Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hermeneutical Motivation

Jason Strange

Why should I be motivated to accurately handle Gods word? It’s a simple answer yet a profound answer, because it is God’s word. If God is who He declares himself to be, worthy of all honor, glory and praise; If he is a holy, omnipotent Creator of all things, then is he must be at the apex of our affections and our chief desire. This God has spoken and articulated a message for mankind through a medium ( a book), and this book is the only way out of the mess man has made, it is the only way by which man has any hope now or for the future. It is the only source of truth in the world that explains all that we see and experience, and it is the only way by which we can know the true God and his thoughts about us and His world. For those reasons alone the Bible ought to be handled with the greatest care and diligence.

This is Gods word to mankind. If it is not than we can burn it or stick on a shelf next to the Koran or the book of Mormon. God has entrusted his people who by the intervention of the Holy Spirit are to be the custodians and caretakers of his word. Man alone would mess it all up, but God has not left man alone to not only preserve his words but to accurately handle his word. God gives His people the tools to work with a document that is living and active.

What happens when Gods word is not accurately handled? Men are left in their sins, God is not glorified, he is distorted and falsely represented, the church is not fed, growth is stunted, hell is populated, heaven ceases to celebrate, false doctrines are not challenged, cults abound, darkness rules, demons don’t tremble, the culture is not confronted, tongue speaking abounds everything begins to wither and die when the Word is not handled accurately. The church no longer is salty but tasteless. Inaccuracy allows for any and every kind of aberration of teaching to pervade and people are tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. This is the poison in the cool-aid.

But when it is handled accurately the meaning is transmitted, and when the meaning is understood than the power of Gods word takes flight and becomes effective to its hearers. Only then are hearts convicted, only then are stony hearts plowed up, only then will man fall on his knees and cry for mercy, only then will people be transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light, only than will Jesus be displayed as the Great and Glorious King of kings and Lord of lords. When Gods word is “cut straight” people have an accurate understanding of not only who God and Christ are, but of the Gospel message.

The Gospel was eclipsed because of the magesterium for hundreds of years until an Augustinian monk came along and unveiled it because he had accurately interpreted the doctrine of justification by faith. When Gods word is unleashed it can drop like an Atomic bomb in all its power and force. This is what Reformers do- recaptures truth that has been mishandled, but this is what God has called his people, his church, to do since the beginning. This is our mandate, our sacred trust, for this is the only means by which anyone is saved, this is the means by which God is glorified on the earth.

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