The God Who Speaks (2)

God’s personal speech is not an unusual occurrence in Scripture. In fact, it is the main engine propelling the biblical narrative forward.
— John Frame

I've been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between the dynamic word of God and the rise and fall of movements.

A few years ago I was struck by the way Acts is built around summary statements about the word of God multiplying, spreading, and growing in strength. In a multiplying movement, the word was doing the work.

I've been reading John Frame's Doctrine of the Word of God. Here's a few ideas I gleaned. More about their implication later.

God speaks

God speaks. When he speaks things happen. The universe comes into existence and his sustained by his word. His words are more than sounds. Through speech, God creates, sustains and shapes reality. Jesus the Word is the embodiment of everything God is. 

God speaks to us as one person speaks to another. God speaks so we can understand. This is how God has revealed himself to us in Scripture. His speech and man’s response is what drives the story of redemption forward.

When God speaks, he speaks with authority as our Creator and Lord. Our response should be to obey him from the heart.

God creates the first man and woman through his word and gives them the mandate to fill the earth and subdue it. He speaks and sets a limit on their autonomy. They are not to eat of the fruit. God’s word is at stake. God speaks with clarity and authority and expects them to obey. They need no other reason than his command. Obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings judgment.

History is the story of our response to God’s word.

Faith, in both Testaments, is hearing the word of God and doing it.

God spoke to the first man and woman with clarity and authority. They chose not to obey. They placed themselves above God’s word. They wanted to be their own gods. Judgment came, mixed with mercy.

The story of the Bible the story of God who speaks clearly and personally, and people who respond with obedience or rebellion.

Faith, in both Testaments, is hearing the word of God and doing it.

To love God is to hear his word and obey it (John 14:21). 

Related: The God Who Speaks (1)