Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
The Psalmist says, “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry … When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORS is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (PS 34:15, 17-18).
Two members of our flock lost loved ones yesterday. May we be in prayer for Drew in the loss of his niece and for Sandy in the loss of her mother. Pray for the Lord’s peace and grace to be with the families and with Drew and Sandy. And pray that God would be glorified through this difficult time. Let us be a church that cares for one another, serves one another, and prays for one another!
- TONIGHT we will meet at the VanTubergen’s home at 7:00 for our Wednesday Bible study in Galatians. Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, TX.
- THIS SATURDAY the ladies will meet at the home of Prem and Annie at 9:00 AM for their Mugs n’ Muffins fellowship. Their address is 17035 Feather Fall Lane, Houston, TX, 77095.
- MEN be on the lookout for our next breakfast and keep reading in “The Secret of Contentment.”
- CONTINUE to be in prayer for the Lord to raise up his sheep for a new church plant in the Clearlake area of Houston.
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a continuation of the series, “Understanding your Bibles.”
God bless and I look forward to worshipping with all of you this Lord’s day!
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Understanding Your Bibles, part III”
2 Timothy 2:13, “[God] cannot deny himself.”
How do we understand our Bibles? What principles of Biblical interpretation do we use when reading the word of God? And where do we find such principles? Well … we find such principles in the Bible itself. In other words, we go to the Bible to learn how to understand the Bible. And there are a few basic principles we can employ to aid us to be those ‘rightly handling the word of truth’ (2 Tim 2:15). The last two weeks we considered the first principle – what we might call the ‘Christo-centric’ principle. That is, we are to read our Bibles through Christ-centered lenses. And why would we do this? Because Jesus tells us to and because the Apostles did so.
This week I want to consider a second interpretive principle, the ‘internal consistency principle.’ Put simply, this principle states that the Bible is consistent with itself. There are no contradictions in the word of God; rather there is perfect harmony. This principle is derived from both the character of God and the doctrine of inspiration. First, God is perfectly consistent with himself. There is no division in his character. He is the God of truth. Paul states in 2 Timothy 2: “if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself” (v. 12b-13). God cannot deny himself. He must be and always is perfectly consistent with himself. He is the God of truth who never lies (Is 65:16; Titus 1:2; John 3:33; 14:6). And second, God is the ultimate author of Scripture. He is the Divine Author of Scripture. The Scriptures are the breathed-out word of God (2 Tim 3:16); thus the character of the Bible reflects the character of God – the attributes of Scripture reflect the attributes of God. Just as God is powerful, his word is powerful. Just as God is glorious and beautiful, his word is glorious and beautiful. Just as God is living, his word is living. And for our purposes in this series, just as God is the God of truth, so his word is truth (John 17:17).
What does this mean for our interpretation and understanding of our Bibles? It means that we must never pit two passages against one another. It means the Bible never contradicts itself. It means that if we have difficulty reconciling two passages, then ultimately the problem is with us and not with the word of God. And practically for our Bible study, it means that we should always interpret the less clear passages in light of the more clear passages – the obscure in light of the clear.
Brothers and sisters, there is one unfolding story in the word of God. And it is the story of God’s gracious plan to redeem lost sinners. This plan stretches from eternity to eternity – from the eternal counsel of the Godhead in electing a people for himself, to the eternal communion God’s people will have with Him in glory in the New Heavens and the New Earth. And this grand plan is plainly revealed in the Scriptures. However, even as Peter said of Paul’s writings, there are some things ‘hard to understand’ (2 Pet 3:16). We are to be diligent and careful in our study of God’s word. May we be lovers of the word of God and of the God who is the Divine Author of his word. And may we do our best to present ourselves approved of God, workers who do not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).