Anglican Morning Devotion, 30 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 8The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” (Psalms 12:5-8; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
In its most elemental sense, the Bible is the WORD of GOD expressed in writing. It contains nothing apart from the Mind and Will of God the Father. In its most exalted form, it is the only Begotten Son of God rendered in letters. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)
The Old and New Testament do not express a change in the Mind of God but a consistent unveiling of that Mind. The Old Testament is a mundane shadow of the spiritual reality consummated in the life and times of Christ our Lord in the New. In fact, the reader would be handicapped to have a full understanding of the meaning and import of the New Testament without an understanding of that which precedes it in the Old. The redemption and blood sacrifice is more fully understood when one learns of the first Passover in Goshen of Egypt, for example. God is unchanging and He is the same yesterday, today, and always.
As we read from the 12th Psalm above, it is not simply the ‘approximate’ word of God that is authentic, but rather EVERY Word is pure and preserved by God from generation to generation and forever. The Bible is to be understood in verbal, plenary translation and not so-called dynamic equivalence as averred by publishers of the new copyrighted versions that actually change meaning and omit full verses.
I am addressing the Bible in this second devotion on the doctrines of Faith because it is an intermediary between the definitions of God the Father and God the Son. The Word (Bible) the nature and fulness of BOTH!
The Bible is the oldest Book in history and the only Book of Faith that has withstood the test of time for accuracy and meaning. Paul gives us several points of validity concerning the Bible in 1st Thessalonians: “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5) The Words of Holy Writ are pure and true, but even more than this, they possess the power of the Holy Ghost that is intrinsic to their character. The very Words we read in Scripture possess a mystical authority that is foreign to secular writings or writings of other faiths. In order to be party to the blessings of God, one must have received the Word either through preaching or personal study. “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” (1 Thess 1:6)
To those of true faith, hearing may be the initial threshold of faith, but then one must study to show oneself approved of God. If we love God, we will naturally love His Word and thirst after it. In the habitual reading and study of the Bible, one’s mind becomes aligned with that of the Mind of God as we surrender our self-wills and receive in our hearts the Will and Mind of God. It is then, as a result, that we can recognize error because we KNOW the Mind of God. In our study of the Gospels, we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father, though separate Persons of the Godhead, are One in Mind and Purpose. We, too, must become one with Christ and thereby we become one with the Father.
Paul clarifies this fact, too in Thessalonians (chapter and verse cited): The Bible is the Word of the Lord (1:8); The Gospel of God (2:2,4,8, 9); The Word of God (2:13; The Gospel of Christ (3:2); and the Word of the Lord (4:15). You can observe the same Mind and Purpose across the Father and son in these passages in First Thessalonians cited.
The so-called Higher Critics presume to know more of what God intended than He knows when they insist on altering the Bible to demean the divinity of Christ with subtle changes that grow more egregious with each new version published.
Our Church, the Anglican Orthodox Church, adheres to the doctrinal position of the English Reformers and the Reformation Church of England. We adhere to the Received Text Bibles as stipulated in the Sixth Article of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church: “All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.” (BcP) The Textus Receptus WAS the commonly received text of the Reformers.
There is so much more that remains to be said regarding the absolute Word of God. Please study further for your own edification and knowledge.