Living by the Book


One thing that I love about doing church at home is that that it promotes participation. You get to see exactly what a person’s beliefs systems are. It does not take long before the mask comes off. This sets the stage for loving correction. I have heard things such as: “The word of God is too old and can’t be applied for today.” And, “We no longer have problems or issues because we are now a new creation.” I have been able to see that folks who have been in churches for years don’t even know how to define the gospel; I have even encountered Jehovah Witnesses. These statements needed correction, but we would have never known if the person is not allowed to participate in the discussion. 

Every decision we make is the result of our viewpoint or ideology concerning life. Every viewpoint we embrace is directly connected to our worldview[1] and, every worldview is ultimately the result of what we believe. The Bible tells us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 (New King James Version) 

What we believe is extremely important because it will guide our decision-making. David tells us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 (KJV) When our belief system is compromise, we will walk in darkness… we will walk in error.

Everybody believes in something, and we will make decisions based on what we believe. Our belief system is based on family traditions, culture, religions, etc. Our belief system will determine our politics, our views on abortion, same sex marriage, sex before marriage, etc. Beloved, does your belief system matches the Word of God? 

The Bible is not just one more book, the Bible is the Word of God. We do have problems with translations; after all the original Word was not delivered to us is Spanish or English, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. So, we are encouraged, not just to read the Word, but to study the Word. Second Timothy 2:15 tells us “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)

We have got to get to a point where every philosophical statement we make regarding this life and, how to live, has its foundation in the World of God. If it does not have the backing of the Word or worse yet if it contradicts the Word… throw it out! Jesus tells us,

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32 (KJV)

Jesus does not consider his disciples those who live according to their own opinions; He considers his disciples those who honor his Word. We all fall short, I understand that, but the question is, what are we pursuing, our own belief system or to live lives by the Book? In John 8:31 Jesus is speaking of the word Logos; this means the written Word. In other verses we will find the word Rhema. When Jesus tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”[2]The word here is the word rhḗma; meaning “To speak. That which is spoken, a statement, word. Particularly a word as uttered by a living voice.”[3]

When we speak about Rhema we are speaking about the revelation of the written Word. The Rhema word MUST submit to the Logos, the written Word. Not only revelations, but prophetic words, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, etc. must submit to the Logos of God. We will have new revelations because we know in part (I Cor. 13:9) and we are supposed to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. The Apostle Peter encourages us to, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

When it comes to the Word of God, we must remember that: 1) we know in part; nobody knows it all, 2) we must study the Word constantly; look at dictionaries, the original language, etc. not just passive readings, 3) we must be humble and allow our conclusions to be tested in loving discussions by the Word of God, 4) always be open to go deeper into our understanding of the Word, there is more to learn, don’t get stuck in denominational doctrines and, 5) always be humble and take corrections when we are wrong.

Living by the Book does not mean that we are perfect; it means that the Word of God is the ultimate authority in what we do regardless of what our family traditions say, what your denomination teaches, and what the culture promotes. A person living by the Word does not call good evil and evil good, even when they are the ones doing the evil. Prophet Isaiah tells us,

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 (NIV)

[1] The way we see the world.

[2] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mt 4:4.

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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