The Good Book Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [10/11/2019 AM]
The Bible is often referred to as ‘The Good Book’ and people seem to hold a myriad of:
- Views on it and its authority.
- Have so many ways of interpreting it.
- Feel it is irrelevant and God only cares about us knowing Him and feeling Him.
- Think it’s important but never seriously invest into knowing what it says.
- Would like to pick and choose what they like out of it.
- Have favourite bits, but ignore other sections.
In fact there is nothing in our faith that has been so attacked as the Bible (the Word of God) because the devil knows that without it Christianity ceases to exist.
Although many have relegated it to a ‘good book’ it is actually a ‘God Book’ that as Christians, if it is not taken seriously, we either have:
- An immature faith.
- A partial faith.
- Or a faith that is not Christian.
John 1:1-4, 14 (NIV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
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.
The Word of God is actually the prism or filter through which we know God!
Without God’s Word we all have a bunch of personal preferences and ideas, but there is no ultimate truth.
- Jesus is the Word of God with skin on.
- His life reflects what it looks like to live out God’s Word here on earth.
- Therefore He is our ultimate example because He is God’s Word.
- We cannot love and follow Jesus and not follow the Word of God.
If you are new to church or Christianity, it might be a surprise that we are so connected to, dependant on and committed to the Bible, Scriptures and the Word of God
All of these are interchangeable and refer to what we believe is God’s Written Word to mankind.
We will look later in our series on what this means, but today will focus on what is its role in our lives?
We are all busy and we all have multiple demands on our life, so why make space and time for God’s Word? What is its role? How does it impact our lives?
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
I think the New Living Translation puts it best:
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
We find here some more clear explanation of the Word of God and its role in our lives.
It teaches us! We don’t teach it, it teaches us.
We looked last week at the fact that God’s Word is about His Kingdom, not our kingdom.
The Word of God teaches us about:
- God’s ways.
- God’s promises.
- The way God intends us and our lives to be.
God’s Word is like that at times because it doesn’t seem normal or natural – but that’s ok because it’s not!
Kerrin used the illustration of teaching children to use a knife and fork. It is not natural we have to learn to do it. Once you are taught, it becomes natural.
The same can be said of boxing, it is not natural to hold your fists up to defend yourself, but the more you do it, the more natural it is.
God’s ways are not our ways. They are – Higher, Pure, Unselfish and Eternal.
The Word of God helps teach us His ways rather than leaving us in our own ways.
To clarify this further let’s go to the first time we see Jesus use the word ‘teaching or doctrine’ depending on your version. It teaches us more about how it works in our lives.
Matt 15:8-9 (NIV)
“‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” This is a quote from Isaiah 29.
We begin to unpack here a concept that God’s word teaches us things but not ‘merely human rules, ideas or things’.
The Word of God is divine and supernatural. If it wasn’t then Christianity would not be an answer to this world but merely another of the many current belief or behaviour systems. God’s Word is supernatural and God inspired. It teaches us God’s ways.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
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.
It is not a natural book, a text book, a fictional story speaking of simply good human ideas!
Colossians 2:20-23 (NIV)
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use (pointless), are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
In other words – they don’t change the heart! You can change the actions, but not the heart.
If we go on to the next verse it gives us an alternative to natural human ideas and concepts.
Colossians 3:1 (NIV)
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
So God’s Word is useful and important for teaching us the supernatural truths of God that are what we are truly seeking.
It gives us the ability to learn the ways of God that go against natural human ways but will ultimately allow us to discover the amazing life and freedom in Jesus Christ.
We ought to create space in our world for god’s word because it teaches us God’s ways to live that goes against or differs from the world’s natural ways.
Reproof – what is wrong with our lives?
This makes a lot of sense and is so important.
If you have ever had a problem, but no answer for what is wrong, it is devastating.
Sometimes you know something is wrong but just not what is wrong.
The Bible helps us know not just that something is wrong – but what is wrong!
Firstly it teaches us God’s higher ways and His promises. But secondly it explains why we are not living in these things at times!
God’s Word speaks of:
- Blessed finances.
- Good relationships.
- Living without shame.
- Living free of fear.
- Experiencing God’s goodness.
- Being loved by God.
But then when these things are not happening we need to know what is actually going wrong here! Often there is a problem with forgiveness. Kerrin spoke about a book by Carolyn Leith – Unforgiveness.
So God’s Word is fundamental in our lives because:
- It teaches us what life should look like.
- Then when we consider and see something not lining up, it shows us where we have gone wrong so we can fix it.
Psalm 119:36-37 (NIV)
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
If we look at Jesus teachings, the Sermon on the Mount is a description of a loving Heavenly Father and His ways that will allow us to follow His plans for our lives.
The scriptures are filled with teaching we can consider and they help us to define the areas of our life that need change.
When we find ourselves wrestling with:
- Why do I feel this way?
- What is wrong with things that I think like that?
- Where is this dysfunction coming from?
- How is it that this keeps happening in my life?
- What is with this issue that I keep having?
- Why is it that I feel no purpose, life or joy?
This is where we need to stop and consult God’s Word for ‘What is really wrong?’
The Word of God will provide a path and the answer to all your questions. The World doesn’t have the answers, but God’s Word does.
Psalm 139:1-4 (NIV)
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
He did it all first!
If we are not regularly reading God’s Word, and allowing it to search us, it is very hard to work out and find those answers we so desperately need and are looking for. It’s not a ‘must do’, it’s a ‘why wouldn’t you?’
Jesus is real and He is here today!
Suggestions for discussion
- Do you find it easy to make space and time for God’s Word? Why do you think this is not easy to do?
- What makes God’s Word Divine and Supernatural?
- How do we discover the amazing life and freedom in Jesus Christ?
- Do you seek God’s Word when things go wrong in your life? Do you regularly read God’s Word?