Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How To Explain The Bible To The Lost

I now send you, to open their eyes…that they may receive forgiveness of sins… —Acts 26:17-18

{CHAMBERS} “This verse is the greatest example of the true essence of the message of a disciple of Jesus Christ in all of the New Testament. God’s first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words, “…that they may receive forgiveness of sins….” When a person fails in his personal Christian life, it is usually because he has never received anything. […] When a person is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People may make vows and promises, and may be determined to follow through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, namely, forgiveness of sins.”

{ELGIN} I was once asked how to explain how another Christian could explain the Bible to a lost person.  My answer … “You can’t!” You can have them look the words up in a dictionary if the don’t understand their meaning.  After all, they are ‘just printed words”, right?  But there is more to it the word of God than stories and words in the English language.  Did you know that in Haitian Creole there is no word for “fox”?  (Luke 9:58) “Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.””  Instead, the word used is “shen” which is dog.  What! Then how can their Bible be accurate?  Listen. I probably have the minority view on what I am about to say.  The important thing is not if it’s fox or dog.  The important thing is that in order to follow Jesus, it means giving up your life. (Luke 9:57-60) “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.””

(1 Corinthians 2:13-15) “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments”  Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again, spiritually, and Nicodemus, a teacher of the Law, did not understand what Jesus was saying (John 3)  The Bible is a spiritual book. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that it is God breathed meaning the inspiration is from the Spirit of God not men’s contemplation and wisdom.  Salvation is not a mortal decision – I have decided to follow Jesus – but it is a spiritual awakening and spiritual transaction that is initiated by God and is very personal. It is a mix of faith and grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) And unless the Spirit of God is involved, it is impossible for someone to understand the “true meaning” of the words in the Bible.  But .. that is not to say that God will not use those words as a catalyst, in concert, with the working of His Spirit.  So my answer to the original question should have been …. It is important to expose the Lost to the Word of God, but it is the Spirit and not you that will give understanding and only then.  Our part is to lift Jesus up in word and deed, and the Spirit convicts them of sin and draws them to the Father. 

1 comment:

Darrell said...

Great post, Charley. It has taken me a long time to finally understand the Spirit's work on the heart, as He molds me. The indwelt Spirit explains the Bible, Christ, the inerrant Word of God.