Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: Depending On The Power Of God -- By: Richard Lanser

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 25:2 (Spring 2012)
Article: Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: Depending On The Power Of God
Author: Richard Lanser

Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment:
Depending On The Power Of God

Richard Lanser

I habitually ask God at the beginning of personal devotions to speak to me in a fresh way—to hit me over the head with new insights into the old, familiar words. Having been a Christian for 38 years, I’ve learned that if I take a superficial and unprayerful approach to Bible reading, it is easy for me to get a sense of “I’ve read that before.”

However, the challenges to godly living in a fallen world, as well as ways we can reach out to others with the truths of Scripture, continually change. We need God to grant us fresh insights into “old” truths from time to time. It is too easy for a well-known truth to get relegated to the background of our spiritual lives. So it’s important for me, and indeed for all of us, to ask God to guide us into His truth. A prayerful approach to Scripture makes it “living and active” in our lives (Heb 4:12).

Therefore, I prayed for God’s illumination before a recent reading of 1 Corinthians. The verses went smoothly past my eyes until I got to 1 Cor 2:1–5, when I felt an inner pressure to pause and meditate on these words:

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (NASB, emphasis added).

The ministry of ABR focuses on apologetics, particularly those centered on showing forth the trustworthiness of the Scriptures in the realms of archaeology and ancient history. At first glance this seems to be a purely academic/scholarly endeavor targeted at human minds—but to be of lasting value, it must transcend that and reach the human spirit. Scripturally, this is the province of God alone. The impact of what we share depends not on our persuasive skills, but on God’s power. Thus, we must aim not at careful scholarship as an end in itself—for “persuasive words of wisdom”— but at prayerful discernment about what information to present and how to do so with integrity, while leaving the results to Him. The evidences of the trustworthiness of the Bible we share are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end: lives changed by the power of the Word of God. As 2 Tim 2:24–26 tells us:

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be...

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