In the previous post i tried to focus on the point that DeYoung made in Ch5; ‘The will of God for our lives is that we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.’ He begins Ch6 by reiterating that point and adding that ‘the most important decision we face is the daily decision to live for Christ and die to self.’ Ch6 deals with how God speaks to us. To begin with, I am pretty much going to repeat the 5 main points DeYoung makes & copy what John has said in his post here.
1. God guides by His invisible providence at all times.
2. God can speak to His people in many different ways.
3. In these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son .
4. God continues to speak to us by His Son through His Spirit in the Scriptures.
5. Apart from the Spirit working through Scripture, God does not promise to use any other means to guide us, nor should we expect him to.
In most cases we will all agree on the first 4 points but its when we get to 5 that there will be some discussion amongst Christians! As DeYoung goes on to quickly explain the ‘ongoing debate’ about spiritual gifts i chuckled at one point made and could not help but think that it defined the whole debate about God’s will and how God speaks etc etc. After giving examples from both sides of the debate about spiritual gifts DeYoung quotes a ‘mature’ cessationist who, like many is quick to add that ‘God surprises us nonetheless.’
This kind of statement, in some ways defines my ‘religious heritage’ in so many ways. Men hold to beliefs and take a stand on certain issues. Issues that will divide congregations, ruin friendships and wreak havoc but yet often they need to admit that ‘God surprises us nonetheless.’ We sometimes need to admit that we do not really have all the answers & that we could be wrong. But then lets go back to the fifth point; “Apart from the Spirit working through Scripture, God does not promise to use any other means to guide us, nor should we expect him to.”
Hebrews says this;
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”