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Non-Negotiables of the Church: Honoring God's Word

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2021 3:00 am

Non-Negotiables of the Church: Honoring God's Word

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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December 2, 2021 3:00 am

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God says I've exalted my word above or in some translations equal to my name.

There is no way to know God. Apart from the Scripture. You could know about God in the created order. You could know there was a God, but you cannot know that God apart from the revelation of that God in Scripture. Everybody has an opinion about the role of government medicine, religion, education, marriage and family, just to name a few.

The question is, with so many opinions dotting the map whose view really matters well on this edition of grace to you with John MacArthur, you'll see that there is only one perspective that actually carries any weight that's God's and you'll see why knowing that should motivate you to honor every word of Scripture stay here as John continues his study why I teach the Bible. Here's today's lesson the church is unique in the world. The only organism. The only institution that our Lord is building. It is his own unique possession purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ for all eternity to the glory of God in the praise of his son.

The church stands in contrast to everything in a fallen world. It's design. It's a life it's character, it's tasks, its activities, its duties, responsibilities and privileges are all clearly outlined in the Scripture people asked me often. Why is it that you spend all your time going to the Bible.

Why is it that you preach long expository messages that would you always do in your church etc. etc. but doesn't that get in the way of worship but isn't it somewhat irrelevant. I've I've read that through the years. I read a dissertation. A man wrote a PhD paper on me and said MacArthur is biblical is just not relevant.

Why do you spend all your time in the word of God, I'll tell you one reason is very simple is because I've been commanded to do so. But beyond that it is because honoring the word of God fulfills the churches to mission to bring heaven down in Psalm 138 verse two God says I've exalted my word above or in some translations equal to my name.

The point that he's making. There is there is no knowing him apart from his word.

There is no way to know God. Apart from the Scripture.

You could know about God from the created order, and from reason and from moral law and conscience you could know there was a God, but you cannot know that God apart from the revelation of that God in Scripture.

Heaven comes down in the Bible because in the Bible God speaks if we were in heaven. Now we would be gathered around the throne worshiping with the Angels and the glorified saints would be there in heaven exalting Jesus Christ and exalting the sun and celebrating the absolute pure perfection of the place and at the same time we would be exposed to the fullness of the disclosure of the glory of God in all his wonder in all his majesty and all is perfection. You see that in Ezekiel chapter 1 Ezekiel has a glimpse of God and the glorious shining spinning fiery bejeweled wheels of the amazing light that comes out of his glorious presence is emblematic of the revelation of God. You see a similar situation. Isaiah 6 where God is revealed to Isaiah as high and lifted up sovereign majestic and holy.

You see God again in Revelation 4 and five and the wonder of his throne the majesty and beauty of his of his jeweled throne in the beauty of the Shekinah light shining through and all the majesty of that description again is a disclosure of God. But that's not the only disclosure of God in the Bible.

Everything that tells you anything about him is a revelation of God and when the church looks at the word of God and sees the revelation of God, you are bringing heaven down. My goal in preaching the word of God used to set the Lord before you is to set the Lord before you is to let you see him every passage unfolds truth about him in the church then that's why we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

That's why we are committed to the preaching and teaching of the word of God because it is God's self-disclosure is God's revelation we don't take away anything from it. We don't add anything to it. We just teach the word of God and when the word speaks the King of heaven speaks and he speaks about himself in heaven comes down the psalmist said in Psalm 56 for in God, whose word I praise in God. I put my trust. I put my trust in the God revealed in the word if I'm going to put my life in his hand. I want to know him and the way I know him is through his word and if I'm going to put my life in his hand. I want to know as well. In a way I know is will is in his word.

I'm going to put my destiny in his hand. I want to know that destiny the way I know it is revealed in his word. No wonder Job said he loved the word of God more than is necessary food. No wonder Jeremiah said the word was in him the joy and rejoicing of his heart, Jesus prayed to the father sanctify them by thy truth, I word is truth. It is the word is able to make you wise to salvation is the word that is able to sanctify you is the word that is in cause you to grow this first Peter 26 word is everything.

Look over it first.

Two Timothy chapter 3 in verse 15. A very important definition of the church is given in this verse. Toward the end of verse 15 first Timothy three it says this, the church of the living God, and that it defines it as the pillar and support of the truth. The church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. Obviously, Timothy. When receiving this letter was in the city of Ephesus in that city.

There was a great temple to Artemis or Diana of the Ephesians. There are some formidable things about that temple, one fact is that it had 127 pillars. Those pillars were at their heart solid marble but the marble was overlaid in gold and the gold was started with precious jewels hundred and 27 great massive marble gold covered bejeweled pillars held up the massive stone edifice of the Temple of Diana temple to Satan, seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons deception and Paul has that image in his mind and looks at the church and thinks of the church.

In contrast to this great elephant edifice with great foundation pillar holding up lies and deception. The church holds up.

The truth holds up. The truth, if there should be anything true about the church. It should be. It's where you hear the word of the living God. That's why we train men in the master seminary to handle the word of God because that's what they must do if they're going to be faithful to what the church is the church is where you go to hear God speak to hear the word of God, and that's my great joy. That's my passion.

That's what I live in and there's nothing I love more than to come here and give the word of God to a people who receive it and apply it.

People sometimes say to me how you preach all the time you go you know your preacher preach what drives you well first of all, is a certain amount of responsibility have before God like preach the word. Be instant in season and out of season. That time, but I'm also drawn to that because I know the impact it has. And I love to see the fruit of that, it's exhilarating. It's thrilling when I was in South Africa to preach to the people down there and when I came home from their couple of years ago exuberant alive almost electric just capturing every word with with real need to borrow an old word verve going to to to New Zealand getting the same kind of responses.

I preached in the Maori church and and and and other groups just watching them just lab everything in and said just kind of with with the joy in their heart respond, sometimes even verbally, sometimes applauding just just a real energy to receive the word of God.

That's a very compelling kind of thing because you know what it can do in their life of sticking to it telling students at the college very different than preaching in London. The English are very stiff, very stiff, much more than that even the Irish berries. I was in London a couple years ago at Central Hall, which is a big building auditorium building built by the Methodists across from Westminster Abbey right in the middle of London and it was a conference with 900 English clergy highly educated English clergy and the typical English people are very reserved and very stiff and very state I mean I don't expect the wild outbursts, but a little response now and it is nice anyway so we're in this conference we had done. Eric Alexander Dick Lucas from St. Helens Bishop get one myself, and gentlemen of outstanding men from Sydney Australia and we were to preach to these 900 ministers all week long.

Well 900 highly trained English clergy you know you you don't go in there and prepare note, these guys had great material and I knew it would be a great week of great preaching and on the first day we sat in the stuffy old musty place on the floor in these hard wooden chairs and I never felt a think is that the preaching was so great that the first man to preach was from Sydney preach the great exposition of several passages. By the way of second Corinthians masterfully done with great great insight. Great spiritual sense power. Captivating. The essence of the heart of the servant of God, and I was really moved in and I cherished every moment, and no one moved the whole time just no one moved in the published like Karen is a table here and is a guy sitting there was the moderator and he just sits there the whole time it's going on occasionally glasses that the speaker while he finished after an exhausting 55 minutes of pouring his heart out in when you're done. They told you to sit down by the moderator.

So he finished he sat down, I thought wow boy that was great and a man walked up came to the microphone and said T's. Soon I was expecting.

Thank you brother while you know that was rich.

That was great. What a blessing not tea is served.

I thought this is a tough crowd that was great. That was great preaching. Then came Eric Alexander means hard to improve on him and he did a message on Isaiah 6 and he literally run out of Isaiah 6 everything that was conceivable. I mean it was a masterpiece and at one point he had tears coming down his cheeks as he preached on the holiness of God and the brokenness of the prophet in that chapter and he was moved with great compassion, and it was a powerful that was it was the greatest thing I've ever heard on Isaiah 6 and he finished and he sat down in the same guy came up T's soon, and I was getting really nervous because I was next to no and I didn't think I had the clout to break the chain you know so after lunch I had to come back and preach in the afternoon I got up and just poured out my heart and I preset time on Psalm 19 on exalting the word of God and just put everything I had into it for an hour and sat down. You know, just kind of spent and you do that and same guy walked up. He says T's. Soon I was it the whole day. No one said thank you to anybody noting knowledge, whether it was better in different but when I sat down at this table here in that brief time.

This will table had a skirt around the moderator Looking forward like this, but underneath the little cloth around the table, slid his hand over and patted me three times on the lake in such a way that nobody knew he did it so that night Christopher Cather would was the grandson of Martyn Lloyd Jones said I want to take use take you to the Oxford Cambridge club which is like 500 years old. You can go there unless your graduate of Oxford and Cambridge are less one of them takes you there.

He graduated from both and so he took me in.

You going there and he says you know over at that table. Winston Churchill planned World War II and things like that. You know it's a amazing place in this is a silent run. Don't say anything.

No one is spoken there in 350 years you want to break things like that. There's big overstuffed brown chairs and bookshelves to go to the ceiling and ladders that slide you know you that kind of what so I sat down as a Christopher look except ask your question, I said, these guys are preaching. Great stuff, tremendous, and nobody moves and nobody says thank you nobody says anything is somebody going to say thank you.

He said oh it's no Don I said little to be. I guess you can get to the place boys are doing. By the way, I said to Christopher what does it mean when the moderator patching three times on the leg pieces did he do that and I said yes.

Is it so it's huge.

Well I suppose there's a place for all different kinds of responses but the I worry a little bit about people who who look at Scripture as a disinterested critic analyzing instead of applying it.

I love to preach the word of God to people whose hearts are greatly moved by it powerfully moved by who don't just sit in judgment on it that word which in Psalm 19 turn to it for a moment, we are told is so sufficient. Psalm 19 that very chapter on which I preach that first day in London says in verse seven, the law of the Lord is perfect for storing the soul testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandment of the Lord is pure, clear, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true. They are righteous altogether, three, versus six lines 6 lines that are parallel to each have a title for Scripture the characteristic of Scripture and an effective Scripture six titles for Scripture. It is called the law, the testimony to precepts the commandment to fear the judgment just looks at the Bible from different facets. It is the law of God, that is, it is his requirement for man's conduct is the testimony of the Lord. That is, it is his self-disclosure tells us about himself is the precepts of the Lord principles doctrines truths is the commandment of the Lord. It is binding mandates with authority.

The Bible is the fear of the Lord. What does that mean well, the fear of the Lord simply is another way of saying it's the manual on worshiping him, honoring him, exalting him and then finally, the Scriptures called the judgments of the Lord is the adjudications of the judge of all the earth. It is his divine verdicts on man, his life and his destiny. So when you look at the Bible. It is all of that it is law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, and judgment, so you have six titles for Scripture in each case of the Lord. The covenant name of Yahweh is given so there's no question about who the author is that you have six characteristics of Scripture is perfect. Sure right clear, clean through all six of those running down most reverse Scripture is perfect.

That means comprehensive is sure that means reliable trustworthy is right.

That means it establishes the right path to walk in. It is clear that means it makes the dark things clear is clean. That means it is pure as the Old Testament says like metal tested seven-time silver tested seven times in a furnace. It is true. Scripture is comprehensively perfect. It is reliable sure it sets the right path. It produces clarity on otherwise dark subjects is absolutely clean and without flaw. And it is utterly and completely true.

What can this perfect sure right clear, clean true word. Do verse seven restore the soul soul is inner man. It can totally transform the whole inner man. It can make simple people wise, it brings joy to the heart.

It brings enlightenment to the eyes. It endures forever. What does that mean it brings a relevant source for every generation in every culture and every time, and finally in verse nine.

They are righteous altogether. They produce comprehensive righteousness.

What can the Scripture do in your life it can totally transform your whole inner person. It can take you from simple mindedness to utter wisdom and skill in all areas of living, it can bring joy to your heart.

It can lighten your eyes about the dark things it produces a relevant source for every issue of life, and it produces comprehensive righteousness. That's what the word of God does now. If I am a pastor and I look out at you as a congregation and I asked the question what I want to accomplish in your life it's in its simple answer is what I want to accomplish in your life of God could use me. I would like to see God totally transform your whole person. I like to see you totally transformed into the image of Christ.

If those are my desires what is my tool. The word of God the Word of God. And that's why we do what we do because we understand its effect. That's why we hear the words of Paul in Colossians 316 let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, that's what affects everything in your life so you hear the word and in good Thessalonian fashion, you examine it carefully and what is true you cling to the word of God, the solitary deception go to second Corinthians 10 Paul says the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly. Verse four were not human.

We can't fight this great spiritual battle with human weapons, human ingenuity, human cleverness, human wisdom, but divinely powerful mighty on the God. If we want to fight a spiritual war we got to go to heaven and pull our weapons down we have to pull weapons down because the enemy is so formidable were trying to destroy fortresses verse forces were trying to smash fortresses every time I read things and hear things on the spiritual warfare. I feel so concerned because I hear these people saying spiritual warfare is chasing demons chasing demons know it's not it's not chasing the first place. You can cast demons out Christ. Could the apostles, good but we can chasing demons isn't the issue.

That's not the way to fight the spiritual war's not.

It's not a war fought on that level at the holy angels worry about the demons in the in the in the dimension that they exist let Michael take care of whoever he needs to take care of. As in the book of Daniel, let let the angelic warfare be what it is we have to fight on another level, and if were going to pull down fortresses. What is that going to do what was that mean how we gonna do it. Verse five we have to destroy speculations what you mean their log is must ideas, ideologies, concepts, philosophies, religions, that's what it means our enemy. The direct attack we make on our enemy is against the ideologies. The false religions the false philosophies that's what we assault another way to say it. Verse five is every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, anything on biblical spiritual warfare is not fought by chasing demons, spiritual warfare is fought by smashing error and errors smashed with only one set of weapons. What is truths. The only thing that brings down error is truth.

How do we destroy ideologies log is not how do we destroy speculations concepts religions every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and how do we take all those captive to the obedience of Christ. Only one way and that is through the preaching and teaching and witnessing of the truth. We want to smash the fortresses we have to bring the big guns in the big guns come from the word of the living God as a church, then we are utterly committed to being the pillar and support of the truth.

That's what we do.

I will follow the mandate of second Timothy four to preach the word. Be instant in season and out of season. Study to show yourself approved on the got a work when it needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The church is having come down.

That means the worship of God. The exaltation of Christ, the presence of holiness in the honoring of the word. That's what we do, let's pray father, thank you again for clarity with which your word speaks to our hearts. We who know the truth are thrilled to know and yet at the same time bear weight of responsibility, knowing that too much is given much is required will help us to be faithful to pursue that truth in all its application and all its expression in our lives.

What a privilege to be your children to bear your name give you glory in Christ, gloriously, that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary with today's message on Grace to you part of a study titled why I teach the Bible don't hear something we think is important to do regularly.

We want to share with you some responses that we get from listeners because we want to give you a sense of how God is using Grace to you and the lives of people like you and so you got the stories there. John these are like many that we hear a wish we could share them all, but these are excellent reminders of why we do what we do. So share this with us and this is the treasure that all of us enjoy because this is the feedback from the ministry and I love I love reading these letters is one from Doug in San Diego. He writes words cannot adequately convey my overwhelming love and dependence on your ministry to have your teaching through the New Testament constantly available on Grace Stream has done great things for my walk with the Lord. I've told many friends and coworkers about your app your website and your daily broadcast boss ordered a few of your books for friends and family, thank you for all you and your staff due to teach Scripture that's from Doug. Here's a letter from Wendy thank you for providing Grace Stream on the grace to you at behind leave it on all day.

It's my spiritual IV therapy.

I think I've listened to the entire New Testament teachings three times now. Thank you, thank you. While I listen to other sermons on your app as well. My rule during a recent family road trip vacation was to listen to one of your sermons every day.

My children had multiple moments as you taught and we had good conversations.

Thank you for explaining the Bible well thank you Wendy for loving the truth, but we have that in common, for sure. So is the kind of notes we get every day there a glimpse of what God is doing through his word as it's being proclaimed, and by the way, they both mentioned Grace Stream Grace Stream is available on the grace to you app or directly from our website Jide TY.org just to explain Grace Stream is a continuous loop of my sermons through the New Testament from Matthew through Revelation.

It takes about two months to get through it all and then the sermons repeat. Basically you just jump in wherever we are in the flow of the New Testament and listen and learn. And I think you'll benefit from it. As Doug and Wendy have start listening today to grace Stream or whenever you have a few minutes and greatest years reaching people right where you are right where they need us through a variety of means. Grace Stream the grace to you at the study Bible app. Television free books, CDs we mail all these things out by the thousands every month. And of course by daily radio broadcasts and more so thanks for praying for us in expressing your financial support that makes it possible for us to keep doing this. Yes, friend. Thank you and this broadcast and all the free resources online could not happen without your support. So if you'd like to help us get God's word into people's hands through a wide and growing variety of means, make a donation when you contact us today. You can send your tax deductible gift to grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or you can make a one-time donation or set up a convenient recurring donation when you call us toll-free 855 grace or go to our website Jide TY.org and thank you for remembering what a crucial time of year. This is for us to quarter of our annual budget is made up by gifts we receive in the last weeks of the year again to express your year-end support call 855 grace or go to Jide TY.org if you'd like to review John's current study why I teach the Bible you can download every lesson free of charge at our website along with 3500 other sermons. That's 52 years of John's Bible teaching and audio written transcripts a lot of video to available now@jidety.org that's TTY.org now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson inviting you back for our next broadcast when John goes to Psalm 19 and shows you, God's own defense of Scripture as the title of the study begins tomorrow with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to you


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