Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
How gracious is our Lord to give us his word. The God of the Universe has spoken to us in the Scriptures. The word of God brings life and changes hearts. It is living and active; and it is the power of God to salvation for his people. Tonight we have the privilege of studying God’s word together. We begin a new 8-week study on the book of Galatians at 7:00 at the VanTubergen’s home. The address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, TX, 77095. Please come and join us for this study. And feel free to invite AND bring a friend or neighbor.
- Mid-week Bible study tonight (see above).
- Sign up for our Spring Retreat with Providence OPC. The dates are April 23-25. For information and to register, go here: http://providencepres.com/retreat/.
- This week’s devotion is a refection on Christ as our great and true prophet.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
God bless and I will see all of you this Lord’s Day.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“The True and Final Prophet”
Ezekiel 3:27, “But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’”
Ezekiel was called to be a prophet of the Lord to his people. Thus, he was called to herald the word that God gave him. He ministered during the tumultuous 6th c BC – a time marked by covenant unfaithfulness and sin. And in response to the sin of his people, the Lord will send Babylon as the instrument of his judgment to carry his people into exile for 70 years. Ezekiel chapters 1-3 recount the call of the prophet Ezekiel. In chapter 1 the prophet is given a vision of the majesty and the glory of God, and chapters 2-3 recount his call proper. He is filled with the Spirit of God and the word of God (see 2:1; 3:24; 2:8; 3:1, 3) to be a watchman for the people of God (3:16-21). And finally, Ezekiel is called to perform a ‘symbolic act’ (i.e. an acted parable) to visibly picture his commission as the Lord’s prophet.
He is told to do three things – all of which picture his absolute submission to the will and word of God. He is first told to shut himself within his house (3:24). Thus, whenever he appears to the people he will do so as the messenger of the Lord – as one ‘under orders’ as it were. Second, he will be bound with cords (3:25), indicating his being bound to the will and the word of God. And third, his tongue will ‘cling to the roof of his mouth’ (3:26). That is, whenever the prophet speaks he is speaking forth the sovereign and powerful word of the Lord (3:27). Ezekiel will bring forth oracles of God to his people – oracles of judgment (chps 4 – 32) and restoration (33 – 48).
But Ezekiel’s word is not God’s final word. It was not God’s ultimate word. Ezekiel (and indeed of all God’s prophets) point us forward to the final prophet to come (see Deut 18:15 with Acts 3:22). God’s final and ultimate word to his people would be God himself – God himself coming to dwell with his people in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the great prophet, the final and ultimate prophet. He is God’s perfect and climactic word to us (Heb 1:1-2; John 1:1, 14, 18). There are no ‘new words’ to be added to the words of Christ! Whereas the prophet would say, ‘Thus says the Lord,’ Christ would say, ‘I say to you’ (e.g. Matt 5:22). God’s word to us in Christ is perfect, final, and sufficient (Rev 22:18-19). Moreover as Ezekiel was filled with the Spirit and was ‘bound’ to the word and will of God, so Christ was filled with the Spirit ‘above measure’ (John 3:34) and his ‘food’ was to do the will of his Father (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 12:49). And finally as the prophet spoke words of judgment (death) and restoration (life), so eternal life and eternal death hinge on our response to Christ, the very word of God.
How should Christ as the true and final prophet of God impact our lives as believers? First, Christ’s word to us in the Scriptures is perfect (John 10:35; 17:17). There are no contradictions and no errors. It is the perfect foundation upon which we live and move and have our being. Second, Christ’s word to us in the Scriptures is final and sufficient. There is nothing to be added or to be taken away from his word. And we do not look to culture, to science, or to our own feelings to determine truth. We do not conform and accommodate Scripture to societal standards; we are conformed by and to the word of God. And finally, Christ’s word to us in the Scriptures is life-giving. Thus, we are to love it, to prize it, and to spend time in it. May we pray for the Spirit to stir up in our hearts a love for Christ our prophet and his perfect word to us!