Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Word of God is...

all-inclusive. This means that the word of God binds each one in a directly prohibitive sense and also requires or forbids everything that leads up to that sin while at the same time directly requires the keeping of all things that lead to obedience. That's a mouthful, but very essential part of a believer's obedience. The Bible is not just a book of "shall nots". God's Word not only tells us what not to do but in the not to do part, He graciously tells us what we are to do.

The fourth aspect of God's word that states His word is two-sided, explicit and implicit, both positive and negative aspects, is related to this point as well.  A believer can, in moving from the elementary obedience of nots, cooperate with the indwelling spirit of God and begin to do all the necessary duties and responsibilities leading up to the obedience of keeping His word. In this way, the greatest positive aspects of God's Word are fulfilled.

This is best illustrated in looking at a particular commandment. Take the 8th commandment, "You shall not steal." Directly the commandment prohibits the taking of another's possessions for oneself, either overtly or covertly. The all-inclusive aspect of God's word though means that the thoughts, motives and appearances of sin that lead up to the actual sin, stealing, are also forbidden. You are not to even think about taking another's possessions. You are not to appear to be stealing, not to encourage another to commit theft, not to plan, imagine or desire for another's possessions to become yours.

Taken to its positive aspect, you are required by God's word to work hard to provide for yourself and family, to encourage others to work hard rather than steal, to give generously to those in need so that they are not tempted to steal, and to speak out against those who would steal. These are just some examples of the all-inclusive aspect.

Basically, try as we might, God's Word provides no loopholes for the believer regarding the duties and responsibilities associated with honoring and esteeming His perfect law. All-inclusive means that everything that leads up to the breaking of God's word is forbidden, but everything that leads to the keeping and obedience of God's word is required.


  1. Thanks for the reminder that half-way or half-hearted just won't do.