Starting the Year in Truth
Equipping Eve is all about equipping women with the truth of God’s Word so that we may stand unwavering upon that word when confronted with the errors and deception of the world and of the father of lies (John 8:44).
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
Yet, we cannot know the Word, and we cannot know the Word incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ, if we are not immersed in the written Word that has been graciously given to us by God. The Bible is our sustenance, ladies. As Christians, we cannot survive very long without consuming God’s Word. And when we realize what God says about His Word, why would we want to deliberately starve ourselves?
In a recent blog post, popular seeker-driven pastor Perry Noble of Newspring Church boldly and controversially stated that “community is more important than reading the Bible.” Ladies, Perry Noble is wrong. Dreadfully, shamefully, grievously wrong. He argues that while the early church did not have access to the Bible for 300 years, they had one another. What Noble fails to acknowledge is that the early church had access to the Old Testament, the direct teaching of the apostles, the written letters of those apostles, and later, the teachings of the disciples of those apostles. The early church, friends, had access to the Word of God. We today are simply blessed to have it easily accessible in written and electronic format, always at our fingertips.
Imagine what would happen if we invited new believers into a community of people who love Jesus and are desperately trying their best to follow Him. It would be way more effective than just handing them a Bible and hoping they “figure it out!” (Source)
Yet, one only needs to read Psalm 119 to see that the Word of God is wholly sufficient for teaching believers about Christ, and about what it means to be saved by Him and to walk according to His statutes by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. What Perry Noble is teaching is not unique to him, however. Professing Christians across the globe, and especially in Western society, are more and more proclaiming the so-called fifth gospel—i.e., the visible life of the believer. While it is necessary for Christians to walk in a manner worthy of their great calling (Eph 4:1), ultimately it is the Word of God that saves and sanctifies, for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom 10:17).
Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth, Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17). He did not pray, “Sanctify them in community, community is truth.” So while Christian fellowship is important and even vital to our daily walk (Heb 10:23–25), it is not the culmination of truth. If we rely solely upon the influence of men to strengthen and further our walk with Christ, we will find ourselves quickly led astray. Without running to the Word of God dail to test all things against it, we only invite deception into our lives.
Were we to suddenly be separated from Christian fellowship, and were that all that we had depended upon to deepen our faith, what would happen? We would flounder and drown. Yet, if we have hidden the Word of God in our hearts, even if we suddenly do not have access to a written copy of that Word, we will find ourselves strengthened, encouraged, and praising the Master Who bought us. That is because the Scripture always points perfectly to Christ, who alone is our strength and salvation.
As we begin 2015, I encourage you to adopt a daily Bible reading plan, along with a trajectory of Bible study upon which you may embark. There are multiple reading plans available, and with the Internet, any one of them is easily accessible to you. Some may enjoy MacArthur’s Daily Bible, as it combines daily readings with the wonderful study notes of the MacArthur Study Bible. Others may seek a great challenge, and may undertake Professor Grant Horner’s reading plan, or Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s comprehensive plan. This year, I plan to use this simple plan that was posted several years ago at the website of the GraceLife Pulpit. Whatever you find works best for you, make it your desire, not just your goal, to immerse yourself in the Word each day.
May you spend this year, and every year, devouring the Word of God so that you may grow strong in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no better way to get equipped.