What do you receive from the Scriptures? Are they a blessing or a curse to you? Do you receive life or death from the Word of God? Do the words you speak carry life or death? Maybe you haven’t thought of the Word as being a blessing and life or a curse and death. What about your speech, is it a source of life or death?
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold,
I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
27 A blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
Moses calls the Word of God commandments. He calls them commandments because of our responsibility to live our lives according to God’s Word. If we are obedient to the Word, we receive a blessing. If we do not obey the Word, it becomes a curse to us. So, you see, how we relate to the Scriptures determines whether we receive a blessing or a curse.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call
heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you
life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and
thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Now Moses tells us that the Word is set before us as life and death. It has the potential to be both and we get to choose which it will be. Of course, we would all want to choose life and not death, but how do we do that? It is not as simple as saying, “I choose life!” The Lord God is the life, and our relationship with Him determines our choice. Your words may say, “I choose life!” but if you neglect the love relationship with the Lord, then you are choosing death. The relationship we have with the Lord automatically chooses life or death whether you consciously make a choice or not. What about the New Testament? Is this concept true for the New Testament, also?
II Corinthians 3:6 (God) who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.
Paul always speaks plainly with boldness. In other words, he tells it like it is. The letter of the New Testament kills; the Spirit of the New Testament gives life. That means exactly what it says. If you relate to the New Testament writings historically only (and a lot of Christians do), then you are relating to the letter that kills. This is true for both the Old and New Testament. How you relate to the divine life in the Scriptures determines what you receive.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.
Jesus spoke words of Spirit and life. That doesn’t mean, though, that all the people who heard Him speak received life. He spoke the same language as His listeners and many of them only heard the natural meaning of His speech. The responsibility is upon the listeners to receive the words of Spirit and life hidden in the language spoken, and that is determined by their relationship with the Lord.
Jesus said, “The flesh profits nothing.” That which only proceeded from His human nature would profit no one, but that which proceeded from His divine nature would be the Spirit that makes alive. The responsibility is ours to learn how to receive that which comes from His divine nature through the Scriptures. When we learn how to partake of His life in the Word, then what we speak will come from His divine nature in us. If His flesh nature profits nothing, ours certainly won’t. How careful we should be to speak words of life! Paul was aware of this tremendous responsibility. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. I Corinthians 2:3-5.
Our relationship with the Lord determines whether we receive life or death from the Scriptures, and it determines whether our speech ministers life or death. Our relationship with Him automatically makes the choice of what we receive and of what we give.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose