|Vol. 14 No. 1 January 2012||
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). We learn from Genesis 12:4 that Abram was 75-years-old when he went on a journey of faith. He went from Haran to the land of Canaan, from a land he knew to a land he did not know, from what was familiar to what was unfamiliar. God had asked him, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s house and go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). God asked, he went: that is faith. Abram’s faith was a faith ready to respond to the Lord’s will, despite the unknown.
If faith can see every step of the way, it is not really faith. So, let us ask a question: “What does this new year hold for you?” Health or sickness? Financial stability or financial ruin? Marriage or becoming a widow or widower? Stronger marriage or the breakup of a marriage? A loved one obeying the Gospel or leaving the Lord? The best year ever at school or work or the worst ever?
The fact is, you do not know exactly what the new year holds, but you do know who holds the future, don’t you? Perhaps we need to be more like Abram: He did not know where his future was going to be exactly, but he did know who held the future, and therefore, he put his trust in God. We do not know what 2012 holds for us. Yet, if someone asks us, “Where are you going this year?” we, like Abram, could respond, “I am not sure exactly where, but I do know that I will go with the Lord and that He will go with me.”
This new year will be a journey of faith as we strive to become more like Jesus in seeking the lost, living out the Gospel and making God our focus. Be sure that your journey of faith always includes the Lord as your companion, and you look to Him for guidance and direction. No matter what this new year may bring, bad or good, make all of your journey on the basis of faith, and He will get you to your destination safely.
A problem the church faces in each generation is the way some view the Bible. Is it inspired? It claims such (2 Timothy 3:16). A key facet of the problem is the way some look at the concept of inspiration of the Scriptures. Some hold the view that biblical inspiration is like when William Shakespeare was “inspired” to write his works. Others believe the Bible to be inspired of God, but think that much of Scripture was “culture oriented” and must be viewed in light of today’s culture. Others claim to believe in the inspiration of Scripture but would allow for things not specifically excluded. In other words, they believe silence authorizes.
However, probably most who read this would say the Bible is the Word of God. If we believe that, we must respect the inherent authority of the Bible. The Bible is the will of God. His will has to be the standard by which our lives are ordered. God is Creator. By virtue of this fact, He has always had authority over His creation. God has delegated all authority in heaven and on earth to Jesus (Matthew 28:18). Since all authority rests in Christ Jesus, all we do in our Christian lives must be done by his authority (Colossians 3:17).
Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would “bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you” (John 14:26). He also told them the Holy Spirit would “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). The apostles would be able to convey the Lord’s will to men under the direction of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Because the words that they spoke were revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, the writers of the Bible could say “not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). They could say, “though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema” (Galatians 1:8). They could knowingly inform us that “the faith has been once for all time delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). They could insist that we not “add to or take from” God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19). They could tell us that the inspired Word is able to furnish us completely unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Since Christ the Lord has revealed His will to man in the New Testament, we must conduct our lives according to His Word. If the New Covenant is not our sole guide in this life, to what then will we adhere? The only other option is the will of men. Would you trust your soul’s eternal destiny to the will of men?