go to the Bible with the expectation to see Jesus Christ. He is the main story, and we can find Him “on every page” if we look.
As we see Jesus, “we begin to reflect his image more and more.” Christ creates a desire for a good life within us. We become more like Him. Jesus pushes us outside our comfort zones into the real Christian life.
We must get good habits in place to bring the true attitude toward the Bible to the forefront. Prayer reminds us of who God is (worship) and who we are (confession). We can use one of the 22 sections of Psalm 119 each day for guidance on what Scripture is and how to think about it. Find a schedule that allows you to read daily from both the Old and New Testaments. We should find a friend or group of friends that can discuss what we are finding in our daily readings with us. We should take advantage of resources in our churches to teach us biblical concepts clearly.
One of the strengths of this series is that introduction of practical means for Bible study and reading. “He Has Spoken” is a great resource to spur discussions of both theoretical and practical matters.
I will share my final thoughts in another post in a few days.