Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P34 (04-26-21)
So what does the word of God do for us? It teaches us, corrects us, reproves us, trains us. It can be likened to a yg teenager learning to drive a car. You get back on the road when you are corrected. The word is like that in correcting our way of thinking, by renewing our mind on what truth is. It helps form policies in our minds in regard to the truth that the Spirit of God living in us has made known to us through His word. It changes our attitudes and forms our character to be like Christ’s in our relationships with people, as we depend on Him. The word of God is like food to our spirit as food is to our physical bodies. That is how we live, by hanging onto every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Some people think we need to learn to think positively, especially as we live in such a world full of negative things we hear about every day, especially whenever we turn on the television or read news headlines. But it is not about thinking positively but about thinking truthfully. A person who is said to be bulimic or anorexic is not thinking correctly in regard to food and her view of her body. That is a thinking problem. You need food to live. You need to accept the way you are as God intended and designed your body, not to be skinny as a rake and to think of yourself as too fat that you are literally starving yourself.
So God wants us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we may learn His good, pleasing and perfect will for us, to depend on Him, to know His unconditional love and acceptance, that we are not under law but under grace. Yes, everything is permissible for me since I am not under law but under grace. I could get drunk, but why do so? When I know my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, what good does getting drunk do for me? It harms my body, and as I now know that, then I have no desire for that anymore. It just does not make any sense to do something that is contrary to who I am as a child of God. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I died to sin, so how can I live in it any longer.
So now I am learning to live under the grace of God, not because a law says do this and do not do that, but because I have a dynamic relationship with the living God, who lives in me, and I desire to please Him. My faith is what pleases Him, not what I do. What I do is a result of what I believed to be true in regard to what Jesus says about me and thinks about me, and I learn that through reading His word. I am free to be who God has created me to be, a person with free will who can make choices in line with His, as His power works so wonderfully within me, with someone who I know loves me and accepts me perfectly.
When we allow Christ to meet that need, it frees us on the level of the soul, which is the invisible part of me, whereby we communicate with our mind, emotions and will, and with the body, which is how we communicate here on this earth. When we do not understand that a spirit divides soul from spirit, and the reason for the division is to let man know that that spiritual hunger that you have cannot be met in the world, only in Christ, but when it is met in Christ, it frees you on the level of the soul and the body, to now serve one another in love. Until we come to grips with that in marriage or other relationships, we are like ticks on a dog to suck the life out of somebody, in order for you to do for me in order to meet my needs. The very moment I am counting on you to do something for me, I have now become your slave. I am a slave to your choices. That, quite frankly, is the problem of 90 percent of marital problems I have ever dealt with, the fact that mates are trying to get their mate to do something for them that only Christ Jesus can do. If I am sitting around waiting for my mate to do something for me to make me happy, I have now become as a slave to the choices of my mate.
That is why the Spirit of God divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. That is why Christ came. That as a child of God, my friend, it says this.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What is the renewing of your mind? It is your thoughts. What does the word of God do? It judges your thoughts. It is what says, “Bob, that is stinking thinking. That is man’s viewpoint, but it is not mine. If you want wisdom, you will have to come to me, because I am your wisdom. The wisdom of the world is foolishness to me. You cannot go to the world for wisdom. I am your wisdom. I know your thoughts and they are contrary to mine.”
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.
So the word of God is what judges our thoughts. It is what points out that we are not thinking according to the word of God, but thinking in accordance with our own wisdom, which is foolishness to God. And those thoughts are what forms our attitudes. Actions are what follow thoughts. I form an attitude and then I form a policy about it. What does He say about our attitudes?
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Christ, when He was here on earth, He walked in total dependency on His Father. That was His attitude. “Not my will, but yours be done.” Now that is our attitude. That takes the renewing of our mind, the renewing of our thoughts, until we realize that God will never let you down. It is to realize that when we are weak that He is strong. His grace is sufficient for you.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Where are you going to find that in a positive thinking book? You are not going to find it there. You will not find that through positive confession and positive thinking. That is man-made stuff. You will find that in the word of God. Do not worry about being weak. For when you are weak, you are strong. Why? Because I am relying on the one who is strong, who is Christ Jesus our Lord. That is the reason for the word of God. It will change your life. It will change your thoughts. The result of getting your thoughts changed is you are going to have your attitudes changed.
What then is the effect on the word of God?
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
That is the evidence that you are. You will hold onto My teaching, and then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. What does the bible say that the truth will do, the truth out of the word of God? It says that it will do something for you. It will set you free.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free
Would it not be desirable for people to be set free? In countries like America, people had to fight at the expense of thousands upon thousands of lives in order to keep a nation free. Here we are in bondage to our own selves, in psychological and religious bondage. He says He will set us free. Yet people say, “I would rather hold onto my tradition.” “I would rather hold onto my denominational persuasion.”, “I would rather hold onto my philosophy.” “I would rather hold onto my psychology.” Well, hold onto them if you want to remain in bondage the rest of your life. But if you want to be free, you will have to hold onto My teaching and My truth. And when you do, that truth will do something for you. It will set you free. If truth is what sets you free, what is it that puts you in bondage? Error and lies. If I am in bondage, and I know I am not free, it is because of error. What is the solution to error? Truth. Error corrected. It is not complicated.
A guy went into the doctor. Every time I lift up my arm, it hurts. What should I do? The doctor said, “Quit lifting up your arm.” It is not complicated. You have to understand that if you are in bondage, you are in error. What is the solution to error? Hold up the truth. Go into the word of God and ask Him to reveal truth to you.
48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
You saw the Pharisees saying, “I do not believe you.” Jesus replies, “The very words I am speaking to you are the very words that will judge you on the last day.” What is the world’s sin according to Jesus? Unbelief in Me.
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me
You believe the words of Moses are going to save you or your denomination will save you. Those words of Christ that says, “I alone am the way to God is going to condemn you on the last day.”
Continuing on with the effects of the word of God on your life, Jesus is the one who said these things.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Apart from me you can do nothing
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Those words that were spoken by Christ, God here on this earth, are the very words that are going to condemn the man that says, ”I do not believe that.” Those words will be the condemnation.
He went on to say to his disciples.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
When we have been cleansed of all unrighteousness, we have been made clean. We have been cleansed of all that we were, unrighteous. This is as a born again Christian. At the cross is where Christ cleansed us of all unrighteousness. The apostles, prior to the cross, were clean until they were cleansed. If you can understand that, it is the word up to that point that had cleansed them, not of all unrighteousness, but cleansed them, until the point whereby we were cleansed of all unrighteousness. Why? So we can be indwelt by Him and His righteousness. That is what took place at the resurrection when we accepted Him into our hearts. It is because at the cross we were cleansed of all unrighteousness, forgiven of all sins, so there was nothing left to do on man’s part except to accept what we did not have, which is life. The reason we died not have life is because we were dead.
Now the word of God is what sets us apart. That is why we read this in John 17:17.
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Now people are sitting around trying to sanctify themselves by what they wear and how they care and everything else. The fact of the matter is that is not sanctification. It is not progressive. It says you were sanctified when you came to Christ. You have been set apart. What sets you apart? You are a child of God. What does that set you apart from? The entire world who are not children of God. The vast majority of the world are not children of God. They are not born again. When you and I are born again of the Spirit we have been set apart by the truth about Christ Jesus. “Thy word is truth”, He said. What does the word of truth point you to? The one who is truth, Jesus, who said He, the truth, would set us free.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Quit trying to set yourself apart. If you are a Christian, you are already set apart. Just realize that. You have been set apart by the truth. The truth about what? Christ, the one who set you apart and the one who set you free.
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
So the message is heard through what? The word of God. So faith comes through the word of God. As you listen to the word of God, there is something inside of us called an ability to have faith. That faith to the humble heart is stirred up from hearing the message of Christ. Faith then comes through the hearing of the message and the message is heard through the word of God.
Now in Ephesians 6:17.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Once again, the word of God is talking about being a sword. It is an offensive weapon. In that lineup of the armor of God, that is the only offensive weapon that there is, the sword of the Spirit. That is our offense. Everything else was defense. The shield, the helmet of salvation, all of those things, were defensive, to protect us. But the sword is the aggressive weapon that we hold in our hands. So take it up. It is the word of God.
1 Peter 1:23
23. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
The flowers fade, but the word of God is going to go on forever. It is enduring. It is living, as we talked about earlier, sharper than a two-edged sword. It is not perishable. It is imperishable.
When you and I have been born again, we were born again as a result of hearing the message of the truth of the grace of God that was given to us by God through His Son Jesus Christ. That message brought faith to the humble. That message brought pride to the proud. It hardened the heart of the proud because God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
The same sun that melts wax hardens clay. The very same message of grace that melts the heart of the humble hardens the heart of the proud. The same message that hardened the heart of Pharaoh melted the heart of Moses. The same message that melted the heart of the humble the time you were born again hardens the heart of the proud. There is something in us whereby we have to come to the end of ourselves and our own self-sufficiency before we come to Christ.
I was just talking this morning at breakfast with a guy I had the privilege of introducing to Christ a number of years ago. He was talking about that, that had it not been for the business reversals and the reversals in his life, that he was going through. I remember those vividly in counseling and talking with him, that probably today he would still be lost, still caught up in his own pride and cockiness. So it takes us being humbled, and life experiences will certainly do that. We come to realize we are not as swift as we thought we were. I realize I need something besides me and my neat abilities to meet the problems of life. When we do we turn to the truth. We hear the message and that message stirs up the faith that is lying dormant within us. It is not faith that is dormant in regard to what faith does. We exercise faith every moment of the day. We go into a restaurant and we exercise faith in the fact they are not feeding us poison. When we sit in a chair, we exercise faith that the chair will hold us. When we fly in an airplane, you certainly exercise faith that it will get you there. If you had any doubt, you would be stupid getting on it. Faith turns us in another direction. We now hear a new message and a new song. It is a message of truth from God Himself, in regard to Jesus Christ. That faith that is there is stirred up in another direction. We come to understand truth of the word of God and are born again, not of perishable seed but imperishable seed.
1 Peter 2:2
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
What is the benefit of the word of God there? Helps you to grow. It is called pure spiritual milk. It is called spiritual food. What is food and milk and those types of things do for you as a child? It helps you to grow and nourishes you. It gives you the vitamins and gives you the things you need to grow. That is what the word of God does to us. That is why it is important for us to be into it. People say you have to read the word. That is a lie saying you have to eat. Of course, I have to eat in order to live. It is not one of those things where you say I have to eat. If you have a brain you realize you need to eat. If you don’t, you are sick. Psychologists will call it anorexic, or put a fancy name on it. But there is something wrong with your thinking if you are denying the fact you have to have nourishment to stay alive, something wrong with your thinking. The person is denying that he needs food in his body to live. It is more important to be alive than to be skinny as a rake. When you begin denying the truth of that, there is something wrong with your thinking. You need your mind renewed.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
It is the same thing with the word of God. It is not that I got to go study the word of God. Why? Because if I don’t God will probably zap me? No. I got to eat. How come? If I do not eat, mom is going to zap me? No. That is irrelevant whether she zaps you or not. If you do not eat, you will die.
Amy, being from Communist Russia, sometimes thinks these jokes are funny and sometimes they are not. In that part of the country in Russia, it is not the aggies that get it, but the gypsies that get it. This guy was training his horse. He told his buddy about that. What are you training your horse for? I was trying to train him not to eat. I was training and training. By the time I got him trained, the dumb thing died on me. I do not eat because mom is going to zap me. I eat because I am going to die. The same thing with the word of God. I have to nourish on the word of God to stay alive spiritually.
3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
1 John 2:5
5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:
When you are believing, that is what obedience is. When I obey the gospel, what do I do? I believe the gospel. That is what obedience is dealing with. I truly believe it. What good does it do to gut out legalistic obedience unless you believed it was good for you. I really believe that it is not good for me not to get drunk. There is no benefit for that. Permissible but not profitable. Why do I not go get drunk? Because I really believe it is not profitable for me to do so. Is it permissible? Yes, it is permissible. If it was not permissible, it would be a law. I am not under the law. Is it beneficial? No, it is n’nt. And I really believe that.
1 Corinthians 10:23
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but not everything is constructive.
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
That is exactly why I do not do that. It is not that I do not do it because God would zap me if liquor should touch my life. It is not profitable for me to do that. I believe that. What good is it to keep a guy out of a bar who does not believe that? He thinks there is some profit to that. You may as well let him get swacked because it will not do him any good until he comes to believe it is not good for him.
When you come to believe in God’s love and God’s love was truly made complete in him and this is how we know we are in Him. That is what obedience is, to believe God. As I was saying rather crudely, it is like going out and trying to keep out of a bar. Until he comes to the conclusion it is not profitable for him to be drinking, you might as well let him get drunk. Keeping him physically away from something until he is removed emotionally and spiritually in regard to that issue, you might as well lock him up in jail. That would do the same thing. The child is saying I am sitting down on the outside but not on the inside. Say when you get the inside straightened out then your outside body will follow suit.
32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Not sanctifying themselves but the ones who already are sanctified, set apart. So, he is praying that I commit you to God and to the word of His grace. We have been committed to something. We have been committed to God. We are committed to the word of His grace. I am committed to the word of His grace. I am not committed to His word of His grace because I sat down and decided that I am going to be committed. I am committed if it kills me because it will. The commitment to His grace comes as a result of understanding His grace. I am not sitting around trying to get committed to something. It is the fact the grace of God envelopes you after a while. As you come to understand His love and His grace, there is something that begins controlling you. You become committed to something. In my own life, that is a focus, and I am focused on that and I am committed to it, not with any effort of being committed. It is just a by-product of understanding what it is. That grace that says will build you and gives you an inheritance of those who are set apart. We get built up with that grace. The more you get to understand you cannot separate the grace of God from the person of God, Jessus Christ. The more you understand the more you realize it is all Him and absolutely not one of us. What does that do for you? Does it make you a pacifist? No. It builds you up. It makes you understand something about yourself, that you have an inheritance among all those other people who are set apart the same way you are. It does something for you. It builds you, not in legalism, but it builds you in what He came to do, God’s love, His mercy, His understanding, His grace. So it says we have been committed to God and to that.
I learned about that grace through the word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
It teaches you how to drive. It shows you when you have gone off the road, rebuking you. It corrects you. It helps you get back on the road. It trains you in righteousness. It keeps you on the road. The bible is a constant reminder, and teaching upon our minds, that here is what truth is. Now, you have gotten away from that truth. I will rebuke you on that. Your thinking is off. Let me correct that thinking, and you get it back. Let me keep you into that thinking, so you do not get off the road again. If we were not subject and susceptible from getting off the road, from getting our mind with dumb thoughts, why would we need God living in us? Because we are who we are, people, who need a continual input of the truth of the word of God and the wisdom of God to keep us on the road, to get us back on the road when we get off. To correct our thinking that got us off. The training is to stay on it. That is what the word of God does. It is living. It is active. It divides soul from spirit and it judges the thoughts and the attitudes of the heart.
Now, all harvest begins with sowing. In order to reap a spiritual harvest what does the soul sow?
14 The farmer sows the word.
That is exactly what our lives are about. That is the reason that all of us have something to do with People to People. We dedicated our lives to be word sewers. That is all we can do. We can sew the word of God, which we try to do every night. And we can water the word of God, but only God can make it grow. To the listeners out there listening right now, I hope we have been diligent in sewing to you, sewing the word of God into your heart. I hope there are times we are watering that word of God in your heart. Only the Holy Spirit can teach you what it means. Only the Holy Spirit of God can make it grow. The only way you are going to allow that Holy Spirit of God to grow in your life, and to grow as a result of that, is to keep in mind that this is all of Jesus and none of us. It is the grace of God.
1 Corinthians 3:7
7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.