Friday, March 10, 2006

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less....

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Gal. 1:11-12

"How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery..."
Eph. 3:3

Paul was as he put it, a man born out of due time. He was, as a self professed chief of sinners, one who had persecuted the Church of God with much zeal thinking himself to be doing the will of God. However the time came when he was knocked off his high horse and saw the light of day. The light was so intense that he was temporarily blinded. With his new sight came new vision and a new name. Saul turned Paul now understood that he had in fact been fighting against Jesus Christ Himself, and with this revelation Paul's ministry began in earnest.

The really interesting part of this story is that Paul's gospel was not learned in some school or under the mentorship of some famous apostle or teacher. Rather he emphatically makes the point that it was Jesus Christ Himself that revealed the good news and taught him what to say. Now of course this does not mean that we today should seek for a different gospel. The gospel Paul received was probably of the purest form possible due to the divine intervention he encountered. However there is a principle here that goes far beyond the writing of inspired scripture. We know now that God is not writing new books of doctrine or some new teaching or method, but the principle that impacted Paul is still operating today.

In order for us to really understand and receive the gospel, it must be revealed to us by Christ Himself. While He does not manifest Himself physically to us, nevertheless His Holy Spirit is quickening our understanding by changing or transforming the way we think. It is not enough to simply learn the doctrines and stories, we must have our heart affected by this truth. As the scriptures say, "faith comes by hearing and that by the word of God". The Greek word Rhema is used here for the word of God. This implies not simply written knowledge but that the written letter becomes alive and actively speaks to us by the Holy Spirit. In other words, it becomes real to us and something we now know to be true.

May the Lord continue to open the riches of His Word to us daily, giving us fresh revelation of Himself. Then our faith will not rest in men and their wisdom, but in the power of God.


Kc said...

Great thoughts Jim. No matter how much someone may think they know, when they come to know Jesus then it's all made new. ;-)

Jim said...

Kc, yes truly Jesus is the answer to all of our needs. Praise the Lord.


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Edifying thoughts, Jim.

Bhedr said...

Amen. 1 Corinthians 2 is a good backup too for your line of proper thinking here. Amen.

bobby grow said...

It's true Jim, a person can be the greatest grammarian, linguist, literary theorist, historian--and even provide legitimate textual interpretations of the scripture; but until one's heart is illuminated by the love of Christ through the Holy Spirit none of these interpretations have any significance to such knowledge.

Good article!

Jim said...

Matthew, Bhedr, and Bobby;

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note.

Bobby, I think we should however be diligent to study to show ourselves approved workmen who are not ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth.

God bless,