God Has Spoken

 

“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”     – the Serpent

Did God actually say? These four words preface the Serpent’s overture to Eve in the garden. Adam and Eve had received instructions from God on how to please Him and live in harmony in His creation. With these words the Serpent enticed the couple to disobey. With these words the Serpent persuaded humanity to reject His will and succumb to their own desires. With these words all of ordered creation was thrown into disarray and cursed by its Creator.

This question – Did God actually say? – is the most important question for humanity. Not just for humanity, but each one of us as individuals must grapple with this question. Churches – and even denominations – must decide the answer to this question. In fact, every other decision, mission statement, or life-plan runs its course based on one’s answer to this question.

On the one hand, if God has not communicated His will clearly or faithfully, if we have no idea what He thinks about an issue, then the answer is “No, God has not said.” If He has not told us about worship, sin, salvation, love, kindness, respect, murder, war, homosexuality, adultery, divorce, stealing, lying, cursing, honoring, or anything else for that matter, then we are on our own to determine that which is good or bad.

This position describes how the world, and sadly, portions of the church, encounter every decision. We survey the culture, search our hearts, and get in touch with our feelings, and then make decisions regarding everything under the sun. In essence, we have so blurred the truth of God’s word that we rely on ourselves for wisdom and understanding. We set aside Scripture – because we doubt it, because we don’t think it applies, because we don’t understand it, or because we don’t like it – and go with what we like. To steal the old verse, “There is no King in our lives and everyone does what’s right in their own eyes.”

On the other hand, if we believe that God has communicated His will for us clearly and faithfully, then we have a guide for our lives, churches, and culture. If Leviticus 18 represents God’s will on sexuality, then we know that incest and adultery are depravity (17), bestiality is perversion (23), and homosexuality an abomination (22). It doesn’t matter what culture says about it, how we can justify it in our own hearts, or what the Serpent says, God says “You shall not.”

God has given us His word for a reason: that He might reveal Himself (including His will) to us. Therefore, we must seek to know His word and live by it. God has said, and He said it with great clarity. Following His word might set us at odds with our culture, but I’d rather be opposed by culture than opposed by God.
 
In Him,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pastor Jim