Know and Believe God’s Word

Posted: March 22, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

Deception All Over Again

Beale observes that the same ways Satan deceived Adam and Eve at the beginning of history are reproduced by the biblical authors to characterize his deception at history’s end. On this note, Beale shows how we can learn from the initial failure to trust God’s word:

Eve was deceived because she did not know God’s word sufficiently or did not esteem it highly enough. . . . [W[hen confronted by the satanic serpent, Eve either failed to remember God’s word accurately or changed it intentionally for her own purposes. First, she minimized their privileges by saying, “We may eat,” whereas God had said, “You may eat freely.” Second, Eve minimized the judgment by saying, “Lest you die,” whereas God said, “You will surely die.” Third, she maximized the prohibition by affirming, “You shall not . . . touch” (becoming the first legalist in history), whereas God originally said only, “You shall not eat.”

If Adam remembered God’s word, then he did not trust it, since he did not come to Eve’s aid when she failed to recollect the word rightly in the face of the serpent accusations. Adam and Eve did not remember God’s word adequately, and they “fell.” When the defense of God’s word is taken away, all kinds of satanic lies come to fill the void, the desire to resist temptation breaks down, and sin inevitably occurs. (222)

Beale explains, “Jesus Christ, however, knew the word and, by obeying it, established himself as God’s true last Adam and true Israel. . . . Jesus succeeded against exactly those temptations in which Adam and Israel failed because he remembered God’s word and obeyed it” (222).

Beale concludes with application for where we live:

The heart of the matter is this: do Christians know God’s word, do they believe it, and do they do it? If not, then the lies of the evil one will slip into our lives and churches ever so subtly. When this happens and the process goes unchecked and uncorrected, then the deceptions begin to pour in like an overflowing river (cf. Revelation 12:15). . . Do Christian families make God’s word the center of their homes? Do pastors set aside sufficient time to study God’s word in preparation for Sunday sermons in order to “be diligent to present yourself approved to God as workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)? If not, then the false teaching of those “who have gone astray from the truth” will make inroads into the church (2 Timothy 2:18).

Greg Beale’s A New Testament Biblical Theology.(223)

HT:DesiringGod

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Comments
  1. kim/nannykim says:

    I like what this said. My problem is with the area of interpreting the Word of God. Christians can believe the Bible is the word and spend huge amounts of time studying it. But they can disagree on how to interpret it. Christians often say the Bible interprets the Bible and still can not agree.Each of us can bring passages of the Bible to bear on other passages and still not come to an agreement. So the problem , as I see it, is how does one determine the correct understanding of a passage. Do we only have ourselves, the Bible and the Holy Spirit? No, I think not,for the Bible tells us about gifting men to teach us. But what men? How do we know who has the truth in its understanding of Scripture. Did God actually establish a Church and if so what one? I think the issues get complicated or at least more complicated than this article states.

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