Radio Broadcast Wednesday 02/24/2021

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P9 (02-24-21)


It is so vitally important to form convictions on what truth is, so that it changes the attitudes of your heart based on what is true, and ultimately shows in your behavior. How are these convictions formed? By what man says? Or by what the Spirit of God reveals to you through His word? But what if you do not understand what the word of God means? How do you know that what you hear are words taught from men or from God?

First of all, do you even believe the word of God is what it is, the very words of God, inerrant and they are alive and active, profitable and useful to you, applicable to your problems of today, whether bulimia, anorexia, drunkenness, dysfunctional families, and whatever struggles and issues you are facing today, by whatever label man puts on those things? Do you see the issues of life as something that are modern day problems that have to be addressed by a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

Who created you, and indeed the entire universe by His spoken word? So certainly He knows how the mind works and how man thinks and what the attitudes and thoughts of his heart are? So the wisest choice is in all your ways to acknowledge Him, leaning not on your own understanding, but relying on Him, and He will make your paths straight.

So the problems we have are issues of the heart. They are heart problems. Man can redefine them as a disease, but then it is treated as a disease rather than a heart problem. Then the root of the problem is not properly diagnosed and you are not properly treated. God’s treatment is through His word by His Spirit living in you, that corrects, rebukes, and trains in righteousness. That is dealing at the root problem of the heart, attitudes underneath the skin of a person where he lives. The word of God is truth to your soul and that is what renews your mind, changes attitudes of heart and results in changed behavior.

If it is a heart problem, then does the word of God say that it has an answer to that? Yes it does. It is all through the scripture. You just camp on Hebrews 4:12 and you will see there is the answer and it is the word of God and you cannot separate the word of God from the author of God, the author of the word, who is Christ Jesus. The word of God is living and active. Why is it living and active? Because Christ is living and active. In other words, He is alive today.

So where is truth found? In God and His word. But if you do not have confidence that the scriptures you hold in your hands can be trusted for what it is, a lamp to your feet and a light to your path, that they are life to you, then why would you go to it? It is not enough to say that you believe the scriptures is the word of God because the pastor told you it is or because you just believe it is. Why do you believe the scriptures are the very words of God? What evidence do you have that you might put your confidence in it and become convinced that it is?

So we looked at what the prophets had to say, what prophecies had been spoken of and then fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. All that the prophets spoke came to be written down so we may know these things concerning Christ, that what was written down was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Himself, as God in the flesh, spoke about the word of God, quoting from the scriptures. He read from the scroll of Isaiah, saying, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He claimed to be God, and various miracles were performed through Him that eyewitnesses, those apostles who were with Him, testified of.

The apostles also testified of His death, burial and resurrection. The Holy Spirit testified where John also spoke, saying “We beheld His glory. We heard the voice from heaven that said, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.’” These eyewitness accounts is what confirms to us that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and by believing we may have life in His name.


As a matter of review before we do pick up in our book, A Closer Look at the Word of God, let us review the reason for the preparation for this book. If we do not understand, as an example, why we believe the word of God is true, how can we fully believe that it is true? If we do not really know for sure why we believe it is true, and therefore do not really know for sure it is or not, how can we ever believe what it says it can do for you? In other words, how can it really be applicable if I am not really sure of my source of authority.

Proverbs 3:5-6
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 make your paths straight.

It is interesting that the bible says to lean not on your understanding, but in all things acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. As we take a look at that, think about how subject we are of saying I am not leaning on my own understanding, but also that I really do believe I cannot lean on my understanding, so I will lean on yours. In this world in which we live, there is always someone around to make you feel like you do not understand every aspect of life.

It would make no difference what position you held, including president of the United States, that there would be many people there, even your own wife, who thinks they know how to run the country more than you do, and would be more than happy to give advice. I do not imagine there are very many ministers whose wife thinks sometimes they know how to run the ministry more than you do and give advice to that. Or if a woman was in charge of business, that the board knows how to run the business and would give advice on that. There are people who have nothing to do with the inner workings of an organization at all, but are on the board that meets once every six months and yet they become an authority at those two meetings each year. That is as natural as anything in the world because there is something in us that thinks I know more than something about that than you do. That I know more. Most of us have an opinion on everything, based on very little, but we do have an opinion.

In this world we are subject, are we not, being in essence, of being an absolute egomaniac, to the point of saying, “please do not say anything to me for I know everything”, or to be subject to people constantly of putting you in a position of saying, “I know more than you do”. When you buy that, you ultimately come to the point of saying there is no reason for me to be involved, or be in total denial of that, or deep down in your heart you say “I really know they do to meet that”. In the final analysis, it is not important that I know more than you do. What I need to rely on is the one who knows more than both of them, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

So when it is talking about not leaning on your own understanding, it is not saying that so I can lean on someone else”s understanding. I can say I do not understand me, so let me go talk to this guy because he says he probably does. I am not going to lean on my understanding because I cannot figure me out. So I will lead on his understanding and see if he can figure me out. The bible says do not do either one of those two. It says to go to him. Do not lean on your own understanding and do not lean on their understanding.

In all things submit yourselves to God. He is the one who understands. It is also interesting to me, when contemplating that, going back to the passage we quote so often.

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.

That is understanding that natural man cannot understand spiritual things. It has to be revealed to him. If I am going to understand the one who knows more than both of us, then the Spirit has to reveal that to me. If I am in Christ and you are in Christ, and I am depending on the Spirit to reveal to me, why would He not reveal the same thing to you. So now we do not have to sit around thinking I am smarter than you are or you are smarter than me. Both of us are as dumb as a cluck when we put that against the wisdom and knowledge of God. So we have the unbelievable privilege of God to rely on, who is someone greater than we are. That is good news.

Acts 10:34-36
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

It is a truth that we ever get a hold of that will point us back to the source of information that is now available to you and me as children of God. That is terrifically exciting.

James 1:5
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

When we do not understand that and do not go to the word of God and we do not have reliance upon the word of God, a reliance of even above saying I think it is true, we are on shaky ground. “I do not know why it is true but I just think it is true. I studied the Greek manuscripts and I think it is true.” That is a flimsy understanding of that. There is no depth to it with that kind of thinking. Therefore, if I do not have any depth to why the word of God is true, how can I have any depth to believe He will do anything for me?

So in this age we have people who will say, “I cannot find anything in the bible”, as an example. “I cannot find anything. I do not have a clue to go to the bible for things such as anorexia and bulimia.” No wonder, you are not going to find that word in the bible. Those are words that man made up. But at least, I find out that I do not have to go to you. I want to go to someone who knows what the bible says about those things. You obviously say you don’t but now I can go to someone who does. So the bible does speak to you.

Hebrews 4:12
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Now if the bible judges thoughts and attitudes of heart, then we come down to a point of things like anorexia, using man-made names on those things, and must ask, “Are those things attitude problems or are they diseases?” If they are a disease, you caught it from without. You had to get a germ somewhere to catch it. A disease either has to be caught or it is a deterioration of interior organs, but you have to catch it some place down the line.

On the other hand, if drunkenness, gluttony, bulimia, anorexia, all of those types of things, that we put these high sounding names on, if those things are indeed coming from the attitudes of heart, then the word of God is as applicable to those things as it is to our own salvation. And we have to understand that if my attitude is “I need”. “I need to get thinner.” “I need to stay skinnier.” “I need more food.” “I need to cop out on booze in order to deal with life.” All of that comes from the deal with “I need”. That is an attitude of heart that until you get that attitude changed, the outward manifestations will never change.

All man has to do is to rename something and when you rename something, then you can redefine something. I had a gentleman, who in the sincerity of his own heart, wsa saying he is a listener, but he wrote a letter saying that drunkenness in the bible is different from alcoholism. I would like to know in what shape or form you are talking about, outside the fact that someone has conned a person into thinking that alcoholism is a disease. In other words, it is something that is caught of some kind and is causing deterioration of organs instead of realizing that, “No, the bible says it is drunkenness and it is a heart problem. It is not what you put in the mouth that defiles a man but it is what proceeds out of his heart that defiles a man.

Matthew 15:10-11
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

If it is a heart problem, then does the word of God say that it has an answer to that? Yes it does. It is all through the scripture. You just camp on Hebrews 4:12 and you will see there is the answer and it is the word of God and you cannot separate the word of God from the author of God, the author of the word, who is Christ Jesus. The word of God is living and active. Why is it living and active? Because Christ is living and active. In other words, He is alive today.

I cannot envision standing in front of the Lord Jesus Christ and we have to get to this. I cannot imagine standing right in front of Jesus of Nazareth, God in our humanity, and saying this to Him. “Jesus, you really did a marvelous job in regard to providing my salvation, enabling me to go to heaven some day, but you do not have a clue about eating disorders, overdrinking, overeating, dysfunctional families. You just do not understand dysfunctional families. You just do not understand all those type of things.”

“You came way before we had teddy bears. You just do not understand the importance of hugging those things.” Standing there in front of Him, insulting the Lord God of this universe, saying “you knew how to create the universe, how to speak the whole world into existence, you created man saying ‘I made man. I do not need the testimony of man concerning man.’ But that is not true, you do need the testimony of man concerning Christ. You are old fashioned. You just do not understand these modern day problems.” You have to be pretty egotistical and arrogant and outright ignorant to think that you could stand in front of the Lord God of the universe and say those things. Yet in the name of Jesus, those very things are being said.

Whether people realize it or not, they are being said to Jesus because He hears all things and sees the attitude of your heart, the speaker of that, that also needs the suave of the word of God. So when talking about the word of God being living and active, it is because He is living and He is active. Christ is sharper than any double-edged sword and that word penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit and saying there is a difference between a soulish need and a spiritual need, aAd judges the attitudes and thoughts of the heart.

Revelation 3:16-18
16 So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

When talking about these things, Jesus says it is not what proceeds out of the mouth that defiles a man but what proceeds out of his heart. That is an attitude. The word of God is the only thing that will change the attitude of your heart. So I am not going to lean on my understanding to try to get me to try to understand why I do those things so those things will change. Nor am I going to rely on you or Wally or someone else or a psychologist or a psychologist to understand me because they do not understand what they do, let alone what I do. But in all things go back to acknowledge Him and let Him direct my path, not leaning on my understanding. I cannot understand what the word of God says to begin with unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to me. Neither does another person. So if another person is relying on the Spirit of God to reveal his problem then I ought to rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal my problem. That is where confidence in this word comes.

Folks, when I am talking about these things, and as we are studying these things, it is not to try to get everybody to believe like I do. To get to know that the word of God is true is not even the issue. There are many people who beat the bible to death saying the bible is true and divide entire denominations over that fact, and beat people to death, and getting mad and getting unloving toward one another. I believe the bible is true but you do not act like it. The bible says to love one another. How can you say the bible is true but you have no desire at all to act like the bible is true? So it makes me wonder sometimes if we really believe it is true. So we say it is true only in the intellectual sense. It is a prideful tenant of my denominational preference where I believe it is true but certainly would not know it is by a person’s actions or attitude there that the bible deals with.

Galatians 5:6
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Someone says, “I believe the bible is true but we need to go over here to lean on someone else’s understanding.” To that person I say, “You do not believe the bible is true because there is more to believe the bible is true than saying ‘I believe those words are true’. I see the words are true but I also believe what it means. If we do not believe what it means, then what good does it do to believe what it says?”

So when it says the word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, I know nothing that does not deal with the attitudes of the heart that man tries. I know the problem that I even encounter in life whether drunkenness, gluttony, bulimia, anorexia, manic depressive, and any of these man-made things. I emphasize man-made words, that we put upon man, renamed them and therefore redefined them, calling them sickness instead of what they are, so that any one of those things cannot be cured by the word of God. To man that says I would not have a clue to go to the word of God to rat those things, someone does not know what the word of God says, and more importantly what it means.

That is why it is so important, folks, that we are going through this series. First, we had the lesson on what Jesus said about the word of God, and He, as God, says it is absolutely true. Now we have been studying what the apostles, who were followers and who were with Christ from the beginning, said about the word of God. Now we are reading about what the writer of Hebrews had to say, in Hebrews 4:10, and testifies to the fact the word of God is active and is alive.

Now, let us pick up with Paul’s testimony in Acts 17.

Acts 17:1-3
When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.

Now, what gave weight to the apostles eyewitness testimony concerning Christ was God’s many prophecies made hundreds of years in advance, which all came true in the person of Christ. How did you bring that about? Did Jesus kind of know the Old Testament and know what was said of the Messiah and acted out those things? That is what some people say, that he was just acting out. That could be but it would be hard to act out your birth and resurrection. We just forget about that.

So these people were noble minded as the Bereans were.

Acts 17:11-12
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

How did they believe? Through examining the scriptures and letting the Spirit of God reveal to them what the scriptures meant.

Once again, why are all of these passages important as to Jesus’ testimony about Himself, the apostles testimony about scriptures, and all testifying about Jesus? That is what we are basically talking about today and we have been talking about and will continue talking about. This is as simple as this. If we do not believe Jesus is God, we cannot fully believe that He is if we do not know why we believe He is. I just do not want to hear Jesus is God, I want to know why Jesus is God. If I cannot believe, if I do not believe that He is then how can I believe that He can?

So you see the importance of this. If I do not know why Jesus is God then I cannot believe He is. And If I cannot believe He is, then how can I believe He can? Can what? Do everything He said He was going to do, like judge the attitudes of my heart and judge my thoughts and take the word of God, as it says, which is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. If I do not believe the word of God is going to do that then why go to it? I will just go to man’s understanding, which is no understanding at all.

What this boils down to folks is, were these men good witnesses? What are some valid criteria of a good witness?

2 Peter 1:16-18
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”[Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35] 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

A criteria for a valid witness is I was an eyewitness. I saw it. I heard it. Once again, if you observed an accident and someone ran a stop sign and ran into somebody and killed him and you were standing on the corner, and the guy sitting in the car said, “The person just jumped in front of me”, or “that was not me driving the car”, or some other excuse. What is going to convict that man and bring him to truth? An eyewitness standing there, saying “I saw him”. “I heard him.” Or any other eyewitness on the other side of the street saying “I saw him” or “I heard it”.

You have a line up of criminals of a person who has been raped or robbed. They bring in the people, and a person says “that is the one”. Another person says “I was also raped. That is the one.” That is an eyewitness. Based on that eyewitness, that person is going to spend probably some time behind bars. The validity of a witness, many times an eyewitness who saw and heard.

These apostles said we saw him and we heard him.

Let us talk about the apostle John, the beloved John, the one who identified himself as the one who Christ loved. Now He loved all people but there was a special relationship with John there. He was the last of the apostles to be alive. When he wrote 1 John and the gospel of John, it was around 95 A.D. and he saw Jesus for who He was, and that is God. Again, he was an eyewitness. We are talking about what is a criteria for a valid witness. We talked about what Peter said. Something we saw with our eyes. We were eyewitnesses of his majesty and we heard it.

Once again, it is back to the same claims of Christ we talked about before. When Christ claimed He was Christ, He is either a lunatic who claimed to be God when He wasn’t. If I was walking around saying that I was God, people would have to say that I lost my marbles. Or he knew that he was not God and claimed he was anyway, which would put him in the category of being the biggest imposter who ever walked on the face of this earth or he claimed to be God. This is a trilemma. You really do have to take your choice. Either this man really is the Son of God or a madman or something worse. As C.S. Lewis said, “you can spit at him as a fool or fall at his feet and call Him Lord God but let us not come up with any patronizing knowledge about him being a great moral teacher. He never intended that to occur. He never said that and never intended it to be.”

So the eyewitness of John is this.

1 John 1:1
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,

So we are talking about hearing and seeing with our eyes.

1 John 1:1
which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

Who is the word of life? That is Jesus Christ, the word who became flesh. Back to Hebrews. The word of God is active and sharper than a two-edged sword. It is living. The word of God is alive, that is Christ Jesus alive.

1 John 1:2
2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

We are talking about a testimony and hearing the testimony of Christ Himself who testified to being with the Father in heaven and appearing to us here on this earth, God becoming a man.

1 John 1:3
3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

There were people who were coming and saying “I am saved. I believe in the Father.” I am sorry, you cannot say you believe in the Father unless you also believe in the Son because the Father testified about the Son and the Son testified of the Father. So how can you say you believe in one but not the other? It is the same question that Jesus asked the Jews who said they believed in Moses. ’How can you believe in Moses when Moses wrote about me? If Moses testified about me and I am here and you say you deny me then you also deny Moses because Moses wrote about me. So how can you say you believe in Moses but not me?”

John 5:45-47
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

In 1 John, you had people who were called Gnostics, who were the practitioners of Gnosticism, who were into the mystical. Everything was the mystical. They held this secret knowledge that no one else had. As John Macarthur said, “There are a lot of people posing as Neo-gnostics today, posing as Christians, are claiming to have some kind of special psychological knowledge, and you are too dumb to know about, but if you will come to me I will reveal it to you very slowly because if you got it real quick you will get out in a hurry without very much money, but I am going to reveal it to you very slowly.”

That is a form of Gnosticism, saying “I got this special knowledge”. There is not any of us who have special knowledge unless it’s from the world because God did not give us special knowledge. He just gave us wisdom from God and gave us His Spirit living in us so a man of no education or a man educated beyond his intelligence can rely on the Spirit of God to teach truth to us. So there is no special knowledge at all. It is in front of us. Any man can read it and any man can understand it, if you are born again. If you are not born again, then of course you will not understand that.

A Closer Look at the Word of GodA Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love

Born Free

Classic Christianity

Goodbye is Not Forever
Purchase Goodbye Is Not Forever Today!

What About 1 John 1:9 Booklet

Order from our online store: Bible Studies, Books, Witnessing Tracts, Audio Cds, DVDs and More.

Purchase and download Bible Studies, the Closer Look Series & more.

%d bloggers like this: