Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Burden and Inspiration of the Word

At the end of every Thursday I feel so tired that I know I need a long weekend to rest and recuperate for the new week ahead. Today I lectured on the Letter to the Hebrews in less than 2 hours. I spent 30 minutes explaining 2 Tim 3:16-17 where Paul states categorically that every or all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching..... Unless we have the right view of Scripture we will face countless problems, least of all we become judge of Scripture instead of being judged by Scripture. As Calvin so aptly put it that there is a need for a measure of docility in our approach to God's Word and we are all students in the School of Scripture with the Holy Spirit as our teacher. Isaiah the prophet has revealed that it is to those who tremble at God's Word that God is truly pleased to dwell and make his home. How can we presume to critique Scripture since the writings are breathed out by God who has no rival nor a God who is capable of error for He is perfect and there is no iniquity with him.

A God who created the universe by His Word has spoken to the prophets and there is no reason to doubt that under God's inspiration and guidance there is no mistake or error in Scripture for ultimately the author of Scripture is God himself. When we claim that Scripture is inspired it does not mean that there is no requirement in expending great effort in interpreting Scripture for Scripture is multifaceted, varied and to interpret it accurately and coherently requires great skill and understanding of the whole breath of Scripture. That said, those who labour in mining the depths of Scripture deserve our honour and respect as Paul said, "do not muzzle the ox while he treads the grains". It is the nobles with their staffs (tools of skills and knowledge) that dig the wells of salvation and draw from them a well-spring of living waters that refresh the souls that feed on the wheat on God's Word. If one sermon lasts 30 minutes on average, my 3-hour lectures are equivalent to 6 sermons a day and times 3 that would make a total of 18 sermons a week during week-days plus another sermon or two on a Sunday. No wonder my strength is giving way, no like before when I was in my 30s where I could preach the whole week-ends preaching in 7 services on average in many revival meetings throughout Borneo. Now I am doing it in Singapore where the ground is hard and the response is slow and the workers toil long hours without rewards and without fruits. Kyrie Eleison!

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