Thursday, July 13, 2017

Know the Scriptures

Dear Congregation,
      I want to apologize for not writing in this fashion the last couple of months. When I write the devotionals I want to write them with the conviction that they need to be done. I did not feel that conviction for many weeks. I will endeavor to be more faithful in keeping them up, but they may not be every week as they were. Thank you for your patience with me.

~Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29

            The context of this verse is the Lord’s Jesus’ answer to the wiles of the Sadducees. You remember that the Sadducees denied the authority of Scripture except for the five books of Moses. Likewise they denied a future resurrection. They were the theological liberals of Jesus’ context, the rationalists if you will. In mockery they ask about a hypothetical scenario that would make the resurrection seem all the more ridiculous. However, Jesus’ first responsive statement above exposes their incorrect presupposition. They do not even know what they are talking about! The Master then goes on to correct their error. How many intellectual challenges to Christianity may be answered with the same statement above? So many make claims or dismiss God out of ignorance of who He truly is and what He has actually done and said. We should remember this when dealing with people on an apologetic level. What does the Bible actually say, and are we dealing with an Almighty God in the argument? I believe half if not more of the lame oppositions to the faith may be settled with the schooling of the statement above.

            In addition, the Church may also benefit from such a statement. The church is always tempted to stray to the right hand or the left. Many times it is because of what she sees around her as apparent success. May worship always be regulated by a call back to the Scriptures and the power of God. May theology, leadership, teaching, evangelism, discipleship, all fall under the authority of both. It is so easy to forget the Scriptures and God’s power. So easy to feel the weight to perform and put our own stamp of effort on ministry. In doing so, we do as the Sadducees did and rationalize God’s instruction to meet our own finite comfort zone. May it never be. May we know our Bibles and God’s power.

            The individual is tempted in the same manner. How many times is faith tested because we do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? Illness may cause us to think that God has abandoned us or is not aware of what we are going through. What does your Bible say about illness? Loneliness may cause us to look for companionship outside the family of God out of desperation? What does your Bible say about that? Is God powerless? Peer pressure may cause us to pursue a lifestyle or a gain that God does not condone. What say the Scriptures? Our own self glorification may cause us to sleep in or do something entertaining rather than Worship the Lord with His people and keep the Sabbath day holy. What does your Bible say? The words of our Lord in rebuke of the Sadducees are a sobering call to us as well. May our study of God’s word never cease and may we rest in the power of God through every temptation and challenge!

In Christ,

Pastor Basile