There are two scriptures that both share the phrase “in the beginning.”
Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God[…]”
and John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS GOD”
Stop and think about that for a second. In the beginning there was God. That alone should comfort us enough to know that before ANYTHING in our universe existed, He was already planning it out. While that should comfort any/everyone, man stepped into the equation and decided that in order to understand God, we have to limit Him.
First of all, God is the only one that will “limit” himself in order for us to understand. He made laws and commands that He binds Himself to. What I am referring to is the fact that people joke by saying:
“By saying God can’t sin, you are saying that there is something that limits God…because if God wanted to he could.”
Already this thought process has put God within a box of human understanding. We have equated “good and evil” to “God.”
Trading “knowing God” for “knowing good and evil” was where Adam and Eve failed mankind. Since the fall of man, we have continued to put things between ourselves and Christ, further distancing our relationship to Him.
Here’s a brief summary of it all
- Adam and Eve sinned and God’s face was hidden from them.
- We continued to sin further to where God then removed His presence (tabernacle) and thus established the Ten Commandments
- Moses died and Judges were set up because Israel’s sin was so great.
- Israel asked for a king, rejecting God as their king
- Pharisees and Jewish leaders rejected God by placing written scriptures and the Law above the one who wrote them.
- Rome rejected the authority of the Church (body of Christ) and kings and put pagan leaders in charge of “merging” Christianity into Roman ideals (which God expressly spoke out against regarding “worshipping other gods”) and again rejected the order that God had established
- Catholicism and Protestantism further divided the kingdom by splitting the body of Christ rather than following Israel’s example of rejecting the Roman views of God and returning to devotion to the Lord and the Lord alone.
- Denominations within both Catholicism and Protestantism further divided the kingdom suggesting that Doctrine was greater than scripture
- Today we have books about other books that talk about doctrine.
How fallen are we?
Books are good if they enhance doctrine or scripture, but they CANNOT replace it. I don’t care how many Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, etc., books you have read. Each of them are mortal men that gained their wisdom and insight from scripture.
But let’s not forget something: Adam and Eve (Noah, Joseph, etc.) didn’t have the Ten Commandments, scriptures, the Torah, or the Bible.
Books point to Doctrine. Doctrine points to scripture. Scripture points to the Author.
The author is Jesus.
ALL of what Jesus has been trying to tell us from day one is that when we choose to put legalism, doctrine, the law, even The Bible…before KNOWING Christ, we will ALWAYS fall short.
You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life. (John 5:39, 40 AMP)
Calvin. Armenians. Paul. Apollos. John Wesley.Luther. The Pope. Mary. Peter.The Disciples
Noneof these men/groups died for your sins.
It is ONLY Jesus that had the infinite power to endure God’s wrath for us on the cross and to pay the debt to sin that mankind could not bear.
All doctrine, books, and men, that do not point to Christ are but clanging cymbals and worthless speakers.
Read for yourselves the accounts that God has put in scripture with the intent on knowing the author and not just the books.
In the end Christ will divide us to His left and right based on whether he “knew” us or not. He doesn’t divide by who did enough bible studies or by Calvinist and Armenian beliefs.
Jesus wants to know you. So get to know Him.
KNOW the truth (Christ) and He will SET YOU FREE. (John 8:32)