What is not repeated will soon be forgotten. It is time for a little theological mucilage: repetition. When God gave His eternal word to the human race, each word was guarded and guided by the Holy Spirit as it passed through the minds of sinful men down through their pens and onto the pages of paper (2 Pet. 1:20-21). These words are being preserved and reserved for those who receive the precious benefits of the gospel accompanied with the gift of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:2). These receivers are taught by the same Spirit the meaning of words (1 Cor. 2:10-13). God breathed each word into its very spot in the Scripture for this very purpose (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Not one word is missing. Every word has a meaning intended by the Creator to be understood – and taught – every word.
The Bible contains the precious and powerful seed of the gospel of His amazing grace (1 Pet. 1:23-25). The gospel is the priceless worth of Christ’s true identity as the God-Man, His substitutionary death on the cross, and the amazing power of His resurrection. This combined truth is God’s seed (1 Pet. 1:23-25; 1 Jn. 2:8-10). This seed is guided by the Holy Spirit and being planted into the soil of human minds all over the world (Isa. 55:10-11). This seed is then germinated by faith, and faith alone, in Christ, and in Christ alone (Jn. 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9). This seed can be heard and believed, but without mixing the truth with personal faith in Christ, the seed will never germinate. This seed cannot be added to or taken from, or it will give no life. This seed results in a spiritual birth and baptism in the one in whom it germinates.
Upon hearing the gospel, the moment faith is placed in Christ, the seed explodes, bringing a heavenly birth into a new world and an unseen immersion into the person of Christ. Wow! The believer is instantly reborn into God’s Kingdom (Jn. 1:13; James 1:18) and baptized (immersed) into God’s Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). Both mysterious events occur at the moment of faith. The believer instantly receives Christ’s life (1 Jn. 5:11-13), Christ’s citizenship (Phil. 3:20-21), Christ’s righteousness (Phi. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:21), Christ’s relationship (Gal. 3:26-29), and Christ’s home (Jn. 14:1-3). Said simply, the believer in a moment receives Christ’s destiny and His identity. This is why the phrase “in Christ” became the apostle Paul’s favorite name for Christians. The believer is born into God’s forever family as a babe in Christ. Time and teaching spent in the Bible are necessary to grow to spiritual maturity (1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Cor. 2:12-13).
The Holy Spirit alone has the power to teach us the living words on the paper (John 14:26-27; 16:13-14). It was pleasing to God to reserve and unpack the Bible’s truth for a special group – not many wise (human wisdom), not many mighty (strong or powerful), and not many noble (with royal blood) are called to Him. Said clearly, God called those that the world thinks are fools, weak, worthless, to become His own special trophies. God did this to suppress man’s pride so that His glory only would shine through (1 Cor. 1:25-31). It was God’s genius to not allow a human being to come to know His Word through human wisdom. In fact, the world though its own wisdom will never know Him. To the contrary, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached (the gospel) to save those who believe (1 Cor. 1:21). This is a fact that must be hidden in our hearts as we observe God’s seed moving through history.
With these words in mind, go back to the Reformation. The Reformation in England was burning hot. Not with just the burning of the flesh of evangelical martyrs but with the white-hot power of true line-by-line and word-by-word teaching of the Word of God. The true gospel of the grace of God was being preached and believed. This proved to be a lethal combination and began to diminish the darkness of Satan and bring to light the immense value of God’s love. But no doubt confusion still reigned. Satan had not left the building. Many were giving their lives for the value of the truth of Scripture (1 Cor. 2:7-16), while others were taking lives; burning or beheading them. Some were teaching that salvation comes in its fulness through the true identity of Jesus Christ alone, His death as payment for sin alone, and His bodily resurrection from the grave alone (1 Cor. 15:1-8), yet others hated this message along with those who were giving it.
The message had the power to destroy the magnificent stained glass buildings, the beautiful rituals and religious services, the gorgeous robes and crowns of the clergy, the heart-stopping sound from the huge pipe organ, the smell of burning candles and incense, and the great financial gain that followed these religious acts. Ah, follow the money! Think hard once again about the powerful words connected to Noah’s prophecy. “Praise be to the LORD God of Shem.” The LORD God of Shem is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is prophet-speak pointing to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was going to come through the line of Shem – which He did. Think also about Noah’s prophecy concerning Japheth. Japheth is going to dwell in the tents of Shem (Gen. 9:25-27). This is prophet-speak saying that Japheth is going to help Shem accomplish his task. Japheth helped get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and is continuing to help spread the gospel around the world. The gospel launched by the Lord Jesus Christ through what is called “the great commission” began to spread. But it spread upon the backs of the many martyrs who were dying for their faith. In a time of persecution, the fire spreads. The gospel was moving so quickly around the world that Satan counterattacked. The public proclamation of the gospel was submerged and confused under a sea of truth mixed with paganism. God resurfaced the public proclamation of the gospel in Germany (a land of Japheth) and it burned through England (a land of Japheth) and is headed for the USA. Blessings!