Last evening I spent about two hours with a very nice couple who are trying to find God’s will for where He would want them to worship locally. As they try to find a church, they did something wise, they started to “pick my brain”. Now I realize the “pickins are slim” but it is essential to know where a pastor stands and see if his beliefs have scriptural warrant. But with the differing ideas out there and many in our world adopting a postmodern mindset that says truth is relative ( it is whatever you want it to be, there are no absolutes, etc.) it is wonderful to be able to have God’s Word and tap into it’s power !
For instance, its great to be able to gain discernment as we learn of His Word and follow the Lord. When Paul was winding down his great book to the Romans, he in fact touched on the fact that as we totally give ourselves to Him and allow Him to transform our minds by the renewal process of reading and heeding the Word one of the great blessings is: “that ye may prove (to discern or judge whether something be right or not) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
I’m thankful to God that we can know what He thinks on the issues of the day. One of them we chatted about last evening was drinking alcohol. While I realize some of our medications incorporate this in them, the Bible gives us much to let us know that the use of alcohol for social/recreational purposes is frowned upon by Him. In Jn.2 He had to have made non-alcoholic wine or He would’ve violated His own Word in such places as Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink. . . that thou mayest look on their nakedness.” This is clearly referring to alcoholic wine and there are other places in the Bible where its non-alcoholic, so we can’t say every use of wine means alcohol. We must refrain from how we typically understand the word to how they did then (interpreting the Bible historically & in keeping with the context). Jesus would not have been guilty of giving his neighbors at Cana such wine leading to anything that would be unspiritual in practice or He would’ve contradicted His very Word. I realize also this is something believers are divided on especially these days but the bottom line is, the Bible must be our sole authority for faith and practice or we are left to meander in the dark in our ways. And so every issue must be seriously weighed with Scripture and where it conflicts with our beliefs we must humbly change to what He has said. That is truly following Christ !
I am grateful for the training I was privileged to receive that highly emphasized the value and great power of the Bible. And as a pastor, being taught how to preach plainly what it says in an expository fashion, mining the nuggets in it and allowing God to speak for Himself we have seen God work wonderfully in people’s lives, enriching them spiritually by feasting on what He has said. We celebrate this week the LIVING Word in Jesus’ resurrection, take it to heart and watch how He works in YOU this week !!