Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The detonating effects of the word

In A Passion that shapes nations Charlie Cleverly tells the stories of Bilney, Tyndale and Wycliffe and others. Heroes gripped by the gospel who changed their generation and left a lasting impact. They did it by getting God’s word to us in our own language. Something we pretty much take for granted today. Thomas Bilney noted the extraordinary impact the Bible makes on people. The impact on himself.

<< “The Bible was older than the Church but it felt like new manna to starving souls. It had detonating effects. It did so exhilarate my heart, being before wounded with the guilt of my sins, and being almost in despair. Immediately I felt a marvellous comfort and quietness insomuch that my bruised bones leapt for joy” >>

In generation one of the Church getting the word of God out to people was the overwhelming priority of the apostles. Every day they taught and preached Jesus as the Christ. They acted strategically to keep that happening. And so - “the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied” – Acts 6v7. The two things are connected. We're meant to see the connection.

That’s the pattern of the growth of the church.

Spread the word. More disciples. It’s the pattern of world history.
God speaks and everything changes.
God speaks and the universe is created.
God speaks and claims a people for himself.
God speaks and a nation rises.
God speaks and a nation falls.
God speaks incarnate as Jesus walks on the earth to bring salvation.
God speaks and blind eyes and dull hearts are opened to see the glory of Jesus.

As my wife says, the word is meant to explode your mind.

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