Sunday, May 30, 2010

Habakkuk Study, Part 4

Today we will study Habakkuk 2:2-20 - God's 2nd answer to Habakkuk

v2 - Record the vision, inscribe it on tablets.
I'll bet he'd've been glad to have a laptop.  That's going to take a while.
Of course, it's worth it - it's not every day you get a big-time revelation from God that's meant to be preserved unto all perpetuity for all of God's people to read. 
Notice that this is another example of God's pattern of WRITTEN communication to His people. 
Think about this with me - what if someone asked you in what year the Church entered its "normative state" and Sola Scriptura become possible?  When did the church have enough Scripture to practice the biblical teaching that the Scripture alone is the final rule of faith for God's people?
Let's consider the situation in the apostolic era.  
The Lord Jesus and His apostles came on the scene with the ability to speak directly prophetic and authoritative messages from the Lord, just like OT prophets could. The apostles were the shaluach of the Lord Jesus (otherwise known as God), whom He granted the authority to speak on Jesus' behalf with all the authority and backing of God Himself. He also granted the spiritual gift of prophecy to various men in the church at that time, and they could utter prophecy just like an OT prophet, as "Thus says the Lord". He used these spiritual gifts already dispensed to provide the start for His church as He founded it and provided for it to take root and begin to grow.

Read Ephesians 2:19b-21.

2 things to note here:
1) The church of Jesus from this early time already had Scripture from God
Acts 17:10-12, 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Luke here commends thru inspiration of the Holy Spirit the Bereans' practice of subjecting the apostle Paul's authoritative words to the examination of the Scripture they already had. And yet others in Acts commendably receive the words of Paul straight up and believe the Gospel. So which one is the way to go? Bothbecause the message of each is the same. One builds on the other, yet the latter is deducible straight from the OT. A great example of that is the way Paul demonstrates the truth of justification by grace alone thru faith alone apart from works in Galatians 2-4, or the way the author of Hebrews exegetes the OT atonement system as a foreshadowing of Christ, each with extensive quotations from the OT. This fact, incidentally, puts a bullet in the head of any notion that "The Church is the mother of the Scripture" or "The Church preceded the Scripture".

2) The earliest church did not have Twitter or even email. 
No, these letters and books that would become the NT books, when and if they reached the intended destination, would then be painstakingly copied by hand multiple times and then sent by human courier to another church, at which point the process would repeat itself. Writing materials, especially that which you wrote ON, were expensive and Christians weren't usually wealthy. This means it takes a while, and there are 27 books in the NT, that God intended (though as always in His own timing) for the church at large to have.
And yet life and Christian living must go on - what is one to do? One lives by the word from God that one has, and one trusts God with the rest. Christians in many parts of the world to this very day live like this - with one or two precious pages of Scripture hidden in their house or cell, that they read and memorise and trade furtively with other brethren as they have opportunity, to then cherish and take to heart that next page.
Does this translate to an effective, obvious, or clear-cut start- or stop-date for thousands of local churches spread over thousands of miles between which communications require months at a time?

No comments: