Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
God has given us His written word that we might know what to believe, and faith is possible only because He has spoken to us. Faith must always rest upon His promises and not upon our whims or desires.
We have faith in other things, of course. Many a man believes in himself, or in fate, luck, chance, or science, the benefit of money, the importance of protecting one’s health, the rightness of numerous political causes, etc. But none of these are specifically given us by God to believe in, and neither would we say that “every word” spoken about these ideas is true, nor that we could not add to them.
God on the other hand as set a limit to what He has said. He still leads us in our hearts today. He still impresses upon us some actions we should take. His Spirit moves to convict and to assure, to lead and to guide us in our daily lives. But we would not take these impressions and try to set them down in print, saying that what I have understood God saying to me personally would comprise His authoritative Word.
But neither would I need to, nor would I impoverish the believing community by not doing so. Jude informs us that the knowledge of the gospel, of what comprises our faith, was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). One of the first heresies confronted by the early church was whether other writings should be added to the Bible after the close of the apostolic period, and it was decided by the community of faith that there was nothing more to be added. The so-called “prophecies” that were uttered by some lacked the power and anointed presence of the Spirit.
We are wise to take this agreed upon understanding by these early Christians to heart, that the Words of God have a limit to them in number. Yet in so doing we find an unlimited depth of meaning and application to the words that we have. His Spirit has given us enough information to show us the way of salvation, to build us upon in our faith, to assure us of His grace, to inspire us in our Christian walk, and to challenge and correct us when we are wrong. So, we dare not add to His words, for in so doing we would distract from the power of what is already written for our edification.
I never cease to marvel at the majestic power of His Word and of His words. The words of the Bible are like an inexhaustible source of knowledge and encouragement, like a lake that has no end to its resources. Each generation throws down its pails to draw up the truths for their day, and we wash them over the shores of our lives and of our times, yet the source is not depleted. The more we draw, the more there seems to be still there. They protect us in times of temptation and trouble, they strengthen us when we would be weak, they direct us when we would doubt, and they comfort us when we are lonely and afraid.
They do all of this not just because of their power but because they always point us to God Himself. Beyond the words we see Him, and they lead us to trust and believe in Him.
Thank You, Lord, for entrusting to us the power, beauty, and pleasure of Your Word. Teach us its importance and value for our lives. Give us the pleasure of comfort and assurance from knowledge more about Your love.