“…God and God alone can teach the truth, for He only is the source and foundation of truth. Hence those who proclaim the Word of God must exercise supreme care that what they preach is the Word of God. This can be accomplished only when the messenger bases his message squarely upon and makes it consonant with the written Word of God, the Bible. When the minister preaches, God must be heard… what unbelievers need above all else is teaching or doctrine. What blinds the understanding of men is ignorance, and ignorance can only be dispelled by truth. Hence, the missionary and evangelistic activity of the church must be doctrinal in character” (Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 105).
The more elderly among us can remember simpler times – times that have over the years been replaced by exploding technology and many other inventions and applications. In some cases these advances have in one sense made life easier, but in another sense more complicated, especially for those among us who cannot figure out how to use them. A case can be made that some of the new inventions have contributed to the degeneration of the social and spiritual culture in which we now move. The latter conclusion is not faulting the inventions themselves but the corrupt minds of those that use them for their own purposes.
We Christ – believers are not anti-progress. But we do yearn for stability in life. In all the changing scenes of life the stability for which we yearn is found in the Lord God and in His Word. But for many, even that source of strength is being stripped away, not because the living, gracious God has changed in His nature or in His saving will for man but because men in the imagination of their own hearts have sought to displace God who reveals Himself in Scripture as the source of truth as well as Truth itself. Those who will not buy into the suggestion that God’s Word is too dated and dusty for the “enlightened” age in which we live are deemed to be doctrinaire and incorrigible. As Christ-believers who pray “Sanctify them [us] through Thy Word, Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17), we invite that judgment.
As we move into a new year, and as the CLC has celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010, we dare never forget the content of the paragraph above. God alone teaches truth. As He has called us into His family and made us instruments in the exercise of His prophetical office, we are faithful to Him and serve Him only if we remember who we are – His ambassadors – and what His commission to us is.
Only as we base our message of law and gospel “squarely upon and make it consonant with the written Word of God” are we faithful instruments in laying a stable foundation in a world of instability. Only as we set forth the doctrines of God and not of men will the Heavenly Father bless us and those who hear us. Only as God’s revealed Word is preached do people find rest and stability in Christ for time – and perfect rest for eternity.