Reform through God’s word – Part 1
The scripture is quick (living), powerful and can cut through the soul and the spirit (Hebrews 4:12). When properly digested and obediently applied, God’s Word provides the drive for real and enduring success, as well as offers the avenue through which the lives of adherents can be truly enriched and fructified (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3).
The reformative impact of God’s uncorrupted Word on the children of Israel as proclaimed by Ezra during the rebuilding of the ruins of their nation typifies what impact the Word can have on those who obey It. The people listened attentively and paid heed to the instructions he dutifully declared. They were convicted when they heard how far they had strayed from God’s standard, and resolved to make amends. This reformative impact of the Word brought peace and joy to their otherwise dampened spirits. The transforming power of the Word of God is still the same today (1 Peter 1:23).
Although God’s Word is today being mindlessly mutilated to suit carnal whims, the sacredness of the Scriptures remains inviolable. Change in time and trend cannot diminish the lofty platform on which God has predicated His sacred precepts. Ezra, the scribe, was chosen to declare the Word to the people because he had personally “prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:10). His presentation of the exact Word evoked a deep sense of guilt and contrition in the hearts of his hearers. Proclaiming the whole counsel of God must always take preeminence in our assemblies. No activity should be elevated to replace or compete with it.
For the undiluted Word to cause change in people’s lives, It must be declared by those whose lives have been transformed by It. God’s Word must be intelligently presented, aptly interpreted and graciously applied to the edification of the hearers. It must be taught with fervency and certainty to convict those who have strayed away to return to God. Our stance must be absolute and unapologetic, stating the truth as God commands it. “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). We must not twist the Scriptures to suit personal purpose, as that violates God’s command that: “thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it”.
Further Reading (King James Version): Nehemiah 8:1-9,13; Acts 2:37-42; 2 Peter 1:4,20,21. Nehemiah 8:5-7; Deuteronomy 12:32; Joshua 1:8, 2 Timothy 3:16,17; John 10:35; Acts 20:26,27; Revelation 22:18,19. Nehemiah 8:1-4,8,9; Deuteronomy 8:3; 2 Kings 22:8-11; Psalm 119:105; Micah 2:7; Jeremiah 23:29; James 1:18,21; 1 Peter 1:23; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; John 15:3; Matthew 7:24. Nehemiah 8:10-13; Psalms 1:1-3; 119:6,97,127; Ecclesiastes 12:13; James 1:22; Romans 7:12; Revelation 3:8.
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