sermon: Metaphors of God's Word

What God Designed the Bible To Do
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 10-Nov-18; Sermon #1460; 70 minutes

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The Church of God should be at the forefront encouraging the reading of good literature. Faithfully translated, God's Word is the foremost example of good literature—containing examples of high-quality poetry, biography, history, and even drama. Its frequent use of a large variety of multi-leveled figurative language is just one indicator of the quality of God's Word. Christ's description of His Words as Spirit and Life assure us that His Words (spoken or in print) have a quality that no other human words have because they have God, who by definition is Spirit, as their Source. Further, these words, if ingested, lead to eternal life. Seven sets of metaphors picture the uniqueness of the Holy Scripture. God's Word serves as: 1) A lamp and a light: an internal map or guidebook inside of us and an external beacon illuminating the dangers around us (Psalm 119:105); 2) A health tonic for our spirit (Proverbs 4:20-22); 3) Rain and snow, initiating growth and fecundity (Isaiah 55:10-11); 4) A hammer and a fire, destroying evil and purifying us from sin (Jeremiah 23:8-9); 5) Food that nourishes our spirit throughout the sanctification process (Matthew 4:4, Hebrews 5:12); 6) A sword that can repel God's enemies with truth and an instrument to mortify our own carnal natures (Hebrews 4:12); and 7) Incorruptible seed that bears spiritual fruit (James 1:21, I Peter 1:22-23). God plants His Word, and as it interacts with His Spirit dwelling in us, expects a return on His investment (James 4:5), namely a high yield of Fruit (Galatians 5:22; John 15:4-5).

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