Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Power of the Word of God

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV

In 1818, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley first published her novel Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus. The book tells the story of a young science student Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but living creature in an unprecedented scientific experiment.
In the 1931 version of the film Frankenstein, character Dr. Henry Frankenstein speaks with his associate Dr. Waldman about the man that Frankenstein has assembled:
Waldman: And you really believe that you can bring life to the dead?
Henry: That body is not dead. It has never lived. I created it. I made it with my own hands from the bodies I took from graves, from the gallows, anywhere! Go and see for yourself.
Later, in conversation with friend Victor Moritz, Frankenstein exchanges the following words:
Henry: Look! It's moving. It's sha — it's... it's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive! It's alive, it's alive, it's alive! It's ALIVE!
Victor: Henry — in the name of God!
Henry: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to BE God!

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was not a man, but an assembly of parts.  Though its “creator” desired to make a man…to create life, what Frankenstein created instead turned out to be a monster!  There are those who view the Holy Bible to be likewise a creation of man, an assembly of parts; uninspired, and like Shelley’s book…a work of fiction.
So, here’s a question: What is the Bible?  Is it truly the inspired living Word of God? Or is the Bible merely a book about faith, uninspired and written by men; assembled from many unrelated parts into a larger whole?
Respectfully Professor, I Disagree
While I was a young student in undergraduate school, I found myself frequently locking horns with some of my religion professors.  They were good men, with good intentions, who desired to help me mature in the faith by deconstructing the conservative foundations of belief I had been raised with, and opening my eyes to the enlightenment of more liberal higher academic theology. 
I cast no stones at their learning, or their passion in teaching, but could not then, and do not now, reconcile many of their perspectives against what I know to be true in my own heart, and from reading the scriptures for myself. 
One professor argued that the Bible was but a book ABOUT the Jewish and Christian faiths, written by mere men just like myself.  “Kerry, don’t you realize that if I desired, I could sit down and write a Bible just as good as yours?  It’s just a book of history, and stories about the faith.” he said. 
I disagreed.  The Bible was a living book written by God through the lives and testimonies of individuals that He ordained.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) reads:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Scripture is the creation of God, not some Frankenstein hodge-podge assembled by mad-scientist theologians!
·      While many men and women write with great wisdom, they do not write scripture.  Their words may inspire and bring knowledge; their writings are not alive with the power of the Most High God! 
But when God inspires, His work and His Words are clear. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV) teaches:
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
So, if the Bible is God inspired; if it isn’t just a hodge-podge of unrelated religious writings…If it IS a living Word of God, then what does that mean for my daily living?  How important is it that I read it, come to understand it, and make it my guide in this life?  Stay tuned.  In the next devotion, I will illuminate these questions!

Almighty God, Like King David, how I long to be a man after your own heart. I am persuaded that your Bible is my instruction toward becoming that person. Create in me, O God, a hunger for your Word…the Bread of Life! 

In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

(submitted by Kerry Patton)

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