We also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. — 1 Thessalonians 2:13
When the Thessalonian church heard the apostle Paul preach, they had a choice: do we dismiss his message as simply a human message or do we receive it as the word of God? To dismiss it as merely human might have been the easiest route. Take the pieces you like and throw away the rest — or, at least, dispose of the more uncomfortable parts.
Instead, Paul commends them for receiving his message as the word of God.
We would do well to explore the implications. If the message of the Bible is simply a matter of one human writing to another human, then let’s set aside the unpleasant parts (which usually are aimed at taming our rebellion) and only follow the easy ones. If the Bible is purely a human construct, then Dr. Phil’s advice is equal to that of Peter or James. Wayne Dyer’s words would carry the same weight as King David’s.
But if the Bible is indeed the word of God, what then? If the Bible is inspired by God, can we easily set it aside, picking and choosing the parts we wish to follow?
According to Paul, this word of God is “at work in you who believe.” Songs or novels may create an emotion within us, but do they produce lasting change? Only the word of God carries the power of God.
What do you think?