For The Truth

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Page CXVI Hymns II

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cherry-Picking the Truth

Have you carefully examined how you think about the Lord, or have you put your trust in a god of your own making? This is an essential consideration, for if you have believed in anything other than the truth about Him, you are potentially doomed, or at the very least crippled, maimed, and mangled in your understanding and its outflow in your life.

First, right knowledge of the Lord is necessary for faith. "You can't know God without first knowing what is true about Him" (John MacArthur). In ignorance of God and His word man puts his trust in a god of his own making. A flawed perception of God comes from ignorance of the Bible, poor teaching, and bad theology. This ignorance results in a "cobbled together" and syncretized faith as mismatched bits are culled from this wealth of ignorance and combined with poor teaching and theology gleaned from other religions. This results in a concept of God that is "purely a figment of their own imagination" (MacArthur). True worship must flow from right knowledge.

Yet there is a difference between knowing God and knowing information about Him. James reminds us that right information not lived out amounts to a belief that is not real faith (James 2:14-22). A right understanding of God will manifest itself in deeds appropriate to repentance (Acts 26:20; Titus 3:14). John MacArthur reminds us that, "No amount of academic knowledge can substitute for real repentance and living faith." Many people, in and out of the 'visible' church have been exposed to the truth of Scripture and yet they "prefer to worship their own, homemade versions of God" (MacArthur). They project their own values and characteristics onto God, choosing one of His more palatable attributes to the exclusion of everything else revealed in about Him in Scripture. Where this occurs, there is no true worship of God, only idolatry.

Studying the Bible offers insight into the nature and character of God. It sheds biblical light, displacing wrong ideas about God with the truth which transforms life, builds faith, and induces worship that glorifies God. "Nothing is more vital than aligning your understanding of God with what His Word teaches" (MacArthur). As the first question and answer in the Shorter Catechism identifies: What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever (1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 11:36; Psalm 73:25-28). In order to accomplish this we must seek to know God as He reveals Himself to us in His Word, the Bible. Have you spent time in His Word today?