Christ, not the Bible, is the True Word of God; Tyranny

"It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true Word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit, and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him. But we must not use the Bible (our fathers too often did) as a sort of Encyclopedia out of which texts (isolated from their context and read without attention to the whole nature and purport of the books in which they occur) can be taken for use as weapons." – C.S. Lewis. The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis.

"You diligently study the Scripture because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me." – John 5:39.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock.


Verses That "Did Me"

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Mt 7:24). [A Rock Solid Life.]

What are some of my "Hear and Do" verses? These are some of the verses that "did me" (1 Cor 8:3; Gal 4:9) and that led to self-discovery, enlightenment and transformation:
  1. Gen 1:2. I discovered my true self: I was empty!
  2. Gen 2:16-17. This led to my conversion.
  3. Mt 6:33. This prioritized my life, along with Lk 9:23. Otherwise it is too easy to be driven by ego, selfish ambition, pleasures.
  4. 1 Cor 15:36. In some peculiar way, this gave me the courage and conviction to marry.
  5. Ex 20:5. This is my parenting verse. It helped me practice my two favorite pair of words: "fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12) and "humility and tears" (Ac 20:19).


Poor in Spirit (Matthew 5:3) [Outline of the Sermon on the Mount]

"As compared with God, a truly humble man is sensible of the small extent of his own knowledge, and the great extent of his ignorance, and the small extent of his understanding. He is sensible of his weakness. How little his strength is, and how little he is able to do." Jonathan Edwards, Charity And Its Fruits.

The indispensable condition of receiving the kingdom is spiritual bankruptcy. Charles Spurgeon said, "The way to rise in the Kingdom is to sink in ourselves."

To be poor in spirit is to acknowledge spiritual poverty, our spiritual bankruptcy in ourselves, before God. It is to acknowledge that we are sinners, under the wrath of God, and deserving the judgment of God. It is to acknowledge that we have nothing to offer, nothing to plead, nothing with which to buy the favor of heaven, as the hymn says, "Nothing in my hand I bring."

"He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit. To such, and only to such, the kingdom of God is given as a free gift." John Calvin. This blessedness is an absolutely free and utterly undeserved gift. It can only be received humbly, like a little child.


The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)

The Sermon on the Mount (TSOM) is certainly the best known and possibly the least heeded part of the teaching of Christ. In this sermon Jesus listed the chief characteristics which are to mark the citizens of the kingdom of God. It is Jesus' own description of Christians or Jesus' people. It is not just how a Christian lives, but who a Christian truly is. It is the expression of his life that exudes from the very core of his being that has being touched and transformed by Christ. It sets forth his ideals for Christian discipleship.

St. Augustine was the first to call Matthew 5-7 "The Lord's Sermon on the Mount." Augustine also said that TSOM was the "perfect standard of the Christian life."


A Rock Solid Life (Matthew 7:24-27)

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Mt 7:24, NIV). "...and does them" (ESV). "...and acts on them" (NASB, HCSB). "...and follows it" (NLT).

The Sermon on the Mount is probably the most famous of all the teachings of Christ. (A General Introduction by Martyn Lloyd-Jones). The theme is that of "life in the kingdom of heaven." It is an overview of the privileges and expectations of such a truly blessed life. Mt 7:24-27 (Lk 6:46-49) is the conclusion of the Sermon on The Mount.
  1. What are "these words of mine" that Scripture encourages people to take to heart (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Ps 1:2; 119:97)?