Sunday, October 21, 2007

Authority Displayed

CREATION - Genesis 1
We see the evidence of God's authority in speaking to create.
V3. And God said “Let there be light” “and there was light”
v9 . And God said “Let the water... be gathered...”
“and it was so”
v11. Then God said “Let the land....” “and it was so”.

God speaks and we get the universe. Ever walked in the dark and said “let the be light” and succeeded? Ever sat in the bath and said “let the water be gathered” and had the water obey your voice. The word of God is so authoritative that God simply has to speak “and it was so”. Said and done. This is the authority of God's word.

2 Corinthians 3v18v4v6. Paul picks up on the creative word of God in 2 Corinthians 4v6.
God who said “Let light shine out of darkness made his light shine in our hearts” How does this light shine in our hearts? V2, v5. The plain and undistorted preaching of Jesus Christ as Lord. A word, 3v18, in which we see the glory of the Lord. A word, 4v6, that opens our eyes to see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, 4v4, the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

God speaks and we get a universe. God speaks and blind eyes are open to see the glory of God in Jesus. The work of God should send shockwaves into your soul. What's the place of the Word in my discipleship? Is it focussed upon seeing the glory of Jesus, because that's the focus of the word. “God's aim is to ravish our affections with an irresistible display of his glory” (John Piper, The supremacy of God in Preaching.)

God's authoritative words are not oppressive but creative and re-creative and glory-displaying and affection-ravishing and heart-warming.

UNBELIEF - Numbers 14, Hebrews 3-4
Yet, The word can be resisted by unbelief. That is called hard-heartedness. When Israel do it at Kadesh Barnea. They were rescued from Egypt by God. They reached the edge of the promised land. Their spies saw how good and glorious it was. Taste and See! And yet they say – we can't take it. They take a gallup poll and God loses. When you ask people to rule God always loses.

God has promised them the land but they don't believe it. And they say – we'll go skulking back to slavery. God says – then you'll not have the land. And so they say we want it. We want it. We want it. And they fail a second time to believe God's word. They charge on in against the Amalekites and Canaanites and they are cut down, cut down by the double-edged swords of the enemies of God.

And in Hebrews 3-4 that is applied to God's people in the sound of God's word. Today. Today and every today. Check your heart that it isn't hard. Because if it is then the word can cut you down. The same word of God comes to us against unbelief to expose our thoughts and attitudes. Hearts that have itching ears that easily follow their own desires. What's the big deal about unbelief? Jonathan Edwards the puritan pastor who saw revival in New England wrote:

“[Unbelief] sets all
the glory and excellency
of Christ as nought”

God's authoritative speech is designed to reveal his glory to us – the glory of Jesus Christ the Lord. Unbelief in God's word sets this at nought, which is evil. It says I can be indifferent and apathetic to his glory. Like the Israelites at Kadesh is says, my desires take prominence over God's promises. He says NO ENTRY, but I want to go in and so I will. Unrestrained, such an attitude in reality despises the glory of God in the Lord Jesus.

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