God Speaks

What is the word of God?
The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996.

How do I know that God exists? This is meaning of the second question of the Larger Catechism, and the answer, in brief, is that we know God exists through the light of nature and the evidence of His works in the world. However, because of our fallen nature, not only are we morally corrupted in sin, but our minds are darkened to the knowledge of God. Therefore, God was pleased to give His Word and Spirit, that we may know Him, learn to fear and love Him, and honor Him as our God and Lord.

The followup question, then, is “What is the word of God?” Where do we go to find what God says about Himself, about us, and about how we can be saved from sin and death and reconciled to God?

The catechism is straightforward in its answer, “the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.”

That should settle it, right?

Why then do people continue to search for God as though they were without at witness? Why do people come to their pastor and ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” Why do people long to hear God speak, and are so hungry to hear a word, any word, that they will turn to spiritualism and false teachers to satisfy their hunger?

The “spiritual but not religious” crowd will tell you they believe in God, but downplay the authority of the written Word of God. They will trust a “pastor” who will stand up and say, “God spoke to me last night, and here’s my word for you today…” long before they’ll willingly sit under a pastor who opens the Scripture and says, “Thus says the Lord.” They will build their belief about who God is on their feelings and preferences, rather than on how God has revealed Himself in His Word. They will discern God’s will for their lives by following their own heart, ignoring the fact that God’s Word teaches us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

I know of people who have prayed that God would give them a sign that He loves them, cares for them, and is listening to their prayers – wanting something written in the clouds – while their Bible is closed and unread. The Christian Hip-Hop group Beautiful Eulogy writes, “

We prefer a riddle
Dying to see a miracle
While holding God’s diary
Looking for signs

Friends, if you want to know God’s Will for your life, look to God’s Word.

As Justin Peters is noted for saying, “If you want to hear God speak to you, read His Word. If you want to hear Him speak audibly, read it out loud.”

If you want to know what God is really like; if you want to know the power of His love, grace, and mercy; if you want to know the wisdom of God; if you want to know God’s plans for your life; if you want to discern God’s good and perfect will for your life; if you want to know how to live in a way that would please Him and give Him glory…

Look to God’s Word.

SDG

A light in the dark

How does it appear that there is a God?
The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.

The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996.

Man is born in conflict.

As creatures fashioned by, and in the image of, our Almighty Creator God, there is within each of us a desire to know and be known by God, to enjoy the blessing of fellowship with God, and to find in God the meaning, purpose, and direction of life itself.

God has created the world in such a way that all things would point His creation to Him, that we would seek Him out in worship and obedience (Acts 17:27), that we would clearly perceive His eternal power and divine nature (Rom. 1:20), and that we would learn from the Eternal One the purpose of all life (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Not only does this “light of nature” direct us to know that there is a God, but so also does His mighty work of providence, the way in which God orders and ordains all things that come to pass, point us to find him. There is a super-abundance of evidence pointing us to the truth that there is a God who is worthy of our worship, praise, and obedience, so that “the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no god.'”

How foolish we’ve become.

While we have an inherent knowledge of the reality of God, there is also with each of us, as fallen creatures, a blindness of heart and mind (Eph 4:18; Rom 1:21), a refusal to bend the knee, an indignant balking at the Lordship of our Creator. We behold the evidence of the hand of our Creator and merely say, “How sublime.” We put the created thing in the place of the Creator. We turn, each of us to our own ways, and do what is right in our own eyes. We make ourselves to be gods, self-made men. We deny the evidence of God all around us, and we have become fools.

Such is the need, then, for something special to come along.

While the evidence of God is clear for all to see, because of our sinful hearts, the light of nature and God’s works in creation are insufficient to bring us to a saving knowledge of who God is and how we can be right with Him. We need something more. We need God to speak directly to us. And so He does, in the Scriptures. Through the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, the Scriptures were by God “to reveal Himself… to declare His will to the Church… to preserve and propagate the truth… and to establish and comfort the Church” (WSC I.I).

We can give God praise, then, for He has not left us to languish in the darkness of our foolish hearts, but has given His Word as “a light unto our feet” (Ps. 119:105), that we may know God and the salvation He has worked for us in Jesus Christ.