And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:26-34)
There is an undeniable relationship between a Christian and the Bible. The amazing power of the word of God is revealed and made manifest in the transformation of an ordinary individual person that became a powerful instrument in the hand of God after the cleansing and washing in the sprinkled water of the word of God. A case in point in this study is the ministry of Peter, one of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter was a fisherman. He was not known to be a priest in Israel nor one of the scholars. Perhaps he was a stark illiterate but at the same time a professional fisherman in his time. He encountered our Lord Jesus Christ, in the course of his profession and his life became transformed forthwith to become a fisher of men.
The Bible, the word of God, found and defined who a Christian is. “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:25-26) It was from the abundance of the revelation of the word of God that the word ‘Christian’ was revealed. A Christian therefore was a tangible transformed righteous and holy characters of the person that had patterned his or her ways of life after the revealed Christ-like characters and spiritual nature of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the following subtopics, we shall consider some of the steps of how the power of the word of God molds, shapes and perfects ordinary secular dwarf human being to become a spiritual giant called a ‘Christian.’
LEARNING THE WORD OF GOD
The word of God is the various acts of God in His relationship with humanity. In this word we learn about the immeasurable power of God as reflected in the mystery of Creation.
We learn about God’s wisdom as the Creation began to unfold in the manifold wisdom of God. Creation was not about assembling and coordinating of gigantic machines that brought forth the creation of the whole universe. No iron was screwed to another one. No man-made energy powered the creation. In the awesome power of God, He spoke the word, and the whole universe responded to the spoken word of God and the beauty of creation manifested miraculously. It was mighty in the size, marvelous and glorious in the outlook appearance and awesome for the purpose of the Creator. As perfect as the work of Creation of God, amazingly, the Heavenly Father still took time to review and evaluate everything He had created and remarked approvingly and blessed them. In Genesis chapter one alone, you cannot miss a common phrase, “and God saw that it was good” in at least seven different verses. “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) If we are not reviewing and evaluating our actions to ensure that they pass the test of righteousness and acceptability of God, this is an important lesson for mankind.
We learn about the nature of God which is perfection, purity and holiness. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)
We learn about the characters of God in terms of His thoughtfulness as reveals in the scintillating beauty of glory every day. We learn about the characters of God in terms of His faithfulness, His mercy, His forgiveness as regards the perfect work of redemption. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:6-9)
We also learn that He is a righteous Judge. He executed righteous justice upon the righteous with commendation of His blessing. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8) He executes righteous justice against the wicked people with condemnation and punitive measure as the consequences of the wickedness. “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11)
Humility was obvious in the character of God in His relationship with mankind. In the Garden of Eden, He would come down in His glory to fellowship with Adam and Eve at the cool of the day. From the account of the various people God had called in the Bible to be His servants at various time, we learn about His humility as He sought to partner with mankind, one of His various creatures to solve the problems of humanity. In the calling of Noah and Abraham, we can imagine His humility in coming down to the level of man to partner with them for the various assignments He had for them. Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
We learn about His commandments and precepts. He pointed out to us in His word that the evidence of our love for Him is when we obey His commandments and do them. “Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 22:31) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
In order to study the word of God to obtain maximum spiritual blessing, we need to approach the word of God with prayer for understanding and enlightened spirit. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)
LOVING THE WORD OF GOD
There is no way anyone can attribute the success in the ministry of Joshua to the fact that He was a mighty warrior and that was why he was able to defeat 31 kingdoms of the Canaanites and was able to divide the inheritance among the Israelites. The secret of his success was his adherence to study the word of God that became part and parcel of his life in his ministry. That is why Joshua 1:8 that says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” is very relevant to all children of God.
The secret of the success of King David also was the word of God. His love for the word made him to become authors of many of the books of Psalms. Reading Psalms 23 we can all see through the enriched perspective of David’s thought and the meditations of the word of God in his heart. As a shepherd boy, he chose to praise God as he thought it fit without knowing that those praise worthy Psalms will be relevant to our 21st century Christian lifestyle. David loved the word he wrote volumes of his thoughtfulness about the word to glorify God.
Many people handle the bible for ostentatious purposes of displaying and decorations. They put it under their pillows, or on their table in their working places. Although there is nothing wrong in making the word of God our companion if the intention is to read the word first thing when we wake up and as the last thing we do before we sleep. Nothing is wrong if you have Bible on your table in the office to guide you and be a loving companion you reach out to instead of engaging yourselves in worldliness and various perversions of our time. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:1-3)
LIVING BY THE WORD OF GOD
The word of God is a spiritual food and enriching vitamins that a Christian should live by. “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) When Devil tempted our Lord Jesus Christ, He applied the word of God to keep the enemy at bay, saying “… It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
The word of God is a spiritual light in the path way of our lives. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)
The word of God is a defence mechanism against the undue fleshly desire to commit sin “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalms 119:11)
The word of God is a spiritual detergent that cleanses and purifies our hearts. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
The word of God is an exclusive blessing of spiritual living for the ‘just.’ “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
Lastly, you will notice in the text passage above that Phillip, a Christian, was living in the word of God as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. That was why he was spiritually sensitive to the impulses of Holy Spirit and was able to respond to His directives without doubt. He was at the right place at the right time to minister the word of God to the prominent Minister of Finance, the Ethiopian Eunuch and led him to receive salvation.
Prayer: Oh Lord, make me to become a golden vessel in Your hand through the transforming power of Your word for an effective ministry in Your vineyard in Jesus name, Amen.