Daily Doctrines: God's Word

For the next little while at my church I've decided to walk through Doctrines of the faith, but specifically looking at the ones that are dealt with in daily life. While my sermons are built upon sound doctrine, I seldom explicitly note which doctrine my sermon is handling. Thus, I decided to walk our Wednesday night study through the doctrines of the faith so that they too may grasp the doctrines that guide my sermons and our church.  

Doctrine of the Word of God
The first doctrine to handle is the doctrine of the Word of God. This is not to be confused with the Doctrine of Scripture which is the next lesson. At its basic element, all Christian Doctrines come from the Word of God. So when you hear the phrase "word of God" what do you think? 

"When you examine the Word of God, the Word of God examines you." - Jack Wellman

In its basic form, the Word of God can be declared as six things. 

Christ as Word (John 1, Rev. 19:13)
The oldest form of God's Word is Christ himself. I love the picture that John paints for us in the Gospel and the Revelation. The first Word of God was Jesus, and at the end of the Revelation the last Word of God is Jesus too. Thus taking Jack Wellman's quote into this point, To study Christ (as the Word of God) will result in a reflective examination of yourself! We can only grasp the difference between God and man when we study the character, teaching and personhood of the Word in carnate - Jesus Christ himself.

Decreed Word  (Gen 1:3; 1:24; Ps 33:6; Heb. 1:3)
The second oldest form of God's Word is God's decrees. In its essence, a decree of God is a word from God that causes something to happen. The instances that God's Word creates or causes things to happen are often unheard by man. An decree that was heard is when Christ (God the son) declared to the sea to be still.

Personal Word (Gen 2:16-17; 3:16-19, Exod. 20:1-3, Mat. 3:17)
Prior to the fullness of the Canon of Scripture being composed, God would often speak with an audible voice! Though I do not believe He speaks in this way now, I wonder if people would pay more attention if God spoke audibly? Would they obey more than when they read Scripture? Would you believe or obey such words more readily than you do Scripture? 

Human Word (Deut 18:18-20; Jer 1:7-9; Ezekiel 13:1-7; Deut 18:20-22)
The Word of God is often declared through the mouth of the prophets in the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus, the Disciples and later Pastors are those who declare the Word of the Lord. Sadly, many throughout church history have taken advantage of this concept of God's Word through human lips. Though often tainted, this doctrine helps us understand what to expect of our preacher and why we should listen to the preacher.

General Word  (Ps 19:1-6; Acts 14:17; Rom 2:15)
If a person does not have a copy of God's written Word, or know a minister to hear the Word of God there is a "General Word," declared through the creation. Now we need to insert here that General Word of God through the creation can only point one to there being a God, but not Christ which is necessary for salvation.

Written Word (Ex 31:18; Ex 32:16; 34:1, 28; Deut 31:9-13; 1 Cor. 14:37; Jer 36:29-31)
The last Word of God to study, and will be handled in the next post, is the Word of God written. We often tell people that the Bible is God's Word, but do we rightly view it? What is your general attitude toward Scripture? 

Do you think your present level of response to the written words of Scripture is an appropriate one? Like the Decrees of God, and the personal address of God, the Bible should result in events happening in our hearts and minds and should be an intimate relationship.

So, when you read of these many ways in which God speaks and the frequency in which he speaks, what conclusions might you draw concerning the nature of God and the things that bring delight to him? Simply put, God wants to be heard, by us, and he wants to cause effect and bring about a relationship with us. Our God is not a silent one, but one who deeply cares for us to know his will in all things.

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