By Joe Slater
We communicate with words. They may be written or spoken. Yes, you might communicate with a look; but that look means something that can be expressed in words.
God also communicates with words; He always has. Creation occurred when God spoke words such as “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). “He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9).
Today God speaks with us through the Bible, the written word which He inspired. Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), “breathed out by God” (ESV). Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Since the very words of Scripture proceeded from God’s mouth, we ought to treat every word reverently with careful effort to understand. For example, Jesus proved an important point based on the tense of a verb. He quoted God’s words to Moses in Exodus 3:6, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Matthew 22:32). Not “I WAS” their God back when they were alive, but “I AM” their God. Jesus then said, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,” showing that though they were physically dead, their souls were indeed alive, proving that the Sadducees erred in denying the doctrine of resurrection.
Likewise, Paul used the number of a noun (singular as opposed to plural) to prove that only those in Christ were heirs of the promises God made to Abraham. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your seed,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
Every word of Scripture is inspired. Let is strive for accuracy in our understanding and our teaching!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com