ďIs it in the red? If not, then it is not important.Ē That is
the approach many take to Bible study today. Of course, their
point is, if it is Jesusí word then it is important, the rest
was just opinion and conjecture from Jesusí earliest followers.
The Bible, on the other hand, presents a different picture of
Jesusí word. Looking to the Bible, we learn four facts about
Jesusí word that should affect our approach to the Bible.
word is from God (John
aspects of the trinity and the relationship of the Father, Son and
Spirit may elude our finite minds, one thing we understand for
sure is that in the eternal plan, the Son has subjected Himself to
the will of the Father. While on the earth, Jesus, God the Son,
made it clear that what He said and taught came directly from God.
He did not speak or act on his own initiative, but rather in
submission to the Fatherís will (John
very outset, we learn the whole concept of asking, ďIs it in
red?Ē misses the point. That question makes it sound as if all
that is important is whether or not Jesus verbally said something.
The issue about whether or not something is a part of Jesusí
word is whether or not it is from God. With this point in mind we
recognize Jesusí words were not His own, but the Fatherís.
This word of
Jesus, we find, is very powerful. In fact, the scripture presents
two very important aspects of the power and authority of Jesusí
word will impart life to believers (John
6, Jesus offended a great number of those who had followed Him
by calling Himself the bread of life and claiming those who would
eat His flesh and drink His blood would have life. The people
misunderstood and viewed this as some kind of sick cannibalistic
perversity. They did not understand the figurative and spiritual
nature of Jesusí message.
clearly how one would eat His flesh and drink His blood in John 6:63. He pointed out that what imparted life to people was not
a literal consumption of Jesusí body and blood. Rather, it is
the consumption of and obedience to His word. Jesusí word is
take note in John 6:64
Jesus demonstrates His word does not give life to those who do not
believe. Only those who believe and submit to Jesusí word will
receive the life Jesus has to offer. Regrettably, in this context,
the majority of those who were following Him abandoned Him.
Amazingly, this refers to the multitudes He fed with five loaves
and two fish earlier in the chapter. However, the twelve, when
given the opportunity to leave in John
6:67-68 responded, ďTo whom shall we go? You have words of
eternal life.Ē In other words, if we choose not to believe the
word of Jesus, we have no place else to turn. Only Jesus has the
words of life. Our only hope is to believe them.
word will judge rejecters (John
On the other
end of the spectrum is what will happen to those who reject the
word of Jesus. That very word which they have rejected will judge
them in the last day. In
Matthew 25:45-46, Jesus
reveals the distinction between those given life through belief in
His word and those who are judged by His word. Those who are
judged will suffer eternal punishment.
especially that the scripture does not provide for anywhere in
between. One is either a believer in Jesusí word or he is a
rejecter. One either receives everlasting life or everlasting
punishment. There is no temporary punishment and then eternal life
for those who believe parts and reject parts. It is all or
of the two builders in Matthew
7:24-27 pictures both cases. The believer hears and obeys. The
rejecter may hear and may even partially obey, but in some area
decides not to listen to Jesusí word. The believerís house
maintains stability in this life and the next. The rejecter, while
appearing stable for a time, will lose his house; if not here, in
points out there is no middle ground. One either accepts Jesusí
word totally and gathers with Him or he is against Jesus.
Now that we
understand the importance of Jesusí word in our eternal destiny,
it is important to understand what Jesusí word is.
was spoken through the apostles (II
Peter 3:2; I Corinthians 14:37).
16:13-15, Jesus clearly demonstrates His word is not limited
to just what He said while in the flesh. After He ascended to the
Father, He sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to guide the
apostles into all truth. But then Jesus pointed out that what the
Spirit would say came from Jesus who has already told us His words
come from the Father. We learn then, that not only the words in
red belong to Jesus. All words inspired by the Holy Spirit are the
words of Jesus.
II Peter 1:20-21
demonstrates clearly which words belong to Jesus. All scripture
came as a revelation from the Holy Spirit, therefore all scripture
is the word of Jesus. Later in this same letter, Peter points out
the words of the New Testament apostles and prophets were not
their own but were the commandment of the Lord Jesus (II
Peter 3:2). Paul, in I
Corinthians 14:37, teaches what he wrote is the Lordís
command. In Galatians
1:11-12, Paul wants everyone to know the gospel he preached
was directly from Jesus.
demonstrates what the Spirit revealed to these apostles and
prophets was written down. By referring to that, the reader could
understand the Gospel. Interestingly, while some would have us
believe the people in the first century only referred to the Old
Testament as scripture, II Peter 3:15-16 demonstrates in the first century at the very
least, Paulís writings were considered scripture. Of course,
what we learn from II
Peter 3:2 and Ephesians 3:3-5 is the early Christians understood the writings of the apostles
and prophets of the New Testament were scripture. It wasnít
hundreds of years later that people recognized what was scripture
and what was not.
us the entirety of scripture is important to our Christian walk.
Whether the scripture is in red or not, it is the word of Jesus.
In the end, our submission to that word or lack thereof will
determine our eternal destiny. If you have ever been wont to say
what Paul or Peter wrote is not as important as what Jesus said,
remember this lesson. It is all the word of Jesus and must all be
believed and obeyed.
Jesus has given us His word. It is up to us to follow it,
all of it. Remember, there is no in between. We either accept all
of His word, or we have rejected Jesus. As we close consider the
word of Jesus in Mark
16:16 and Acts 2:38. Have you
submitted to Christ in belief, repentance and baptism? If not,
then you are still a rejecter of Jesus. Why not change that now?
to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Church of Christ