"God’s Message in a ‘Double Envelope’"
June 4, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
"These are the Scriptures that testify about Me." John 5:39
Engraved wedding invitations usually come in two envelopes: an inner one and an outer one. The first contains the message – the invitation – and the second is the medium or wrapper that brings the whole thing to you through the mail. May we say that God brings His message of salvation to us in a double envelope?
A European theologian has written: “Since Jesus is the revealed Word of God, He is the source of our knowledge of God.” In another place, this: “Theology is to be drawn from the Bible.”
Both statements are true, but they must be related properly to each other. Jesus is truly the personal Word through whom God speaks to us. The letter to the Hebrews, reflecting what Saint John wrote in the prologue of his Gospel (“the Word became flesh” (John 1:14), states in its own prologue: “In these last days He [God] has spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2).
This does not mean that we may dispose of Holy Scripture as the source of divine revelation. Some theologians, claiming the Bible to be a human document with many errors, say in a cavalier fashion, “Don’t worry about it. We don’t have to rely on it, for God has revealed His saving love for us in Jesus, the personal Word.”
However, apart from the written Word we wouldn’t know anything about Jesus and what God tells us through Him. In Holy Scripture, which testifies of Jesus, God reveals fully and completely why He sent His Son into the world: to die for the sins of the human race and then to rise again. He invites us to believe in Him for our salvation.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is in the nature of a wedding invitation, God bidding us, as Jesus declares in a parable: “Come to the wedding banquet” (Matthew 22:4). This invitation comes to us, we might say, in a double envelope: through Jesus, the personal Word, and through the written Word. The latter, like the larger, outer envelope, brings us the “Jesus message.” The Bible is the “Jesus Book,” on whose message concerning Jesus the Savior we can fully rely, for it is God’s own revealed Word, altogether truthful.
PRAYER: Thank You, Heavenly Father, for speaking Your words of forgiving grace through the Scripture’s testimony concerning Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)