“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
It is a sad situation to behold when churches that bear the name of Christ reject the Word of God and regard it as mere words of men containing errors.
Churches that view the Holy Scripture as errant and fallible undermine its divine authority and origin. Even worse, these churches deny the power of the Word to bring life to a spiritually dead person, enabling him to believe in Christ, (cf. Acts 13:44-48), and to make him wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15).
An equally distressing phenomenon is apathy toward the Bible and its precious doctrines by many professing Christians. Instead of listening and learning from the Word, they lean their ears and set their minds on various myths and godless philosophies to satisfy their curiosity.
Pulpits and airwaves in our county and the worldwide web have become venues for selling watered-down gospel, self-help inspirational talks, or management techniques on how to grow a church and how to make one rich materially.
Of course, we don’t want that to happen in our congregations. But once we neglect the Word and its faithful preaching and teaching, we are heading to that direction, too.
Once we do not guard the pulpit and examine diligently what we hear from our church classrooms, including online classes, seeds of falsehood and lies of the devil will creep in that will eventually kill the life of the congregation.
Disregard of God’s Word may also manifest in our failure to find regular time for Bible reading and meditation. It even shows in our lack of interest in joining or going to a Bible study.
The way to accept and embrace the Word of Godis to follow the way the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 2:13) and the Bereans had (Acts 17:1-15), that is, longing and thirsting for the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word (1 Pet. 2:2), as it is read, expounded, and applied in public worship. Preaching of God’s Word is of primary importance for God’s people.
As we let that preached Word saturate our mind, we will be constrained by the Spirit of God to act in faith and obedience to that Word. As we patiently read and study God’s Word and let it regulate our heart and mind, God may show the greatness of our sin and misery and He may show us the beauty and majesty of Christ as the only cure for our sin and misery.
God may also lead us to confess and repent from certain sins that we’ve been committing over and over. That Word of God gives us the grace to refrain from doing something morally wrong and destructive, like hurting our loved ones, slandering our brothers, living hypocritically, abusing our freedom in Christ or even blowing our top in rage.
Acceptance of God’s Word would be evident in our lives when that Word becomes part of our daily thought and conversation. As we let the Word ring in our mind, that Word will come out naturally in our praying, in our conversations and interactions with fellow believers or unbelieving friends.
That same Word will bear fruits of love, kindness, joy, humility, self-control, and many other virtues produced by the Spirit in our lives. By filling our minds with Scriptures and praying through the patterns of Scriptures, we will be faithful recipients of the Word of God. That Word will be visible in our character and come out naturally in our behavior.
We hope you enjoyed this post from the “Pearls of the Orient” blog series by Rev. Vic Bernales. Rev. Bernales is an ordained minister in the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church. He pastors the Davao Covenant Reformed Church in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his Master of Divinity at Mid-America Reformed Seminary at Dyer, Indiana, U.S.A.