Whoever said first said, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” must not understand the power of words. Words are potent. The Apostle James understood the power of words when he wrote about the power of the tongue, “We praise our Lord and Father with it,” he said, “and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it.” Words matter. They can be used to offer encouragement; they can be used to give joy; or they can be used to cause unthinkable heartache and pain.
We are blessed that God has chosen to speak to us through words. He did not use a medium that we had to figure out – like smoke signals over the Vatican. He did not use a medium that no one could understand – like crop circles or Stonehenge. He revealed Himself through words. We know what God expects. We know what God’s character is like. We know how God wants us to relate to Him because He used words.
When you look at the Bible, “word” is a concept, much bigger than how we might define the term. When you combine the noun “word” with the verbs “speak” and “write,” you see that this is the PRIMARY means God uses for self-revelation. Revelation is not just the last book of the Bible; it is the theological term that we use to describe what God has shown us about Himself. God has revealed Himself through his words. We have Creation because God SPOKE. We have the Old Testament because God SPOKE. Prophets of old could say with boldness, “Thus SAYETH the LORD.” We have a Savior in Christ because “the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us.” We have a New Testament because the Holy Spirit took up residence inside of believers and inspired men like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude to write down WORDS.
What may be most amazing is that we have a consistent message because it is God who SPOKE, not man. And the Church is tasked with a mission to spread the Good News to all people. This Good News is expressed in both WORD and deed. Simply observing good works and charitable deeds does not save people; the WORD about Christ – the Gospel – must be preached so that all people have the opportunity to respond.
This is why the Bible is absolutely essential for our faith. It is not a handbook or a guidebook or a history book. It is a book that contains God’s Word to us. This is why we have such a high regard for it – every last page of it. This is why we get upset when liberals want to attack it. This is why we carry it with us and hide its content in our hearts and minds. We believe that the Scriptures alone contain all information necessary for salvation and holiness. It is the book in which God speaks. We will do well to consider it closely.
For the next several weeks, we will be considering the implications of the fact that we have a God who speaks. God did not have to reveal Himself to us. He could have done as the deists claim and set things in motion and stepped back to watch the fun. Instead, we have a God who has pulled back the curtain on Himself through both natural processes and specific revelation. God has spoken. We should certainly hear and heed what He has to say.