People of the Book
Devoted and Committed to God's Word
It is no surprise that the world that we live in is getting worse. Every day, all you have to do is turn on the television to be reminded of not only the “explicit” corruption in our society, but also the “postmodern” (“truth is relative” and “truth is whatever it means to me”) mood of the age. Godlessness is more and more rampant, and, in the case of moral issues, such as God’s design for women and men, more “subtly corrupt” and “twisted.” It should come as no surprise to us, for our Lord Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble…” (Jn 16:33), and “My kingdom is not of this world…” (Jn 18:36). Neither are God’s children “of” this world, though we are “in” the world.
Amidst such “explicit” godlessness, on the one hand, and “subtle perversion,” on the other, the church must not compromise the Truth, nor “modify” it to appeal to a godless culture. This begins with leaders in the church who are to “uphold” and “defend” the Truth. Titus 1:9 clearly states that the Elder is to be a man “holding fast to the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” To hold fast to something means “to hold it tightly,” or “to cling to it.” With reference to the Word of God, the Elder is to be “devoted” and “committed” to the Word. Because he is devoted to the Word, he is able to instruct and correct. He is able to feed and protect God’s church. Upholding the truth, then, in a godless society, begins with godly, qualified shepherds who are “Men of the Book,” devoted to the Book, committed to the Book, and dare to defend the Book from the onslaughts of Satan.
But it doesn’t end there, for as loving shepherds equip the church by feeding her and protecting her from false doctrine, the church must then follow the example of her godly shepherds and be “People of the Book.” Psalm 1 beautifully states, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” The following verses then speak of the “blessing” which comes to those who delight in God’s Word. In short, those devoted to the Word of God, who feast upon the majestic God revealed in the Word, and live their lives in accordance with His standards, are promised blessing, not only in this life, but in the one to come! More than anything else, God’s Church, beginning with her leaders, must be a People of the Book, if we are to have a powerful witness on this earth, as we anticipate the King’s return.