The Saint’s Separation

Phil 1:1 “… To all God’s holy people (Saints) in Christ Jesus at Philippi…”

“But the heart of the matter is this: the saint’s separation is not a reaction against but a response to; not a more determination to be different from the world but a whole-hearted determination to be like God by obeying his word.”

Alec Moyter

 

Here in this wonderful definition of what is means to be God’s separate (or Holy or Saints) people, are some helpful ideas/phrases for helping each one of us to work out how to live this in the cut-and-thrust of life:

“not a reaction against” – we live in a culture that loves to react action things

“But a response to” – a desire to respond to God’s every whisper

“Not a determination to be different from the world” – this is the road to deathly law

“but a whole-hearted determination to he like God” – to live each day looking to be more and more like our great saviour

“by obeying his word” – lives centred around God’s word, not my feelings, opinion or perspective.

 

This Book …

The other day I was finishing reading Daniel L. Akin and Jonathan Akin’s commentary on Ecclesiastes. In the final chapter there is this quote from an unknown source on the Bible. Read it slowly:

 

The Bible

This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character.

Here, heaven is open, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the Judgement, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward faithful labor, and condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. …

Never compare the Bible with other books. Comparisons are dangerous. Books speak from the earth; the Bible speaks from heaven. Never think or say that the Bible contains the Word of God or that it becomes the Word of God. It is the Word of God. Supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in value, infinite in scope, divine in authorship, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through. Write it down. Pray it in. Work it out. Pass it on. It is the Word of God.

A famine of hearing the word of the Lord

“The days are coming”, declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land — not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” – Amos 8:11-12

 

Commenting on these verses T.J Betts writes:

“How many people in the Church today either forget or take too lightly the magnitude of God’s word upon their lives? There is no substitute for God’s Word. As the Creator, the Lord reveals that He exists and puts on display His divine attributes, but it is the written Word of God that tells us that the way to a restored relationship with the Creator is by faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the written Word of God that establishes Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Word of Life. It is the written Word of God that reveals God’s ways to His children and His will for them. 

That being said, why do so many in the Church diminish the centrality of the Word of God? It happens when leaders fail to study God’s Word. It happens when so much time is given to other things, sometimes worthwhile things, in corporate worship that inadequate time is given to the reading of and proclamation of God’s Word. It happens when churches fail to properly disciple their people in God’s Word. It happens when believers neglect reading and meditating on God’s Word throughout the week.”

 

A really reminder that to lose the centrality of God’s Word is to starve ourselves of the very lifegiving ‘bread’ that we need.

 

 

 

The life which walks in the truth is impregnable

Motyer:

“Here is a very largely forgotten and yet most vital principle. It is certainly the case that the church is called by God to safeguard, publicize and transmit His truth (e.g. 2 Tim 1:13, 14; 2:1, 2); but it is equally the case that the truth is the safeguard of the church, both in the corporate sense of preserving the whole body and in the individual sense of guarding, defending and keeping each member. The life which walks in the truth is impregnable”

 

You won’t know the whole counsel of God unless you read the hard passages in the Bible

Albert Mohler Jr. had this to say:

“The Bible’s hard passages help us grasp a fuller understanding of the whole counsel of God. If we skip over challenging passages, we will become biblically impoverished. Consequently, when out Bible reading is impoverished, so too is our growth in godliness. We must seek to understand the Bible’s difficult parts by reference to its clearer parts. As the Reformers taught us, Scripture interprets Scripture. Difficult passages become clearer when we set them within the context of the entire cannon [Bible].”

 

Warning: God’s word is invasive

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

“The description of the Bible as a sword that can pierce and divide the soul demonstrates the invasive quality of the Word. When we approach Scripture with a humble hermeneutic of submission rather than a haughty hermeneutic of suspicion, then it is not we who read Scripture, it is Scripture that reads us. Scripture untangles the human heart and unearths sin like no other book can. No other book can discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Only God’s Word can do that.” Albert Mohler Jr.