Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

BY LARRY ARROWOOD

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not beard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:13-15

One of the dangers affecting our society today is the absence of the Word of God as a basis for Christian living. On a recent trip to France, I was somewhat surprised by the blatant immorality: bookstands and billboards boldly promoted the latest porn cover girl. Yet France has a predominantly Christian religion. Its magnificent cathedrals
(Notre Dame included), with beautiful steeples dotting the panorama, proclaim the Christian faith. Stately castles house their own chapels. Religious artwork abounds. But symbols of Christianity do not save us, nor are traditions of the Christian religion sufficient to hold back the flood tide of sin. Yet, in the midst of such immorality, I met some
wonderful Christian people. What made the difference in their lives? It was the preaching, believing, and obeying of the Word of God.

In the beginning, mankind had communion with God as He “walked in the garden in the cool of the day.” (Genesis 3:8) After the fall of Adam, a lustful heart often rejected the created conscience of man. Genesis records, ‘And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” {Genesis 6:5) Paul shares the end result of such action: “Because that, when they knew God. they Glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever Amen.” (Romans 1:21-25)

God’s call of Abraham and the giving of the Law to Moses were to restore hope to mankind. It is the Word of God that resurrects the consciousness of sin and keeps us desiring the way of the Lord. The Bible is the primary means of keeping sin in its proper perspective–as being sinful: ” . . that sin by the commandment might become exceeding
sinful.” (Romans 7:13)

There is concern for the church today that would try to operate without the Bible as the sole rule of faith and as the means of doctrine. Many churches have replaced the Word of God with various concepts of faith, worship, and doctrine:

We want God without the Word, We want visions more than the sermons,

We want a symbol of God more than the scripture of God,

We wear a cross around our neck, but we do not want to bear the cross of Christ,

We want to be like God without any change from the world, and

We want the good feeling of the gift of the Holy Ghost without regard for the cost of the gift.

Without the Bible as our sole rule of faith, we create what has been referred to as a manageable God: He is not necessarily what the Bible says He is, rather, He is what we have created Him to be in our minds, thus we manage Him. This is the subtle reason there is an insistence that the Bible and the Ten Commandments be kept out of our public school and government system. Without the Bible there is no conscience of sin; without a conscience there is no guilt of sin and ultimately no need of the Savior.

False doctrine abounds in the Christian faith because it is established on a basis apart from the Word of God. Consider this statement written in a book designed to reinvent the doctrine of the trinity. “The mere fact that this concept is not used from the start in the doctrine of the Trinity (neither in the New Testament, nor among the early Fathers) is of itself not yet a matter of concern.” (The Trinity, Karl Rahner, The Crossroad Publishing Company, New York, 1998) And the same writer proclaims, “AII ecclesiastical utterances, each according to its degree of binding authority, are, of course, valid and constitute a part of the systematic doctrine of the Trinity….” Such an attitude allows room for a manmade religion. And the same holds true in the Apostolic church if we do not have a strong teaching of the Word of God. No wonder Paul wrote to Timothy and instructed “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim
4:1-4?

The commitment of every parishioner should be to:

Let the pulpit preach the Word of God rather than for the favor of man,

Bring your Bible to church,

Study it at home,

Fall in love with the Word of God, and

Believe and obey the Word of God.

You may not always enjoy a certain personality or leadership style, but
love the ministry for preaching the Word of God.

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE INDIANA TRUMPET, SEPTEMBER 2001, PAGE 4. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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