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The claim that God's Word is bound to time and shackled to the culture of its time does not do justice to God's revelation. According to Jesus, the content and the message of the Word of God does not change along with changes in the world. God's Word is always timely. We cannot relinquish this principle. Jesus says of the permanence of His Word: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33). -(LLC Position Statement, Section 1, Item 3)
In this restless and uncertain time two things remain unchanging, God and His Word. This permanence brings comfort and security to those who trust in Him and His Word, which promises salvation in His Son. The covenant God has made with His children is unshakeable, for God, who cannot lie, has both made a promise and confirmed it by an oath (Heb. 6:13-18). The unchanging promise of God and His Word is the source of our hope for eternal life. A living hope such as this provides a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul in this turbulent world. Since the beginning of time God has not changed His will, nor the Word by which He communicates His will, toward mankind. He revealed to the prophet Malachi: “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6), and James described Him as “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
God and His Word Are Inseparable
God and His Word cannot be separated from one another. Scripture bears witness that they are one: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The written Word of God reveals His will and its eternal truth. Even though written by sin-corrupted man, it was authored by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20, 21). Thus attempts to find differences between God's will and His written Word are foolish.
The Word of God is not an intellectual statement but the revelation of God to man through servants He has chosen. It is God who chooses the times and means by which He reveals His will toward mankind: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1, 2).
Old Testament Reveals Promise, New Reveals Fulfillment
It is impossible to understand the mysteries of God or His Word with the powers of reason, for as Paul wrote to the Corinthian congregation: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). Yet the Holy Bible has come under increasing scrutiny and skepticism since the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment. Some parts of it are rejected-even though eyewitnesses have reported them-because the type of proof required by modern scientific methods cannot be found. As a result “enlightened man” has experienced a falling away from God and the teachings of Holy Scripture (1 Thess. 2:3). The Bible is now examined mostly from the literary and historical points of view instead of for its spiritual content and wisdom. Modern man no longer believes that the teachings of the Bible are applicable for this present time of complexity, neither is he ashamed to belittle Scripture and even God.
The God of eternity has not changed however. The God of the Old Testament is the same God as He of the New Testament. The Old Testament reveals God's promise of a Savior to sin-fallen man and the New Testament is the fulfillment of that promise. The Old Testament is more than a historical account of ancient Israel or just an ancient literary work of the kind found in other nations of that time. Rather, the Old Testament is the revelation of God's salvation plan through the history of His chosen people. The everlasting covenant that God established with Abraham and his seed remains and belongs to those who are his children, not after the flesh, but by faith, that is to those who believe as Abraham believed (Gen. 17:7; Rom. 9:7,8; Gal. 3:7)).
God's Word Eternal, Timeless
The Word is not bound to time but is timeless and always suitable for instruction and teaching in life. Grace and the Word of God have always taught the children of promise to avoid sin and to live a godly life in their generation (Tit. 2:11,12). On the other hand, it is he who does not have the light of God's Word who becomes a slave of his generation and is easily swayed by the norms and opinions found in a changing society. Without an unchanging and eternal frame of reference, the life of man is without a spiritual and moral direction. Without God's Word there are no absolutes and one can only live relative to the rest of society. Jesus prayed for His own that they would be sanctified by the truth of God's Word (John 17:17).
God and His Word remain unchanged and eternal and will continue after the world ceases to exist, for “heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33).
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“Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37). June 30–July 3, 2017 | Howard Lake, MN