Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P29 (04-13-21)
Is the bible relevant for today? Are there contradictions? What evidence do you have that it can be trusted, that it is the word of God, truth that will set us free? Have you found the bible to be useful for doctrine, correction, reproof and training in righteousness?
We have heard the testimony of God concerning His word. We have read what the apostles, the eyewitnesses of the risen Savior have said. We have read what the prophets had to say, and how truth was revealed to them through dreams and visions and various and sundry ways. But today, we have heard truth for ourselves through the Holy Spirit He has given us. Today, there is no new revelation. The Lord has spoken to us through His Son.
So what is the condition of your heart? Until the Spirit of God reveals truth to you, you are not going to understand it anyway. All the persuasiveness of man combined is not going to challenge a hard heart, a heart that does not want to receive truth from the word of God. But I have better hope for you, you who have a humble and teachable heart. God will fill such a heart with Himself, for He is the way, the truth and the life. He will guide the believer, the born again Christian, with the Spirit of God living in him, into all truth.
So God wants us to build a strong foundation, and there is no other foundation than that laid down by Jesus Christ. By building faith in such a strong foundation, when the winds and waves of life come along that beat against you, and they will, you will not fall and stumble beyond recovery but will stand to rise above your circumstances full of peace and joy. Let truth well up into your heart as you trust and rely on Christ, who is your life. Let Him renew your mind with truth so you can walk in the newness of life.
With that foundation, building upon the rock who is Jesus Christ and His word, you cannot separate the word from Jesus. Christ, here in His humanity, built His foundation on, first knowing who He was and His Father was, and walking in total dependency upon His Father. Jesus, although He was always God, always is and always will be God, but while He was here on this earth, he behaved as a man. He could have behaved as God because He is, but He chose to live as man to live in total dependency upon His Father, and communicating what His Father told Him to say. In essence, “I gave the words you have given to me.” In doing that, the world believed that He was who He is. It was through that dependency upon the Father and seeing the result of that, that the world believed Jesus is who He is, God.
It is exciting to go through this series on A Closer Look at the Word of God. Turn to chapter 9, The Uniqueness of the Bible, in our study guide.
The word of God is a subject that gets neglected. It gets talked about but not the reason why you can talk about it. I, quite frankly, have been in an environment where people will stand up, divide denominations and pound the bible down on the pulpit, yelling at the top of their voices, that the bible is inerrant, and even believe the maps are true, and the leather is genuine. But often do not tell the people why. If you told them why, you would not have to talk so much about it.
It is obvious why we believe the word of God, as you get into the bible and hear the testimony of God concerning His word. Unfortunately it becomes a theological debate instead of just going through the word of God and seeing the truth of what it says, and you do not have to convince people. It is not our job to convince people. That is the Holy Spirit’s job. If you are talking about spiritual truths that is the Holy Spirit’s job. If it is not spiritual things you are talking about, you should not be talking about it anyway.
Like anything in the word of God, until the Spirit of God reveals truth to you, you are not going to understand it anyway. All the persuasiveness of man combined is not going to challenge a hard heart, a heart that does not want to receive truth from the word of God. To me, it is not a matter of divisiveness, a matter that we should be creating. It is not our role to create divisiveness but proclaiming what the word of God says in regard to the word of God.
That is what makes this study exciting, just going into scripture itself and seeing what scripture has to say on the subject. As I said so many times, the word of God will shed a lot of light on those commentaries and a lot of light on the brilliant ideas man has on things.
Turn to chapter 9, The Uniqueness of the Bible, in our study guide.
I cannot over-emphasize the need of a foundation. So we discuss that in Matthew 7:24-25. If your foundation is not strong, then anything you build on it is going to collapse. If any of you ever had a home with an improper foundation, you are not going to have that home for too long, when it encounters a storm or or an earthquake or any other type of natural disaster. Sometimes merely a shift in the soil will destroy the building of a home because the foundation is off.
The confidence in the word of God being absolutely true is foundational, folks. I do not think it is one of those things that is up for grabs. It is terrifically foundational. If His word is not one hundred percent true, then how are you going to know what part is true and what is not true?
Quite frankly, the best you and I can do is feel a certain way. So we take the word of God and instead of aiming that at faith, which then produces actions based upon truth predicated upon faith, we take the truth of the word of God and aim it at our feelings. Therefore, our actions are predicated upon how we feel about the word of God, and therefore, our actions predicated on our feelings rather than on faith. That will ultimately crush you.
So, folks, faith is the very opposite of feelings. You cannot combine those two. The truth of God’s word is aimed at your faith not at your feelings. It is aimed at your mind and then you accept that by faith or reject that by faith. You have to enter into faith in either one of those. I have faith it is not true. Or, I have faith it is true. Do not let that be aimed at your feelings for it will fall down on you. The foundation of a house is not feelings. You do not walk up to a home and say “I feel like the foundation is okay, so let us build a structure on top of it. Feelings will not do it. You have to get some stress tests on that thing to make sure the foundation is sure before you start building on it. That is, if you are going to build wisely.
The writer Matthew wrote the book of Mattew, recording the words of Christ.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
He compares this to a wise man building a house. It is just verifying exactly what we were talking about. The reasons the house did not come down is because of the security of the foundation. The same is true in our lives. The rock we build our foundation upon as a born again Christian is the one who is the rock of ages, who is Christ Jesus our Lord. He is the cornerstone, the foundation of our very life. We build our life upon that foundation. Until such a time that the foundation is there, we are building using wood, hay, and stubble. So we have to realize folks that part of this foundation is Christ and His word to us. I think it is interesting that Jesus Himself, in John 17, when He was praying to His Father, beginning in verse 6 says this.
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
In other words, they put it into practice. They believed you.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
I thought it was interesting as I was going through this how he said, “I gave them the words that you gave me”. It is our role to give you what Jesus gave us. That is why we are teaching on the radio.
As we close our last segment, we were talking about the fact how Christ, in His prayer to His Father, was praying to Him saying “ I gave Him the words that you gave me, and they accepted them and they knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed that you sent me”. That is the foundation, isn’t it? That is what Christ, here in His humanity, built His foundation on, first knowing who He was and His Father was, and walking in total dependency upon His Father. Jesus, although He was always God, always is and always will be God, but while He was here on this earth, he behaved as a man. He could have behaved as God because He is, but He chose to live as man to live in total dependency upon His Father, and communicating what His Father told Him to say. In essence, “I gave the words you have given to me.” In doing that, the world believed that He was who He is. It was through that dependency upon the Father and seeing the result of that, that the world believed Jesus is who He is.
So, we have to realize that when we are dealing with the word of God. It is not just one of those theological debates. This is the very foundation of everything we are going to build on in our lives. So, when Christ was walking on this earth revealing the word of the Father, He then said, “I am going to the Father and send you the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, you walk in dependency upon the Spirit of God, who lives in you, taking the things of mine that I said to you, and I will pass it on to you and through you. It is a marvelous thing how scriptures unfold.
With that foundation, building upon the rock who is Jesus Christ and His word, you cannot separate the word from Jesus.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
You cannot separate Jesus from His word. The foundation of everything that you and I are, and believe in, is based in and predicated upon the validity and the truth of the word of God. He goes ahead in Matthew 7:26.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice
In other words, if someone does not act upon them or believe them.
is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
On sand instead of on a rock. It might look good. It is on hard sand, and got his house up. But when
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
Here is why they were amazed at his teaching. This is a phenomenal statement of scripture.
29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
He spoke by the authority of God Himself. That is also the authority that He has passed onto us. “I have given you authority to be my disciples and to be my witness here on this earth.”
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When we speak the word of God, we are not speaking it as the teachers of the law, teaching it as something we came up with. We are not teaching it is sinful to spit on the ground on the Sabbath. A rock is okay but not on the ground for that would make mud for that would constitute work. Not that kind of idiotic teaching, but on the foundation coming from God. You will not hear God talk that kind of nonsense. When they heard Him speaking, they realized this man spoke with authority.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and proclaim me.” He has given us that authority for that proclamation.
When you and I are speaking from the word of God, there is authority that is there. The authority is the word. It is not that I have special authority. The word is the authority. When speaking out of the word of God, there is authority there to let people know that His teaching is not coming out of man’s idea but out of what Christ is proclaiming. That is what Christian teaching is supposed to be about.
Again, look at the contrast. The man who built his house on the rock, the effect of the rain and the floods, what did it have? It beat on it but it did not cause it to fall down. What is this in relation to? It is in relation to the world you and I live in. The reason that the wise man’s house did not fall in the midst of those things is because his house was on the foundation of Christ Jesus and the truth of His word. So when rains and floods of our lives come along, there alone is our foundation. If it is built on sand, man’s ideas instead of on a rock of Christ Jesus, we will be in trouble.
There is a subtlety there many times. There are lots of people who have great knowledge as to what the word of God says. As an example, look at the Pharisees. They knew what the word of God says. Most of them, from my understanding, had the Old Testament memorized. That is a feat in and of itself. And so we are not talking about some mental lightweights there. They knew what the word of God said. But the problem is they did not know what it meant.
The same is true today. There are many people who can come to your house, who have a lot of scripture memorized and push a button and out it comes, spewing it out like a vending machine. You can spew out all kinds of scriptures, and so could Charleston Heston, speak out scriptures but not have a clue what it means. There is a world of difference to know what it says, verbalize and memorize and to communicate it without a clue as to what it means.
So from the word of God, Jesus said this to the Pharisees.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
You know what the scriptures say and you are in there searching them. But the scripture points to me, Jesus, and you refuse to come to me for life. Until you come to Christ for life, and the Holy Spirit of God lives in you, you do not know what the word of God means.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] – the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Until you are spiritually regenerated, you will not know what it means any way. And man cannot teach you what it means. Man can teach you what it says but they cannot teach you what it means. That takes the Spirit of God. I can teach you on this radio but I cannot teach not one person listening what it means. I can tell you what it says. I can give illustrations to explain what it says. But for you to know what it means, you will have to rely on the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, and that requires you being born again, for the Spirit of God to reveal to you exactly what the meaning of the word of God is all about.
That is exciting. That leaves a lot of responsibility on our part, to communicate what something means when in fact I could not communicate it if I wanted to. With that there is the foundation. Why did He talk about a foundation? He talked about a foundation because of what is going to take place in this world.
Turn to John 15:18. I want us to see that if you are a child of the living God, this is intensifying as the days go by. Really intensifying. There is a total attack from the top of this country down on family values, on people being put into positions of responsibility, whose goal is to begin teaching sex education, in first grade, kindergarten, and dispensing condoms in every purse and pocket of every child in the Unites States. It is an absolute attack on everything the word of God says to be true. We are living today in a country that seems to be hell bent on destroying the entirety of what we stand for. I paid for breakfast this morning and looked on the back of a bill. In God we trust was written on the bill, and that is baloney. We cannot even keep prayer in school. Either live up to it or take it off the money. But we live in a generation today and in a country today and unfortunately in a political system today whereby family values are absolutely under the greatest attack this country has ever known.
What is the problem? They do not know the word of God. If they do, they are not acting on it. Jesus said that in that particular aspect, you are on sand. That is why there is no hope for this country. It is built now on sand. I think when it came, it was built on a rock. But today we shifted off of a rock and onto sand. This country will come start crumbling down someday if we do not get back onto the rock. In the meantime, that is not where my hope is. It would not even be my hope if the government stopped doing all that. As a child of God, and if you are a child of God, you are living in a world that is not your friend. If you are going to survive in a world that is not your friend, you will have to have a foundation. You will have to have something stronger than yourself to walk in and depend upon if you are going to survive. That dependency is on the rock of Jesus Christ and on His truth and on His word. Our role is to stand firm in it.
We have to come to the realization of what truth is. Truth is what sets you free, whether it is pleasant truth or unpleasant truth. That is not the issue. Truth is what sets you free. From God’s vantage point, if you are in Christ, you are in an alien community. You have to realize that. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” That is why Christians that appear to be in love with the world is a contradiction. This world is not your friend.
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
The reason the world hates you, if you are a child of God, is because they hate the one who lives in you. You have to realize that. They are not shaking their fists and rebelling aad picketing Jesus. No, their hate comes from, “I do not believe your God. I do not think the word you say has meaning to it. It is not applicable today.” It is back to the garden of Eden. “I do not need you. What do I need you for? I will figure it out myself.”
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.
That is true. You can sing “I will do it my way”, and you could be a multi-millionaire. You are part of it.
As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
Your mindset, philosophy, and thinking is contrary to the natural thinking of the world in which you and I live.
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[John 13:16] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
He did not say, “This might happen to you, folks.” He is saying this is going to happen to you. It happened to me. It is going to happen to you. So do not be shocked if it does. Jesus is saying that this world hates your guts because it hates Mine. “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”
If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
They do not know God. Someone might say, “I know God.” No, you don’t. You do not know God. Jesus said, “if you knew the Father, you would know me. He testified about me.”
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[Psalms 35:19; 69:4]
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father
He is speaking before the cross. We are on the other side of that. Today, the Holy Spirit is alive, living in you, the moment you and I were born again.
the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
That is what the Holy Spirit of God is doing in your heart today, testify in our heart about Christ Jesus, who is alive living in you, your only hope of glory.
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue;
They did not have churches back then. It was a synagogue, but the same type of thing today. If you get too excited about Jesus, you are not a welcome individual. I remember the church I was in California after I came to Christ. I am sure I was obnoxious. I was excited about Jesus. I wanted to go to everything going. I wanted to go to a bible study the pastor was in. He asked me not to come. He said I was too excited about Jesus. “You are not realistic. You are too excited about Jesus.” That is exactly what he said.
in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this,
This is the reason He is telling you this. That is why you are getting a reminder of this now. Do not look at this as something unusual. It is something He warned you about. It will happen to you.
so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you,
He was talking to His apostles, but is now talking to us.