STEVE'S BLOG

Did God Actually Say?

January 2, 2014
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    25

 

Do you ever tremble at the decline into depravity that continues all around?  Do you also, like me, tremble at your own heart, aware that though the darkness without is formidable, the deceitfulness within could easily be our undoing?  With every passing year it seems that what was unthinkable becomes shocking and what was shocking becomes acceptable.  Blushing is a thing of the past while bold, brash flaunting of all things vile is encouraged. 

The church has reacted wrongly to moral decline in at least three ways.  First, there are some who cover their mouths in mock surprise, shake their heads in naïve disbelief and talk of the godlessness “out there.”  These would forget the depth and pervasiveness of the Fall, assuming that normal life is decent people living in harmony with one another.  Normal life is Mayberry. But that is not the Biblical description of our condition.  Except for God’s benevolence and common grace, the world would know no peace. Withdrawal from the world into cloistered safety was never our Master’s design. Our mandate is engagement, interaction and missional living in this poor, fallen world. Throughout the ages, the church has been the renewing, restorative presence of God’s Kingdom on earth, reforming societies, rescuing the perishing, helping the hurting; in a word, extending the borders of Eden.

Another response starts with a true acknowledgement, but settles for a weak surrender. We rightly assert that the redeemed are broken, fallen sinners who have been shown mercy.  We also recognize that some fractures caused by the Fall will not be completely healed in this life.  There are struggles and frailties that remain with us till Jesus returns to make all things new.  But there is more to the story.  The difference between God’s adopted children and those who remain in rebellion is not simply that we are forgiven sinners.  To stop there is to deny the magnitude of God’s astonishing grace in salvation.  While we cannot set up lists and rules to determine spirituality (legalism), we must embrace the full, transformative work of God, following the new principle of life; we must live by and keep in step with the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Paul’s conclusion about the nature of our union with Jesus Christ is, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4 NIV

The third response is perhaps the most deadly, as was proven in Eve’s interaction with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.  The suggestion to Eve was that God is not to be obeyed unless the reason behind his command fits our own understanding and desires.  Satan’s question to Eve was, “Did God actually say?”  Our cultures penchant to question authority is deeply rooted in the American psyche.  One of the slogans during the Revolutionary War was “We Serve No Sovereign Here.”  While there are obvious positive implications about our mistrust of absolute political power, that attitude reeks of devilish defiance when it come to our posture before the Creator. That is the spirit that has seeped into the church.  God’s clear directives and moral laws are being re-examined and re-interpreted in light of our culture’s moral autonomy.  The newly enlightened suggest, “Did God actually say that? That certainly cannot be the Bible’s meaning”, and choose a Christianity that is in step with popular consensus.  True obedience, on the other hand, is being content with the simple command, convinced that whatever God decrees is right, just and good.

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  • Dan Page

    You don’t just sing well :-) … thank you for this thoughtful article. Excellent Steve.

  • Brian McCrorie

    Well said Steve.

  • DEBRA DEYO/PELKEY

    God”s Word never Changes!! And will Not return Void!1 Man has become So Complacient and down Right Beligerant against God, He makes up His own Bible and makes God’s word whjat He wants to meet His needs or Justify His Desires! Your Article is very well stated Steve, Thank You!! Happy New Year Please Tell Your Brother David Hi for Me its been several years since We last talked!! We need a great awakening in Our Churches and as Children Of God,

  • Ellen

    Thank you Steve for this timely reminder. As our culture becomes increasingly bankrupt spiritually, we who have been given the light need to be more of an influence in the world. We can’t all go to foreign mission fields, but we all have a mission field in our homes, our neighborhoods and work places. Let the light of Christ so shine in us that the world may see and ask us the reason for the hope we have in us.

    • Steve Green

      Thanks Ellen. Greetings to my Canadian friends!

  • Natalie

    You are so right on, Steve…this is why I so appreciate your ministry in word and song. I want my life built on truth and trust in God. “If God said it…I believe it…that settles it.” Anything less is heresy.

    • Steve Green

      Actually, I think you would agree that if God said it, that settles it, whether or not we believe it! Thanks for your encouragement through the years!

    • Steve Green

      Actually, I think you would agree that if God said it, that settles it, whether we believe it or not! Thanks for our encouragement through the years!

  • Jose Javier Perez

    YES! AMEN! God bless you

  • Judy

    I find that the longer I live, my need for The Lord increases. When I asked, ” Lord show me -me” he does just that. The sight is not pleasant. How in the world can we live so long and still not get it right? More often than not it’s the basics that are still giviing us trouble. We truely need to keep that mirror ever before us because more often than not that’s where the problem is. Thank you Steve for not wavering in your Love for The Lord. I met you once and had you sign my music label, but more than that I shared what it meant to me to hear, “He Holds The Keys.” That is exactly what God did for me when I came to know Him as my personal Savior. He set me free!!! I could go on forever!!! Eternally, Judy

  • StillWaters

    Amen … preach on brother … and may God pave the way mightily for your well spoken observations.

  • Natalie

    Once again today with the moving on of one of our beloved Pastor and his wife..I. am reminded of the importance of taking up our own calling to act on what God has spoken in revelation through His word and Holy Spirit…if we quiet ourselves to shut out other voices and listen. In most cases..the Lord will confirm in His own ways without man’s manipulations. But even if we hear..it is the action that is most important.

  • Love The WORD OF GOD

    As I enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb and partake of the Bread of Life, I see that true to his covenant WORD, many are taking on the image of the Beast and calling what is sanctioned for beasts “the new norm”, and give them over to their choices. The Bridegroom calls us to feast with HIM, to overcome the mark of the Beast, for we only have to endure with him one hour, and if we walk in the Holy Spirit we will walk through the burning flames and come out refined as pure gold. Endure to the end and see the mighty sounding WORD that is seen from east to west, for it is judging correctly. Corruption does not inherit incorruption, and if we sow to our flesh, we WILL reap corruption. Many of us lambs are pasturing with the lions, but our LORD by the sanctity of HIS TRUTH will hold us to him and while we may become prey, we will be taken out of their mouths.

  • Ebby

    Eleanor Vance-McClure Have you ever read something or heard someone say something that was exactly what you were thinking or was the very point of view you had but unable to say it or express it in such a way so that others might understand what your heart was really wanting to say? Thank you Steve Green for your excellent article.

  • Lorenzo Jiménez

    Tienes mucha razón Steve, vivimos los tiempos donde la gente ha dejado de tener y anhelar el conocimiento de Dios y adora lo que no sabe (Juan 4:22). Vivimos como en el tiempo de Elias (1 Reyes 18:21), alejándonos más y más de la verdad de Dios. Necesitamos reconstruir nuestro altar de adoración (1 Reyes 18:30-31) y el de nuestras iglesias que es lo que Dios busca (Juan 4:23).

  • John

    We seem to forget that there are still broken pieces within our hearts that need to be restored and made right. Thankfully, for the believer, the redemptive process is continual, until all things are made new.
    Our sermon titles should not be “How God can improve your coffee hour”; rather, Romans Chapter 3: the Depravity of man.”
    Well said Steve. We need to be separate, holy and saturating our world with the truth of the gospel; which includes living it!

  • Miss Polly

    As a teacher of youth I find myself trying to get this truth into their hearts and minds before they leave the church. I ask God to pave the way in the little time we have them to communicate a very different way of thinking before they are released back into a very crooked world that does not demand respect of anyone and God is someone to take off a shelf once month. Thanks for the thoughts :)

  • Josh Kebabian

    I really like this post Steve, and I think you really hit the nail on the head in the conclusion. It is certainly tempting to ever so slightly twist the meaning of the Bible in the effort to attract more people to the Christian faith. But, I think this is a slippery slope. In fact I don’t think it is a slope at all, but a trapdoor with no footing at all. To compromise on the Word of God is to like trying to compromise that the color blue is no longer blue, but something else. No, God’s Word is truth, and if it is, I think that we should expect it to come into our lives and shake things up. If we just take the bits and pieces of the Bible we like and leave out the rest, we won’t have God at all, we will have a god of our own creation that we’re comfortable with, at least for a time until we decide to change him again to “fit with the times”. I’ll take the one true God any day of the week.

    Steve, I heard you preach and sing beautifully at ARPC in Singapore on Sunday, June 8th and I just want to say it was a huge blessing to have you there. We spoke briefly afterward where I mentioned my mom really liked your blog (and I must say I do too!). I’ll be praying for your ministries, which no doubt are doing God’s work in this world.

  • Lynette Bezuidenhout

    Just happened upon Steve’s blog site – what a joy to read his wise and godly comments. Thanks and God bless you Steve.

  • h

    Mr. Green are you planning a new blog any time soon?

  • Hannah

    Anyone who reads this blog, could you please pray for us,we’re going through a really tough time in our life. Please especially for my dad.

  • Hannah

    I just wrote a comment but I forgot to ask if there’s anyone who could help us or if you know of anyone who could help us, because were being pushed out of home of almost 16 years because were Christians. We live in Michigan and have no place to go. Thanks for anything you can do and sorry to bother any of you. If you want to help our phone number is 810-966-9216

  • jana o’connell

    Steve, Very well said. I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell that I appriciate your steadfast consistancy in your music. You have not comprimised the gospel. The first time I saw you was in 1986 in Sacramento. You were singing with Sandy Patty. I believe you sang at my childhood church in the 80s also. North Valley Baptist Church in Redding California. Then in 1990 I had the priveledge to sing in The Gospel Praise Choir at The Masters College for Christmas with you of course signing wonderfully with us. What a priveledge. Keep on keeping on through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless, Jana O’Connell , Port Orchard, WA.

  • Joe Borgkvist

    Had a seminary comment on the last post. I had a bumper sticker on my car that read: God said it, I believe it. And that settles it. His comment was: “the statement is really incorrect, it should be: ‘God said it, and that settles it.’ It matters not whether we believe it.” I know what we believers mean when we make that statement. We’re really saying: God said it, I believe it and that settles it for me!

  • Joe Borgkvist

    should be “a seminary professor comment…”