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Vieraskieliset / In-english

God’s word of re­ve­la­ti­on, the Bib­le, in our time

Vieraskieliset / In-english
24.11.2015 12.00

The qu­es­ti­on about God is the most im­por­tant qu­es­ti­on in hu­man life. But no hu­man abi­li­ty can help us know God. We lack the ca­pa­ci­ty of thought, emo­ti­on or will to con­nect with Him. ”Truly you are a God who has been hi­ding him­self, the God and Sa­vi­or of Is­ra­el”, ad­mit­ted the Old Tes­ta­ment prop­het (Isa. 45:15).

Still, it is pos­sib­le for us to le­arn to know our God and Sa­vi­or. This pos­si­bi­li­ty is avai­lab­le be­cau­se God has re­ve­a­led Him­self and shown His love to­wards us. We can le­arn to know Him be­cau­se He has shown Him­self and His will in His mi­ra­cu­lous deeds, His so­ve­reign­ty over the earth, His holy word and, first and fo­re­most, His son Je­sus Christ. Je­sus’ life as a hu­man being, His cross and re­sur­rec­ti­on are the un­fai­ling foun­da­ti­on of our faith and sal­va­ti­on.

The Bib­le is God’s word

The Bib­le is a do­cu­ment of God’s spe­ci­al re­ve­la­ti­on. Ac­cor­ding to Chris­ti­an faith, He is a li­ving God who acts through hu­man his­to­ry to save pe­op­le. God chose the his­to­ry of the pe­op­le of Is­ra­el as the set­ting of His work of sal­va­ti­on. He sent prop­hets to te­ach the pe­op­le of Is­ra­el and gave them His law and pro­mi­ses. The ul­ti­ma­te pro­mi­ses were ful­fil­led in the birth, de­ath and re­sur­rec­ti­on of Je­sus, the Mes­si­ah. Je­sus’ work in the world con­ti­nu­es as the work of the Holy Spi­rit in His cong­re­ga­ti­on (Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne 1948,44), and at the end of this time Christ will re­turn in His glory.

Je­sus Christ is the key to the mes­sa­ge of the Bib­le. The scrip­tu­res tell us about Him, first as a pro­mi­se in the Old Tes­ta­ment, then as ful­fil­ment in the New Tes­ta­ment. The Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne of our church conc­lu­des ac­cor­dant­ly: ”The main con­tent of the Holy Bib­le is the mes­sa­ge of Je­sus Christ and the sal­va­ti­on that He has pre­pa­red for us (Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne 1948, 7).

The Bib­le is the sac­red book of Chris­ti­ans, the pa­ra­mount Book among all ot­hers. Its ori­gin and con­tent are God’s word, alt­hough the texts have been writ­ten by pe­op­le (2 Tim. 3:16). The hu­man wri­ters re­cor­ded the mes­sa­ge they re­cei­ved through the Holy Spi­rit. The Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne of our church says: ”The Holy Bib­le is God’s word re­cor­ded by holy pe­op­le of God through the inf­lu­en­ce of the Holy Spi­rit.” (Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne 1948, 5)

Sta­tus and aut­ho­ri­ty of the Bib­le

For a Chris­ti­an, the ul­ti­ma­te cri­te­ri­on for eva­lu­a­ting qu­es­ti­ons of faith is the holy word of God. The scrip­tu­res have been writ­ten as inst­ruc­ti­on (Rom. 15:4) and ad­mo­ni­ti­on (1 Cor. 10:11) for us. The Bib­le, the holy re­ve­la­ti­on of God, is the yards­tick that should be used to eva­lu­a­te all pre­ac­hing and inst­ruc­ti­on.

These words of inst­ruc­ti­on date back to the Re­for­ma­ti­on: ”The prop­he­tic and apos­to­lic scrip­tu­res of the Old and New Tes­ta­ment are the on­ly pre­cept and gui­de­li­ne by which all doct­ri­nes and te­ac­hers should be tes­ted and eva­lu­a­ted.” (Inst­ruc­ti­on for Una­ni­mi­ty).

The Bib­le is the de­ci­si­ve aut­ho­ri­ty through which we should read and eva­lu­a­te eve­ryt­hing el­se. On­ly the Bib­le has the ab­so­lu­te sup­re­ma­cy that, ac­cor­ding to Je­sus, can­not be re­fu­ted (John 10:35). The holy scrip­tu­res are the se­cu­ri­ty and the so­lid foun­da­ti­on of God’s cong­re­ga­ti­on.

The Bib­le in the be­lie­ver’s life

In both the Old and the New Tes­ta­ment those who en­de­a­vou­red in faith were sup­por­ted by a con­fi­dent hope for the fu­tu­re. While Je­ru­sa­lem was being be­sie­ged by King Ne­buc­had­nez­zar, the prop­het Je­re­mi­ah bought a field in Anat­hoth. He un­ders­tood that not­hing is im­pos­sib­le for God, who can shape the des­ti­ny of His pe­op­le. His pro­mi­se was this: ”For I know the plans I have for you, – – plans to give you hope and a fu­tu­re.” (Jer. 32, 29:11)

When the apost­le Paul was brought be­fo­re Fe­lix to ans­wer for his faith and ac­ti­ons, he re­lied on the holy scrip­tu­res and was con­fi­dent in his faith and hope for re­sur­rec­ti­on. So al­so we, dear brot­hers and sis­ters, will have God’s word as a lamp for our feet and a light on our path (Ps. 119:105). The lamp does not al­wa­ys light a long stretch of the road ahe­ad, but it will give enough light. It is good and safe to tra­vel in this light on all days of our life.

Text: Ola­vi Voit­to­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: S-LL

Sour­ce: Päi­vä­mies 4/2015

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä kie­li­liit­tees­sä 24.11.2015.