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quinta-feira, 28 de abril de 2011

The Oracles of God

April 28, 2011

"Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Romans 3:2-3)

This striking synonym for the Scriptures ("the oracles of God") occurs just three times in the Bible. In our text, Paul is emphasizing the great privilege and responsibility that was committed to the Jews when God gave His "oracles" to them, a word implying "divinely inspired utterances."

Then the author of Hebrews rebuked those Hebrew Christians who had still not learned the very "first principles of the oracles of God," despite having been professing Christians for a long time (Hebrews 5:12). Finally, the apostle Peter urged his readers: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11). That is, anyone who presumes to speak for the Lord must "preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). It is not our words, but His words that are "quick, and powerful" (Hebrews 4:12). In fact, Stephen called them "the lively |or 'living'| oracles" (Acts 7:38).

In all these references, it is clear that these "oracles of God"--that is, the Holy Scriptures--constitute the very utterances of the living God. They were given to and through believing Jews and are preserved for us now in our Bibles. They obviously should be believed, studied, obeyed, and proclaimed by all who consider themselves to be Christians.

The fact that many people reject the Bible, even claiming it is wrong in what it teaches, is irrelevant. Such claims merely display human arrogance. God's Word has been "for ever . . . settled in heaven" and "is true from the beginning" (Psalm 119:89, 160). It will endure even after this present world has passed away (Matthew 24:35) and will finally be the criterion by which its detractors will be judged in the last day (Revelation 20:12; 22:18-19). HMM

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