By Joel Hess –
Luther described God as Deus Dixit – the God who speaks. Indeed He does just that! Everything begins with His speaking in Creation, crescendos with the Speaking made flesh, and the Word Himself speaking in the temple at 12 years old, to speaking on the Cross saying, “It is finished!”, to the disciples gathered in fear who hear Him speak, “peace”.
But Luther meant more than God simply speaking. Deus dixit is Deus fix it! Through His speaking God fixes things; hearts, minds, bodies. His word is not just a resource of information we can trust. His Word is more than just an authority that is above all authorities to which we must cling. God’s Word does what it says. When He says, “Let there be light,” light is born! When He says “This is my blood shed for the forgiveness of sins,” wine is divine blood and sins are forgiven. When the Church says what He says, things happen: a sinner becomes a saint, a dead man rises from the grave. When Peter preached his first sermon, God’s call for repentance actually caused people to repent! They were living in a worldview that had more potential for believing than anywhere else.
We forget that God’s Word actually causes things to happen! Satan wants us to forget that. Today, as we are confronted by a world that doesn’t agree with God’s opinion, we are tempted to shake our fists, complain, and crawl back from whence we came. I even heard someone at my recent district convention declare that the Gospel doesn’t prosper in chaos, as he mourned the chaos of contemporary American life.
Quite the contrary! Without the Word there is only chaos! The Lord did not send His Church into a world that had it together, that (for the most part) got it right, or that agreed with Christian morality but just didn’t know about Jesus. Christ sent His Church and sends His people to proclaim His Word in the deepest darkness: to those living the most contrary to God’s intention, to the Atheist, and even to the God hater. He seems to especially love those people!
Preachers and people, don’t give up and go home. Remember the Word of God you are speaking brought the universe into being. It is how you came to faith and how you are sustained today!
Don’t be afraid. Don’t write off the enemies of the faith! Speak.
Let there be light.