Empty-minded Susanne again…..Hell-bent on writing…..but WHAT?
Hmm………… I think I could write about the connection between The Eternal Word of God (Rev 19:13) that is Jesus Christ, the spoken prophetic word of God (cf. Acts 8:14, for example; Rev 20:4), and the written word of God, the Bible (2 Tim 3:16).
From my own experience I fully endorse that we should seek Christ first. If we have come to know Him, that is, to love Him who is LOVE, He prompts us to study the Bible, and thus end up loving His Word, too [no Bible reading plan necessary, then 😉 ]. Actually, who would not love the words written by the one whom he or she deeply loves? Has anyone ever fallen in love and NOT loved a letter written by their lover?
I believe it is possible to know the Bible without knowing Him, but never vice versa, i.e., knowing Christ without an increasing understanding of Scripture. Knowing Christ means that we have been given God’s inner life in the Spirit (Rom 8:1-17, Gal 5:16-26) that cannot be seen from the outside, for it is hidden inside of our own spirit. It is an entirely new life, a Christ-centered, prayer-based and Spirit-driven life.
When God has opened the eyes and ears of our hearts – by His Spirit – we can also see Him who is risen with our inner eyes (Jn 16:16) and hear His voice not only by reading the Bible, but directly perceivable to our spiritual ears. The apostle John mentioned seven times in the Book of Revelation that it is possible to hear God’s voice, for instance here,
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 3:22 ESV)
However, Jesus during His time on earth also reaffirmed that it can be really God’s will (!!) that some people may hear His spoken prophetic words with their physical ears, yet do not understand what He is talking to them. For it is written,
“But he said to them, “It has been given to you to know the secret of the Kingdom of God, but to those others, it is spoken in an allegory, that while seeing they will not perceive, and when hearing, they will not understand.”” (Lk 8:10 Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
The last Scripture clarifies that we need Christ’s Spirit to enlighten our hearts so that our minds can transcend its human – excuse my diction – extremely limited birdbrain nature. 😉 If we have been indeed enlightened by Christ’s eternal light (Jn 8:12), we are eventually able to discern the spirits whenever we hear people talk or when we read something. Always and, in fact, without further reflecting on what we perceive, we KNOW the truth. Thus God’s voice can be heard everywhere, through every human being and through His whole Creation, too. We finally realize that God never stopped speaking, but instead, that He is talking to us all the time because our “conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 9:1 NIV).
I’d love to conclude with Martin Luther’s famous words that he spoke at Worms in German and Latin when they wanted him to recant his “heretic” beliefs. He said,
“Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other–my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen.”