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June 22, 2022 8:00 am
Can you feed your self with your own Bible study. Can you as a Christian profit spiritually from your own reading of God's word and the answer to that question is, you certainly can. Glad you joined us on the truth pulpit with gone green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I built right and today Don continues teaching God's people. God will show us that for a person to comprehend the Scriptures, they must first be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ then they must humbly approach the study of the word out of a desire to receive the gift of understanding, open your Bible now and get ready to take notes at least mental ones. If you're driving here is Don with the first half of a message called who can understand Scripture who can understand Scripture you can if you're a Christian and there's three ways that we know that to be true. First of all I wanted to show you the promise of Scripture. How can you know is somebody that's fairly new to the Bible, how can you know that you can understand Scripture will first of all, Scripture promises that to you, and I think that this is important for us to reemphasize, even though we mentioned it.
You are much more likely to consistently read God's word. If you know that God will bless you for it. If you have a sense of confidence.
If you have if you have a sure word from God in his word that says blessing awaits the one who seeks my word, then you're more likely to seek it.
There is advantage to you. There is blessing that waits for you. On the other side of consistently in God's word. I want to take you back to Psalm one to start here. Psalm one is where I'd like you to turn for now. Someone looking at verses two and three once more where the psalmist is describing the blessed man and he says that this blessed man can be identified. Verse two because his delight is in the law of the Lord he finds satisfaction. His his priority. His desire is is rooted in God's word and what does he do as a result of that because that's where his heart is anchored where and how does that manifest itself first two in his law he meditates day and night. He reads it he thinks about it he contemplates how it applies to his life to his thinking to his conduct to his relationships and so his mind is continually going over the word of God and as we saw that something that's open to you as a humble believer in Christ and what does it say in verse three. What's the promise of Scripture that's made the one like that. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither and in whatever he does, he prospers promising financial prosperity to everyone who ever opens the word of God.
That's not the point.
The point is is that there will be a confidence there will be a spiritual serenity. There will be an ever-growing spiritual maturity that marks a man who opens God's word and reads it and thinks about it. That's not qualified that's not that's not limited to, to scholars or pastors or experts. Sometimes they just get in the way of things. Frankly sometimes the their pride, but puffs them up and actually excludes them from this New Testament talks about that.
Doesn't it knowledge puffs up, but love edifies well here we have in Scripture.
The indication from God that if you will be a man, a woman, a boy, a girl that that devote yourself to God's word that your life will be affected by it, and what we have to do either.
The whole message that I should speak on the two senses that I'm about to to speak on. We've been conditioned in American of evangelicalism over the past few decades toward a decision and stick mindset toward salvation. You know, you raise your hand you come forward you get say and messages traditionally have been oriented toward forcing you to order a dramatic moment of commitment and raising your hand in an emotional you know climaxes all of that. Look, that's actually counterproductive to your long-term spiritual stability. If you're always looking for a spiritual high. You're always looking for that emotional impact is going to actually work to your spiritual destruction over time. It's just like eating candy and sugar all the time you get a nice little buzz off of it from the start, but that's not the nutrition that carries you on and eventually discarded get sick to your stomach if you eat too much of that stuff. Well it's the same way with wanting always wanting something emotional, something something really dramatic to occur look a lot of God's work happens imperceptibly, it happens in just the quiet bonds of faithfulness is your reading his word and you're just walking day by day in his word and maybe not every time is is the greatest devotional that you ever happened.
That's all right that's all right stop looking for those emotional highs and just and just commit yourself to walking faithfully through God's word day by day, week by week and recognize suggesting is as in a young child. Growth is imperceptible, day by day, but it's evident over time.
So in the same way God's word will work in your life imperceptibly, seemingly, day by day, but then you look at your life. After walking in God's word for a year or three years, five years 10 years you look back and say my life is completely different. I am a completely different man than what I used to be, either from going from an unconverted to a converted state or from a Christian groin from the image from one reflection of the glory of Christ, to a greater one so I encourage you as strongly as I possibly can to commit yourself and to put making your priority in your desire, faithfulness, day by day.
Over time, and let the emotional highs come and go as they will. That will give you a stability in a confidence and take a lot of pressure off and actually free your mind to be able to absorb God's word in a far more productive way. So promise of Scripture is is that there will be a spiritual prosperity that marks the lives of the ones that give themselves to God's word. Let's look at one more familiar passage in second Timothy chapter 3, second Timothy chapter 3 I know you know this passage that's all right Peter didn't mind writing to his readers and saying I'm going to stir you up by way of reminder once more Scripture repeatedly reminds us of things and therefore it's appropriate for us from a Christian pulpit to remind you of things that you already know because some things are so foundational that we need to go to them again and again, we don't outgrow some of these things in the centrality of Scripture and the promise of blessing is one that we should never be far from second Timothy 316 and 17 says that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work noticed a couple of things about it. All Scripture Genesis through Revelation.
The genealogies in Chronicles are profitable to you in ways it may not be as immediately evident as other parts of Scripture that happen every part of Scripture is God breathed and it is profitable for the Christian. And so that that that expands our sense of the Vista that we want to pursue in God's word. We want to pursue all of it. You should be and should be the desire of your heart as a Christian I want to read the entire Bible not simply the gospel of John in the first eight chapters of Romans or a few favorite songs that you just read repeatedly and neglect the rest of the word of God, the entirety of Scripture is profitable to you. It is worth your time is intrinsically infinitely valuable because every word of Scripture came from the mouth of God. And he didn't put it in the word for no reason. What we see is a result of that as we as we embrace Scripture, we find that it's profitable we find that it makes you adequate for the life that God has given you for the discouragements that you feel in relationships for the uncertainty that you feel about your future or about your health conditions. God's word consistently read over a period of time makes you adequate for all of that in 10,000 things more.
It makes you adequate for the joys that are just ahead in life and as you anticipate some of the great things that are about to happen in let's say the next seven days.
Or maybe the next nine months. As you looking forward to that. God's word will inform and and bless you for that and so knowing that knowing that all of God's word prepares you for all of life and blesses you in it. Then you say that I want to I want this word I want for myself. I don't want I don't want the blessing of reading Scripture and being in engaged in the thought of the Bible to be simply for the elders of the church. I don't want to dad just to be my pastor, I want my share of it. I want God's word for myself, should be the animating desire of your heart because you as a young man use a new Christian you is a busy mom. God's word is there for you to be understood and promises blessing on you as you seek it and so that's what we want to do. Doesn't that make you want to read God's word doesn't make you want to understand it, to know that that that there is just untold blessing waiting to be appropriated for use Christian is not a one of you that shouldn't want that. Why would we not want blessing from God that he dispenses through his inerrant word there's there's not there's nothing to be said but say let's get started but help me, help me, point me in the right direction so promise of Scripture is held out to you at that day you can understand this and profit from it. Now with that said, when you start exploring the way that God has blessed us as believers, you just started you just start to swim in an ocean. And it is infinite. There is no limit to the blessing that God is given to his people and that's true as we study and consider who it is the can understand Scripture is God is not just made promises to us in the Scripture.
He's also done something else. He's given us that the provision of his spirit. The provision of his spirit now try to be realistic, as I as I teach and preach. I believe that the teaching the Bible in the local church should be accessible to every Christian and that it should be. It should be that which everyone can profit from and and there.
There are times where you put the cookies on the bottom shelf, so to speak, so that everyone can appropriated, but I understand. I want to be realistic that for someone who is new to the Bible or someone that you had a really you haven't really made an effort to systematically read God's word. If you're new to the Bible or, if you haven't spent much time reading it. I understand that as a book. It can be intimidating at the start. I think the Bible that I preach out of has 1286 pages. That's a lot. There are 66 books that were written over a period of 1500 years, you know, from 3500 to 2000 years ago and and there's just such a a a complete wealth of content and such an abundance there that it's very hard to know where to even to start if you're brand-new to it. You understand that, don't you, and sometimes that the sheer volume of it might lead you to shrink back and say well I think I'll just leave it to the pastor. I'll leave it to to the scholars and all you know I won't try to do this for myself because there's just too much. There I don't even know where to begin. Well, take heart. You don't have to.
You don't have to separate yourself from the promise of God's blessing for those who read Scripture you can get started. In fact, God has already given you. If you are a Christian far more than you could imagine. To prepare you for exactly this adventure of moving into God's word and and and developing a lifestyle pattern, a lifelong pattern of being a reader and study are of God's word. He has prepared you for it in a supernatural way because what God has done for you as a Christian is.
He has put his Holy Spirit inside you. The spirit indwells you and gives you a supernatural capacity to read and understand words.
Watch this a supernatural capacity to read and understand God's word that goes far beyond infinitely beyond your natural ability to read and understand God hasn't simply given a word and promises at a distance and then told you to go out and do it and left you on your own. Jesus said in a different context to his disciples. He said I won't leave you as orphans, as he was getting ready to ascend into heaven just on the night before his crucifixion. He said I won't leave you is as orphans all send my spirit to help you and now we need to thousand years as believers enjoy the fulfillment of that promise as well. The Holy Spirit indwells us and one of his specific ministries is to help you as a Christian understand God's word look at first Corinthians chapter 2. This is so fundamental and not only not only motivates you with a sense of anticipation because of the promises of Scripture. This gives you the sense that God has prepared me.
God has enabled me God in the fullness of the blessing that is given in salvation has made it possible for me to read and to understand in fact that is the expectation of the Christian life. First Corinthians chapter 2 verse 11 says this. The apostle Paul says, who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him.
Even so, the thoughts of God. No one knows except the spirit of God Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God.
What about that spirit.
Verse 12 now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God so that here's the purpose clause we may know the things freely given to us by God. And so the spirit of God who inspired the word of God knows the thoughts of God and as part of his incomprehensibly wonderful plan of salvation God imparts his spirit to us in a way that the spirit now indwells us and watch this one of the primary reasons he did that was so that we would glean spiritual understanding from his word that the spirit inspired God gave you the Holy Spirit is a Christian with the intention that the spirit would work in your heart not to make you speak in in tongues and flopping around on the floor like an idiot he gave you his spirit so that your mind could comprehend. Understand and apply the word of God in your life that's incredible Paul says in verse 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words, God's word is precious. Psalm 138 says the exalted above his name, and you were a precious object is a Christian of God's affection. So much so that the Christ gave himself up for you and sacrificed himself to turn away the wrath of God from your sins, and to bring you into the family of God, guaranteeing that you would be born again that simply making it possible.
And when God moved on your hardened and you became a Christian, God gave you his spirit why in large part, it was so that you could understand God's word and that that you would not be an orphan. You would not be meandering through life with. In a sense of darkness, but that there might be clarity and light and understanding as your own personal precious possession because the spirit of God works in your heart and unfolds God's word you in a way that you can understand and appropriate, the spirit who inspired Scripture now lives in us and will help you understand the Bible. Theologians call this the illumination of the spirit simply saying the Holy Spirit helps us and enables us to understand God's word now that's a precious gift you know and and one of the things you know I think that as we come out of this weekend. We should be motivated to read God's word and we should also just have a sense of profound gratitude for all that God has done for us. I mean honestly that that the blessings that God has given us are just incalculable. They are infinite than that. He secured the salvation of our soul that we have the, the, the hope of eternal life of of an unending perfected bliss with Christ in his throne forever. And even as we walk through this life we have the gift of his word. The gift of the spirit sense of assurance that we truly belong to him. As we sometimes sing the hymn. I am his and he is mine.
Awesome and are by contrast or sense of the value that blessing is to realize that when we were unsaved. We didn't have that blessing. And as as Christians today. We realize that God has blessed us with an amazing Grace with a favor that is unknown to the unsaved man and it humbles us to realize that though we were once just like today that here we are in this position of rich spiritual blessing. And, by contrast, we realized that not only does the unsaved man not have these things that in his natural condition.
He cannot understand the things that are most precious to us.
You're in first Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14, Paul goes on and draws the contrast we've received the spirit from God so that we might know the things freely given to us by God. Verse 14 but a natural man and unsaved man.
What can we say about him.
He does not accept the things of the spirit of God for their foolishness to him and he cannot understand them. He does not have the ability to understand them because they are spiritually appraised that which is most precious to us. Scripture says the natural man can even understand these things and so to kinda step back and look at the big principle that were asking here who can understand God's word.
You must be a Christian to understand God's word because the unsaved man does not understand lookover in second Corinthians chapter 4 second Corinthians chapter 4 verse three. Such a spiritual dimension to this that is vital for us to remember second Corinthians chapter 4 verse three Paul says if our gospel is veiled, it's veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God and so they can't understand it. Satan blinds them to prevent their understanding. Another passage we need to keep in mind is that the unsaved man. He's in that miserable condition, yes, but there's also a self-imposed darkness that is at work in that as well. Jesus said that the light has come into the world.
John 319, but men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. So we asked the question who can understand Scripture.
The Christian can because God has imparted his spirit to us so that we can understand, but we realize that and unsaved man cannot. The Bible is a closed book to him. Satan has blinded his eyes and in fact some of his blindness is self-imposed because he loves sin more than desiring.
The light in the truth and so not everyone can understand Scripture and there are unseen invisible spiritual dynamics that are at work when any man approaches. This book this book is. This book is holy. I remember before I was a Christian I was afraid of the Bible.
I was afraid to pick one and every was an irrational fear and can articulate why that was the case. Looking back on it now I can bet, but there's something unique about God's word and it's right for an unsaved man to fear the word of God because this word speaks to his condition and condemns him in sin and calls him to Christ. That's Don Greene bringing today's lesson to a close, here on the truth pulpit will have part two for you next time. Meanwhile, if you'd like to find out more about this ministry, please go to the truth. Pulpit.com.
There you will find today's message as well as all of Don's Bible study materials available to you 24 seven and if you'd like to support this ministry financially.
You can find out how to do so at that same web address again. It's the truth. Pulpit.com now before we go here again is done with the closing thought well Bill, as you know, this broadcast is made possible by generous supporters who love the word of God and my friend. If you've been encouraged by the truth pulpit know that your gift would be an encouragement to all of us here and would help us continue to bring the teaching of God's word to thank you and God bless. Thanks, Don, and that's all the time. We have nine Bill Wright hoping you'll join us next time. As Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word here on the truth