Thus saith the Lord

Paul writes to his “son in the faith” in 2 Tim 3:16

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness

All Scripture is God-breathed (Gr. θεόπνευστος). Not only did God choose to breath the universe into existence as we read in Ps 33:6 – “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth,” but God choose to breath out Scripture. Scripture is not a product of man, but of God. 359 times do we read these words, “Thus saith the Lord.” It is God-breathed and thus carries divine authority and is profitable for the guiding of both faith and life.

The Holy Bible

Concerning faith it tells us in whom to believe, the one true God of the Bible, in what to believe, His Holy truth. Concerning life, Peter explains it best in 2 Pet 1:3 – “everything pertaining to life and godliness.” All that this life entails for the believer, everything under the sun, and more importantly walking in “the newness of life” (Rom 6:4), we have been provided with the sufficient and sustaining power to manifest godliness, holiness, and obedience to His precious Word.

The church cannot simply give lip service to this great doctrine, but must weave this great thread of truth into the fabric of church governance and living. Depending on their “diet,” it may take a church body a while to attain to a high view of Scripture. Just “think in every line you read that God is speaking to you” is what the Puritan pastor Thomas Watson would say to us.

To this day, we only transmit what we have received. The human authors received their message directly from God. Jeremiah testified, “the word of the Lord came to me” (Jer 1:4). God put His words in his mouth (v. 9). Paul did not “confer with flesh and blood” (Gal 1:16). He received his message directly from the Lord. The Apostle John was explicitly told, “what you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches” (Rev 1:11). Though no apostles exist today, we continue that same level of commitment to transmit only what we have received. I love the practical advice Paul gives to the church at Corinth, “learn not to exceed what is written” (1 Cor 4:6).

At times we may have to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3) because of the culture we live in, but we must be faithful to declare to all, “thus saith the Lord.”

It begins in the pulpit. It is lived out in the attitudes of the people as they remind one another that our opinions or feelings are not the end-all, but it is what God has revealed in His Word that matters. Truth matters. May God instill in us a greater love and appreciation for His Word and may we be faithful to not “turn aside to the right or to the left” (Deut 5:32), but to “observe to do just as the Lord” our God has commanded us, for His glory, for His Name’s sake.

Total Sacrifice

A few days ago around the dinner table, I told the kids about my day at Grace to You. I was overwhelmed with the opportunity to tell my kids about the blessing of hearing a sermon at work. “Most people don’t get to listen to a sermon everyday, let alone get paid for it.” These words were encouraging to my soul even as I spoke them to my children.

At work, I have been working on editing a series my faithful pastor has taught on the spiritual privileges we possess as believers. The topic of sacrifice came up and I was drawn to one verse in the OT, the first testament from Gen 22:2

He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

Spurgeon had but one question as he contemplated this text of Scripture, “Could we thus obey the Lord?” I have one word that comes to mind as I consider not only this question but this passage of Scripture, nay two, total sacrifice.

Total Sacrifice

Truth be told, I have not thought about this important eternal truth as I ought. You ask, “what truth?” I’m talking about sacrifice. I’m talking about offering to God what is already His. I’m talking about total sacrifice.

Total sacrifice is when you offer everything you are, everything you have, everything you hope to be. That includes your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. I have them and so do you. It is when we say to our Great Father in heaven, “It’s all yours. It’s all yours. It all belongs to you Father. Here I am Lord, I am yours completely.” That my beloved is total sacrifice.

Peter tells us that as living stones, we are to “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2:5). Paul points us to Christ Himself how He loved us and “gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph 5:2). God in Christ provided an example for us to follow. Abraham was tested (Heb 11:17) as we are my beloved. Will we offer up to God everything, even that which is dearest to our heart? And I mean, everything, including everything we hope to be.

Most recently I have been tested by our kind and wise Father in heaven and I’m here to tell you that it is the only way to live…total sacrifice. Give it all to Him. It’s all His. Even your desires, hopes, and dreams. They all belong to Him. Stop wrestling with God. You won’t win. He alone is sovereign. He alone is good. “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Ps 34:8). May we all, when we are called, be like Abraham and say to our Lord, “Here I am” (Gen 22:1). As the author of Hebrews testifies of Abraham, “when he was called, he obeyed” (Heb 11:8). God does not speak as He did in times past (see Heb 1:1-2), but may our disposition always be to offer up “spiritual sacrifices” that are acceptable to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, “the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb 12:2).