“The Word of God” Part 1
“The Word of God” Part 1
Foundations are often faulty. When we think about foundations there can be cracks and even worse it can cause structures to fall down if not carefully checked. Check this out. We see these advertisements all over today. Because if left unchecked our homes or even larger structures may fall apart.
There are also times when we see that there is no foundation at all because the structure has been built on a false or shaky foundation. We see this wonderfully illustrated in God’s Word.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
My point in explaining this to you today is that spiritually speaking there are many people today who have no solid foundation whatsoever. They have no idea about God and what He has done and what His Word tells us about life. So, let me ask you this morning what is your foundation built upon? Is your life anchored on God and His Word or is it anchored in something or someone else? Is it firm and solid or is it shaky and unstable???
Over the next several months I want us as a church to dive in and take a look at the core foundations of our faith. We will take a look at the truth about God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We will take a look at the truth about man’s sin and God’s plan of salvation. We will also take a look at the truth of God’s will for the church and our individual lives. But why are we doing this? Because what we believe matters! And it matters eternally. Wrong beliefs about God can lead people to hell and so we want to give you the solid foundations of faith that are anchored on the truths found in God’s Word, which is God’s only inspired written revelation.
As believers there needs to come a time where we are learning and growing in our faith. So, we are to grow up and this is what 1 Peter tells us.
2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
The problem however in our day and age is that when it comes to godly living and godly service there are many people today even believers who do not know what God’s Word says. There are many biblically untaught believers today in untaught churches that are being misled. Ephesians chapter 4 addresses this.
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
We even see this problem in the Old Testament.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
So, today I want to begin to help us see what God’s Word says and why it is imperative for God’s people. Really I want to just give us a brief introduction into what the Bible is all about.
1. The Bible is the Word of God.
1. The Bible is the Word of God.
I want you to encourage you today to have a deep desire and develop an appreciation and love for God’s Word. And here is why. Because God’s Word is the greatest treasure we have, apart from God himself. This is His very word, His self revelation. So, we must pay attention to every detail, and every verse, and every phrase. These are the words of God revealed to us from Him. We see in 2 Peter that God’s Word claims to be the truth.
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
So, God choose his special servants who were godly men to copy down what they were told. These men were not inspired, but Scripture was. In fact, what we see here in 2 Peter was that God breathed into them and they wrote it down. They wrote it down word by word. This was way more than dictation. These men were not just listening to some voice, they were writing down every word as it was flowing through their heart soul and mind. But it came out as every word of God. How awesome it that today church? Here are just a few important things to know about the revelation of God’s Word to the men who wrote what we have today.
-First of all the Scriptures were written by 40 different men.
-Second, these men lived in several different countries and cultures.
-They also lived in different times from 1400 years before Christ through 90 A.D.
-And finally these men wrote in 3 different languages from Hebrew to Aramaic and even Greek. So, despite all of these differences, God moved the writers to focus on His glory in man’s redemption through one main figure and that was Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
We have been given 2 amazing parts that really fit together so let me explain this.
A. First of all, we have the Old Testament.
The Old Testament consists of 39 different books. The first 5 books of the Old Testament were written by Moses around 1400 years before Christ. They are know as the books of Moses or the Pentateuch.
-The first book Genesis deals with the beginnings, creation, man, sin, God’s redemption, and God’s people.
-The book of Exodus details how God delivered His people from Egypt.
-Leviticus talks about atonement for man’s sin, God’s holiness, and how God’s people were to worship Him through sacrifice and purification.
The next several books show us how God’s people continually disobeyed as they journeyed through the wilderness for 40 years and Moses God’s leader helps them to eventually enter into their promise land.
The Old Testament also provides us with books of History about Israel’s people and their kings and judges. Then there are books of poetry like Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. And finally the Lord gives us books that were from Major Prophets and also Minor Prophets. A prophet was a person commissioned by God to deliver His message to men. The major prophets were called this because they were longer than the writings of the minor prophets.
B. Second, we have the New Testament.
The New Testament is known as the New Covenant, that reveals to us the Lord Jesus, who is our Savior and Redeemer. Throughout this testament we read about the life of Christ, the way of salvation, the beginning of Christianity, instructions for Christian living and God’s plan for the future. The New Testament consists of 27 different books. The first 4 books are known as the Gospels. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They help us to see about the life of Christ from His birth, to His earthly ministry and all the way through to His death and resurrection. The gospels show us the Lord’s humanity as well as His deity. showing us that Christ was the long-awaited Messiah.
The Gospel of John points out 2 main reasons for it’s writing.
31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
First, we see that John was written to show that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. So, Jesus was the Messiah and He was God. And secondly, that in believing on the name of Christ, sinners can be saved. There may be someone here today that feels like life is out of control or you are afraid of dying. Call out to the Lord today, confess your sins to Christ and place your trust in Him and you will be saved. This is the good news of the gospel.
We next learn about the book of Acts. Acts is a history book that records the beginning of the church and the spread of the gospel to the different parts of the world. We then read about Paul’s letters or epistles. These books were written to individuals, to churches and to the believers in general. These 21 books deal with every aspect of the Christian faith. Finally, the New Testament ends with a book of prophecy. The last book of the Bible is called Revelation and deals with future events. Revelation helps us to see the return of Christ, the reign of Christ, the glory of Christ and the future state of believers and unbelievers.
2. Christ is the Central Theme of God’s Word.
2. Christ is the Central Theme of God’s Word.
I remember when I was young man my youth pastor encouraged me to read through the Bible. My dad and others I knew had read through the Bible but for me being so young I thought that this was impossible. I knew that there were some tough passages and so I typically read the parts I thought were easy to understand. But, then one year I made it all the way through both the Old and the New and I understood how they both fit together. The reason why they both fit together is because they both portray Jesus as the central figure.
The Old Testament gives us so many pictures of Christ. From Moses lifting up the serpent on the pole in wilderness to deliver his people to the blood of all the animals sacrificed at the temple for the peoples sin and atonement.
Then after the Old Testament ends and there is 400 years of silence we come to the New Testament and we read about the birth of Christ. We read about the Life of Christ and all the miracles and ministry of the Lord. Jesus is the central figure of this wonderful book. Listen to what the Gospel of Luke says about Christ.
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Christ is seen in all the Scriptures. The Gospel of John also tells us this. In fact, these are the Lord’s Words.
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
Jesus said here that the Scriptures bear witness of me. The Scriptures point us to Jesus from beginning to end as well as in the middle. The first 5 books of the Old Testament show us the promises of Christ. The books of history, poetry and prophecy of the old testament point us to the anticipation of Christ. In the New Testament the gospels show us the manifestation of Christ, the letters or epistles point us to the church of Christ, and finally the book of Revelation points us to the coronation of Christ.
The main key of everything here is Christ Church. More than anything I want you to know today that God’s Word is all about Jesus and what He has done for you and I.
3. Why is God’s Word so Important?
3. Why is God’s Word so Important?
Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 4.
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Here we see a wonderful description of God’s Word as living and effective. God’s Word is sharp enough to cut to the heart’s hidden depths, discerning our secret thoughts and intentions. The word itself is alive. God knows everyone through and through and no creature is hidden from his eyes. So, God uses His word to penetrate down into our soul and spirit. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit convict us of the sinful things we do and help us see our need for the Lord. This is why God’s Word is important church.
Another reason we see that God’s Word is important is this. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 4. Here in Matthew 4 verse 4 Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 3 when He was being tempted by Satan. Here is what Christ said.
4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Even more importantly than physical food we have been given God’s Word which spiritually feeds us every day. God’s Word nourishes us, encourages us and brings to us the good news of the gospel which is eternal life. Let me ask you today, are you finding time to daily read God’s Word? God’s Word is so important church that we must run to it daily.
One more reason on why God’s Word is important. Turn with me to 2 Timothy chapter 3. Matt has already read this to us but I want to address this for us.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Here in 2 Timothy Paul helps us to see the value and importance of God’s Word. First of all he tells us that every part of God’s word (All of it) is God breathed. It is inspired by God. God’s Word is divinely inspired from the Lord. Second God’s Word has God as it’s source. And third God’s word is useful or profitable in a variety of ways.
-Paul tells us that God’s Word is useful to teach us godly things for this life.
-Paul also tells us that God’s Word is here for reproof or rebuke.
-Next Paul tells us that God’s Word helps to correct us.
-And finally God’s Word is here to train us for right living. All of these are useful things for the Christian life.
I want to leave you today with some practical application. You may be here today and say yes Pastor I know all of this, but how does God’s Word help me to live right here and right now? What is the take away for me a school teacher, or boss, or stay at home mom? Turn with me to Psalm chapter 19. I want to leave you with 4 things God’s Word does for us. There are many more so let me give you 4 quick things to take with you. Let’s begin in verse 7 of chapter 19.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
-First of all I want you to know today that God’s Word can restore your soul. It can revive you. It can wake you up. It can bring something that is dead back to life. God’s Word can give you hope and meaning today.
-Second, God’s Word makes wise the simple. We need wisdom for wise decision making everyday and that wisdom comes from God’s Word. Why? Because God’s Word allows us to see life as God sees life and then act accordingly.
John Piper says, “Wisdom is a life that makes sense in the light of reality. And the light of reality shines from the Bible.”
Let’s keep reading. Look at verse 8 with me.
8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
-Third God’s Word gives joy to the heart. God’s Word is right and it is truth dispelling the lies and darkness of this world. So, as God’s Word brings truth to our lives it makes our hearts glad. In God’s Word we find joy and gladness.
-Finally, God’s Word gives light to our eyes. What this means is that God’s Word is radiant and pure. God’s Word is not dark, vague, or contaminated. The Bible is an open book and it brings an understanding so that we can see how to live and what to do. All of these reasons help us today to see the importance of God’s Word and why we need it for our lives.
(Pray and ask Steve to come and explain Communion for us)