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Responding to God's Word B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2021 3:00 am

Responding to God's Word B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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January 22, 2021 3:00 am

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We do not look down on Scripture we exalt.

We lifted up how blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe his testimony to seek him with all their heart.

Psalm 119 wanted to do not degrade the word of God treated with eminent respect become what he calls a Bible driven church. John's focus will be on the importance of responding properly to the teaching of God's word.

Of course teaching the word is our core commitment here at Grace to you why will we believe what Scripture says about itself that it is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. It revolutionizes you individually changes your family and without doubt God's word needs to be the foundation of a local church. So with that backdrop hears John to help you make sure you're responding to Scripture as you should, and applying the life-changing power of God's word to your congregation. First Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 20 the apostle Paul says do not despise prophetic utterances. Let's look at just some of the specific elements of this verse that will free us to understand its meaning. The word despise means to downgrade the means to consider as nothing were to make absolutely nothing of prophecies, profit, chaos is another very important Bible word that is going to take a little bit more study for us to understand what it basically means what God has said what God has said now that falls into two categories, spoken and written, and I want you to understand that the word prostate chaos, which is the word here is used in the New Testament, both for spoken word and for written word. The word means to speak before not a prophetic sense but to stand up in front of people and speak before them, it means literally to speak publicly to proclaim publicly this gift, the gift of prophecy that some Christians have been given is a Holy Spirit given skill for public proclamation of God's word. Now, having said all of that we want to say, prophecy is not only spoken but prophecy is written. There are number of times in the New Testament when the word traffic chaos is used of written revelation go back to Matthew 13 and we need to do this Bible study because this verse can be and has confused many many people.

Frankly, most commentators appear to me to be confused by it in Matthew 13 verse 14, yet the same word traffic chaos and it's there. Referring to Isaiah Matthew 1314.

In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled and then he goes on to quote out of the prophecy of Isaiah itself. Chapter 6. So here you have this word prophecy not referring to is speaking but referring to a writing, not referring to verbal communication, but written communication and in fact, here it refers to the Old Testament prophet Isaiah go over the Romans the very end. The last chapter of Romans chapter 16 and here you have a very interesting statement in verse 26 Romans 1626, he says, does Paul now is manifested. That of course he's referring to the gospel and the revelation of the mystery which is long been hidden.

That's the new covenant. Verse 25 is now manifested and how by the scriptures of the prophets. In other words, these men who wrote the Scriptures had a prophetic ministry. They spoke before the people. They wrote before the people they gave the word of God to the people either in spoken form and/or written form so we know then that the word can refer to speaking work and referred to the written word. Go to second Peter for a moment. Second Peter one. He says in verse 19 we have the prophetic word.

Then in verse 20, he defines it prophecy of Scripture because the prophetic word the prophecy of Scripture hears the same term again, and here refers to inspired Scripture that little phrase prophecy of Scripture in verse 20 was the current term for the Old Testament as a unit.

It was the word prophesied the Old Testament, then, is the composite of prophesied revelation.

Peter's words also would embrace the New Testament because he says no prophecy old or new, was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. There is talking about prophecy as written Scripture written Scripture look at Revelation chapter 1 for just a moment, verse three, you can just listen if you want. Speaking of Revelation, John writes, blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy and there he is calling the book of Revelation. The prophecy.

The prophecy in the last chapter of Revelation 3 times John refers to the book of Revelation as the prophecy. The prophecy, verse 10 verse 18 verse 19.

Now all that such a silently summit up K sometimes this word traffic chaos refers to spoken word and the revelation of God coming to the mouth of a prophet but always that spoken word had to be in perfect agreement with the written word.

Sometimes the word prophecy refers to the written word.

In either case, then prophecy attaches itself to the Scripture okay is either the Scripture or in perfect agreement with the Scripture Paul's point is clear when he says, do not despise prophesying, he is saying do not look down on or consider lightly the revelation of God in Scripture rated whether you read it or whether you hear and proclaim do not think lightly of it.

Do not diminish its importance. Do not downgrade or degraded. Job said he treasured the word of God more than his daily food. Chapter 23 verse 12 Jeremiah fed on it every day with joy.

Joshua you remember giving that wonderful instruction in chapter 1 verse eight said the book of the law. That is the Bible the Scripture shall not depart from your mouth. You shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.

Then you will make your way prosperous, then you will have good success.

Joshua 18 in Deuteronomy, the Lord instructed the people very very clearly about how they were to treat the word of God with supreme devotion. He says to them, these words which I am commanding you this day.

Deuteronomy 66 shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lied down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead and you shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates. Fill your life with the word of God is what he saying fill your whole life with the word of God. Someone said, blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, one who walks in the truth of God, the man whose life is totally devoted to the word his delight. It says is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night. That is the godly man. We do not look down on Scripture. We exalted we lifted up how blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe his testimonies, who seek him with all their heart. Psalm 119, one and 20 how I love thy law, said David. That command then takes us to a very serious consideration of Scripture do not degrade the word of God treated with eminent respect is what you say now this is only possible for Christians.

First Corinthians 210 says that God has revealed them to us through the spirit and then down in verse 14 first Corinthians 214 a natural man that's an unconverted man, a non-Christian person does not accept the things of the spirit of God. They are foolishness to him he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised.

The unregenerate person cannot lift up Scripture exalt Scripture properly. Martin Luther said that unconverted man is like a pillar of salt is like lots wife like a log of a stone like a lifeless statue which uses neither eyes or mouth either. Since no heart until he is converted and regenerated by the Holy Spirit." The best the unsaved man or woman can do is to know all on the bark of Scripture without ever really getting to the wood.

Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher suggested I think a graphic illustration of the wrong approach to Scripture, and he was looking at all these people in the academia who purport to be Bible scholars and he said this a little boy is to be spanked by his father while the father goes for the rod. The boy stuffs the bottom of his pants with several table napkins. When the father returns and administers the whipping. The boy feels no pain as the napkins absorbed the whack of the rod the little boy he represents biblical scholars they pad their britches with their lexicons, commentaries and concordances. As a result, the Scripture never reaches them is the word of God, having nullified its power by shielding themselves with their academic paraphernalia. They thus never hear the Scriptures as the word of God if they would unpack their books from their britches, which are necessary rightfully used, as illustrated in the story the love letter. Then the Scriptures could get through to them as the word of God allowing holy Scripture to get through to us is the word of God is the special work of the Holy Spirit. Only those who have the Holy Spirit can obey this command of not despising the word of God unless spirit lives in you. Unless you exalt the word of God not only in mind but in obedience you will despise prophesying and violate this very direct command now as we bring this to a close on ask you two questions why should I not despise the Scripture why should I not do it not just run this by you very briefly number one because of its essential character because of its essential character. Let me just tell you about its character as it comes from its own claims. First of all, is authoritative.

Scripture is authoritative.

Isaiah 1 to says hero heavens and give ear oh earth, for the Lord has spoken. When God speaks you better listen is authoritative. Secondly, it is infallible is infallible and that is collectively totally comprehensively it misses nothing makes no mistakes. Psalm 19.

Seven the law of the Lord is perfect. The law of the Lord is perfect, is total comprehensive and perfect and then I like to use the word inerrant while it is infallible and the whole it is inherent in every part.

Proverbs 35 and six is every word of God is pure everyone. Everyone down to the job and the tittle which will not be removed. Jesus it the word of God is authoritative.

When God speaks you better listen the word of God is infallible. That is the comprehensive Scripture is flawless, it is inerrant, there is not one mistake in it in its original autographs. Every word of God is pure. Fourthly, it is sufficient is sufficient is able to totally transform the soul. Psalm 19 says to make simple people wise to bring rejoicing to the heart to enlighten the eyes is sufficient. It is able to make the man of God, perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works is able to make you wise unto salvation.

Second Timothy 315 to 17. It is sufficient for everything. Number five is effective is effective. You remember Isaiah 55 says so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth. It shall not return to me void, but shall accomplish what I please. It is effective when God speaks a word it comes to pass. And then it is determinative. It is determinative what I mean by that your response to the word of God is determinative of your eternal destiny.

He that is of God hears God's words. You therefore hear them not because you're not of God.

When someone comes along and denies the authority infallibility inerrancy's efficiency and effectiveness of Scripture all they do is reveal their spiritual condition because if you don't hear God's words, you don't belong to God. Jesus said that if you do you belong to God, is determinative in ascertaining one's eternal destiny. So why should we not despise Scripture because of its essential character and secondly because of its generous benefits because of its generous benefits. Scripture is the source of truth John 1717 Jesus said, thy word is truth. All what a great, great reality, that is thy word is truth is the source of happiness. Second, it is the source of happiness. Proverbs 834, said happy is the man who hears me. John said in first John 14. I write these things so your joy may be full. Luke says happy is the man who obeys the word. Luke six 4748 Luke 1127 and 28. That's all throughout Scripture. Revelation 13 happy is the person who reads this book.

It's the source of joy and happiness and blessedness. Thirdly, it's a source of victory by word of I had in my heart that I might not sin said the psalmist. Ephesians 617 says take the sword of the Spirit, which is our weapon. When Jesus was tempted. According to Matthew 412 11 every time he was tempted, he answered with what Scripture he said three times. It is written. Yes, the word of God is the source of our victory over temptation. It's the source of our happiness is the source of truth. Fourthly, it's the source of growth.

You remember how we have referred often to first Peter 22 as babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow by it. The word is the source of our growth. Spurgeon had a great word he said it is the word the prunes, the Christian is the truth that purges him the Scripture made living and powerful by the Holy Spirit. That's true. The word cleanses, purifies and that's the key to growing. That's why John 15 Jesus said the word is like a pruning knife. It cuts off the sucker branches so that the power of growth can reach the productive areas.

The word is the only source of truth, the only source of happiness.

The only source of victory. The only source of growth for flee the only source of guidance Psalm 19. Eight says that the word is right and what it means as it lays out a right path is a right path to walk in and then Psalm 119, 105 says it is a lamp to that path is the path.

It is the lamp that lights the path is the way to walk, it makes us wise. It reveals God's will. And then, sixthly, it is the source of hope. It is the source of hope over and over again in Psalm 119. The psalmist says I have hope in thy word. I have hope in thy word. I hope in dine ordinances which means the Scripture. And so the word of God is the source of truth and happiness and victory in growth and guidance and hoping we could probably add a lot more to that list but you get the idea.

Little wonder. It should be more desired than honey and the honeycomb and goal even find gold. Why then do we pursue it for the reason of its essential character and it's marvelous, generous benefits and a last issue. How are we to pursue it. How can I be sure I don't despise it very simply, how can you be sure you don't despise Scripture listen carefully number one, believe it believe it. That's where it starts. Jesus cried out again and again to people. Believe me, believe what I say in John 524 he said truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and doesn't come into judgment, believe it. Another way to say that is to say receive it also to the Thessalonians are so thankful that when I preached you the word of God you received it as it is the word of God. Secondly, honor it, honor it.

What we mean by that exalted and lifted up, how do you do that in obedience in obedience.

Don't be a huckster of the word. Second Corinthians 217 don't use the word to manipulate for your own purposes in your own hands. He says in second Corinthians 4 to some people adulterate. The word of God, but you are to honor it to exalted to treasure it.

Certainly love it. David said in Psalm 119 97.

As I mentioned earlier. Oh how I love thy law and then as you get to the end of Psalm 119. There are just a myriad of repeated statements with that same thought in mind by word is very pure. Psalm 119, 140 therefore thy servant loves it deep affection, deep desire.

That's what Peter was talking about when he said, is a babe desires your desire then obey it, that's for obey it. In fact, the greatest mockery that you can render the Scriptures to say you believe it, but don't obey it. If you continue in my word, you're my real disciple if you say you abide in Christ you want to walk the way he walked and how to walk in perfect obedience to God's word Jesus all the story. Remember about the two houses, one went down the flood. Matthew 71 remained in. The difference was that one person didn't do the will of my father and the other did the will of my father. Number five fight for it. June 3 says earnestly contend for the faith, engage yourself in the battle for the Bible number six. Study it, study Paul says to show yourself approved on the God of work when needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth be like the noble brilliance assert the Scripture daily to see whether these things were so be like a policy of whom it was said he was mighty in the Scriptures let the word of Christ dwell in you richly Colossians 316 finally proclaim it proclaim it. If you obediently and faithfully believe the word honor. The word love the word obey the word fight for the word study the word proclaim the word you not going to look down on Iraq and a despise. It will be too much a part of the fabric of your life. Closing was reading a little note about Martin Luther and how he studied the Bible.

He said I study my Bible like I gather apples. I shake the whole tree first that the ripest might fall. Then I shake each limb and when I have shaken each limb. I shake each branch and then I shake every twig and then I look under every leaf search the Bible as a whole. Like shaking the whole tree.

Then I shake every limb I study book after book. Then I shake every branch I give attention to the chapters then I shake every twig or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and meanings were to such a unique book when I am tired.

The Bible is my bed or in the dark. The Bible is my light when I am hungry. It is living bread or fearful it is armor for the fight when I am sick it's healing medicine or lonely throngs of friends I find. Therein, if I would work. The Bible is my tool or play. It is the heart of tuneful sound. If I am ignorant. It is my school if I am sinking it is solid ground. If I am cold the Bible is my fire.

It gives wings, if boldly, I aspire does gloom oppress the Bible as a son, Ms. ugliness, it is a garden fair. Am I a thirst.

How cool its waters run or stifled.

What a vivifying air since thus thou givest of thyself to me. How should I give myself great book to the westbound prayer. Father, we know that if we are to be faithful sheep, and if our flock is to grow to be a healthy flock. We cannot look down on your word. Your revelation, the words of the poet are so appropriate since thus thou givest of thyself to me. How should I give myself great book to the. The answer is not to despise not to think like what to think greatly believe and honor, love, study, fight for proclaim what make us people of the people. Thus they bring honor to your name Jesus.

This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us along with teaching every day here on the radio.

John also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He's titled our current study the Bible driven church. John, you covered a lot of territory in this series. Everything from the pastor's responsibility to the things the congregation needs to be doing.

So what would you say is the overarching message you want people to take away when it comes to how their church is supposed to function. Yeah it's it's pretty simple.

You just go by the book you just go by the word of God. There's no mystery. I remember years ago talking to a pastor of a relatively large church and he said wow he said I just realized how I need to organize my church is a great what what was the thing that drove you to this conclusion. He said I read this book.

He was by Peter Drucker on leadership or someone is what wasn't happy with the church of Jesus Christ that that's the techniques for getting people to do things in the management style wasn't up to do with the word of God and the church of of the Lord, but again it was like the guy had discovered something wonderful and I was going to transform the church. The only thing you need to discover to make the church.

The church is what does the Lord of the church want in his church, Christ is the head of the church we have that basically made very clear to us, you, you don't get very far into the book of Ephesians before he realizes the end of chapter 1.

Who's the head of the church and it comes up again in chapter 3 Christ is head of the church and he mediates his rule in the church through his word, and so a Bible driven church is very clearly defined by its adherence to the word of God, you know, there were many in the history of the church that were tightly bound by what was a kind of formal principle of the church that the church shouldn't do anything that wasn't prescriptive in the Scriptures to do and when you go to the Scriptures, singing Psalms him spiritual songs, praying, reading Scripture preaching the word.

That's the worship of the church and then the life of the church is nurturing and discipling and all those other things and then the church scatters to evangelize. So it's all laid out in the word of God. What a Bible driven church should be. And here's the bottom line if you're a Bible driven church in your faithful to the Lord of the church you have his full blessing and only he can grow the true church. If you deviate from the plan that the Lord of the church has laid down your sort of on your own you're not doing his work and what you come up with is something artificial so the Bible driven church. The surgery done is available in eight CDs or you can download them on the website Jide if you want the CDs.

Call or write us and will get them to you. Yes, and this study is ideal to review with a small group or to donate to your church library to help make sure you and your church are operating by God's standards pick up a copy of the Bible driven church. When you get in touch with us today.

Call us at our toll-free number 855 grace or visit our website Jide The HCD album is reasonably priced and shipping is free and again to order the HCD album you can call us at 855 grace or go to Jide and remember, you can download all eight messages from the Bible driven church free of thanks too for remembering that the support of listeners like you keeps this broadcast on the air in your neighborhood and on stations across the United States and beyond, you play a key role in encouraging believers in local churches around the globe with biblical truth to partner with us mail your tax deductible donation to grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412. You can also donate when you call us at 855 grace or you can donate now for John MacArthur.

I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television this Sunday. Check your local listings were general in times and then be here next week when John looks at how you should respond to trial. Send blessings those trials actually bring into your life. John's launching a study titled making sense out of suffering. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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