I often receive comments from people who say they are Christians. They go to church. They may even tithe. They believe in God. They say they believe in Jesus. But then they say,
“The Bible is not supposed to be taken literally. It doesn’t apply to anyone today. You can’t live by the Bible! You have been brainwashed if you believe that the Bible is true!”
I believe with everything that is in me that the Bible is the Word of God, the only source of absolute truth. I am completely heartbroken that anyone might teach that the Bible is meaningless and irrelevant to people today. They say we can live however we want to, we don’t have to pay any attention to the Bible. The Word of God is irrelevant!?!? No!!!! May it never be!
I just want to weep over each one who has been caught in this idea. How incredibly dangerous! To think you belong to Christ and think you are going to heaven because you said a prayer one time or because you went to church most Sundays or walked down an aisle and filled out a piece of paper – but to have completely missed who He is and a real relationship with Him – to have never yielded your life to Him as LORD of all in your life. This is what Jesus calls His followers to do. All of us. He is completely worthy of our giving ALL of ourselves to Him in full submission – as a response to all that He has done to provide salvation for us. Our obedience doesn’t earn us heaven. Only Jesus’ death on our behalf and His resurrection can secure heaven for us as we put all of our faith and trust in Him. Our obedience comes out of our thankfulness for all Jesus did for us and by the power of God’s Spirit flooding our souls to empower us to walk in obedience.
This is the kind of critical misunderstanding that could easily end up causing someone to face condemnation when they stand before God rather than life in heaven through Christ Jesus. It is vital that we understand the importance of God’s Word, the Bible, today! The Bible is the primary way we get to know who Jesus and God are and it is where we learn how to have a real relationship with God. I want EVERYONE to come to know Christ and to have the eternal Life He offers to us all!
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:1-5
Can we possess Christ Jesus and simultaneously reject His Word and refuse to obey Him in areas where we disagree with the Bible? Is He really our LORD if we do this?
Let’s look at what Jesus had to say about that…
- “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:21-28
- If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (God’s Words are so important that Jesus is literally called “the Word.” God speaks and BIG things happen. His Words are very important!)
- “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”… Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:15-24
- “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:5-17
- All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17
There are some who will do all that they can to undermine the things of God. These people do not know God. Because if they knew God, they would love God, people and the things of God.
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30
But we are to be very different, my precious sisters! The world has a culture of hatred. Believers in Christ are to have a culture of love. In fact, Jesus says that the world will know that we are His disciples because we love one another. John 13:35
God calls us to submit to Christ as LORD. That is in EVERYTHING. There is no area of our lives where we are to be autonomous or where we are not to bow to the wisdom and Headship of Christ in our lives.
HOW DO WE KNOW GOD?
There are several primary ways we have knowledge of God:
- Creation tells us that there is a mighty, powerful, wise Creator
- God has put a longing for relationship with Him in our souls
- God’s Word, the Bible
- God’s Spirit speaking to us in agreement with His Word
- Other people sharing God’s Word with us and what He has done in their lives.
God has revealed Himself to us by the Bible. That is the best way we can get to know who He is, what He is like, what He wants, what He has done for us and His will. If the Bible is not true, we have nothing of value at all as believers in Christ! The Words of Christ are a treasure for us. They are life, power, joy and peace! They are living and active, sharper than any sword or scalpel. God uses the Bible to teach, prune, refine, love and shape us into the image of Christ.
How I pray that we might hold up the authority of God’s Word in our churches today! The oldest temptation in the world is the serpent’s temptation to Eve, “Did God really say…?” “Can you really trust God’s Word? Or maybe there is something much better for you in the world!”
We are hearing that same temptation now:
- The Bible isn’t really God’s Word.
- Only parts of the Bible are true.
- Those verses don’t apply to us today.
- The Bible isn’t meant to be taken literally.
- The Bible is no longer culturally relevant.
One of the reasons the church is in the dismal, comatose, worldly, sinful, miserable, dead state that it is in today is that we have absorbed the lies of our culture that undermine God and the authority of His Word. We have embraced lies and sin and we have abandoned the Bible. We have forfeited the power of God’s Spirit because we have grieved Him with our disobedience. 🙁 How I pray we will hold fast to the Bible and cling to the Jesus of the Bible as He presents Himself there – not some made up Jesus that fits our desires and is politically correct. He is our only hope and salvation! We have veered VERY far away from the truth of God as a nation, as a culture and even as Christians. We are going to have to make some very significant and painful course corrections to get back to the narrow path that leads to Life. It will be politically incorrect. It will go against our sinful natures. The world will not understand.
That is ok.
I pray for a massive movement of God’s Spirit to awaken us to Himself, to His Word and to His Spirit’s power – that this generation might become a generation that loves God far more than anything in the world and who loves His Word and who live in the power of God’s Spirit filling us. That is the only way to have the joy and power of Christ – to trust Him and to obey Him.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ or of Jesus’ Words. Through His Words and His Spirit He has completely transformed my life and my soul. I have seen Him do so many miracles in so many marriages, I can’t even count them all! Praise God! His Word is true and we can depend on and trust both His Word and Him. How I pray we will rightly handle the Word of God and pass on a godly legacy to those who come behind us!
Please check out the discussion in the comments! I wish I could address all of these issues in the post, too, but it is already way too long!
RELATED – Here are a few of the topics in the New Testament that we have been told are culturally irrelevant today – basically all of the topics pertaining to women in the New Testament. (Of course there are many others, as well, some of which are probably a lot more important.) These are not central doctrines that are necessary for our salvation. They are side issues. But God has used these passages of scripture to richly bless my life and deepen my walk with him and deepen the strength of our marriage.
What if God DID intend for those passages to be in the Bible and what if they are a treasure for us?
I invite you to check out these passages that have been so often ignored in our churches and prayerfully consider them yourself. Don’t just take my word for these things. Wrestle with them. Take your time and read them over and over and pray for God’s wisdom. Talk with your husband about them if he is a believer. Seek God’s will and seek to walk in obedience to Him. Hash these things out in your quiet time and in your journal. Share your concerns here. You are always welcome to comment. 🙂 I don’t judge anyone about what she decides on these things. We will all answer to God. No one will ever answer to me! That is for sure. I am not the authority here. God is. And I don’t claim to understand everything perfectly. I only desire to point women to Jesus and His Word.
www.headcoveringmovement.com – Jeremy has some excellent videos that go through the various arguments about how to interpret I Corinthians 11:3-16 and what it means for Christian women to cover our heads when we pray. My story is there, too! Here is a link to the video page which is a great place to start.
Biblical Submission (you can also search my home page for “submission” for many more posts about this topic)
Respecting Our Husbands (you can search my home page for “respect” for lots of posts about this topic)
One last topic I don’t seem to have a post about, although I have talked about it often, is the principle that women are not to have authority over men in the church. I Corinthians 14:34-35 and I Timothy 2:11-15. This is why I don’t write for men, telling them “what to do” as if I were in authority over them because I am seeking to honor these passages of Scripture. But, I do have a good friend who actually was a woman pastor, until God called upon her to repent and step down. You can find her story here – They Called Me Pastor