August 4, 2020 – Taking Our Meaning from God’s Revelation

The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:7-9)

Human beings are interpreters. We interpret the world around us, the people with whom we interact, and even our own thoughts and emotions. The act of interpreting is inescapable. It is inescapable for two reasons. There are more, but I’m going to offer you only two. First, God created us in his image that we might love him with all our heart, soul, and strength. This requires interpretation.

Second, we were created to love and serve one another. This requires interpretation.Consider with me, please, the first point, namely, that God created us to be interpreters. He created us after his own image. Here are two things that should be emphasized with regard to this point. First, he did not create us to be gods. There is one God only. We are not him. Rather, we are to reflect him in our lives. We are to live for him and in awe of him. Second, as God’s creatures, created to worship and serve him (summarized by Jesus as “love”), we are to live according to his standard rather than our own. That is, we are to conform our thoughts, words, and deeds to the word of God. The summary is this: We are to interpret by what God has revealed. We are to interpret for his glory. Did you catch that I was giving you an interpretation?

The next point is that we were created to love one another. How am I to love my neighbor? I am to love my neighbor as I love myself. Note that this is not a command to love myself. It is a command to love my neighbor in the way I already love myself. See? I just gave you an interpretation! Let’s try an example. If I love my wife. What does that mean? We can say it means I should love her as I love myself. That would be true. What does that look like? God’s interpretation of such love is given in Ephesians 5:25. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Notice how God’s interpretation of loving my wife does not work with a worldly idea of love that centers around self. Loving my neighbor as I love myself cannot mean preserving myself. It means giving myself.

Well, we could keep talking, couldn’t we? You know I could, don’t you? Let me offer this last point for your prayerful consideration. The reason I brought up interpretation is because you and I have the privilege of being witnesses for Jesus Christ. That means you are going to have to interpret what that means. Let me stress once again that you and I are not to make up our own meaning. We are to take our meaning from God’s revelation. That revelation is clear. If you are Christ’s, you have the Spirit of God, who guides you into all the truth. Let’s you and I strive to derive our meanings and purposes from God’s revelation rather from the follies of men. After all, God’s revelation promises that God’s revelation is a sure and perfect guide to change the heart and keep our ways pure.

Soli Deo Gloria.