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God’s Word is Not Chained

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Chains, through the centuries, have held Christians in bondage. They have not, however, held back God’s word.

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy -- “God’s word is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:9). This truth remains even while so many Christians are confined and restricted even today.

Chains  – in the Greek, δέω – figure prominently in the New Testament.

-- John the Baptist bore public advocacy to a corrupt government even as Herod placed upon him personal “chains” (δέω, Matthew 14:3).

-- A crippled woman “whom Satan has kept bound (δέω) for eighteen long years” testifies that healing in Jesus supersedes legalistic interpretations (Luke 13:16).

-- The religious elite and a threatening mob “bound” (δέω) Jesus and forwarded him to Pontius Pilate, but they could not suppress that which was proclaimed in prayerful truth (John 18:12, 24).

-- Peter dramatically illustrates God’s redemptive ability to rescue as the “chains” (δέω) that held him within the dark recesses of a cell were suddenly undone (Acts 12:6).

-- Paul joins in witness as one “chained” (δέω) for the gospel and yet convinced that the word of God remains alive and active and “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Chains have been part of Christian experience since its beginning. Still, the presence and word of God continue to pour forth new life around the world. We remember the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16 as we look at today’s world.

-- God’s word cannot be chained by the bonds of hunger and famine in Venezuela.

-- God’s word cannot be chained by political violence that  recently claimed lives outside a Baptist hospital in Nicaragua.

-- God’s word cannot be chained by imprisonment and displacement in Myanmar, where two Baptist pastors were incarcerated until last month and where fighting in recent weeks has displaced thousands more.

-- God’s word cannot be chained by illiteracy or by the reality that 209 million people worldwide have no portions of the Scripture translated into their heart language.

-- God’s word cannot be chained by failing health, limited mobility, and changing cultural patterns.

God’s word remains powerful and active. Our hope is found in the transforming power of the word of God. And this word gives us work to do. We need to recommit to the following:

... remaining deeply immersed in Scripture -- reading together through the eyes of others and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

... valuing the responsibility to train men and women of all ages in the humble study and authentic proclamation of the Bible and to regularly pray for those who are actively discipling others.

... standing alongside brothers and sisters serving in difficult areas. 

... allowing daily study to cleanse and re-center our lives around Jesus Christ rather than the bounds and boundaries which we might set for ourselves.

“God’s word is not chained.” It is as true today as when first written. We celebrate it; we live it.



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Guest Monday, 13 July 2020