The Pen

The Living Christ Still Speaks!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking of late – always a dangerous thing to do, I know. Much of my thinking has been captured by the Book of Hebrews, which I’m studying at the moment. Hebrews begins with one of my favourite opening lines in all of literature:

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. (Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV)

The writer to the Hebrews starts this discourse with the reality that God has spoken in two distinct phases: (1) in the past, He spoke through the prophets and (2) in the present, He speaks via His Son. Picking up on this theme, I was simply blown away by what Warren Wiersbe notes in his excellent little book Let’s Go!: The Epistle to the Hebrews for Twenty-First Century Christians:

We don’t hear an audible voice as prophets did in the Old Testament and apostles in the New Testament. But through the Scriptures God is still speaking to His people through His Son. The author to the Hebrews admonishes us in the present tense, ” See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks” (Heb 12:25). If our hearts are truly prepared, each time we open the Bible and pray, God will open His mouth and speak to our hearts (see 1 Sam 3:10). The way we treat the written Word of God is the way we treat the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. We cannot ignore the Bible and at the same time honor Jesus Christ. (pg.15)

While we’re on the subject, consider Paul’s words:

[20] But that is not the way you learned Christ!—[21] assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, (Ephesians 4:20-21 ESV)

Note v.21 and take out the word ‘about’ there (it’s warranted in the original) – “…assuming you have heard him…”

They hadn’t heard the Lord Jesus in person – but they had sat under the ministry of the Gospel through the Apostles. They heard Jesus as they heard Him preached. One more text (as you may gather, I’m a little fired up as I write):

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. (Galatians 3:1 ESV)

Jesus was portrayed vividly as crucified to the Galatians. Conservative commentators say this epistle was written in AD 48 or sometime in the 50s. That’s about 15-20 years about the crucifixion – they weren’t there but they heard the message – WORDS(!!!!!) – believed it and had receive full and free salvation.

In our day, folks go on and on about hearing from God audibly – books get written about hearing the voice of God, whole conferences are devoted to it and in many sectors of the professing church, a worship service is incomplete without some word of ‘prophecy’. While I am a cessationist, I do believe He still speaks today – I really do. Every time I read His Word, He speaks to me. Every time I hear the preaching and teaching of His Word, devoid of how it sounds or how it makes me feel, as long as it is His Word proclaimed faithfully, He’s talking. The living Christ still speaks today!!! That’s why we ought NEVER to downplay the centrality of Scriptural revelation – because in the Book, the Lord communicates with us on a level which we can understand! The Word is exactly that – a word, a message to us!

So…Christ is speaking to us today! The question isn’t whether it’s enough (yes it is) or whether we need to hear it (yes you do) – the question is will you listen? (Yes you should!)

[Contributed by Kofi Adu-Boahen]