Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scripture as Two-Edged Sword

John 5:19-47:
Jesus gave [the Jews] this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out-- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. "You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. "I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. "I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"

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What weighty and convicting subjects! Jesus will be our just judge as Revelation portrays (the Lamb on the throne). The Father, God of the ages, shares his power and authority with the Son. And Jesus clearly pointed out the fault of man. Jesus made this response to "the Jews", but this accusation stands against any and all who stand opposed to him. We who are Christians should even apply this Scripture to ourselves.

As Christians, do we fall into the mindset of performing good works to "get to heaven," or do we question (or ignore) what was written of Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures? Do we accept the latest that Oprah or Joel Osteen have to say, merely because they say it? Do we work to earn the praise of men (our bosses, our government, or friends, our parents)?

If we reject Jesus, even by forgetting him, we have rejected all of Scripture and stand condemned. Moses, prophets and writings (the Hebrew Scriptures), shortened in this passage to "Moses," reveal Christ and glorify him as God. The stone that the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22-23; Acts 4:11-12) is also the Rock that is higher than we are (Deut 32: 4-6, 15; Psalm 61:2-4).

Let us search the Scriptures and meditate on them (Psalm 1:1-3), allowing them to do the work of conviction which motivates us to repentance. Scripture is a sharp, two-edged sword, which we must use on ourselves daily (Hebrews 4:12-13). Jesus alone is our sacrifice before a holy God and is our holy God himself. Our God gave himself that we might be saved from his own righteous wrath. We must look to our Rock for salvation.

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