THE WORD AND ITS WORK
As children of God we are given many blessings, some of which we fail
to engage. One such blessing is our time of Bible study either on
Sunday morning or Wednesday evening. These times are there to encourage
us and also to help us become stronger in our faith as we learn from
one another through study and discussion.
Not one of us knows everything and through the sharing of thoughts
from God's word we can learn valuable truths to help us in our
understanding of God's word and its application to our lives. I
experienced this through the jail ministry and the lesson being
presented by Jim Long. He was speaking on the subject "What The Bible
Demands From Us" and one passage in particular caught my attention
during his presentation.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul records, "And for this reason we also
constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's
message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really
is, the word of God, which performs its work in you who believe"
(NASB). In connection to our discussion last Lord's day concerning the
Holy Spirit, I found this verse extremely helpful in my understanding
of the Spirit and the word and the role they are to fill in my life.
The role and work of the Holy Spirit is highly misunderstood as is
the role and work of the word of God. To begin with we need to
understand the Spirit cannot be separated from the Father and the Son,
any more than the Father can be separated from the Son and His Spirit.
When addressing subjects such as the direct operation of the Holy Spirit
one will find that many will try and get the Spirit to act apart from
the Father and Son. Jesus said this cannot be (Jn. 12:49; 14:10;
16:13). These words are spoken to the disciples in the upper room and
are not intended for the church in general, but the principle applies.
If the Spirit cannot speak on His own initiative with the disciples
(apostles), He will not do it with us either.
The fact that our bodies are to be a temple of the Holy Spirit (1
Cor. 6:19) speaks of relationship and not the function of the Holy
Spirit. If the Spirit lives in us then we are living according to the
truth of God's word, thus growing in knowledge and walking as faithful
children of God. This would relate to what Paul writes in Romans 8:16,
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children
of God..." If we walk according to God's truth, the word, the Spirit
lives in us. If we are unfaithful to God in our walk, the Spirit will
not remain in us, thus causing us to lose our salvation (Ro. 6:1ff;
8:12,13; Ga. 5:19-21: Acts 13:46).
If the Spirit is living in us then we are spiritual people, for God
gives to us His Spirit upon our obedience to the gospel and becoming
clothed in Christ Jesus (Acts 2:38; Ga. 3:26,27). It is at this time
that the Father adds us to the church (Acts 2:47).
If we are being prompted by the Spirit to do any good work, then that
prompting is going to come through the word. Is through the word of God
we receive instruction and godly counsel, for only through the word
does the Father communicate with His children (Heb. 1:1ff). It is for
this reason we are to contend earnestly for this faith, God's teaching,
which has been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). There
is no other revelation to come.
What we learn most of all from God's words is our need to study so
that we can become a workman who needs not be ashamed, but one who is
approved, thus handling accurately, or rightly, the word of God (2 Tim.
2:15). This is the work of the word but that work can only be performed
by us giving ourselves to God's word and the truth it contains. Rodger