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God’s Own Defense of Scripture, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2021 3:00 am

God’s Own Defense of Scripture, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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Scripture is a beam of this sun of righteousness. It is a crystal stream flowing from the fountain of life so pure that it purifies everything else and ask when you're reading the Bible. Of course the answer isn't always obvious. The fact is we all have questions. We are always sure that we know what a passage of Scripture means so why that confusion does God want his Word to be hard to understand, consider that today as John MacArthur looks at Psalm 19 a passage that explains in rich detail what God says about the Bible. The title of John study God's own defense of Scripture now to help you see why you can really trust the Bible hears John MacArthur with the lesson, the sufficiency of Scripture is Joe who said I have esteemed the words of God's mouth more than my necessary food. That is to say what Jesus said in the New Testament we don't live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Taking in the word of God said Job is more important than eating food.

The apostle Paul said that the church is built on the Scriptures that came through the apostles and the prophets. Ephesians 220 life in the church is built on the word of God. It is the life of the church. It is the food of every individual believer, Thomas Watson, one of my favorite and most beloved of the Puritans was a very eloquent writer. He gave in his writings. Many tributes to the Bible.

One of them. He said this Scripture is a beam of the sun of righteousness. It is a crystal stream flowing from the fountain of life so pure that it purifies everything else.

Thomas Watson also wrote this, the devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light but could never blow it out a clear sign that it is lighted by heaven, so on the one hand we have the affirmation that the Scripture is indeed the word of God is our food. It is the truth upon which the work of God depends and at the same time it is that which is under constant assault by the enemy of God. The enemy of God's purposes, the devil, and all who are a part of his kingdom in any period of time Scripture will be under attack in any period of time and any place. It will be blown at by those who want to extinguish its light we find that going on throughout all the history of the church.

We find it going on even today we have to rise up. To understand those who would assault the Scripture we have to rise to its defense.

We are living in a time when the sufficiency of Scripture is under unique assault. The move to psychology as a necessary component in solving man's problems indicates that the Bible in itself is not enough. The search for methods found in the world's economics in the world's businesses in the world's techniques in the world's strategies to apply in building the church are an indication that the Scripture itself is not enough for the life and growth and expansion of the church. All of these really really are a demonstration of the tragic worldliness of the church when the church asked to design its ministry around non-biblical things. It has abandoned its confidence in the word of God and thus has brought reproach upon God, who himself affirms the absolute sufficiency of his word. It forces us to ask this substantially foundational question is the Scripture enough. Is it enough to do the work of evangelism is it enough to do the work of sanctification. Is it enough to solve the problems of the human heart is it enough to build and extend and advance the church or do we need to concede that the Scripture has its limitations that have to be overcome by psychology by human wisdom and strategy by political clout by new revelations by the wonders and signs we have to somehow overcome the stigma of the gospel by inventing a more popular message that will be acceptable to people is the Bible so lacking in its own power and sufficiency that we have to apply human wisdom and human technique to help God overcome the natural resistance of a fallen world, will the answer to that question about the sufficiency of Scripture is given by God himself. In Psalm 19. Let's return to Psalm 19. In fact, there are many many places in the Scripture where its own sufficiency is attested more than one. Critics posit probably in a lifetime but here is one that is a great and rich and comprehensive summation here is God's own witness God's own revelation as to the sufficiency of Scripture. Psalm 19 and were looking at verses seven through 14. Let me read them for you love the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul. The 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 and enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

The judgments of the Lord are true.

They are righteous altogether, they are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover by them by servant is warned in keeping them there is great reward who can discern his errors acquit me of hidden faults also keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins. Let them not rule over me, then I shall be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight oh Lord my rock and my Redeemer. The opening six verses of Psalm 19 have to do with God's revelation in creation, God's revelation in nature. We call that general revelation from verse seven on it is special revelation God's revelation in Scripture in the Bible God's revealed word of God has revealed himself in creation so that it may be known that he exists and that he is powerful and that he is wise, and many of the attributes of God. Of course, are on display in creation but nothing in creation tells us how God may be known nothing in creation tells us specifically what his will for man is therefore, we turn to special revelation and God gives testimony to the sufficiency of this special revelation this in Scripture rated revelation here in these verses.

First of all, the sufficiency of Scripture verses 7 to 9, then the value of Scripture verses 10 to 13 and finally our subsequent commitment to Scripture in verse 14. Now we are looking at verses seven through nine. The sufficiency of Scripture. There are parallels in these three verses six statements are made to in each verse that are parallel to each other. They all have six titles for Scripture. They all have six characteristics of Scripture and each one gives six benefits of Scripture. Scripture is called in verse seven law and testimony in verse eight precepts and commandment in verse nine. Fear and judgments. Those are titles for Scripture looking at it as a many faceted diamond is all of those things is God's law.

God's testimony God's precepts God's commandment God's fear and God's judgments revealed and there are six characteristics in verse seven, it is perfect and sure in verse eight. It is right and pure. In verse nine. It is clean and true and then there are six effects or benefits. It restores the soul makes wise the simple rejoices the heart and lightens the eyes endures forever, and the final one in verse nine. It produces comprehensive righteousness.

This then provides a complete understanding of the magnitude of the sufficiency of Scripture and by the way, we are reminded as to who the author is six times. It is of the Lord of the Lord of the Lord of the Lord of the Lord of the Lord.

There is no mistaking the author of Scripture. It is divine six times the covenant name of Yahweh is used he is clearly the one who is the source of this in Scripture rated revelation, the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul that is to say that Scripture can be viewed as God's law for man's conduct is the manual on behavior. It is the tar divine instruction for man's life and as such, it is perfect meaning. It is comprehensive, meaning it is full, meaning nothing is left out is perfect is implied as opposed to incomplete not perfect as opposed to imperfect. It's not saying that it's flawless.

Although it is that but rather that it is completely, comprehensively sufficient for what for restoring the soul. The word, restoring, transforming, converting, renewing the soul Nefesh the inner person.

The Scripture then is comprehensive, totally sufficient to completely transform the whole inner person that is to say it is all that is necessary to produce total complete transformation it saves. It is the power of God to save member the words of Peter. We are begotten again by the word by the word.

It is able to convert it is able to transform it is sharper than any other sword is a two edge sword that cuts the heart completely open and produces conviction and conversion.

It is the word of God which alone saves does not need any assistance in doing that.

The second point we made here is to look at verse seven. Again, the testimony of the Lord view Scripture is God's own personal testimony, God's own self revelation.

It is his law.

It is also his self revelation.

As such, it is sure in a world of things that are not sure, not reliable. This is utterly and absolutely unwaveringly unmistakably accurate and true, and as such as the true and accurate reliable testimony of God is able to take the simple meaning those who lack understanding, lack wisdom, those who are nave, undiscerning un-discriminating foolish and make them wise wise in Hebrew means skilled in all areas of living skilled in the practical aspects of holy living Scripture, then, is sufficient to save it is sufficient to sanctify to take one and make that one wise skilled in all practical aspects of holy living. It is all that is necessary for salvation is all that is necessary for the sanctification that is produced by the intake and the application of divine wisdom. Thirdly, in verse eight Scripture is seen as the precepts of the Lord, precepts, meaning doctrines, if you will statutes. Some translations have that is principles for life and godliness. Divine principles, it is filled with principles. He says that are right literally in the Hebrew that set the right path principles for walking down the right path and as one walks in those principles.

The effect is rejoicing the heart. True joy fills the inner person and so we find the Scripture is sufficient to produce salvation, sanctification, and true lasting heart contentment and joy. We don't need voices from angels. We don't need conversations with the supernatural. We don't need visions and miracles we don't need mystical kinds of imaginations and intuitions to be led by God. We need only his word. He leads us in a right path. That path becomes our joy all our true pleasure all our true delight comes from following the path laid out by the word of God. People who walk in that path experience joy that leads us to the remaining three number four is in verse eight, the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The commandment indicates that Scripture is a mandate. These are not negotiable. They demand obedience. Scripture is authoritative, it is binding is not an optional. It is not a source of suggestions. The divine revelation of God is a series of commands.

Disobedience brings about divine judgment. Obedience brings about divine reward so Scripture is the law of the Lord.

The testimony of the Lord principles given by the Lord and commandment as well.

It is all of those things at one and the same time now. As such, it is pure is the word literally.

That word means clear. Sometimes when use the word pure you think more on the spiritual side.

This is really a simple word that means lucid, transparent, easy to see, giving clear direction that is to say the Scripture is not mysterious. Scripture is not intended to be unclear.

It is intended to be crystal clear. You say will why then do people not understand because the natural man understands, not the things of God are foolishness to him because he is spiritually dead, and additionally he is blind, the God of this world has blinded the minds of those who believe not less. The glorious light of the gospel should shine unto them. So you have the spiritual deadness and spiritual blindness that limits someone's understanding of Scripture. But to the person who has been regenerated whose eyes have been opened who has been given life. The Bible is clear. In fact, our Lord even says you have to become as a little child to enter the kingdom. It is that clear. The Old Testament says a wayfaring man, though he be a fool need not error. So God has given us clear understanding and as such, it enlightens the eyes. In contrast to the muddied muddled musings of men who are themselves blind and themselves dead who invent concoctions of religion that are inscrutable. The Bible is crystal clear.

You're able to see the truth in a dark world to understand to be comfort in times when no one else can understand what is going on. I remember one time years ago being invited to speak to the philosophy class and advanced philosophy class and the professor was a former rabbi who liked to chew on an occasional fundamentalist and so I was going to be the bone for that experience I went to the class and I was supposed to talk on the subject of Christianity and culture.

Why didn't want to talk about Christianity and culture. I want to talk about the gospel so I think I opened by saying if I remember right. Something like what a great expert on them. Christianity cultures Francis Schaeffer and if you want to know about that you can read Francis Schaeffer but I said I'm here to tell you this.

I know this is a philosophy class and I know that you're searching for the truth and I'm here to bring your search to an end. That was enough to lose them all that they look like somebody had shot off a gun in the room that the brashness of that egotism that was stunning.

I said I'm here to in your search.

That's a problem for a philosophy class because you're supposed to get a degree a degree for searching if you find the truth. The search is over. He can't finish her degree so if you're taking philosophy don't get the truth until you get the degree, then you can get the truth so I said I'm here today the truth tell you the truth about the origin the universe tell you the truth about why the universe holds together things that Einstein couldn't figure out.

I'm here to tell you where the universe is going in the future how it will end. I'm here to tell you about life and death and the afterlife morality everything you want to know I'm here to tell you all of it and then I said this and hinder the rabbi professor was stunned as everybody else. I said but I know matter what I say and I can understand and I can believe it, and one student at that moment spoke for all of them said how do you know how do you know we want understand movably what I said because as a prerequisite for you to understand this, you have to have been transformed by faith in Jesus Christ, so that your understanding is open to which he replied well how does that happen and I said good now will talk about how we'll talk about how you become transformed by Jesus Christ and so I went into the gospel which is no small irritation to the professor.

I want to live my life in the dark view.

Proverbs 623.

The commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light. I want to see it the way it really is.

Romans 15 for talks about the comfort of the Scripture or the encouragement of the Scriptures.

The NAS puts it, the light is turned on in every dimension on every subject from Scripture.

It floods its glorious truth on every dimension of life. Psalm 119 reiterates this verse 52. I remember dying ordinances from of old Lord and comfort myself in the midst of the darkest times. Truth becomes our comfort verse 59 I considered my ways and turn my feet to your testimonies. I hastened and did not delay to keep your commandments. I saw the way I was going and I knew I needed to turn to your word to enlighten me to change my course verse 81 my soul languishes for thy salvation. I wait for thy word, my eyes fail with longing for thy word, when will you comfort me. All comfort comes all true comfort comes from a true understanding and a true understanding of things is revealed in Scripture goes on number of times in the Psalm to say the same thing in another way. Verse 92. If thy law had not been my delight, I would've perished in my affliction I couldn't have interpreted my suffering. I couldn't have interpreted my troubles if I didn't know your word tells me that in affliction you comfort in affliction, you perfect in affliction, you mold me and make me into the man you want me to be the woman you want me to be I wouldn't know that I didn't have your you're listening to Grace to you with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. His lesson today is from his current series, God's own defense of Scripture John. There's so much in this study about the benefit of Scripture the power it has to change lives the way it gives wisdom and brings joy and so much more about all of that first assumes that we have a clear understanding of Scripture right if you don't have any understanding you can't reap those benefits know the power of the Scripture is in the meaning of the Scripture. And it isn't until you know the meaning of the text that the the accurate interpretation of the text that you access its power and do I need to say that Scripture is butchered by so many people so many false interpretation. So many wrong interpretations basically obliterate the divine intent of the passage of Scripture it's in. In fact, it's pretty common that the Bible is misinterpreted every cult, every false form of religion does it every politician does every every politician does it for sure but but it but pastors do it and so that there is this kind of floating notion that well you know it's the Bible and its God's word but there's no real single interpretation and everybody's got his own interpretation that's what's been conveyed because of the. The random way in which Scriptures handled some you don't get the power until you get the message. Don't get the message until you interpret accurately and help you with that. I just want to mention again. The MacArthur study Bible in its two distinct forms.

First of all, it comes in a nap simply called the study Bible study Bible app is free go to GT and find the right version for your device.

The study Bible gives you the entire text of God's word and in three translations. New American Standard, ESV, and the King James text that you can take your pick with the applicant quickly linked to Grace to you sermons and articles related in the biblical text to your reading and it's a nominal one time fee for you to add all the study notes from the MacArthur study Bible for the study Bible app offers all of that and of course then we also have hard bound in leather editions of the MacArthur study Bible wonderful Christmas gift I can think of a better one and for all the forms of the MacArthur study Bible are still a 25% discount from any of those new American Standard new King James English standard version Spanish, Russian, German, Italian, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Chinese versions. You need to get the Bible study app or the traditional study Bible today. Yes friend. Maybe you have a long break at Christmas. There's no better way to spend that extra time than digging into God's word so pick up the MacArthur study Bible to see truth that you may have missed or to gain a deeper understanding of passages that have always confused you to place your order. Contact us today.

Call 855 Grace.

That number translates to 800-554-7223 our customer service team can help you find the right shipping option for pre-Christmas delivery. You can also select an express shipping option when you order from our website.

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GT has all the messages from John's current study God's own defense of Scripture free in MP3 or transcript format and in fact all of John sermons 3500 total are free at our website, you can download the sermons that's our website one more time. GT now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson.

Thanks for making Grace to you part of your day and invite a friend to join us tomorrow when John looks at how to get the most out of your time studying God's word and how to correctly apply biblical principles is continuing his study God's own defense of Scripture. Another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time of grace to you

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