Vol.XIII No.V Pg.5
July 1976

Our Father Calls His Children

Robert F. Turner

When the Biblical concept of word of God is conceded we are mightily compelled to acknowledge that this message sent from God, framed by His Spirit, intended to instruct His creatures, is certainly capable of accomplishing its purpose. To say it is not understandable, or is ambiguous and contradictory, is to reflect upon its author. (We are here considering the original writings. We believe the message is reliably preserved in current versions, but that is a separate subject we cannot here discuss.)

To say that latter day hearers must have some immediate assistance of the Holy Spirit in order to understand, is to reflect upon the Spirits first work in assisting the Bible writers. Much of this error stems from the sacerdotal view of church as an institution which alone makes known the light of revealed truth; or, the evangelical doctrine of election and grace, directly bestowed. Both positions deny the true Biblical teaching re. the word of God — and both encourage men to trust in traditional history of theology to the detriment of reliance upon the work of God.

Then why is there so much misunderstanding? The wide influence of the above Catholic and Protestant concepts has greatly affected Bible Study. Major portions of those interested in Christianity are divided into church or creedal camps, and do little serious investigation fir themselves. Others seem to think that the freedom to study means freedom to draw whatever conclusion they please, and each man becomes a law unto himself. There is no genuine submission to divine authority is such an attitude. Modern theologians encourage the idea that TRUTH is wholly relative to the beholder, and has no fixed quality. This is purely subjective, and denies the most basic principle of a God who speaks. The Bible is no Ouija board with messages for the mystics and occult.

Although it is a library, a compilation of the literature of people of God, it is more than that. It has a central theme, despite its 66 books, some 40 writers, and 1,500 years in the making. God loved his creatures, even when they rebelled against Him. He promised redemption! (Gen. 12:1-3) He developed a people by whom He revealed Himself at sundry times and in divers manners, and through whom He sent His Son (Gal. 3:16-29). His dealing with the children of Abraham is the basis for types and shadows which prefigure His deliverance from the bondage of sin all who will put their trust in His Son. By the resurrection of His Son from death, He instilled hope in mortal man and lifted his eyes to eternity. And in the vivid apocalyptic flashes of the last book He shows us Victory! This theme gives a unity to the Bible such as is found in no other literature.

The word of God should not be read piecemeal. While obviously one can not read it all at once, the theme and framework can be recognized in early lengthy readings, and then each part can be studied intelligently. As its message unfolds, and we are led down its halls of duty, mercy, grace, truth and life, we will be pointed toward heaven by the word of God.