On Eagles Wings Ministries

Dr. Rudy Rodriguez D.D.

Dr. Rudy Rodriguez D.D.

Dr. Rudy is like no other educator in the industry. His method follows a 3 step process he has perfected through 2 decades getting results for himself and over a decade helping people just like you get results.

The Revelatory Effects of God’s Word

   In the last four sessions we have examined seven practical effects God’s Word produces in us as, with faith and obedience, we receive and apply its teaching. These seven effects are:

   

  1. Faith

  2. The new birth

  3. Complete spiritual nourishment

  4. Healing and health for our physical bodies

  5. Mental illumination and understanding

  6. Victory over sin and Satan

  7. Cleansing and sanctification

   

Now let us examine two further ways in which the Bible, as God’s Word, works in the believer.

   

  Our Mirror

  The first of these is that the Bible provides us with a mirror of spiritual revelation. This operation of God’s Word is described in James 1:23-25. In the two previous verses James has already warned that for God’s Word to produce its proper effects in us, there are two basic conditions:

1) we must “receive [it] with meekness” (v. 21) – that is, with the proper attitude of heart and mind; 

2) we must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (v. 22) – that is, we must immediately apply it practically in our daily lives.

 

If we fail to do this, James warns that we shall be deceiving ourselves; we may be calling ourselves Christians or disciples or Bible students, but we will not be experiencing any of the practical blessings and benefits of which the Bible speaks. We might sum this up by saying that the Bible works practically in those who apply it practically.

 

After this warning, James continues in the next three verses as follows.

   

  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does (James 1:23-25).

   

  James likens God’s Word to a mirror. The only difference is that a normal mirror shows us only what James calls our “natural face” – our external, physical features, and appearance. The mirror of God’s Word, as we look into it, reveals not our external, physical features, but our inward spiritual nature and condition. It reveals to us those things about ourselves which no material mirror and no work of human wisdom can reveal – things which we can never come to know in any other way.

  Yes, the Bible is a mirror of the soul. But in this, as in its other operations, the result it produces in us depends to a large extent upon our reaction to it.

 

In the natural order, when we look in a mirror, we normally do it to act upon anything which the mirror may reveal to us. If we see that our hair is messy, we brush it; if we see that our face is dirty, we wash it; if our clothes are in disorder, we adjust them; if we see the evidence of some infection, we consult the doctor for suitable treatment.

 

To receive the benefits of the mirror of God’s Word, we must act similarly. If the mirror reveals a condition of spiritual uncleanness, we must without delay seek the cleansing which comes to us through the blood of Jesus. If the mirror reveals some spiritual infection, we must consult the Great Physician of our souls, the One “who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Ps. 103:3).

 

Only by acting practically and without delay upon that which the mirror of God’s Word reveals to us can we receive the forgiveness, cleansing and healing, and all the other blessings God has provided for us.

 

It is just at this point that many people fail to make proper use of God’s mirror, to their spiritual and eternal loss. Through the hearing or the reading of God’s Word and the moving of God’s Spirit, they come under conviction concerning those things in their hearts and lives which are unclean, harmful, and unpleasing to God. Looking thus into the mirror of God’s Word, they see their spiritual condition just as God sees it.

 

Their immediate reaction is one of sorrow and remorse. They realize their need and danger. They may even go forward to the altar at some church, pray, and shed tears. But their reaction goes no further than this. There is no real effectual change in the way they live. By the next day, the impression has begun to wear off. They start to settle down into their old ways.

 

Very soon such a person forgets what kind of man he was. He no longer recalls the unpleasant truths which God’s mirror so clearly and faithfully revealed to him. Unmoved and complacent, he continues on a course that takes him further and further from God.

 

However, the mirror of God’s Word can reveal not only the unpleasant but also the pleasant. It can reveal not only what we are in our fallen condition without Jesus, but also what we can become through faith in Jesus. It can reveal not only the filthy rags of our righteousness but also the spotless garment of salvation and the shining robe of righteousness that we can receive through faith in Jesus. It can reveal not only the corruption and the imperfections of “the old man” without Jesus, but also the holiness and the perfections of “the new man” in Jesus.

 

If, when God’s mirror first reveals to us the truth of our sin and uncleanness, we immediately act upon this revelation – if we repent, if we believe and obey the gospel – then the next time we look into the mirror we no longer see our old sinful nature. Instead, we see ourselves as God now sees us in Jesus: forgiven, cleansed, justified, a new creation. We are made to understand that a miracle has taken place. The faithful mirror no longer reveals our sins or our failures.

 Rather it reveals to us:

   

  If anyone is in Jesus, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17-18).

   

  Not only have the old things passed away and all things become new, but all things are of God. In other words, God Himself accepts responsibility for every feature and aspect of the new creation in Jesus, as it is here revealed in His mirror. There is nothing at all in it of man’s ways or doings. The whole thing is of God Himself.

   

  A little further on in the same chapter, Paul says again: For He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (v. 21).

   

  Notice the completeness of the exchange: Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we in turn might be made righteous with God’s righteousness. What is God’s righteousness? It is righteousness without blemish and without spot; the righteousness which has never known sin. This is the righteousness that is imputed to us in Jesus. We need to gaze long and earnestly at this in God’s mirror until we see ourselves there as God sees us.

 

We find the same revelation also in the Old Testament, in the Song of Solomon 4:7, where Jesus (the Bridegroom) speaks to the church (His bride) and says:

   

  You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.

   

  Here the flawless mirror reveals flawless righteousness, which is ours in Jesus.

  Paul emphasizes the need for Christians to look continually in the mirror of God’s Word.

   

  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18).

   

  Paul, like James, is referring to the mirror of God’s Word. He tells us that this mirror reveals to us who believe, not our sins, which have been done away with in Jesus never to be remembered anymore; but in their place, it reveals the glories of the Lord, which He is waiting to impart to us by faith. Paul emphasizes that it is while we are thus looking into the mirror and beholding there the glories of the Lord that the Spirit of God can work upon us and transform us into the very image of those glories which we behold.

 

In this, as in so many other examples of Scripture, we see that the Spirit and the Word of God are always ordained to work together in harmony. It is while we look into the mirror of the Word of God that the Spirit works upon us and changes us into the likeness of what the mirror reveals. If we cease to look into the mirror of the Word, then the Spirit is no longer able to work in this way.

 

In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Paul returns to the same theme.

   

  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

   

  Here Paul teaches that the faithful, victorious enduring of temporal afflictions can produce in us, as believers, results of great and eternal glory; but he adds the same qualification as in the previous chapter. This working out of spiritual glory within us is only effective while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen (v. 18).

   

  So if we take our eyes off the eternal things, our afflictions no longer produce the same beneficial effects within us. It is in the mirror of God’s Word that we behold these eternal things. Therefore, it is in this mirror that we must continue to steadfastly continue to look into daily.

 

For example, notice how Moses endured forty years of exile in the wilderness after he fled from Egypt.

   

  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27).

   

  Let’s look at the source of Moses’ power to endure affliction: “he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” It was Moses’ vision of the eternal, invisible God and Saviour of his people that gave him faith and courage to endure and to triumph over all his afflictions. The same vision can give the same faith and courage to us today. So where shall we find this continuing vision of God in our daily needs and testings? It is in the wonderful spiritual mirror which He has given us for this very purpose – that is, the mirror of His own Word. The secret both of transforming grace and of victorious living lies here – in the use that we make of God’s mirror. While we use the mirror, God’s Spirit works out these effects in our lives.


Our Judge

  Finally, God’s Word is also our judge. Throughout the entire Bible it is emphasized that by sovereign eternal right, the office of judge belongs to God alone. This theme runs through the entire Old Testament. For instance, Abraham says to the Lord, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). Jephthah said, “May the Lord, the Judge, render judgment this day” (Judg. 11:27). The psalmist wrote, “Surely He is God who judges in the earth” (Ps. 58:11). And Isaiah said, “For the Lord is our Judge”
(Is. 33:22).

  As we move on into the New Testament, we enter into a fuller revelation of the motives and methods of God’s judgment. 

InJohn 3:17 Jesus says:

   

  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).

   

  Again we read in 2 Peter 3:9:

   

  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

   

  These verses – and many others like them – reveal that God delights to administer mercy and salvation, but He is reluctant to administer wrath and judgment.

 

This reluctance of God to administer judgment finds expression in the way in which, as the New Testament reveals, God’s judgment will ultimately be carried out. In the first instance, by sovereign eternal right, judgment belongs to God the Father. Peter speaks of “the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work” (1 Pet. 1:17).

 

Here judgment of all men is plainly stated to be the office of God the Father. However, Jesus reveals that the Father has chosen in His sovereign wisdom to commit all judgment to the Son.

   

  For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father (John 5:22-23).

   

  Again IN John 5:26-27, Jesus says:

   

  For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself and has given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of Man (John 5:26-27).

   

  Here we see that the office of judgment has been transferred from the Father to the Son.

 

Two reasons are given for this:

First, because with the office of judge goes also the honor due to the judge, and in this way, all men will be obliged to show the same honor toward God the Son as they would toward God the Father. 

Second, because Jesus is also the Son of Man, as well as the Son of God – that is, He partakes of the human as well as of the divine nature, and thus in His judgment He can make allowance, from His own experience, for all the infirmities and temptations of human flesh.

 

However, such is the grace and the mercy of the divine nature in the Son, as in the Father, that Jesus, too, is unwilling to administer judgment. For this reason, He, in turn, has transferred the final authority of judgment from His Person to the Word of God.

   

  And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day (John 12:47-48).

   

  This reveals that the final authority of all judgement is vested in the Word of God. This is the impartial, unchanging standard of judgement to which all men must one day answer.

  In Isaiah 66:2 the Lord says:

   

  But on this one will I look:

  On him who is poor

  and of a contrite spirit

  And who trembles at My word.

   

  In the light of the New Testament revelation, we can well understand why a man should tremble at God’s Word. For as we read its pages and hear its teaching, we find ourselves, by anticipation, standing before the judgement bar of almighty God. Here, already revealed to those who will receive them, are unfolded the principles and standards of divine judgement for the whole human race. Jesus described God’s judgement this way:

   

  Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matt. 5:18).

   

  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matt. 24:35).

  In the closing chapters of the Bible, the veil of the future is drawn aside to reveal what will transpire when, in fulfilment of Jesus’s words, heaven and earth pass away, and God’s throne is set for the last great judgement.

   

  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . and the dead were judged . . . every man according to their works (Rev. 20:11-13).

   

  At this last great scene Jesus has assured us there will be one, and only one, standard of judgement: the eternal, unchanging Word of God. This will be the fulfilment of Psalm 119:160:

   

  The entirety of Your word is truth,

  And every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever.

   

  Here will be unfolded, in their absolute completeness, every one of the righteous judgements of God’s unchanging Word.

  If we can but see it, this revelation that all judgement will be according to God’s Word is a provision of God’s grace and mercy, since it enables us here, in this present life, to anticipate God’s judgement upon ourselves and thus to escape from it. For this reason Paul says:

   

  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged (1 Cor. 11:31).

   

  How may we judge ourselves? By applying to every aspect and detail of our lives the judgements of God’s Word. If we do this, and then by repentance and faith accept God’s provision of forgiveness and mercy, God Himself will never bring judgement upon us. Jesus assures us of this.

   

  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life (John 5:24).

   

  This assurance is repeated in Romans 8:1.

   

  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Jesus.

   

  What must we do to escape God’s condemnation? We must hear His Word. In humility and repentance we must accept every one of its righteous judgements as applied to our lives. In faith we must accept its record that Jesus took our condemnation and suffered our punishment. Accepting these truths of God’s Word, we are acquitted, we are justified, we pass out from under condemnation and death into pardon and everlasting life.

  All this is through God’s Word. Refused and rejected, it will be our judge at the last day. Accepted and obeyed, it assures us already of perfect pardon and full salvation through a righteousness which is not ours, but the righteousness of God Himself.