"Buy the truth"

 

 

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US President's Bible

"Buy the truth and sell it not."

Here is an ancient proverb has something to say to modern society: “Buy the truth and sell it not.” Western Society seems to have done exactly the opposite and to have sold the truth and to have sold it for nothing! The Bible has been shut and the door to eternal life closed. When in January 2001 the new president of the United States was sworn in he took the oath using the very same Authorised Version of the Bible used by George Washington. However, when we take the oath we do so on a closed Bible. The Bible is thought of by most as a merely symbolic object instead of as the Book of Life, which makes known the way to God through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible is no longer studied as a Book for Life which reveals what is right and what is wrong in the sight of God and society muddles along without any clear moral standards any more.

As the incoming president came in the outgoing president had to leave. One comes and another goes. Before leaving, the outgoing president had negotiated immunity to avoid prosecution for perjury in connection with proceedings concerning the notorious scandal in which he had been involved. He explained: “I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognise that I did not fully accomplish that goal and that certain of my responses … were false.” You can see why most people prefer a closed Bible to an open Bible. It condemns our evil ways. If a president wants to save face by lying he ends up at the same time turning a blind eye to what God commands. God says that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbour but to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Although Jesus Christ came to save sinners and does save sinners, the Law of God that he fulfilled for others, condemns sin. The reason for this is plain, “sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3.4)

Sin is the breaking of God’s Law and that demands punishment. Those who are saved by believing in Jesus Christ escape that punishment because he was punished in their place. This way of salvation does not ignore sin and Jesus Christ did not ignore sin. He taught about it so that sinners would see sin for what it is, forsake it with sorrow, hate it, repent of it and confess it to God seeking his forgiveness. In fact Jesus Christ made it very plain that God’s standards are more demanding than the one’s we set for ourselves and that they reach to our thoughts as well as our deeds. Look at what he says about sexual impurity, a subject that we hear so much about these days. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5.27-28) You see, our own impure thoughts condemn us and if you want to indulge such thoughts you will want to keep the Bible closed and separate from your life because it will expose your evil. That doctor who murdered so many of his patients could not have taken the Bible seriously because he would know that a terrible end awaited him.

The outgoing president wanted immunity from prosecution. We can understand why he would want that but God does not deal in such things. Immunity from prosecution is granted by men and it lasts only for this life. God never suspends his judicial process. When he saves sinners he does so by gracious forgiveness not suspension of justice. When Jesus Christ died at the cross he was given no immunity. The anger of God against sin fell upon him and in this way his righteousness is provided to release others from punishment in order that God might be just, and the justifier of he who believes in Jesus. The demands of justice were met and sinners are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. This is not suspension of justice by granting immunity from prosecution but, justice being satisfied by the punishment of Christ in the place of others to save them. This, says Paul, is God’s way of dealing with the guilt of sin and saving believing sinners. 

Our Leader of the Opposition, said that he does not go to church each Sunday but that he does go regularly for such things as memorial services. This is often the way with many people. Christ is referred to in connection with death, at the end of life, not during life. But it is too late to believe when you are dead. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. The journalist follows the prominent in the hope of some news. The believer follows Jesus Christ, the one who makes the good news. Believers do not follow Christ hoping that something will come of it. Jesus Christ is good news for all who believe on him. Paul put it this way: “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1.12) Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today and you will share in that wonderful assured hope too. 

 


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