Friday, April 3, 2009

What does this mean?

In the Covenant Church we have the affirmation that says, "We believe in the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as the Word of God, and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct."  What does this mean in 300 words?  Here is my attempt at an explanation:

The affirmation means that we as followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; as followers of the God who came to us incarnate in Jesus Christ have been given a Word.  The Holy Scriptures is not the only Word of God per se as Jesus Himself is described as the Word of God and God speaks to us in many different ways, but I believe that what this affirmation is saying here is that this written word is truly from God as it is actually God’s Words.  The word "holy" points to this as well, as only something perfectly good and righteous can rightly be describe by the word holy.  This affirmation uses the words:  holy, the Word of God, and perfect to make a strong case for us to trust the Scriptures.  Through these words the affirmation urges us to have confidence that the Scriptures will in no way lead us astray, that we can entrust our very lives to them.

            The affirmation helps to clarify what these authoritative Scriptures are in the Christian faith so that any ambiguity might be avoided.  Is only the New Testament authoritative?  No, the Scriptures we rely on are the Old and New Testaments that have been agreed upon by our brothers and sisters who have gone on before us.  There is to be nothing more and nothing less.

            These books alone contain what we need for the essential things in our life.  As I reflect on this affirmation it is a bold and powerful statement.  All that we need to believe and trust in God, all that we need to be taught concerning the principles of the Christian life, and all that we need to know what standard of personal behavior is required of us can be found in the Old and New Testaments.  This affirmation loudly and succinctly tells us how important and invaluable our Scriptures really are.   

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