In I Thessalonians 2:13, Paul wrote, "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe." Negatively, he states that they had not received his preaching "as the word of men"; positively, they had received it as the "Word of God." Paul was thankful that they had received him as an inspired teacher of God's Word.

There are other passages in I Thessalonians where Paul points out that his message was from God. In chapter 4, he revealed that the commandments which were taught were "through the Lord Jesus," and the person who rejected their teaching "does not reject man, but God who has also given us his Holy Spirit" (vs. 2, 3, 8). Later, when instructing them about the second coming of Christ (4:15) Paul said, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord .... "

Paul, and other inspired individuals, spoke God's message. The Holy Spirit guided them (Eph. 3:3-5, II Tim. 3:16-17), and they wrote God's Word down so that we might have it today. I Corinthians 2:12-13 says, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual," The NASB renders the last part "combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words."

What is your attitude toward God's Word? Do you look at it as a message from God? The way that we view God's Word will have a direct bearing upon how we respond to it. If we do not view the Scriptures as being a message from God, we will not be willing to conform our lives to its teaching when there is a conflict with our practice. If we view it as being from God, there is a greater chance that we will do what it says, no matter what. Furthermore, any preaching or teaching that is Scriptural, should be regarded as a commandment from God. We need to welcome SCRIPTURAL TEACHING as THE WORD OF GOD and THEN OBEY IT!

By Mike Johnson

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