The Word of the Lord: Can it Still be Trusted?
And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible like gold refined seven times. Psalm 12:6
The silver and gold in the time of David were melted to remove impurities. As the gold was heated, the impurities floated to the surface to be easily removed. Each time the gold was heated, more impurities were removed. Gold refined seven times would have been very pure. David is telling us that the words of the Lord that we have received have already been refined. They are flawless and can be trusted to lead us toward perfection.
The early Christians devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching. While they had the Torah to guide them they did not yet have the New Testament, so to learn about following Jesus, they turned to the men who had spent 3 years with him and were given the authority to teach Jesus' ways.
Today, we have the New Testament and it is as truthful to us as the Torah was to David. We are thousands of years removed from the writing of scripture, yet it is still just as relevant. Jesus told us it would always be relevant when he told those who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
It is through trusting in the word of the Lord that we are purified as gold is purified. We can not cleanse ourselves, it requires knowing Jesus' teachings to be set free from sin. Jesus tells us this in the above scripture. His teachings were never meant to be short-term for the first disciples, but long-term for all of us. His teachings couldn't just set the first disciples free, they had to have the power and longevity to also set us free.
The Old Testament gives us a beautiful picture of the character of God. "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?" Deut. 4:7 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1. "But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts." Isaiah 5:16. God is near, a refuge, our strength, help, just, righteous, and holy to name a few attributes.
The New Testament puts skin on God. Jesus comes to earth as a fully human fully divine being to remind us of the two greatest commandments; to love God and to love others. He shows us by his actions how to love. He demonstrates how to love the unloveable and calls us to do the same.
He teaches us that to love God is to become a new person with new priorities and new goals. He teaches us that to love others is not to excuse and accept their sinful ways, but to encourage them in the ways of our God. “No one, sir,” she said.“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11
The Bible offers us all we need to live the life God created us to live. Scripture teaches us who God is and how to love him. The Word of God is solid, unchanging, faithful, and relevant. To take away the authority of the Bible is to take away our strength and power.