The Certainty of God’s Word

I was reading Luke during my devotions this morning.  Why did he write what he wrote? “

“So that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:4).

The word for “certainty” in Greek can mean “firmness, reliability, security” or “undoubted truth.”

I’m not sure the biblical writers would see doubt as the virtue we seem to make it out to be today.   I think there was much more black and white and far less gray for the apostles than we care to admit.

James said that the person who doubts is like a “wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind…they are double-minded, unstable in all their ways” (James 1:6-8).    Jude says we ought to have mercy on those who doubt, which I take to mean the opposite of commendation.   There is a difference, I think, between the willful doubt of rebellion and the sort of doubt caused by lack of faith, those who simply need to see in order to believe.   Jude calls us to have mercy on the latter, I believe (Jude 1:22).

To the former, I believe Scripture simply screams out, “Stop doubting!”  Stop being double-minded, unstable in your ways.  Jesus came to lead us into truth, not a sea of doubt or confusion or gray.  Trust that these words, written down that we may have certainty of the things being taught, are true.   They will lead to life, not death.  

I love how Saint Peter submitted rather than doubted the writings of Paul, which he calls scripture.   Some 15-20 years after being scolded by Paul in Galatians, Peter is humble enough to call his readers to heed the “wisdom given” to Paul, which is evident in “all his letters.”   May we not be found to be the “ignorant and unstable” ones who “twist” the scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15-16).   

Stop doubting!  God’s words are true, tested, pure, and timeless.   May we who teach them be found to be faithful stewards of them, pointing people towards certainty in the things taught there.

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