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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


1 Thess 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Paul was sincerely thankful for the fact that members of the church of Christ, that was founded in Thessalonica had heard, believed, and obeyed the gospel message of Jesus, which he had taught them. They received it, not as the word of Paul, or the word of any other man, but as the Holy Spirit-inspired true word of God.

We, and the universe in which we live, are God's creation; we did not simply "happen," nor were we the mere "result" of some cosmic occurrence. Therefore, we must be governed by the law of our Creator, not by any "natural" law, "universal" law, nor by the law of any other being. Like the Psalmist, we must gladly study, understand, accept, and obey the law of God, and only His law. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). The Psalmist also tells us that God's law is the truth (Psalm 119:142). It is by these truths, contained in God's holy word, that He reveals His law for His creation - to all mankind.

Just how did God give His holy word, His law of truth, to all men and women of the world? The apostle, Paul, gave the answer to the young preacher, Timothy. He told him then, and tells us now, that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Considering Paul's inspired message to the Christians of Corinth, found in 1 Cor. 2:9-14, these things we know. God has revealed all things to them that love Him. He revealed them unto us by His Spirit (the Holy Spirit-inspired scriptures). God revealed all things to His Spirit, yea, the deep things of God.

Without the revelation of God through His Holy Spirit, mankind would have access only to earthly knowledge. But God, through His gracious wisdom, and through His Holy Spirit, revealed His will to all people of the world. And it is His will, that no one should perish, but that all should come to repentance (See 2 Pet. 3:9) and enjoy the hope of eternal salvation, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Paul continues, in his letter to the church in Corinth, (Vs. 12-13) by saying, Now we (that is the apostles of Christ) have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

God's word was revealed to the writers of the New Testament through His Holy Spirit. He wants all men and women of the world to believe and obey His will. God wants the world to know assuredly that every transgression and disobedience (will receive) ...a just recompence of reward. We cannot escape eternal punishment if we neglect so great salvation. That plan of salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord (Jesus Christ), and was confirmed unto us (His apostles). This was God's true word. Paul, Peter, all the other apostles of Christ, as well as all those to whom they imparted the gift of the Holy Spirit of God, preached it throughout the world. God assured us that their teaching was His true word, because He bore witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will (See Heb. 2:1-4).

The obedient Christians of Thessalonica had received Paul's teaching as the truthful word of God, and for that he was thankful. They not only received it, but also, it was effectually working in their lives - the effect it had on them could be seen in the conduct of their daily lives. This dramatic change in a person can only take place when one receives, God's word as His truth, His whole truth, and nothing but His truth. It can only take place when one receives, and believes, that God's word contains the hope of salvation through Christ. Knowing the terribly awesome consequences of disbelief and sin, God's word tells us that we must work out (our) ...own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil 2:12-13). Only by faith in God's word are we able to bear the trials and temptations of life, to overcome them, and remain obedient to His will. Then, and only then, will we be permitted to enjoy the hope of eternal salvation. This is God's word, and God's word is truth!