|Volume 20 Number 4 April 2018||
Basic Speech classes teach that the communication process requires a transmitter who accurately encodes a message and a receptor who as accurately decodes it. (No secret is involved in the coding, just the formulation of the message.) The communication of the sacred Word of God may be so viewed. In the case of God’s Word, the process requires, on God’s (the transmitter’s) part: Communication in Life and Letter.
The Word of God was transmitted by the Word who became flesh (John 1:1-3, 14). He, in real person, in flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14), is the very caring, completely in touch communication from the throne of Heaven. Meditate upon the magnitude of the thought: God not only sent a letter, He sent a life—the very life of His only begotten Son. The Life died for us, the receptors (Philippians 2:5-7). This was no inanimate, uncaring, mandatory letter. This was God incarnate (1 Timothy 3:16). He communicated in person—in the person of His Son.
Of course, then, the message of life was recorded. The Son promised He would send the Spirit (John 16:13). He did (Acts 2:33). Those apostles who received it, and the prophets on whom the apostles laid their hands (Acts 8:14-17), recorded the message of inspiration, the very plan of salvation (Ephesians 3:5-6)! These things were written so the receptors who did not see His life would still believe (John 20:30-31) and be in full fellowship with those who did witness His glory (1 John 1:1-4). God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:3) both in life and in letter.
The fullness of the message (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17) was delivered by the only qualified Mediator between God and man, “the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
The Word also requires on God’s part: A Resurrection. The resurrection was verified by witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) and serves itself as a verification of all that Jesus claimed (Romans 1:1-4). Further, this message speaks to the very soul and deepest needs of man. Men long to overcome death (Hebrews 2:15) and can do so in the Resurrection—Jesus (John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24).
On man’s part, the Word requires: Reaction. Man must not only decode the message, he must live it. Hearers of the Word have no reward unless they are also doers (James 1:22-25). Rituals of worship are no substitute for real obedience (1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:10-17).
The apostle Peter reacted rightly when given a choice to leave the Lord. He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Those words are living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), but they must be obeyed to be beneficial to the receptor.
The Word requires on man’s part: Correction. The Word will pierce the heart (Acts 2:37; 7:54). People will react with obedience (Acts 2:38-41) or anger (Acts 7:55-60), but God’s Word will never return void (Isaiah 55:11). The wise hear the Word of God, allow it to pierce to the soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12) and cause godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:8-9). Then, they allow that sorrow to lead to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). The wise take the letter of the message and make it alive in their lives.
Word of Truth
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). Christians are the first fruits of God. This means that we are special in His sight. The verse above states that we become special through the “word of truth.” God’s Word is never false. It will never lead a person the wrong way.
Proverbs 30:5 states that the Word of God is pure. It is not anything but the Truth. It is not a mixture of some good thoughts and some bad thoughts. It is not a mixture of truth and some things that might be good or bad. It is completely good.
In the Old Testament, this Word of truth is called the Word of the Lord numerous times. Almost everyone agrees that the Word of the Lord demanded obedience. There are many examples of people being punished by God for not following His laws.
Yet, there are many people today who say that the Word of God does not need to be followed. They will say that the Word of God in the New Testament is too hard to understand. Some will say it is in God talk and cannot be understood. They will say that God does not expect us to understand it. These same people say there are no commandments that must be followed today. They will say that if a person has good intentions, then God will accept that person.
However, the verse with which this lesson began is quite clear that there is a “word of truth.” If there is truth, then it must be understandable, because the same verse says it is through this truth that we become God’s first fruits.
Study the Bible. Learn and obey it. Tell others about the Word of truth. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.