Though we can’t fully grasp the power and authority of God’s voice, we can have some small inkling of it. This same voice said, “Let there be,” and there was. By this voice, the universe and everything in it came into existence. This same power of His voice creates a new heart in us. This voice imparts deity into us when we’re born again, putting Jesus Christ into our hearts. It imparts gifts of the Spirit and ministries to lowly humans. It’s the voice that transfigures us into the same image of Christ, cleanses us, and builds up Christ in us as we yield ourselves wholly to it.
“I [God] will instruct you and teach you concerning the path you should walk; I will direct you with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8 International Standard Version)
“Therefore Jesus was saying to the Jews having believed in Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set free you.’” (John 8:31-32 Berean Literal Bible)
We can’t help but notice God’s method, a method that will cause us to know the truth. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples (ones taught by Me), and you will know the truth.” Still, this Scripture is even more exciting when we look into the original language from which this Scripture was translated. If we translate this Scripture literally, His “word” is His “utterance.” We know the truth by dwelling or journeying in His utterance. So He’s talking about living our daily lives in His presence, listening to His voice, and being set free from slavery.
“If we live our lives in the utterance of Jesus, we’ll know the truth, and the truth will set us free.” (Application of John 8:31-32 in modern English)
If we live our lives in the utterance of Jesus, we’re led by Him, and we respond in obedience. And the Holy Spirit is telling us that His leading and power results in works but not self-righteousness, so human effort isn’t helpful. Rather, we submit ourselves to His love and allow His love to do His works through us. This training leads to maturity, and maturity leads to discernment as the following verse points out:
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14 English Standard Version)
Here, the word that’s translated as “trained” is a word that means “vigorous exercise,” so this training isn’t passive. Also, the word “by” points to “constant practice,” and this phrase “constant practice” is translated from a word that means habit of body or mind, so it means our behavior.
“. . . who have their powers of discernment vigorously exercised by constant practice to distinguish between good and evil.” (literal)
As we look to God for understanding, we see how this truth ties into what James said about faith being dead without works, so our journey will thoroughly explore how we can discern truth from falsehood. In other words, we’re laying out a broad outline now, but we’ll get down to the detail.
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