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Vieraskieliset / In-english

God Spe­aks to Pe­op­le

Vieraskieliset / In-english
18.11.2016 6.28

There is a chasm bet­ween God and man that on­ly God can cross. We can­not know about God if He does not tell us about Him­self and does not re­ve­al Him­self.

God has done this. He has spo­ken to man through the pat­ri­archs and the prop­hets and through His own son, Je­sus Christ. This im­me­di­a­te and di­rect re­ve­la­ti­on was ent­rus­ted by God to the prop­hets and the apost­les and through them to ot­her pe­op­le. They did not speak their own words but words gi­ven by God, inst­ruc­ted by the Holy Spi­rit.

The Work of Christ Con­ti­nu­es

Af­ter the As­cen­si­on of Christ the apost­les con­ti­nu­ed His work. Ac­cor­ding to Je­sus´ pro­mi­se, the Holy Spi­rit taught the apost­les and re­cal­led in­to their minds eve­ryt­hing Je­sus had spo­ken (John 14:26). The Holy Spi­rit inst­ruc­ted them to know the en­ti­re truth of Christ, not on­ly part of it. The Holy Spi­rit re­ve­a­led to the apost­les what He had re­cei­ved from Christ. (John 16:12-16).

Ac­cor­ding to the Scrip­tu­res, Je­sus Christ Him­self is the truth and the grace. Know­led­ge may chan­ge but the truth re­mains al­wa­ys the same, unc­han­ging. (John 1:17, 14:6; Heb. 13:8) This unc­han­ging truth of God was ful­ly re­ve­a­led to man­kind in Christ. Alt­hough the time of re­ve­la­ti­on en­ded af­ter the time of the apost­les, the work of Christ con­ti­nu­es through the work of the Holy Spi­rit in His cong­re­ga­ti­on.

Unc­han­ging doct­ri­ne

Sin­ce the whole truth was re­ve­a­led to the apost­les, no furt­her ad­di­ti­ons are eit­her re­qui­red or pos­sib­le. Christ in Him­self is enough. The Apost­le Paul re­minds us to keep the gos­pel of Christ si­mi­lar to that ori­gi­nal­ly been pre­ac­hed by the apost­les. Paul and Pe­ter emp­ha­si­ze in their let­ters that the mes­sa­ge of the gos­pel should be kept unc­han­ged in the cong­re­ga­ti­on. Even a small chan­ge may dis­tort the whole doct­ri­ne. They warn of fal­se te­ac­hers who try to int­ro­du­ce dest­ruc­ti­ve he­re­sies in­to the cong­re­ga­ti­on (1 Ti­mot­hy 6: 20-21; 2 Pe­ter 2: 1).

A ser­mon should al­wa­ys be eva­lu­a­ted on the ba­sis of its con­tent, not ba­sed on the pre­ac­her’s per­so­na­li­ty or aut­ho­ri­ty. In the book of Ga­la­ti­ans Paul says une­qui­vo­cal­ly that if so­me­o­ne - eit­her the apost­les them­sel­ves or even an an­gel from he­a­ven - pre­ac­hes the gos­pel cont­ra­ry to what the apost­les have ori­gi­nal­ly pre­ac­hed, let him be ac­cur­sed (Ga­la­ti­ans 1: 6-12).

The Bib­le as the foun­da­ti­on of work

The re­ve­la­ti­on through Christ and the saints of the Old and the New Tes­ta­ment is re­cor­ded in the Bib­le. The Holy Spi­rit of God te­ac­hes us to un­ders­tand this re­ve­la­ti­on (Luke 24:32). The­re­fo­re, all inst­ruc­ti­on must be ba­sed on the Bib­le. Inst­ruc­ti­on not ba­sed on the Bib­le is on­ly opi­ni­ons of pe­op­le, which do not have the aut­ho­ri­ty of God’s word. For examp­le, Paul made a very clear dis­tinc­ti­on bet­ween his own opi­ni­ons and the Lord’s com­mand­ment, which was re­ve­a­led through Christ (1 Cor. 7:25, 40).

The Acts of the Apost­les desc­ri­bes Jews who re­cei­ved the word pre­ac­hed by Paul and stu­died eve­ry day whet­her the pre­ac­hed word was ac­cor­dant with the Bib­le or not (Acts. 17:11). It is still good to both pre­ac­hers and lis­te­ners to study the Holy Bib­le, so that we would stay on the foun­da­ti­on of God's word both per­so­nal­ly and to­get­her as a cong­re­ga­ti­on.

Gui­dan­ce by the Holy Spi­rit

It is good to re­mem­ber that faith opens for us the un­ders­tan­ding but does not make us uner­ring. One may err even as a be­lie­ver, just as Pe­ter did. He did not want Je­sus to die on the cross. Pe­ter's thoughts were un­ders­tan­dab­le, but they aro­se from his hu­man na­tu­re and were cont­ra­dic­to­ry to the thoughts and plans of God. Right be­fo­re this Pe­ter had con­fes­sed Je­sus as the Mes­si­ah and the Son of God. He un­ders­tood this cor­rect­ly through the re­ve­la­ti­on of God, not by his own na­tu­re. (Matt. 16:13-17, 21-23). The two por­ti­ons were cle­ar­ly vi­sib­le even in the Lord’s Apost­le: the cor­rupt hu­man na­tu­re and the new na­tu­re, God’s po­wer, the grace.

Be­cau­se we can err but the word of God can not, it is very im­por­tant for us al­wa­ys to re­turn to the Bib­le’s te­ac­hings and to ask that the Holy Spi­rit would open for us Christ, the truth of God. In the Bib­le God has re­ve­a­led His will and how to ful­fil it. The doct­ri­ne has al­wa­ys been simp­le: through faith in Christ.

Veli-Pek­ka Ot­t­man

The Bib­le text used here: 2 Pe­ter 1:21

Pub­lis­hed in Sii­o­nin Lä­he­tys­leh­ti 3/2016

28.2.2020

Sy­vyy­des­tä minä huu­dan si­nua, Her­ra. Her­ra, kuu­le mi­nun ää­ne­ni. Ps. 130:1-2

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