First of all, sorry for the lame and seemingly prideful title of this post. Please hear me rightly — I don’t intend this post to be a self-exalting boast, like, “I’m as smart as Dr. Moore…” or something in that vein.
The point I want to make in this post has little to do with the Lord’s Supper, per se.
Here’s what I mean:
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post on the Lord’s Supper.
On Monday (because I’m usually working during chapel) I listened to Dr. Moore’s message on the Lord’s Supper. (Actually, I think he’s teaching on the Supper again right now, a talk I will love to listen to… I just usually don’t get off work (Starbucks) in time for the 10:00 a.m. cut off…)
Anyway, hearing Dr. Moore’s chapel message encouraged me — particularly the fact that I saw some of the same things that he mentioned.
So, like I just said, I don’t want to emphasize my own correct-ness (or whatever other self-boasting point might be implied).
I do want to say that God’s Word, when studied under the guidance of the Spirit, can be understood, and understood rightly. I affirm this in theory, but on Monday, listening to Dr. Moore’s sermon, it was affirmed in practice. Hearing that I saw similar things as a very intelligent and godly man, solely by searching the Scriptures encourages me.
It encourages me to study the Word with confidence, and to rely on the Spirit more than the commentators.
It encourages me that God, in revealing himself, has done it clearly. It’s not without difficulty in understanding sometimes; but, still, the intention of the Biblical authors and and the Biblical Author will shine through when illumined by the Spirit.
It encourages me to treasure how easy studying Scripture is for an 21st century, English speaking, middle-class guy.
It also scares me, because God will hold me accountable. I should know the Scriptures far better than I do. Studying the Bible is so easy, with piles of concordances, dictionaries, lexicons, dozens of translations, and BibleWorks. I’ve thought about this before, and I believe God will hold me accountable for the light I’ve been given. It, like I said, scares me.
And, often, I’m just too stinking lazy to do it. May the Lord help me, to treasure the Word, so that I might treasure God in all his fullness. And woe to me if I don’t.
UPDATE: Providentially, Dr. Wright today lectured on Baptist origins, which he said go back to the Particular (=Calvinistic) Baptists of England. The Anabaptists, contrary to popular and scholarly thought, did not give rise to what are now the majority of Baptists in the world. The Anabaptists influenced the British General (=Arminian) Baptists, who mostly had given in to Unitarianism by the 19th century.
How then, the question was asked, did the Particular Baptists forge their doctrine of baptism?
Dr. Wright’s answer: the Bible.
It seems that two generally independent groups came to similar conclusions about baptism, from the testimony of Scripture.
The same thing happened with Zwingli, who saw the doctrine of justification by faith in the Bible, apart from the influence of Martin Luther.
Again, the point remains: the Bible is clear, and we can understand it.