Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I Choose It To Mean

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean-- neither more nor less.'

~Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Personal Reflections on Psalm 1, Psalm 19, and 1 Timothy 3:1 - 4:8:

This week I reflected on the psalmist's desire that his meditations and words be pleasing in the sight of the Lord. He prays that willful sins will not rule over him. I look into my own heart and see the same struggle. I do often sin willfully and my prayer echoes his. I pray that these sins would not rule over me, and that I would find power in Christ and the Spirit to find victory in my struggle with sin. And, like the psalmist, I also pray for forgiveness for hidden sins and pray that God would reveal them to me.

I have also enjoyed thinking about God's beauty and glory being revealed in nature. Too often I take the heavens and the earth for granted. I forget to see the beauty of a flower or a bird in winged flight, but this Psalm reminds me to stop and take the simple things in, to see God's creation around me and to reflect upon it. I do not think the purpose of Psalm 19 is solely to focus on this aspect, as the psalmist quickly transitions from his meditations on the glory of God revealed in creation to the perfect aspect of God’s law. I think, just as nothing is hidden from the heat of the sun, nothing is also hidden from God’s law.

In keeping with the theme of nature, I looked at the tree in Psalm 1, and looked at the comparison of the blessed man to a tree planted by a stream of water.  Because the tree is planted with its roots going deep into the earth, it has everything it needs, and it functions as it should. It does everything a tree is created to do: it grows strong, yields fruit, and it prospers. The man who delights in the law of God-- this law that is perfect, sure, right, pure, and true-- also puts down roots so he, too, will prosper.

As I reflect on my growth as a Christian and my ministry, I see that I need to keep growing in knowledge and love of God’s word. I need to put down roots in Scripture, to test it and see that it is God-breathed. Like the psalmist, I pray that God would change my heart. I pray that I would love him more, that I would see his glory as it is revealed both in Scripture and in nature. I also pray that I would be transformed through the ministry of his word. I continue and will continue to struggle against willful sins in my life, and hidden sins as well, but God’s law revives the soul and makes wise the simple. I pray that I would also be so transformed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Personal Reflections on Psalm 1, Psalm 19, and 1 Timothy 3:1 - 4:8:

The passages that I reflected on this week have caused me to realize that I do not hold God’s word in high enough esteem. Or that I do not esteem it as much as I profess and that it is not as dear to me as I would like to believe. I could have never written the words of Psalm 1 and Psalm 19, for when have I ever seen the law of the Lord as perfect, reviving my soul? Or desired his precepts and decrees more than the sweet things in life? I am struck by the Psalmists’ delight in God’s Word and his earnest desire to meditate on it day and night.

In 2 Timothy 3, Paul picks up where the Psalmists have left off by reminding Timothy that he must continue in what he has learned from childhood, that he must hold fast to the Holy Scriptures which give wisdom and lead to faith in Christ. Significantly, he points out that God’s word prepares the man of God for every good work. Paul then charges Timothy to preach the word, and tells him to be ready in and out of season. He reminds him, as well, that turning aside from scripture leads to turning away from the truth. This turning away reminds me of the blowing away of the chaff in Psalm 1. Such men will not stand in the judgment.

  These verses are a sharp but loving reproof and reminder to me that if I desire to experience greater joy in my Lord, that I must be more committed to reading his word faithfully and meditating on the great truths contained within. Furthermore, in order to be faithful to the spirit of Paul’s command to Timothy (that he be prepared both in and out of season), I must also hold fast to what I have been taught and what I have firmly believed. For me to do the work of an evangelist, I need to drink deep of scripture.

   Our 2 Timothy reading begins and ends with the warning that in these last days there will be times of difficulties. Paul tells Timothy of evil men who live for themselves and pervert the word of God. This challenges me to love God’s word and to make a greater commitment to reading my Bible so that I may be prepared in my own times of difficulties. It also reminds me that I can hope to reprove, rebuke, and exhort those people who have distorted God’s word only if I have seen the beauty in God’s law for myself, and have meditated upon so that its deep truths take hold in my heart.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Infallibility of the Church

Rome believes that the church is infallible as well as Scripture. The infallibility of the church extends not only to the question of canon formation but also to the question of biblical interpretation. To summarize, we can say that according to Rome we have an infallible Bible whose extent is decreed infallibly by the church and whose content is interpreted infallibly by the church. However, the individual Christian is still left in his own fallibility as he seeks to understand the infallible Bible as interpreted by the infallible church. No one is extending infallibility to the individual believer.

~The Establishment of Scripture by R.C. Sproul in Sola Scriptura, 1995