Since the year of my birth, ten U.S. Presidents have occupied the Oval Office. Six of them have been Republican and five of them have been Democrats. I have lived in six states, eight cities, ten houses, three apartments, and one college dorm. I have belonged to ten churches and served in ministry in six of those. Much has changed in my life over the period just shy of a half century's worth of years. Yet much has remained the same. In the words of Peter (actually, Isaiah first) . . .
When Christians speak of the word of God, they do so in reference to two subjects. I call these subjects "the word with a lower-case w" and "the Word with an upper-case W."
w = The Bible
W = Jesus
As Peter does in the verse above, we refer to God's communication, spoken and written, as His word. In the words of the Baptist Faith and Message (1963) . . .
"The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ."
For good reason, Christians interpret the Bible (the word) through Jesus Christ; for Jesus is the Word.
The lower-case word and upper-case Word go hand-in-hand. Do you want to know about Jesus? Read the word. Do you want to understand the word? Listen for the Word's lead. Never try to understand the word without the Word. Never try to live for the Word without being in the word.
In the words of Dylan, "the times they are a-changin'." As they do, stay in the word and the Word.
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