I love to read the daily newspaper and from time to time I read the opinion page.
I love to read the daily newspaper and from time to time I read the opinion page. It fascinates me to read of the varied opinions thinking people have regarding the issues of the day. It seems everyone has an opinion and loves to share it with others in hopes of changing the minds of those who disagree. Opinions are fine as far as they go, but they are at best simply the viewpoint of fallible man. What Jesus gave in our text for today was more than an opinion. He spoke what was written in the inerrant, infallible word of God. Truth, not theory. Fact, not opinion.
When faced with Satan’s temptation the Lord did not debate him, argue with him, analyze his position or point out the devil’s flawed logic. He simply said without apology: “It is written.” The word of God, standing alone, is enough. Though with thought and reason it can be seen to be a rational explanation for any debatable point, such reasoning is not needed. For Christ, just standing on His Father’s word was enough and so also it should be with us.
People ask for reasons and rationale but there are times when taking God at His word is all that is necessary. Satan’s logic can seem tempting, even rational, yet anything contrary to God’s word is wrong. Always! Billy Graham tells the story of his own struggling with the authority of Scripture in the days leading up to his great Los Angeles crusade that launched his worldwide ministry.
His grandson writes: “One night he walked out into the woods and set his Bible on a stump – more an altar than a pulpit – and he cried out: ‘O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can’t answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions others are raising.’ And then, my grandfather fell to his knees and the Holy Spirit moved in him as he said, ‘Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word — by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!’”
Everything changed from that point forward and Billy Graham became the most mightily used evangelist in the modern history of the church. What made the difference? He accepted the plain truth that God’s word is true and needs no argument. He decided to preach; “It is written” and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
The Bible speaks of being God’s word; true from cover to cover. Don’t apologize for it or spend undue time explaining it. Just say: it is written and let God do the rest.
Bruce MacInnes is the senior pastor of Turner’s Chapel in Sanford.