- Can our generation or the present-day church produce great men in the eyes of God rather than in the eyes of men?
- What is man’s responsibility in revival?
Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest human being that had ever lived. All because of one statement: “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born” (Lk 1:15). A normal person is filled with self at birth. Later gets saved and then transformed by the infilling of the Spirit. John the Baptist, however, was born fully surrendered to God. He had no purpose apart from God’s plan. Abraham, on the other hand, was over 100 when he fully surrendered to God. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Gen 22:12).
What is hard about surrender is when God asks us to give up something that is good, legitimate, and may even be what He had given us. God didn’t take Isaac; He asked Abraham to give him. Surrender isn’t what you’ve lost but what you’ve given up, voluntarily.
God asks for one specific item at a time; areas of our lives that make us who we are. The more you surrender the more He replaces you with His Spirit. That’s the true meaning of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It can be emotional, but it is not an emotional experience. It is a series of deliberate acts of surrender. You come out; He comes in to fill the space. The more a person is filled with the Holy Spirit the greater he is in the sight of God, because there is less of him inside. “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being” (Jos 10:13-14). When a man can influence God like that, he must be great before God.
3. Why do we have different versions of the Bible? Some seem to be watered down.
Men who wrote the Bible were writing to a particular people, in a particular place, and at a particular time. Their linguistic style and vocabulary were contemporary. In some cases Bible translators need to understand the people of this time in order to give accurate translation to some words that could lend themselves to more than one meaning. With recent archaeological discoveries new understanding of some verses or words have come to light. This will affect modern versions. Also with time words change their meaning. For example: gay had a different meaning in the 1950s. 1 Cor 13:4, “Charity suffereth long” (KJV). “Love is patient” (NIV). We also have translators theological bias coming into play. While majority will translate 1Cor 12:10 “To another prophesy”, some will water it down to “Inspired preaching”.
There is no perfect version, but in my opinion modern translations tend to be more linguistically accurate and easy to understand. Good idea to use several versions to get a balanced translation. Even Bible scholars who criticise some versions have their own bias. The Bible is its own best commentary. The problem in: ‘which version is best’, goes away if one knows the Bible inside out, and taken the trouble to study it in depth with the aid of some sound commentaries.