Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It Is Written



"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward a hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash they foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taken him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him" (Matthew 4 1-11).

How many times do people twist the Bible to suit their own purposes? Do you know the Bible well enough to know when it's being twisted? 

Satan knew God's Word. And he knew it well enough to know how to manipulate it and twist it to suit his own purposes when temping Jesus to sin in the wilderness. At times worldly people (and carnal Christians) will do the same thing. They will twist Scripture in an attempt to persuade believers to do something that they know is wrong or unwise.

You see, if you aren't really familiar with God's Word and you haven't studied it out for yourself, some Scripture texts, when taken out of context and not compared with other passages, will appear to be contradictory and, in some places, may even appear to condone sinful behavior, but that is not the case! Believers must know God's Word thoroughly and completely and be aware of those who would pervert it in order to fulfill the desires of the sinful human nature.

The apostle Peter speaks of those who distort the Scripture. He says that it will lead to their own destruction! In 2 Peter 3:16-18 he warns and admonishes us saying, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..."

You see, when Jesus said "it is written" He was saying that God's Word still stood and it that it always would! The Greek verb gegraptai is in the perfect tense and emphasizes both completed action and a continuing state resulting from it. The full force of the Greek is: "It has been written and it still stands written." This underscores the ongoing authority and unchanging character of God's written Word.  

Matthew 24:35 tells us that "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but..." God's Word shall not! It is the same "...yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) and, as believers, it is something we should know inside and out.

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