I thank God for the opportunity to study God’s Word in Far Eastern Bible College. Truly, it is a joyous privilege to sit at the feet of the Lord’s faithful servants and to “behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Ps 119: 18).
One of the courses I took was “New Testament Introduction”. Our lecturer was Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo. The following is my testimony of the lessons I have learnt from the course.
o Study God’s Word with a believing heart
One of the first precious lessons I learnt is that one must study God’s Word in faith. Our Lord’s words to His doubting disciple, Thomas, have taken new significance and meaning in my life: “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn 20: 29). We must first believe, then will we be able to see the things “which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Cor 2: 9).
There are many things in the Bible which we cannot fully understand or know as we are, but finite and frail human beings: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut 29: 29). We must therefore take God at His Word. Like little children, we must have a believing and trusting heart (Matt 18: 3-4).
A doubting, questioning attitude not only grieves the Holy Spirit but also creates friction: “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes” (II Tim. 2: 23). The end result is strife, division and discord in the Body of Christ.
“The Greeks and the Hebrews were greatly given to controversies of various kinds; and many of the questions discussed pertained to points which could not be settled, or which, if settled, were of no importance. Such has been the character of no small part of the disputes which have agitated the world. Paul correctly says that the only effect of such disputes is to engender harsh contention. Points of real importance can be discussed with no injury to the temper; but men cannot safely dispute about trifles” (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible).
We see this sad picture now in our own Bible-Presbyterian churches. Those who question God’s Word often question the church leadership. Like Korah and his company who turned against the Lord’s appointed leader, Moses (Num 16), these unruly members rebelled against God’s ordained authority in our churches. It all started with pride and an unbelieving heart!
o God has providentially preserved His Word
I now have a better understanding of the Verbal and Plenary Preservation (VPP) of the Holy Scriptures. Our lecturer spent many hours explaining and expounding this doctrine from the Holy Scriptures. I may not understand everything concerning this issue, but I believe that:
God has providentially preserved His Word. Because He is God, He will allow none of His words to be lost. Those who oppose this doctrine strive “… to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (II Tim 2: 14b).
This is not a new issue (as many would have us believe) but one that has been “battled” through the years. I believe that the following Bible references support the VPP position:
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Ps 12: 6-7).
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt 5: 18).
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt 24: 35).
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Pet 1: 23-25).
Those who question this issue have gone against the clear teachings of God’s Holy Word.
(… to be continued)
– Sis Helen Wee
(Adapted from an assignment submitted for the New Testament Introduction course on 3rd November 2005)