Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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God Speaks to Me!

It is common for religious people to claim that they have received instructions or confirmation directly from God. They place great trust in the “directions” they have received, and use any coincidence as corroboration that God has spoken to them. When asked what God’s voice sounds like, they are seldom bold enough to describe an actual voice, but remain steadfast in their contention that they have been directed in some nebulous way by Him.

There is no doubt that at times God has spoken directly to man. The Old Testament gives examples of conversations between God and Adam, Abraham and Moses. The apostle Peter stated, “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

It is important to note the progression of such revelations. If we follow the thread logically, we are forced to acknowledge that God does not speak directly to man in our time. Consider the following:

  • The revelations of God to man in the Old Testament were preparatory to the coming of Jesus. The Hebrew writer proclaimed, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2). In these last days, all authority has been given to the Son (cf. Matthew 28:18).
  • Jesus did not reveal all of His will before He left the earth. The necessity of His dying on the cross precluded a completed revelation of Christ’s will for man. He told His disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).
  • The Helper referred to in the above quote is the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that the Spirit would guide the apostles into all truth. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). Either we accept that the Holy Spirit revealed the entirety of God’s truth, or we don’t. But, Jesus said He would.
  • The books of the New Testament are the product of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Peter affirmed this very thing in speaking of Paul’s writings and comparing them to “the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16).
    Paul predicted a time when spiritual gifts, including partial “tongues” and “prophecy” would come to an end. When would that happen? When the complete (perfect) has come. The contrast here is between partial inspiration and the completed revelation of God. Paul wrote, “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:10).
  • We have had the complete revelation of God for 2000 years. All who acknowledge that the Bible is inspired must accept Paul’s contention that the Bible supplies everything needed, “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). Personal revelations to individuals today are no longer needed, nor are they a part of God’s plan for man.

Men in general seek easy validation. Even when they do what they believe to be right, they look to signs or indications of God’s approval. This is by its nature subjective and hazardous. Remember, Satan “transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13). It is a bold (and some believe an unassailable position) to state, “God told me to do it!” Who would dare question such an assertion? Instead we should examine our lives by the objective standard of revelation. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:20).

Interestingly, men who speak contradictory doctrines often claim the Spirit’s direct guidance. This makes God the author of confusion! (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:33). God directs us solely and sufficiently today through His inspired word, the Bible!