One of the first things we did after we moved to St. Albert was to make our car Canadian. Besides getting a new license plate this meant installing a block heater for those cold Albertan mornings. As wonderful as a block heater may be it is useless unless you plug it in. No, really Pastor - you had to tell me that? Well do you realize that we are just as dead unless we are plugged into God’s Word? As we head into the new year the Apostle Peter encourages us to stay plugged into God’s Word because the Word alone gives us new life and a new attitude towards others.
Why do we say that we are useless unless plugged into God’s Word? Jesus once told Nicodemus that unless he was born again he could not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. When we were born we inherited certain physical and spiritual traits from our parents. Maybe you have your father’s eyes, or your mother’s hair. One thing is certain though; we all inherited our parents’ sinfulness. That’s what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus that flesh gives birth to flesh (John 3:3).
Therefore, before we can see God face to face we need to get cleaned up. Jesus told Nicodemus that he could receive such cleansing through the washing of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). This was a reference to baptism assuring those who have been baptized that they have been wiped clean of their sins.
Unfortunately many Christians are skeptical of baptism’s power. They wonder how water can do such wonderful things. The power to cleanse, however, lies not in the water but in the Word. Peter speaks about the power of God’s Word when he says, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). Just as detergent gives water the power to clean our clothes so God’s Word gives the water of baptism the power to cleanse us from sin.
Therefore those words that we read in the Bible are not just a bunch of stories written thousands of years ago by some quirky religious guys; it’s God’s Word. And when we read the Bible we are grabbing onto a power line that connects us to a potent power source. God’s Word in the Bible has the same power as the Word that he used to create and sustain the world. It has the same strength as the Word that Jesus used to bring Lazarus back from the dead. Just think, when doctors want to treat someone today they have to hook them up to IV tubes, give them drugs, and in extreme cases try to get their hearts beating again by electro shock treatment. Jesus didn’t use any of that though to bring Lazarus back to life; he simply spoke the Word. If the Word can bring back a dead body think of what it can do to a spiritually dead heart.
Stay plugged into God’s Word. That’s what brought you to faith and that’s what will continue to sustain you in the days ahead. The great thing about the power of God’s Word is that it’s free. While the cost of heating and powering our homes may be on the rise, the cost of strengthening and maintaining faith will never change. God’s Word is not only free; it’s reliable because it endures forever. Therefore those who plug into the Word will endure forever as well.