The relationship of the Church to the canon

“The canon of Scripture is like gravity: it is recognized by the Church but that recognition isn’t what determines its existence.” – Toby Sumpter

Hearing the Word – 2

All the study in the world though will do little good if we forget what we studied.  God’s word is not something to be viewed and spit out; it should be slowly digested.  We do this by memorization and meditation.  It takes work and discipline (and that’s just for memorization) but the payoff is eternal.  Memorization is locking the spiritual food in place; meditation is feeding and digesting it.

As much as I love studying the Scripture, studying is useless apart thinking and heeding it.  If you want verification for this, read Psalm 119.  But to look at another passage, consider Psalm 1.  The man who walks in God’s ways is the one who meditates on His word.  Meditating on Scripture is God’s means of planting your roots deeply.  When you build yourself in the word, you are building your house on the Rock (Matt. 7) so that when the rains descend and floods come you will not fall.

For myself personally, meditation is one of the best ways to slow down.  If forces me to let go of other things that are distracting at best and harmful at worst.  It is one way we enter into God’s rest.  I realize I’ve not said much about meditation, and that’s because if you’re meditating on a passage, you either have memorized it or are in the process of memorizing it.  Having said that, I know memorization is more difficult for some than others.  John Piper has some helpful tips here, here, and here  for how he memorizes Scripture and it has worked for me in the past.  In the long run it doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you do it.

Hearing the Word 1

Throughout the study of how we grow closer to God, I’ve purposely left out one particular area until now:  hearing God speak.  If you’re charismatic you might think I’m referring to being quiet enough to hear the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, which is subject is something I hope to discuss at a later time.  The hearing of God’s voice that I’m referring to is truly a special revelation—the revelation of His Word to us.  This may sound disappointing because we might think it would be great if we could be spiritual enough to hear the Spirit of God speak on a regular basis, but He never promised that.  Rather He promised to convict us, comfort us, and lead us in all truth.  The primary way He does that is through His word.

This important method of growing closer to God is through (more…)