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

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2022 6:00 am

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

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 1, 2022 6:00 am

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Biblically, the last days began with the coming of Christ. Looking at the prophecies in Scripture and their fulfillment, we are living in the last of the last days. Now, that can go on for a bit, but 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. 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 Believer's 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. Today Pastor Rick will continue his message called Word of God in 2 Timothy chapter 3. There is reason why God has given His message to mankind, Jesus said, and this is eternal life.

But they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. This is eternal life. This is life after this life. Life continues after this life for the wicked too, just not much of a life. For those who have the Savior, it will be a glorious life, not an okay existence.

There's something so beautiful the Bible says I can't even tell you how glorious it's going to be. Probably, I would think the only thing, or at least for sure what will survive from this life is the agave love in this life. There are many memories I don't want to take with me into eternity. I don't want to see certain people in heaven and remember some of the things maybe they have done to me or I've done to them. But if love survives, which God is keeping in the forefront of the scripture, especially the New Testament, every time you see the cross of Christ, you're seeing the love of God in its symbol. Every time you consider the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, you are considering the love of God. And then when you consider the resurrection and His presence, you're considering the power to back it up. These things are entered to by faith, but again, faith is never without reason. Faith is never without spiritual feature. That's why that word used in the New Testament, born again in the Greek, is actually born from above, a knowethan.

You've been touched by God in a way that only God can do it. He says, may be complete as opposed to being spiritually incomplete. You cannot face a devil if you are incomplete and expect to survive.

And yet, countless multitudes over the ages try. They go to their graves, incomplete spiritually, thoroughly equipped. Well not without scripture. Where would you be if you did not know such passages of scripture that tell us to put on the whole armor of God?

That equipment that we are to arm ourselves with, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, where would we be without the sword of the word of God? I don't know why there are churches that have either gotten rid of the Bible altogether or just take parts of it. Why do they continue to call themselves a church?

What's the point? It doesn't make any sense. But those churches that adhere to the scripture, to me it makes absolute sense. It has meaning and purpose that extend beyond this life. So he says that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped. You have what you need, in other words, from the scripture to wage spiritual war, to engage the enemy's work, to reach lost souls, to strengthen the saved ones.

All this because of the word of God. Where would you be without it? Where would you be without the book of Genesis? Where would you be without the gospel of Matthew? Where would you be without all the other books of scripture? You'd be in the dark.

That is where you would be. For every good work, he says, you are saved to serve. Your good works cannot save you, but they can prove that you are saved, that you are related to forces higher than what is found amongst mere men. Well that is the text that we've chosen, or I've chosen. And now the definition, the word Bible, comes from the Greek. It simply means the book. But in the book, what's in the book? In the book are the scriptures. All those writings of scriptures, they're put together into this library. One poet said, language is the incarnation of thought. Oh yeah?

I don't disagree with that. Whose thought? Whose thoughts is language going to make clear to us? Well in the Bible, it is God's language. Not a single book, 66 of them, books and writings and letters, written over a period of 2,000 years by over 40 persons who never met each other in many cases. Over 2,000 years, how could you meet some of the other authors?

You cannot. In the Old Testament, we have 39 different books. In the New Testament, as I said, we have 27. When you factor in the contributors to the books that really aren't, you can't number them. The chronicles, the kings, these happened over centuries. And the information that is in those books that we know is scripture is God moving through people to document his activity amongst sinners and sinners who could be righteous because of God. It has survived all these centuries because it has been sustained through circulation.

Human beings have kept it going. Other religions can make that claim too, but what they cannot claim is that it has been kept in circulation because of the attributes of truth that belong to it. Not just, not insistence, not saying, well we're going to follow this because our fathers followed this, or we're going to follow this because if you don't follow it, we're going to kill you. It makes its appeal based on its truth.

Truth demands a verdict. It singles you out because what do you think about this? It forces a human being to consider, and based on the content of scripture, to consider eternity and the way there, which is through Jesus Christ. So scripture forms one continuous story of God in relation to humanity, or let me put it this way, scripture forms one continuous story of God in relation to you.

Singles you out. And it doesn't leave you there because then it says, now what are you going to do with this in regard to others? From Genesis to Revelation, the goal is to exalt one person in the life of the sinners and the work of Jesus Christ for us. It doesn't come out and say it just like that, and there's a reason for that, and we're coming to it now, the characteristics of the scripture. Hebrews chapter four, the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and the spirit and the joints and the marrow, and as a discerner of the thoughts and the and the intents of the heart, who can do that?

God, how does he do that? Through his word and the word is living and powerful. So that verse from Hebrews chapter four, the word of God living and powerful.

I know of no other book on earth like this. God has given us the Bible progressively in assorted ways, Hebrews one, chapter one, verses one through three, God, who at various times and in various ways, spoken times pass to the fathers by the prophets, as in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things through whom he made the worlds, who being the brightness of his glory in the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power that he might himself purge our sins, sat down at the right hand of majesty on high. Them's big words, can it back it up, will appeal to reason, it will influence reason through prophecy, and again, the attributes of truth, the things that belong to truth, the things that a human being looks at and says, that is right or that is so, and that is not something that I can just dismiss, honest persons, of course. So through direct speech, through visions and miracles, visitations, dreams, signs, symbols, parables, et cetera, God makes information about heaven and us and how to reconcile the two, he makes them known to us. Now this progressive revelation, gradually God has given his word to man at various times because the full message would have been incomprehensible and overwhelming to human beings. Abraham could not have received the entire revelation of God, no one could have, and so God released it in increments in various ways, each one as sure as the other one. Too much, too soon, men would have not understood, would not have been able to digest it and live it out, and the Bible is to be lived out, it is not a book of theory, it is a book of real life, and so he took his time. That doesn't mean he was sluggish, it means that God knew that it would take 2,000 years to make these things known, and yet no generation or individual in that time was without enough information to be right with God. And then there is general revelation.

Progressive is how he did it, general is another way. I guess the word most unbelievers prefer is nature, well that's not a wrong word, it's just not the highest word. You say nature, you say well where did it come from, well it was created. God has made himself known in the sense that there is a divine being who orders the universe, he exists, that's why the Bible says listen, if you say there is no God, you're just a fool and I've got nothing else to say about that. The fool has said in his heart there is no God. That is God's view of those who say no I don't believe it. Atheists again, my position is that I really don't believe atheists exist. I believe in most cases, if not all, they're angry with life and going to turn against God and try to issue him the ultimate insult of ignoring him, of discrediting him.

Psalm 97 verse 6, the heavens declare his glory and all the people see his glory. There's no way you could look at the sun and say how did that get there, it just must have happened. I don't want to get into the whole evolution religion because it's what it is.

It is a religion, but it is a religion that has no basis and you factor God out, you become, you can become a very intelligent fool. Romans chapter one, he had Apostle Paul, you know he's living in Corinth when he writes for him and he probably was on some levels just fed up with the insanity that sin creates in the lives of human beings. Romans one, he says because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. God has embedded enough intelligence in human beings to come to this conclusion there is a God. You may not know any details about him, but he will know some by looking at creation. They will know that he is extremely creative and careful and organized and that he's going somewhere with things. Paul continues, for since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. I believe that. Put an atheist in front of me and he says to me, I don't believe God exists and I will say to him, I think you are a liar on this matter. Everywhere else you might be straight up, but you're not here.

There's no way you can escape it. And I know for a fact that there is an internal witness, a chip, if you would, from heaven embedded inside of you and you will either override that the function of that embedded information or you will submit to it. The choice is yours, but don't go trying to find a pass and escape accountability by a ridiculous indefensible position that there is no creator because, you know, to the atheist, I would say, you know, if you admit that there is a God, that you have to admit you are accountable to him and men have come up with all sorts of ways to try to excuse themselves. Well, I believe there is a God, but he is sort of just, you know, not doing anything.

He's a deadbeat dad. Deism even has a name. Well, general revelation concerning the existence of God is in his creation. And then there's special revelation, which is the word of God, direct speech. This is special. It comes right from heaven.

You cannot get it anywhere else through a man. I'll come back to that, hopefully Exodus chapter 31 and when he had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, when God finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave Moses two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone written with the finger of God. That's pretty special. Now Moses broke those stones. You would think that he would never do such a thing, but Moses had anger issues and he paid for it. But God spoke to him, gave him the word.

This is special revelation. Second Peter, again, chapter one, verse 20, knowing this verse, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. No single person has got all the answers and can claim special privilege. He continues, for prophecy never came by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Why would anybody say God can't do that? They do it so smugly as though they are an indisputable authority on rejecting God and injecting falsehood into his word because after all, they've gone to the universities. How dare you question their intelligence? Look what we have.

We control the media. Who are you little Christian to dare come and tell us that God has spoken to man? As I mentioned last week, I'm no grasshopper. You're no giant to me.

However big you may think you are, you can be dropped, but truth will do it or judgment. It is your choice. We're living in the last days. Biblically, the last days began with the coming of Christ. Looking at the prophecies in scripture and their fulfillment, we are living in the last of the last days. Now that can go on for a bit, but 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 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 a general revelation, creation. It has come through special revelation. God directly giving his word to men, backing it up, which 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, as 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. Walk up to somebody and say, you have a blemish on your body. You have to be executed.

You know, you can't live anymore. Well, 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. Just 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.

It'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. 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 CrossReferenceRadio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit CrossReferenceRadio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's CrossReferenceRadio.com. That's all for today. We 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 18:15:14 / 2022-11-08 18:20:32 / 5

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