It Is Written
By Eli Stutzman
May 1, 2008
When we make a major purchase or wish to have something understood properly, we put the words in writing. The spoken word has weight also, but time has a way of causing us to forget exactly what was said. When God created heaven and earth, he simply spoke all things into existence.
Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
But when God gave his laws to Moses, he inscribed them into stone tablets.
Exodus 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Because it was written, we can know to this day exactly what was said. It is called the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word ‘testament' is usually used when a person's will is written. It is called last will and testament. It does not come into force until the death of the author. After Jesus died and rose again, his ‘will' was written by those who knew him best.
When the apostle Paul was ministering to the various churches throughout Asia, he probably would have been content to travel from place to place and tell by spoken word what they should do when problems arose. But God saw differently. As a result, Paul was put into prison and had to write his letters known as epistles to the churches. Now to this day we have written record of what was his solutions were.
Therefore we need to be careful to pay attention to what is written unless we stray from what was intended for churches to preach and teach. Paul writes some things that he has always taught. The concept of salvation by grace through faith alone is one.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
I like the way Martin Luther wrote it. So halten wir nun dafür, daß der Mensch gerecht wird ohne des Gesetzes Werke, allein durch den Glauben.
The Galatians were trying to add the requirements of Jewish law to the concept of grace.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
And in Martin Luther German: Denn die aus den Werken des Gesetzes leben, die sind unter dem Fluch. Denn es steht geschrieben (5. Mose 27,26): "Verflucht sei jeder, der nicht bleibt bei alledem, was geschrieben steht in dem Buch des Gesetzes, daß er's tue!"
If God works his will according to the written Word, the Bible, we need to take notice. If we can't know what he expects of us, He is unjust. If we refuse to look, we have no excuse. If we look and refuse to accept it, we will have to answer.
Traditions are usually not written, because they are simply passed down from one generation to another. Change is common in tradition. What people have believed traditionally must have less weight than what is scriptural. What will you base your beliefs on? I am going to go with what is written.
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