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god’s power, scripture’s authority


Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Matthew 22:29

Today’s passage is part of the Lord’s response to the Sadducees, a religious sect which denied the doctrine of the believer’s future resurrection (Matthew 22:23; Acts 23:8). The Lord’s response was a stinging indictment of their culpable ignorance and unbelief. For these people, the ultimate reference point and final authority was not the Scriptures but the opinions of men. Such people are actually double-disasters; they are often ignorant about what the Bible teaches on a given issue, and when they do find out, they choose not to believe it! This is the worst kind of folly. The Scriptures have strong warnings about despising, denying, or mishandling the word of God. Our Lord has chosen to magnify His word above even His name (Psalm 138:2). Those who dare to add to His words will be ashamed (Proverbs 30:5-6). Those who despise or twist that word will be utterly destroyed (Proverbs 13:13; 2 Peter 3:15-16). It is far better for us to receive and believe, on faith, the word of the One who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), whose power, authority, wisdom and goodness infinitely exceed our own. Paul declared with full assurance that those who believe in Jesus will be raised bodily from the dead to enjoy glorified existence with their Savior and Redeemer (1 Corinthians 15). The believer’s body, Paul explained, “is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (1Corinthians 15:42-43). In other words, there is numerical identity between the body that dies and is buried, and the body that is raised in glory. If we have trouble understanding exactly how this can be—how a believer whose body has long turned to dust can be expected to receive the same body back at the resurrection—let us remember that God is the Creator and Identifier of all things. If He chooses to identify the resurrection body with the body that is sown in corruption, then we simply say “Yes, Lord” remembering that it is He who, on His own authority, “quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). In the Lord’s reply to the Sadducees, He directed them to Exodus 3:6, where God identified Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Sadducees got the message. These men died in faith believing that God was going to fulfill His promises to them (Hebrews 11:9-13). Since these promises entail their being raised from the dead, resurrection is surely a biblical doctrine. We marvel at the unassailable wisdom of Christ. May we also rejoice in the faithfulness of our God to fulfill every promise He has ever made to those who love and trust Him.

God bless you,

Pastor John


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