Posted by: pastortomvabeach | April 28, 2015

Thought For The Week May 3, 2015

Last week I mentioned that the next several editions of my “thought” would be dedicated to unpacking the Sixteen Fundamental Doctrines on which the unity of the Assemblies of God is founded. I’m going to try to do this one at a time in order to give you time to study it out for yourself and dig into the meat of each one yourself. This will not be exhaustive but should have enough information to show the biblical basis of each truth and provide a jumping off point for more study. That being said let’s jump into number one.

Understandably the first foundational truth is that the Bible is verbally inspired by God. I say this is understandably first because the way we view the Bible will necessarily determine every other belief that we hold. If we are not convinced that all of the Bible is given by God and is therefore without error and authoritative in everything it says, then we have not reliable standard which can provide a basis for our other beliefs. If God’s Word is not fixed and trustworthy, then everything becomes relative and uncertain.

The Bible itself makes the claim in many places to be the actual directly given Word of God Himself. Paul wrote to Timothy, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17).

The word “inspired” literally means “breathed” so you can read this, All Scripture is God-breathed. The Holy Spirit guided up to 40 different human writers with different literary styles, vocabulary, languages, and emphasis, over a period of more than 1500 years, so that the writer’s words would be nothing less than the “Word of God”. This belief is called the verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible meaning that God not only directed the thoughts and ideas of the writers but that the very word choice was inspired. Peter wrote in his second letter, We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (II Peter 1:19-21)

When we say that the Bible is infallible, meaning totally without error, we mean that what was originally written by the human author was without error. Translations from the original texts sometimes have some minor difficulties but none of those affect any of the major teachings in the Bible. Additionally, the Bible we read today is supported by thousands of ancient manuscripts that affirm that the words in our Bibles are the same words that were read by those in Jesus’ days and before. There are many times more ancient manuscripts backing the Bible than exist for any other ancient literature. We can be secure in knowing the Word has been preserved by God for us.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonicans, We also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God. (I Thessalonians 2:13). The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 119:89, Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. And Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35). Since God doesn’t change (James 1:17), we can be certain that His truth, His Word remains steadfast and will endure through all time as a rock on which we can base our faith and lives.

God has given us His Word so that we may know Him. Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31). Jesus said that eternal life was found in knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). Isn’t it wonderful that God provided the means to know Him by revealing Himself to us personally in His Word? The truth on which all other truth must stand is God’s Word, the first fundamental (foundational) belief of the Assemblies of God. If he wants to make Himself known, shouldn’t we be about the task of Making Jesus Known? Just a thought.

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