As disciples of Jesus Christ, we affirm our deep belief in the creative, convicting, converting, and calling power of the Word of God. To understand the wonderful blessing of conversion and calling, we will need to critically evaluate the place of the Word of God in the Church.
Our first lesson, The Word that Creates, explores the nature of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. We’ll see that God’s own perfect integrity guarantees the absolute trustworthiness of the Scriptures. Furthermore, we’ll discover how God created the universe through his Word, and how he identifies himself completely with the Word in Jesus Christ. Being the means by which the Holy Spirit creates new life in those who believe, we prove to be disciples by abiding in Jesus’ Word. As members of the Church we receive the Word together in community, the same which provides us with the ultimate purpose of the created universe, which is the glorification of Almighty God.
In the next lesson, The Word that Convicts, we’ll look at how God’s Word convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Word teaches that sin is universal in scope and corrupting in its character. The Word of God also convicts regarding righteousness, revealing God’s perfect righteousness and our moral inadequacy. And, it convicts regarding judgment, instructing that God will judge Israel and the nations, the Church, Satan and his angels, and all the wicked dead by his just determination. God’s Word also convicts us of the truth–of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God, and the integrity of his Word through his messengers, the prophets and the Apostles.
Lesson three, The Word that Converts, concentrates on the power of the Word of God to produce new life in the believer. This Word that converts is synonymous with the Gospel of Jesus; it is the good news of salvation which causes us to be “born again,” to experience the washing of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit. The Word produces in we who believe concrete signs of God’s renewing power. This same Word that creates new life, sustains us, provides spiritual nourishment, causes our growth, and enables us to defend ourselves against the devil’s lies.
Finally, lesson four, The Word that Calls, explores the concept of (metanoia), that is, repentance towards God, and to faith (pistis). Faith in Jesus Christ is the way that God saves, delivers, and rescues the believer from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. As we turn from sin to God in Christ, the Word leads us to receive God’s new nature (regeneration) and become incorporated (adopted) into the people of God (to the laos of God) by grace through faith alone. The Word that calls us to salvation also calls us to discipleship (as bondslaves of Jesus), to freedom (as redeemed children) and to mission (to make disciples through our witness and good works).
Truly, the Holy Scriptures are a Word that are profitable for teaching, correction, instruction, and training so that God’s person might be completely equipped for any task (2 Tim. 3.16-17). May God bless you as you explore the richness of his God-breathed Word that creates, convicts, converts and calls!
Required Reading Texts:
- Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine
- Geisler, To Understand the Bible Look for Jesus
- Packer, God Has Spoken: Revelation and the Bible