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Posts Tagged ‘living word’

Growing up in the organized church, we were taught from a young age that the Holy Spirit came to reside within us once we accepted the grace of Christ.

Many times in the written word of God we are told that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit lives within us and we have no need that any man teach us.

Jesus said that his sheep hear his voice, yet most of us were taught that the voice really means the words written in the bible.

We have heard it said that if it is not in the bible it is not of God. We are told God only speaks through the written word, yet there are so many interpretations, various doctrines and so many verses that were written to a specific person or group of persons. These writings were often for a specific time period that no longer relates directly to us except as an example to learn about the nature of God.

I feel so much has been lost over the many years from when the original writings were done. So many of the translations have changed the original meanings because of changes in times, word meanings and such. Without the Spirit bringing to life the words we read and through confirmation through his voice within, we are really left to our personal views and opinions of what others have told us the written word means.

The bible is not God and it is not a god. The bible was inspired by an infallible God yet written by very fallible men, men who were inspired yet wrote with their personal views and ways of writing. The bible is about people trying to find, follow and fellowship with God and clearly teaches us how to do that. The written word leads us to the Living Word, who is the Christ.

So many times it is mentioned that the Spirit now lives within us. Yet so often, even though we say it, we do not act like we really believe it. Time and time again the bible says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we have the mind of Christ, the Spirit and the Kingdom are within you. And time and time again we seem to go right on thinking God is far away from us and all we can do is read from his word.

Sure, there are many people who say they speak from God and yet are nowhere close to being a godly example. It is easy to say God told me this or that, or say God told me to tell you something yet the person saying such things is only going on their personal feelings and interpretations. Anyone can say God told them this or that and expect us to do what they say, but we need to listen to the Spirit for ourselves and listen for the confirmation from within as to what is of God and what is not.

I believe if God says the Spirit lives within us and we can hear his voice, then it is something not to be taken lightly. As followers of Christ we can rely on the Spirit within us to teach us and guide us into his truth. We have to be listening and open to God to know his voice, but we can hear it and know it is from our Father. To say that we can only hear from God through the written word is to miss a more intimate fellowship with our Father.

Is the bible to be ignored? Are we to stop reading the written word and only follow what we feel is the voice of the Spirit. No, both the written word and the Living Word that lives within us are important, The written word is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. Yet without the Living Word bringing those words to life, it is just a book that is good for teaching and learning. We need to be listening for the quiet voice of the Spirit of Christ who actually lives within us for truth and guidance. Sometimes he will speak directly in our spirits, sometimes he will speak through his written word.

Also remember that God is alive and his Spirit is within us. Do not think that He can only speak through one particular means. Just do not jump at every voice you hear, make sure it is the voice of His Spirit. His sheep hear his voice, which to me says we can hear and know it is from our Father.

Obviously this is not to say that you should immediately react to any thought that pops into your head. Although the bible says we have the mind of Christ we also have the mind of Jim, or Sam or Jane. We are still human and need to be sure we are hearing from the Spirit of Christ and not our natural spirit.

We also know that the Spirit can speak to one person one way and another person in a different way. Just because the Spirit is speaking to me does not mean he is telling you the same thing. Just because I hear the Spirit say something to me does not mean it is something that has to be announced to everyone. It may be that he is speaking to me for something I need to do or learn and it is not meant for others to hear.

We are told the Spirit lives within us and that his sheep hear his voice, so we know we can hear and know the voice of God. So many of us have the thought that God is way up in heaven somewhere and all we can do is read his word or listen to pastors to know what he wants us to do. The truth is his word says that he lives within us through the Spirit and he speaks to us through the Spirit.

My friend Michael Clark wrote about this also and said in his article: “Jesus is the Word of God! He speaks to those who are His sheep. They know His voice and will not follow the voices of strangers (read John Ch. 10). Yet, so many Christians have said to me, “How can I know when Jesus is speaking to me?” To many of them the answer is, “Unplug! You are listening to and reading too many teachers. Break this habit of heaping to yourself teachers who tickle your ears. Get alone with God for a few months until you start hearing His whispered voice. Talk with Him and let Him be your friend above all friends.” (https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/words-words-words-or-will-we-be-one/)

Just as we think of the church as a building with an organized program, it is so much more than that. The Church is a community of people daily following the Spirit and living within the kingdom of God during our life now. We also think of the word of God as a book, yet the true and living Word of God is so much more than that.

Jesus is the Living Word of God and we can hear the voice of the Spirit which is within us. We can hear his voice through the written word also, but keep in mind that God speaks in more ways than one.

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Growing up in the church I learned quickly that the Bible was the word of God and that God spoke to us through his word. Everything had go along with the Bible or it was not of God.BibleatJohn1-1

I often wondered how a book written by many different people over many years, and in a time period so different from our own could be inerrant and the only way God communicated.

My personal belief is that the written word of God, which we call the Bible is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, as mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16.

Yet while reading some of the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:21 to 44, we listen to Jesus as he speaks to the crowds. Many times he says “you have heard it said” then mentions a verse from the written word. Each time he follows this with “but I say unto you” and follows with his words of advice. To me this says that Jesus, who is the living, inerrant Word of God has final authority over any written word which we call the bible. And remember Jesus spoke these words before the New Testament of our Bible was even written.

We read in John 1:1, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

JesusWordofGod2Again in John 1:14 we read ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’. The written words of the Bible did not become flesh and dwell among us, only Jesus fulfilled that verse.

And in Revelation 19:13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

For me, I believe the Bible is inspired by God, written by men and useful for leading us to the living, inerrant Word of God who is Jesus.

I am certainly not saying we should not read the Bible, but we should not elevate the Bible to a position of authority which matches that of Jesus. We are not to worship the Bible, nor are we to disregard the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. He will guide us into all truth.

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John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

When we speak of the Word of God we are not just speaking of written words. The Word mentioned in the verse above is talking about Jesus, the Living Word.

TheWordisJesus

So many of us focus on the written word and which version is the true word of God. This verse states that the true Word is not a book, but is Jesus who is alive and living within us through the Holy Spirit.

If we were never again able to read from the Bible or hear it read to us, we still have the Living Word of God within us to teach us and guide us.

We can learn and be encouraged when we read the Bible no matter which translation we prefer, but we need to remember that the Bible is the inspired words of God written by men over a long period of time. The living Word of God is Jesus who lives within each of us through the Spirit.

We can read the words on the pages of the Bible, but it is only by the Living Word within us that gives life and power to the words we read.

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Several times I have talked about modern day church and the way it is way off base from what it should be.

It is not that I am against church, but it is a matter of being clear on the proper meaning of the word. Not that we have to be politically correct in description, but I feel we need to be clear on the matter in regard to our mindset.

Normally when the word church is mentioned, we all think of a building we go to on Sunday to learn about God. We also think in terms of how much we go to church as being a guide to how spiritual we are, or how close we are to God. We think of the doctrines, rules and regulations placed on us by the church as ways to make us better Christians.

church people

We need to reset our thinking. The Church is not a building. The Church is the bride of Christ, all of us who are saved by grace. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Each of us are equally important and useful parts of the body, and Christ is the head. The building is just a place where we can meet and conduct spiritual meetings and Christian social events. As the Church, we can assemble together any day, any place and any time with fellow believers and enjoy real fellowship while talking, eating a meal or just sitting around relaxing.

Just as the mindset we have when we talk about the word of God. We first think of the bible. Of course the bible is special, it is inspired by God. Inspired, not hand-written. God inspired men to write, and that means men still had their twist on it, their thoughts, their background and way of life. 2 Timothy 3:16  says, ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness’. The word of God is useful, but it takes the Holy Spirit to breathe life into the words we read.

Jesus word of God

The perfect, inerrant, living Word of God is made plain in John 1:1…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. There is certainly nothing wrong with reading the inspired words of God in the bible, but we need to focus on the fact that the Word of God is alive and living within each of us as born again people. To many times we want to make the bible seem like it is part of the trinity and equal with God.

Although sometimes it may seem unimportant of how we think of church or the Bible, it is very important that we understand what is really meant. The old mindset of a building and a book need to be replaced with the fact that the Church are those of us who are redeemed through the blood of Christ and the Word of God is Christ Himself, alive and living within us.

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John 1:1 The Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

The Word is not just written words. The Word mentioned here is Jesus, the Living Word.

So many of us focus on what version of the Bible is the true word of God. This verse states that the true Word is alive and living within us as children of God.

If we were never again able to read from the Bible or hear it read to us, we still have the Living Word of God within us to teach us and guide us.

We should read our Bibles no matter what translation we prefer, but we need to remember that the Bible is the inspired words of God, and the true Word of God is Jesus, who lives within each of us through the Holy Spirit.

We can read the words on the pages of the Bible, but it is the Living Word within us that brings to life and gives power to those words we read.

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Have you ever passed a ‘church’ building and saw a sign out front that says ‘Everyone Welcome’?

When I see one I always wonder if they really mean what they say. I’ve seen so many congregations over the years get set in their ways and enjoy the people who are “regular’s”, but what would happen if ‘everyone’ did come to their church?

What would the thoughts and feelings be if a gay couple walked in, or a few prostitutes decided to come in for a service. What if a group of homeless people walked in to hear the Sunday morning sermon? Would everyone be truly welcome?

We know that Jesus welcomed everyone, literally, and mostly those who the ‘religious world’ didn’t want to have any association. Jesus met with and cared for the people who probably wouldn’t go to church, either because they wouldn’t be welcome or because they just didn’t think they would fit in.

Maybe that says something about our ‘organized church’ of today. Maybe we’ve become so involved with religion and the proper way of doing things that we’ve lost our first love. Could we be so caught up in the trends of modern religion that we forget our relationship with the God of the universe?

Maybe we need to concentrate more on living in fellowship with Christ on a daily basis, loving Him and loving others, and not worry so much about what building we go to on Sunday morning….if we go at all. The true Church is not a building, and it does not matter which day we meet or where we meet. The Church is a community of believers who live for Him each and every day. We should not be focused on a building, but on a daily walk with Him.

To love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love others as ourselves fulfills the law. We no longer need to worry about obeying the law and the rules and regulations. We now live under a new covenant which went into effect at the death and resurrection of Jesus. We now have the Living Word within us through the Holy Spirit. We no longer need any man to teach us the ways of God, because now the Spirit is our guide.

It is time to put our focus back on our first love, Jesus. It is time to live out our relationship with God on a daily basis, not only on one day. If you are a follower of Christ, it is a daily way of live of loving God, loving others, and being prepared to give an answer of the hope that is within us to those who ask us. I pray we are all letting the love of God show through us so that others will be drawn to Him.

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