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Believer’s Basics #4 – Word of God (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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November 2, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #4 – Word of God (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 2, 2022 6:00 am

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T.L. Moody, a great evangelist of over a hundred years ago, said the Bible will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from your Bible. You've got to live the faith to come to that understanding. Your devotional time. There's a difference between study time and devotional time. When you're having your devotions with God, you're not breaking open the maps in the Bible, cross-reference books and finding out what the Greek word is here and there.

It's your study time. Devotional time is when you're just reading the word and letting God speak to you. This is cross-reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believers Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross-reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. John chapter one is where Pastor Rick will be teaching today. His message is called Word of God. Right now that's where we are on the prophetic clock. We are in the last of the last days. The technology alone screams fulfillment of the prophecies found in such books as Ezekiel and Revelation. God still speaks through what he has spoken. And the New Testament has taken it to a more, not another level, but a clearer view of what is going on. John's gospel, chapter one, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. There's that truth again. Why can't this be so? Why would anybody say, nah, that can't happen?

Why not? Romans 10, verse 17, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. That is a big deal. What kind of faith? Both, saving and serving. You want to get to heaven? It's going to be through God's Word. You want to serve God properly? It's going to be through God's Word. What the cults do is they manipulate the Word of God.

They add to it or take away from it, but what they do not do is adhere to it. Then there is this other feature about it. We have, again, this progressive revelation that has come through general revelation, creation. It has come through special revelation, God directly giving his Word to men, backing it up with signs and wonders and prophecies. And then you would have to add to that that this is therefore the final revelation. What we have before us, these 66 books of the Bible, Jude writing his short letter says, I found it necessary to write to you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith, which was once delivered for all to the saints.

It's once, it's no more. It's built on the foundation of the prophets and the apostles. And there's no more scripture coming. We don't need any more.

We have a hard enough time following what we have, learning what we have. The Word of God, it is trustworthy. And Satan devotes his time to making human beings feel otherwise.

He hates humanity. We don't depend, as I mentioned, on tradition, oral or otherwise, written, whatever. But the completed scripture, all the scripture, Old and New Testament, every word of our Bible is inspired and approved by God himself as though it were God himself telling the story.

The words are not misleading, but literal in their context, which again, the cult, the cultists will take the Word of God out of context from the Word of God, from what already has been written. I like to tell this story when I was a somewhat new believer. I don't recall being yet called to the pastorate at this time. I was on a church camp outing and I was lying in the tent saying to myself, what am I doing here?

I should be home in bed. I was not saying that. But I just was so into God's Word as a new believer. And I began, I said to myself, I don't know, maybe I'm putting too much into this. Maybe I'm becoming fanatical.

And the Word of God came right into my head out of somewhere, out of heaven, right into my head, that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Don't slack off. That was the message. You keep going. Stay sane. Well, you got to get there, got to get to that sane place. Stay there. Turn not to the right hand or to the left. Stay straight and narrow.

It is worth it and everything on the right and left isn't worth it. The world with their bag of lies. Most of you have come out of the world. You know what that life is like and you're never going back. Some of you younger Christians, you are going to continue to face what the world has.

And that is the lure to your flesh. And you are either going to beat it back or it's going to beat you down. Which will it be? It's up to you.

Make up your mind now. As the prophet said, who will you serve? If the Lord God is God, serve him. The God who answers by fire. He is God. The God that you know is true.

The God when a little child is a little child, you knew he was God. Don't lose that because you're growing up and entering into life and beginning to form your own thoughts now. Don't throw it all away. It ain't worth it.

You're being suckered by Satan who hates your guts. It is inerrant. Now I don't want to get into all the theologians have a way of overstating everything.

You can ask them to write a paper on a comma and it will be a 500 page volume. When we say inerrant, we mean that every word is trustworthy. It may have a difficulty here and there, but that does not disqualify it. Not for one moment, nothing in life is that way. You walk up to somebody and say, you have a blemish on your body. You have to be executed.

You can't live anymore. That would be, of course, we understand the folly of that. God, one purpose has allowed these inconsistencies to exist because none of them take away the message, none of them hide the truth. The point is still made every single time. No errors are false in all of its teachings and all of the points that it makes. There are no errors in the original manuscripts.

Of course, it was perfect. There's a reason why over centuries manuscripts become challenged. It's the fact that inks begin to fade, but the points are still made.

No understanding law, loss. So the scoffers and the haters, they come along, as I said, Satan prefers to discredit the truth of God before he dispenses his own lies and he uses his lies in the process of discrediting God's word as he did with Eve. Just cast a seed of doubt.

That's all it took. Did God really say that? Is there such thing as a Christian that has not heard the voice of the devil?

Say to them something like this. You don't believe that, do you? Do you really believe that? Do you still believe that?

Are you going to continue to believe that? If he cannot argue away the scripture, he will laugh it away if he is allowed to. This is why Christians so often crack under pressure and don't want anybody to know that they are believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior because they don't want to be laughed at.

Take the laughter, consider it an honor. So they persecuted the prophets who were before you and usually Satan will find someone to listen to him. In fact, he finds the majority. The universities and their alumni, again, they peddle falsehoods about the Bible that they can't back up, but most people don't have the resources or the time or sadly the interest to fact check them and stand up to them and say, you're a liar and you hide under the guise of intelligence. Again, you think you are this indisputable authority that you can condemn the scripture because God doesn't come down and punch you in your nose because you get away with it for a lifetime and it is perpetuated by those like you. Studies also suppose that truth must include other untruths to be accepted as truth. That's what ecumenicism is. That's what we're seeing with the world religion of buddies, universalism. Well, okay, you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe we can all just get together and pray and sing songs and promote one another. Truth separates the lies.

It cuts them out and it's not very polite when it does it, it's just a lie. It is not to be accepted. Watch out for that ecumenical spirit. The biblical word is leaven, corruption, it will damn your soul. But let's get to the meaty part of those who don't like the Bible. It's a matter of interpretation as though God's interpretation cannot be known. It's a matter of interpretation.

What isn't? That doesn't mean that there is not a proper interpretation and you better find out which one that is. And so when those say, well, I don't believe the Bible because there's so many different interpretations, they are attempting to justify their ignorance. You see, I'm not submitting to the Bible.

I don't want to know about God because there's just too much information out there to figure it out as if to say, God, you are impotent, not strong enough to cut through the lies and tell me the truth. You're not powerful enough to give man a word in print and sustain it and defend it. That is really what is going on there. Whether they articulate it that way or not, actually they will do what they can to veil it. Their interpretation of God's word is that it is not God's word on the grounds of difficulty. It's too hard to find out what the truth is.

I quit. That's what it comes down to. And they don't appreciate someone like me telling them that uninformed interpretation about the Bible will damn your soul to a hell that you will never adjust to, that you will never do well. You will. There will be no doing well in hell.

You won't. I mentioned this in heaven. You'll never have to say to someone, how's your day going? Because we know it's going to be glorious. Well the same holds true in hell.

You'll never have to say, how's your day going? It will be miserable. They think that is too awful to be true.

Things in this life that are too awful to be true, but they are. These are dishonest excuses and they will bring wrath. You will not get a pass to stand before a glorious God and say to him, it was too hard to interpret. So I turned my back on it. God will say others did not do that.

They figured it out. I left enough information. What are you saying about me? Remember the parable Jesus told about the servant who said, I knew you were hard, severe and strict sewing or reaping where you did not sew. So I buried what you gave me. The Lord said, take what he has and deal with him.

And it was not good. There is a stern side to God. There is a holiness that cannot be trifled with and every believer knows it.

So the fact is so many people don't like a great deal. What the Bible says is proof enough that it is not an interpretation issue. If you read the scripture and it says thou shall not kill, what's what kind of interpretation is missing from that? There should not lie. There should not steal. The fact again that so many people reject the Bible is proof that it is understandable, that its truths insist on a response.

These are lame excuses by people who need conviction. Many of them just need love and conviction at the same time. They're never to give an inch to that which is false about God and his word. As Paul said, I did not back down for one hour when they came from Antioch and they tried to get the Jewish Christians to be separate from the Gentile Christians and go back to Judaism. Plus I wasn't going to back down to those guys for one second.

I don't care who they were. I stood up to Peter and I'll stand up to anybody else because I have truth on my side. And so the Bible does not cater to self-deception. And if it did, there'd be a lot more churches using it. Those false churches out there, it confronts self-deception. One reason why people come to church and don't come back is because they hear a sermon that gets them right between the eyes, makes a demand on them.

Instead of going to God and seeking how to resolve these things, they run away. Well, we come to how to study the scriptures because in a believer's basic consideration it is critical to be reminded of these things. Luke's gospel, Jesus said, it is written, man should not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. By the word of God, those are the words that he uses. It is written, he's quoting scripture, as though it comes from God because it does. He says, man should not live by the things in this life alone that satisfy our needs, that even sustain life. That's not enough.

It's not enough to eat, drink, and be happy. He says, but by every word of God. Second Timothy 2.15, study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. And so we are commanded to dig into scripture as believers because the Bible is inspired.

And because it is inspired, we need the inspirer to guide us. So the first step in coming to your word is, Lord, help me understand. And if you understand and you know you're coming to material that you understand, Lord, help it be fresh to me, reveal applications to me, minister to me.

You should always pray before you open your Bible for study or devotion. Pray for attention. Pray for wisdom. Pray for understanding. James chapter one, if any of you lacks wisdom, let them ask God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. You have to have a teachable spirit. If you're obnoxious and full of yourself, if you think you just didn't know these things because you're so smart, it's not going to offer its fruit to you.

It will yield nothing good to you. Keep your sins confessed. You know, once you become a Christian and you sin, we don't dismiss that. If you dismiss the wrong things about you as being trivial, your love, your Christian walk, you will have a sloppy walk. And if unguarded, it will devolve into backsliding, and then if you're not careful, it will then go into apostasy, and you will find yourself damned. Sin is not something God ever takes lightly.

That's the cross of Christ. God is saying, I'm dealing with this stuff. John's gospel, pardon me, his first letter, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That process is critical to growing in Christ. And I talk about salvation once you're saved, to get saved. I'm talking about once you are saved, you are covered in the blood, but that does never give license to give sin license.

The word in the scripture in our English is licentiousness. It's not a virtue. Develop regular reading habits. I like mornings. Some of you like evenings to do your reading. Your mind is better than yours, but that's okay.

You know, you just joke something, it's not funny, I don't like that. Develop regular reading habits, whatever time of the day. Some of you moms, you have little babies, you know, what you want to sleep more than probably anything, but you can find time to Velcro, get Velcro, and just stick the kid on the Velcro for a little while. Right there so they don't get hurt and get your devotions in.

D.L. Moody, a great evangelist of over 100 years ago, said, the Bible will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from your Bible. You've got to live the faith to come to that understanding. Your devotional time. There's a difference between study time and devotional time. When you're having your devotions with God, you're not breaking open the maps in the Bible, cross-reference books and finding out what the Greek word is here and there. That's your study time.

devotional time is when you're just reading the word and letting God speak to you. And sometimes you may have to stop and check something, and that's saying you can never do that. But that's not the objective.

The objective is you, your Bible, depend. Highlighting is very important for those of you who struggle reading. Start highlighting things that stand out. Look, in the business world, too much highlighting is no highlighting.

It's an error. You do not highlight everything. If I give you a document to sign and everything I wanted is highlighted, what's the point? But the scripture's different. And with all of these electronic devices, you have multicolored highlighters available. I prefer the Ticotter Bible.

I just like the way that one rolls. It's ease of use. That's what I use electronically.

That's what I use in the pulpit. And I color code, or if something is negative, I use my least favorite color, pink. And if I like it, if it's godly, I use the blue, and then I use the yellow.

And I have my color, my system. But it helps me, well, not so much nowadays, but in the early years, I needed to help me concentrate. Well, that is just a tip for your study time. Highlight, make a note of things, write it down. Date what you write down so that you can go back and look at it years later and say, wow, that was once very special to me, and it still is. I can't believe that I wrote that. Or I can't believe I wrote that. Throw that in the trash.

A.W. Dozier said, Bible doctrine is wholly ineffective until it has been digested and assimilated by the total life. The goal of your devotion time is to devote some of your time to God, like an offering. And then out of that devotional time should come action. In my life, when I was in the world, my devotional time, I get to work two hours early to avoid rush hour mostly, but I'd get there and I'd bring a briefcase of books.

That was my seminary. And I'd sit there sometimes in the dark, well, I had light in the car, of course, and even bad neighborhoods. And I would read and study the Word of God.

And I forgot where I was going with this. Oh, how often that day would God allow me to share from my time in the Word with someone on the job, to lead them to Christ, to tell them more about God, to refute nonsense about God? It happened so often, you just couldn't even document it. Keep your Bible handy.

That helps you to read and it will also convict you. Another, when I was first called to the pastorate, the church that I was in, they had a budget that was allowed for me. And the person, the administrator said, Rick, I want to buy you some books. And we would meet at diners and the transaction would go down in the parking lot. The trunks would be open. I can remember on my birthday, I got the pulpit commentary, 25 volumes of books thicker than they should anything, phone books.

I still have it. And I get all these books and they would sit there on the shelves and they said, well, what are we doing here? If you're not going to read us, how about throw us away? And it would convict me and I would read them. And I remember when ministry got really hard and it was nobody coming to the church and those books would stand there and they would say, it was just a very tough time. My point is, your Bible will speak to you even when you don't have it open.

It will convict you if you're not opening it. Again, DL Moody, I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible. Who can disagree with that? How can you be useful to God, you don't even care what he says or know what he says? And so one last thing for developing your reading is you read what you saw. It takes time and it takes effort. It's hard work. We'll be getting to prayer, considering prayer on one of these sessions. You know what is required in prayer time? Work.

Hard work. That's why most Christians I think don't really bother with a lot of prayer. It is a lot of work to collect your thoughts, to get focused on heaven, to get into the spirit, to believe what you're asking for, is being asked for not because you're going to get it because God commands it. That's why we pray, the primary reason. And finally, the Bible is man's great friend.

You have to believe that. David wrote this in Psalm 119, my heart stands in awe of your word. David felt God's word was awesome. I won't make any more comment on that word awesome, but the Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from the judgment of sin. It is a standard by which all Christians must behave and are measured by God. God is not going to see you in heaven and say, well, I'm going to judge you by something you never heard of. He's going to judge you by his word, something that was, if you didn't hear of it, because you didn't listen. The Bible criticizes sin and sinners, but not without offering solutions and mercy, a tremendous amount of mercy. The Bible makes man weep over sin. This is why I say, confess your sins when you're wrong. God, forgive me. I was wrong. I should not have cut that person off the third time.

The other two times were okay because they deserved it. Rejoice over God's plan for salvation. So I close with two things. One quote that is from an unknown author has been around a while, as I mentioned, who knows who wrote it, but it is very good. And one scripture verse, the Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are unchangeable. He uses the word immutable.

They are unchangeable. And then from the book of Acts, this is Paul heading towards Jerusalem, knowing full well that he may die and not survive his visit to Jerusalem. And he gathers the pastors and leaders from the church in Ephesus at a place a little removed from where they are pastoring, so they're not interrupted. And he says to them, so now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Glorious, glorious conclusion because of the word of God. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit Cross Reference Radio dot com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit Cross Reference Radio dot com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's Cross Reference Radio dot com. That's all for today. I hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 18:20:32 / 2022-11-08 18:26:22 / 6

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