Dear Church Family,
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends, as we all give thanks for the bountiful gifts of God that He has given to us as our Creator and Redeemer.
In our sermon series on Sunday mornings, we’re coming to the end of our series in the book of Ruth. This past Sunday, we made application from this Old Testament story of redemption by way of example. We examined Proverbs 31 – the man of nobility (vv 3-9) and the woman of valor (vv 10-31) – as what a man and woman look like when ensconsed in the wisdom of God. In the book of Ruth, Boaz and Ruth are examples of this man of nobility and woman of valor. They are examples for us to look to as we seek to make it our ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to our own business and work with our hands so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
This coming Sunday, we will be reviewing the book of Ruth and making application by way of typology. We will see how the people of Bethlehem viewed Ruth in a particular way, how Ruth viewed herself, and how Boaz viewed Ruth. In the end, we will see that just as Boaz’s view of Ruth as her kinsman-redeemer is the most important perspective, Christ’s view of us as our Redeemer is the most important perspective. For our true identity is shaped by the One who made us and the One who redeems us! In this way, Boaz is a type (or a shadow) of Jesus Christ – Boaz points us to, and illuminates for us, the person and work of Christ.
These two ways of looking to the Scriptures and making application are not arbitrary, but are actually grounded in God’s Word itself, as well as in our confession. Of the Reformed confessions, the Westminster Confession of Faith is the most explicit in its description and explanation of the Word of God. The first chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith (“Of the Holy Scripture”) is viewed by theologians from many traditions as the most clear, definitive, and orthodox statement about the Bible and what it teaches. The Westminster Shorter Catechism summarizes the definition and usefulness of Scripture in the first three questions:
WSC 1 What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
WSC 2 What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
Answer: The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
WSC 3 What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Answer: The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
Notice the two-fold answer to question number three: The Scriptures principally teach, (1) what man is to believe concerning God, and (2) what duty God requires of man. Here we see a concise definition of what are the two main things that we learn from God’s Word. First, from the Holy Scriptures we learn about God (the content of faith, theology, doctrine). Second, from the Holy Scriptures we learn about godliness (the righteousness of faith, morality, ethics).
Seeing as it is Thanksgiving weekend, here is something to be thankful for: the Bible – the Holy Scripture which is “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Praise God that He has not left us to figure out on our own who He is or what He requires of us! Thank God for revealing these things to us in His Holy Scripture!
The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch