Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Living By Every Word That Proceeds From the Mouth of God - Part 7


The Derivative Word Of God and Its Implications for Today.

(This is part two in a series that examines the view of Justice Boshoff who advocates that God’s word comes to us personally and directly from the Holy Spirit through prayer for wisdom and that the scriptures are a hindrance to hearing the word of God. You can read a transcript of two of his You-Tube videos: According to the Scriptures, You Won't Make It and Breaking Through the Bible Barrier.)

We should distinguish, on the one hand, between those words that are verbalized (whether oral or written) as a result of the oversight of God’s Spirit, and those words, on the other, in which there is no such oversight, but nevertheless convey accurately God’s thoughts. The former are a supernatural product and are intrinsically God’s words. The latter communicate the thought and meaning of the supernatural product and therefore are derivatively the word of God. The inspired words of the Bible are the very words of God by which he discloses to us his nature and purposes. The kerygmatic words (preaching) of men down through Church history are an exposition of the inscripturated words; insofar as they convey the meaning of those original words, they are in a derivative and secondary way the words of God.

The kerygmatic word of our day is not new revelation, that is, it is not the medium of a new self-disclosing word of God; nor is it the product of a supernatural overseeing of the Holy Spirit. Both the original and derived word have authority, but the difference is this: without the supernatural word there is no derivative word. Without the inspired word of the apostles and prophets, there is no source or basis on which an uninspired statement can be made with any certainty of its truthfulness or authority in its claims.

What implications may we draw for the Christian in his situation today? The apostolic word of God is beneficial not only to the first recipients of the original word, but also to others who can draw implications for their present situation from that original (1 Cor 10:6-11; 2 Tim 3:15-17). The original word addressing the original situation is the basis on which a derivative word may address a future situation.

Contrary to Mr. Boshoff’s position that the scriptures can only lead us to Christ but have no further word for us in our situation, the Bible, as the inspired word of God, serves as the basis for drawing examples, principles, and implications that are derivatively the word of God addressing us in our situation now. It is the charge of the pastor-teachers who are gifts given to the Church, Eph 4:11. The pastor-teacher must be able to teach, 1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 2:2, 24, “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict,” Titus 1:9.

But Mr. Boshoff speaks disparagingly of those who are ordained elders in the church, who exercise their commission to teach sound doctrine:

“Some people say that what God wanted to say He said and it is written in the scriptures. That is a lie my friend, because God is not dead, God is alive. The churches want you to believe that God is dead because they want to tell you that God speaks through them to you. They want to keep you confined. Capture. They want to capture you. They want to tell you that they will interpret for you what God is saying. They have no knowledge of God at all. Nothing! They don't know Jesus.”
There is no such belittling of the pastor-teacher in the New Testament. He is called to teach, exposit the words of scripture and apply them to our situation because of their four-fold profitability. Through the pastor-teacher’s sound explication of scripture, he makes the sinner wise unto salvation and the man of God complete and equipped for every good work, (2 Tim 3:15-17).

With the entrance of the Incarnate Word into the world, God’s speaking in this present evil age reached its climactic expression (Heb 1:1, 2; John 1:14, 18; Jude 3), and the kerygmatic preaching of the apostolic era was its denouement. The scriptures are the permanent record of God’s word and the exposition of it is the means by which that word reaches the ears of God’s people today.

There is a dearth of sound, expository preaching in today’s church. God’s people are suffering for lack of it. To accommodate the sinner for fear of offending him, the sermon has been divested of its power by replacing the exposition of scripture with stories, humor, positive thinking, prosperity theology, and step-by-step self-help guidelines. The truth of God’s absolute holiness, man’s utter sinfulness, and the grace and mercy that comes only through Christ’s atonement and resurrection are nearly absent. The exclusivity of the cross is replaced with a false gospel that ceases to call men to repentance and faith in Christ alone; the power of the gospel to save from our sin and sinfulness is forgotten.

Expository preaching is the derivative word of God; through it, we hear God’s voice today. Without it, the church falls into false doctrine, fails to recognize sin, loses its identity as a chosen people who has been called to holiness and not to uncleanness, leaves the straight path and fails to find it again.

Through the exposition of scripture, the Spirit of God opens the eyes of our understanding so that we, as God’s people, know what is the hope of our calling, the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and the exceeding greatness of God’s power toward us which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead (Eph 1:17-20).

Through the meticulous explanation of scripture and its application to our present situation, the believer is renewed in the spirit of his mind so that he puts on the new man and puts off the old (Eph 4:20-24). He walks less and less as unwise, and more and more with wisdom, understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:15-17).

The people of God in every age must hear the word of God. In the time between the advents, from the apostolic era until Christ returns, that word comes to us derivatively through preaching that is a faithful, exposition of scripture (2 Tim 4:2; Tit 1:3).

Are the pews empty? Exposit the scriptures from the pulpit; let the word of God be heard. God’s people will come because they love the law of the Lord; it will refresh them, bringing continuous revival. It will convict them, bringing repentance and purity to the church. It will instruct them making them wiser than all ungodly counselors. Above all, it will glorify the One whose word is preached.

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