use it, don’t abuse it

We had another excellent sermon from Craig on Sunday. Before the Lenten series “Signs of Grace” (based on the gospel of John), we finished a sermon series on our Mission Statement (We Exist to Invite Ordinary People to Encounter Christ and Thoughtfully Follow Him in the World). Our new series is on our Values statement–a more lengthy deal, which uses each letter of the word “SHEPHERD” (since our name is “Good Shepherd Community Church”). The first letter, ‘S’, is for “Scripture”.

As Craig pointed out, God speaks to us in 4 different ways:

  1. Through creation (Ps. 19, Rom. 1). All that God makes is sacred, though not to be worshiped.
  2. Through prophets, Angels, and other messengers. God speaks to us through His people–words of healing, of encouragement, of binding the evil one, etc.
  3. Through Christ, the Word (“logos”)–Christ is the Truth, the Word made flesh.
  4. Through Scripture… As Craig says, this is a circular argument because the other three are within this one–mentioned in Scripture. But this is how we know it’s true: by an “external entry”, by the witness of the Holy Spirit. Meaning simply that if we ask for help, it will begin to “ring true“–that’s the Holy Spirit.

Craig then went on to talk about several things to do with the “People of the Book”. For one, we are not really Christians if we do not believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. BUT because we accept the authority of God’s Word, it means that we are free to express it when we find certain things hard to believe–God is big enough to not have to win every argument: “winning” does not prove His authority! (yay!) This is different from some religions, where one is shunned or persecuted if anything at all is said against their Book; and contrary to early Crusaders who did the same thing.

What we need to do with Scripture, as Christians, is USE them, not neglect them (meditate, study, memorize some in order to be able to use them, teach them, and preach /proclaim them); and not abuse them (and make it say something it doesn’t): Scripture is NOT a science book, and NOT a hammer to beat people with.

Craig summed up by reminding us that for the world-at-large, we are God’s word–the only one they might know!

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