Letting Christ Transform You From The Inside Out
The Bible defines the WORD of God as the following:
Jesus is the visible expression of God himself.
In John 1:1-3,14 the apostle John writes the following, which clearly defines JESUS as the Word. He says that Jesus was with God "in the beginning" of creation and that Jesus was God.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made. Without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it. The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of truth and grace." (NIV)
In 1 John 1:1-4 the apostle John again refers to JESUS as the Word. This time he calls him the Word of Life.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (NIV)
In Revelation 19:11-16 the apostle John writes about the glorified Jesus as the Word of God.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (NIV)
Scripture = is defined as that which emanates from inside of God and comes out of His mouth.
The Holy Scriptures are God's voice in written form and are to be used to equip us for life.
In Matthew 4:1-4 - Satan waits for an opportune time when Jesus is very physically weak to go and tempt him to question God. Jesus answers the devil by using a verse from the Holy Scriptures (i.e. the Old Testament of the Bible). The very scripture he quotes is one that actually explains what he is doing here. Jesus tells the devil that people are to live their lives feeding from God's Word. Thus, the Scriptures are to be what sustains us. Jesus uses the Scriptures as a weapon here to shield himself and to rebuke the devil. To Jesus, the Scriptures were the written word of God and the truth that guided his life. The in-depth Bible study on the Word of God details more about the Scriptures being used as a sword and weapon of protection.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' (NIV)
In 2 Timothy 3:14 - 17 Paul tells Timothy, his helper, to look at the Sacred Scriptures to understand salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He tells Timothy that these scriptures are very useful. They are "breathed from God"; they come from God's mouth. They expose us to truth and equip us to live the abundant life God has planned for us.
But don't let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother's milk! There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (Message Bible)
The following passages of the New Testament reinforce the usefulness of the scriptures in teaching one another, in understanding our own hidden motives, and in being a standard by which we can define truth.
Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (NIV)
Acts 17:10-12 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. (NIV)The following letter from the apostle Peter reinforces what Paul said above in his letter to Timothy: the prophets of the Old Testament did not make up their predictions about Jesus (the awaited for Messiah); rather, God spoke through them via his Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20,21 We couldn't be more sure of what we saw and heard—God's glory, God's voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You'll do well to keep focusing on it. It's the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it's not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God's Word. (Message Bible)
Jesus role models what the Holy Scriptures teach. Thus, Jesus and the Holy Scriptures, when considered together, give us a more accurate understanding of God than just one or the other.
Jesus' words and perspective on life are to be the filter through which we look at life.
The Holy Scriptures point us to Jesus as our Messiah, Lord, Teacher and Role Model. They explain his perspective and the principles behind his actions.
Jesus shows us the actions that accompany the victorious and abundant life God intended for us from the beginning of time. Jesus is our role model.
We need both Jesus and the Holy Scriptures to have a complete picture of life.
In John 5:39-40 Jesus rebuked the religious leaders by saying -
"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." (NIV)
The purpose of the Old Testament Scriptures was to lead people to Jesus as the awaited for Messiah and King. It is through his life that we see how our lives were intended to be lived. His perspective on life (and on the Holy Scriptures) is what we should seek to understand and embrace. He role models what a relationship with God looks like. He role models what deep and meaningful relationships with others look like. His character shows us what God is really like.
He rebukes the religious leaders of the day because they really "missed the boat" in this!
For centuries men have not understood the underlying principles of the scriptures. Jesus came and shed light on the Holy Scriptures. He showed us God's heart "behind" what was written. Without looking at the scriptures from Jesus' perspective, many have distorted God's words and God's image!
Whenever man uses his intellect/reasoning ability ALONE to understand what God has written and refuses to humble himself and seek God Holy Spirit's insight on the Scriptures, God will prevent man from understanding them and will even cause him to become "blind" for a time UNTIL he repents of his independence from God.I believe this is why Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, was "blinded" temporarily on the road to Damascus. He was "literally" blinded but this did wake him up to the spiritual blindness and pride that had led him to actually promote the deaths of a number of Christians. He accepted God's humbling and did eventually accept Christ as His Lord and Messiah. He embraced the purpose that God had chosen for his life!