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Churches and the Word

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rlvaughn, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    This morning on the way to church I was driving in my car alone, all by myself, and ruminated on the following. This is a post somewhat thinking out loud, and I'm interested in your opinions. Be gentle!

    I believe that God has given and preserved his word in written form, although I think sometimes we get overly balled up on that thought. If every copy of every Bible translation, original language manuscript, fragment, and whatever else were physically destroyed (and I don't think they will be) God's word would still be intact. Even though I believe God has preserved his word in written form, I don't tie the "forever" of God's word to that form. When King Jehoiakim cut and then burned God's word from Jeremiah, that word did not cease to exist (Jeremiah 36:21-24).

    Nevertheless, I began to think that the preservation of the written word is in some ways more critical to the church age than to the kingdom of Israel. (Early in the days of Josiah, and prior, the book of the law was misplaced, unremembered, and unused; 2 Kings 22:8-20.) So here is my thought process.

    The kingdom of Israel was built on the law of God, but was also a continuing national, legal, political, and geographically recognizable entity. Some continuity of the entity was obvious and knowable from the time of Moses forward, even in times of loss or little knowledge of the written words of God.

    The churches on the other hand are spiritual entities, built on the word of God and would seem to be unrecognizable as the Lord's churches without the word of God. Those who enter it do so by faith; no national or regional origin will testify to a church being one of the Lord's churches. We are only able to recognize that relationship through their faith and practice according to the written word of God. For example, a king sitting on the throne in Jerusalem some 400 years later had a physical tie that went back to David, while a Gentile church in East Texas in 2018 has no recognizable tie to the first church at Jerusalem save what we can recognize through the word of God.

    I hope most of this makes sense. Comments? Agree or disagree? Earlier I quipped, "Be gentle." But, actually, if this logic can't be supported by the Bible itself, feel free to cut it up and throw it in the fire!

    Thanks.
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The Word of God is essential and the connection is certain throughout church history.

    However, God Holy Spirit is the one who links believers together across history. He is the same Holy Spirit who indwelt Paul and James and Peter and every other Christain since.
     
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  3. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I fully agree with your point. The problem I see is that, apart from the Word, we have all kinds of people who can claim the link of the Holy Spirit and little or no way to judge the truth of their claims.
     
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  4. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Except that an East Texas church might only recognize the 1611KJV as the acceptable word of God and would exclude any other as heretics.

    Another thing to think about...

    You are thinking locally; the written word of God (Scripture) is widely available at the present time, in our location.
    Thinking globally, not every believing people (throughout history or location) have had God's written word

    It is believed that early believers utilized oral communication to spread the gospel (e.g. Paul's missionary trips) [the source many of the early textual variants may have arisen during this period]
    Churches are not necessarily built upon the written word of God (sounds good though), we are built upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.

    Pertinent verses to continue to muse upon:

    But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15 CSB

    So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19,20 CSB

    For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me by word and deed for the obedience of the Gentiles, by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit. As a result, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum My aim is to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation, Romans 15:18-20 CSB​

    Rob
     
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  5. Jesus Saves!

    Jesus Saves! Member

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    As I was reading, these post, these scripture came to mind.
    John 1:1-5,10-14 KJVS
    [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not. [12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    The Word has always been, another scripture teaches us we are the epistles that are read of men. The Word is Christ. Genesis to Revelation is all about the Word (Jesus). The Word lives inside of those that are truly born again by the person of the Holy Ghost. I think about my grandparents and those before them who couldn't read and hardly had any education, but yet they knew the Lord and had understanding of his Word. They spent time in prayer, worship, and communion (fellowship) with the Lord that we don't see today. I remember many times in the evenings, the neighbors would show up at mamaw , and the next thing you knew they were praising the Lord. I ran from it at that time, but knew they had something education couldn't impart to me.
     
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  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Deacon and Jesus Saves for your comments. While my question is directly related to the written word, your points are a good reminder that the oral repetition of the word is also explicitly the word of God, though we may not as often think that way.
    No, I am not just thinking locally, neither in the sense of time or geography. My thinking may be affected by my local experience, and it may be defective, but the thought and question is not intended as one of contemporary circumstance. Certainly there is a wide availability of the printed word in most places in our day that is vastly different than much of history, but I wouldn't equate that with the absence of the written word in the past. There is obviously an early time frame related to the revelation, writing and compiling of the New Testament that cannot be ignored.
    For me to understand your point, please identify some of the believing people of whom you speak. For example, are you referencing the time before the New Testament was complete? Times when the gospel preceded the written word into a new region? Perhaps times when no Bible was yet translated into a certain language, or no written language existed in a certain culture? Are these situations that were anomalies rather than the ideal? Were they initial but not continual? Or initial and continual? Are you talking about believers who were content to exist apart from the written word? Has the written word not generally followed the oral preaching of the word into the places where Christ had not been named?
    I agree with the statement that we are built upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. How do you, though, personally identify those who are on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ?
     
  7. Jesus Saves!

    Jesus Saves! Member

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    You're very welcome. Just want to help as I can. I feel this scripture goes along with the time we are living in.
    Amos 8:11-12 KJVS
    [11] Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God , that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord : [12] And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord , and shall not find it.
    There is so much being taught out there that is contrary to Gods Word. People are starving to hear the truth, but are not hearing it. It takes the truth to set us free. If people are not being set free, it's because they are not hearing and excepting the truth. People can attend three different Baptist churches and get three different doctrines of which may or may not be correct. But, I've found the Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth. The Word preached has to lift up the Lord and be about Him because Jesus ins the truth. Our people are hearing a lot of mans philosophies, doctrines, and opinions instead of the Truth that will set them free. Christ and the truth isn't divided, but people all across our land are because they're not settled in the truth of Gods word. So, this leaves the lost confused and staying at home instead of going to hear the truth. Hope this makes sense.
     
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