December 8: A Confident Life
John 14
Nov 26, 2002
Marcus Buckley

It's hard to find a lot to be confident about in the world around us right now. Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups have promised more attacks on America. The economy is still shaky from some of the corporate meltdowns over the last year. To some people, that's a sure sign that the end times.

Marcus Buckley is senior pastor of Terry Parker Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

It shouldn't be surprising that the world has little to be confident in, but it is surprising that those who have placed their faith in the Almighty Creator of the universe find their confidence shaken as well. The biggest mistake a believer can make is to place his trust in the things of the world. Even within the church there are those who advocate a watering down of Scripture and the accuracy of the material contained within.

This is nothing more than drilling holes in one's boat during a storm, because if the Bible is not completely accurate and truthful, then we are all in trouble: if God cannot preserve His direct revelation, breathed from His very being and written by men under His direct inspiration - then how can he preserve our souls? If the Bible is, as some within our own convention would say, "just a book", then why should the Bible be used at all? Any book would do if that was the case, but we know better.

Where is our confidence if we cannot be confident in the authoritative document given to us by our God? Only when the Word of God is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice can we stand in absolute confidence.

John 14:6 is a perfect verse to illustrate this point: Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." In our politically correct, pluralistic society where everyone's beliefs are to be considered equally true, this is a highly offensive statement because of its exclusivity. Jesus makes very plain that the only way to God is through Him! This is why Biblical Christianity is so offensive to the world. But this is also what gives us our confidence. Jesus makes this statement to Thomas (who has been stuck with the descriptive "doubting" throughout this age, at any rate!) as an explanation of how His followers would get by when Jesus returned to the Father's right hand. In describing the place Jesus was going to, He gave His disciples this reassuring promise: "If it were not so, I would have told you" (John 14:2).

There is a movement in Christian circles that claims to have done a study on all the sayings of Jesus in the New Testament. They have broken them down into several categories: what Jesus definitely said, what He might have said, what He probably didn't say, and what He definitely didn't say. What is the basis for their decisions? As a result of their study, they concluded that there was only one thing Jesus definitely said: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God the things that are God's." Certainly nothing offensive there, unless you are a true follower of Christ who happens to be offended that someone could butcher God's Word that way!

Undermining the veracity and authority of God's Word does nothing to build up and encourage believers, nor does it further the cause of reaching the lost. All it does is call into question God's sovereignty, sow needless seeds of doubt in the believer, and cause the enemies of God to triumph. Peter says in his first epistle: "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:24, 25a). It's hard to be confident on ground that's ready to fall out from under you at any time.

Stand confident on that which will stand forever: the perfect, complete, unchanging Word of God.

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