So we’re now on Part 1: The Doctrine of the Word of God.
Right off the bat, not all these chapters are the same length. Unlike the introduction, I can fit the whole content of this chapter in 1 post! Whhooopie!
There are 7 Chapters exploring this doctrine and this is the first, and it delves into the different forms of the Word of God (WoG).
A. WoG – as a person (AKA Jesus): Rev 19.13, John 1.1&14 and 1 John 1.1 (Jesus as the Word of life).
B. WoG – as speach by God
- God’s Decrees (e.g Genesis: “let there be light”, Psalm 33.6). A decrees is a word of God that causes something to happen.
- Personal Address. There are plenty of times in the Bible where God speaks directly to a person/people. E.g. Adam, Moses and at Jesus’ baptism. Grudem points out that when God addresses people it is in a human language, and is understood. The fact that God uses human languages does not limit His words, or its meaning. (We might be tempted to think, just because the words are human languages, they must be fallible, how can anything human contain God?! – However the fact that God uses words humans’ understand does not limit them in the slightest!) Furthermore, if God’s word’s are understood obedience is expected.
- Through Human lips. E.g the prophets, see Deut 18.18-20, Jer 1.9. Grudem again points out that, just because man is used in the process, God’s word is not diminished or unclear. I think this is a massive Gospel point, that God meets us where we are at, with the tools we have, and gives us His love, truth. Furthermore, it is a reflection of Jesus the God-Man. Just because God became man, does not mean that God was diminished or made less holy.
- Written form. E.g 10 commandments Ex 31.18, actually written by the ‘Finger of God’. Not only does God write himself (see also Jesus writing in the sand), but He commands others to write down His words. (OT: Is 30.8, Jer 30.2) (NT: John 14.26, 1 Cor 14.37 and 2 Pet 3.2)
Grudem explains that the written WoG has several key benefits: A) it can be preserved more accurately over time, B) it allows opportunity for repeated inspection and C) it is accessible to more people. Furthermore throughout the Bible we are encouraged/commanded to study and meditate on the written WoG. Psalm 1:1-2, Josh 1.8, 2 Tim 3.16. Psalm 119.
Since the written WoG has all these benefits, it is the form that S.T. focuses on.