Thursday, January 14, 2010

Getting the Word Out

Consider this my friends who awake unto righteousness and sin not:

In Jesus' time and up to the time of John writing Revelation some 90 years later, only three ways existed for any Scripture to reach the ears of the world: 1) immediate recipients of the letters, 2) received copies of the letters, and/or 3) heard it through oral tradition. Now consider further that any one recipient possibly received that one and only one letter in his/her lifetime. Given the length of some of the letters (ie. Romans and Corinthians), it is further possible that any one recipient through the most common method of oral tradition probably received only some portion of that letter.

This may seem staggering to some folks today in this world of internet, Tweet, blogging, and the former mass media of printed material. We may tend to think that the Word of God is instantly available to anyone in the world. Sadly, this is not true for many reasons. But just as in Jesus' time, so it is today in many parts of the world. Ancient, slow, limited communication.

Suppose you were around in Jesus' time or even now in some remote place where there are no Bibles, no computers, no cell phones. Imagine right now you are stranded there for some interminable amount of time. What of God's Word will you have with you? How did it get there? Why?

Why so little?

What kind of relationship do you really have with God? Are you One with Him as Jesus prayed for you? Suppose you have just that one fragment of God's Word. Maybe you got it from a tract that contained a few verses. And that's it for the rest of your life. Would you starve to death spiritually?

Or would you thrive because you have a living, loving, passionate, free, and holy relationship with God? Could you love Him just as much without a Bible? I have a missionary friend in China who knows many people there who love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind without a shred of Scripture to lay personal claim to. How is this possible?

God says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." That gospel is clearly spelled out in I Corinthians 15:1-4, "1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

That is the power of God. It saves men from sin. It brings the rightful glory and worship back to God and God alone.

Can you love Him and worship Him passionately with never another bit of the Bible passing your way? The gospel of Jesus Christ has thrived for two-thousand years despite the devil's best efforts to destroy the Word of God. He may be able to destroy the books but He cannot destroy our Lord Jesus because He claimed once for all men, for all sin, for all time, "It is finished." Death has no more power over Him or His adopted brothers and sisters. Sin has no more dominion over us. We are an holy kingdom of priests, saved from sin to worship and serve our living and true God in the beauty of holiness, spirit, and truth.

That truth is the Word of God. And whatever bit of it you have, hide it in your heart so that you sin not against Him. That Word is not just a book. It is the living Lord Jesus Himself, living in you, because He loved you and gave Himself for you. Jesus alone must be sufficient for you to be witnesses unto Him by any means possible.

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