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A Passion for God's Truth - Life of Paul Part 73

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2021 7:00 am

A Passion for God's Truth - Life of Paul Part 73

So What? / Lon Solomon

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March 4, 2021 7:00 am

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This was Minnesota baby outs born on the stock are they about to get a Bible. Let's open it together. Acts chapter 20 were going to be continuing in our study of the life of the great man. The apostle Paul. You know it was on July 13, 1813, when a 24-year-old American stepped off a rickety old merchant ship and on the shores of the nation of Burma for the very first time that this young man's name was Adam Hiram Johnson. He was the first by faith, American foreign missionary. In the history of the American church. He along with his wife and spent 37 years while she died, actually, but he spent 37 years in the country Burma and unilateral. Johnson was in Burma for more than six years before he ever led the very first person to Christ that he would end up leading to Christ in the country but by the time he died in 1850 God and use that an iron Johnson single-handedly to do some amazing things in that nation did use Johnson to bring over 7000 verbal.

These men and women to Christ. Use Johnson to establish 63 churches in Burma did use Justin a Johnson to train over 100 native Burmese pastors, and in 1835 at Northern Johnson in the streets of Rangoon ran into a young man who was in town on business from the Karen tribe, KR, EN up in the Northeast Mountains of Burma. Johnson led this man to Christ challenging to get challenged and go back as a missionary to his own people, and the man did today almost 2 centuries later up in the Karen tribe. There are over 100,000 followers of Christ. They have self-supporting churches, Christian schools, Bible colleges and they dispatch missionaries.

The Karen spewed all of Southeast Asia. All because one young man met at an iron Johnson in 1835. They say well that's pretty amazing how how did one guy make such an amazing spiritual impact on an entire country well here's what Johnson said and I quote he said it seems to me if we could deposit the Bible in every village in Burma. Such a plan would be more effective than any other in filling this country with the knowledge of God and focus. This singular task translating the Bible into Burmese and then spreading it throughout the nation of Burma. This became Adam Hiram Johnson's driving passion. It took him 21 years to translate the entire Bible into Burmese, but he did such an excellent job he did such an accurate job that almost 200 years later the translation of the Bible that used in Burma today is still the translation that out in our own Johnson did almost 200 years ago now. Towards the end of his life.

He reflected back and said and I quote God's operations in Burma were slow at the beginning but then rushed to consummation with lightning speed towards the end of my missionary career. I attribute this to one reason, namely the availability of God's true and accurate word in the language of the everyday Burmese person. He went on to say I consider the translating of the Bible into Burmese precisely and accurately to be the greatest contribution I could have ever made to the cause of world evangelization" they know it's interesting when we look at the great men and women of God, the great servants of God. Down through the centuries. It's very interesting that is different as they may have been in so many ways. They all had one thing in common.

The same thing out an arm. Johnson had and that is they all had this passion to deliver God's truth accurately and correctly into the hands of men and women and that's what we want to talk about today and how that affects your life in my life here in the 21st century.

Well let me give you little background before we dig into our passage. Remember, the apostle Paul is on his third missionary journey, finishing it up. Actually he's on his way back to Jerusalem with an offering for the Saints. There, the joy of the poor believers any sailing down the western coast of Asia minor turkey as we pick up the story here in acts 20 knees reach the town of Miletus, just a few miles away from the large city of Ephesus. If you remember, Paul spent three years in the city of Ephesus building the church there and so he invites the church leaders to come from Ephesus and meet him at Miletus. Knowing this will be the last time he will ever see them on this earth. He gives a little speech and in the speech he shares with these church leaders. The principles that drove his ministry. The principles that shaped his life and I've been telling you for weeks now that if you're a follower of Christ was Ernest about being a man of God or a woman of God. The principles of Paul shares in the speech of the most significant set of principles anywhere in the Bible for you and me now.

We cover three out of the five already. Principle number one obedience to God.

Principle number two absolute surrender to God. Principle number three having a passion for evangelism and today we want to cover.

Principle number four and that is having a passion for God's truth. So, let's dig in and do that. Verse 28 Paul says to these church leaders keep watch over yourselves, and all the flock, for which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers be shepherds of the Church of God, which he bought with his own blood. Here Paul calls on these elders to the then God she to protect God's people just like a shepherd defends and protects his own sheep and use it will defend them from what protect them from what I me. What is the enemy that Paul has in mind here, what he goes on to tell us in the very next verse he says, verse 29. Look for I know that after I leave savage wool will come in among you, not sparing the flock, even from your own church family men will arise, who will distort the truth in order to draw away followers after them so be on your guard the enemy here that Paul has in mind has an focus is theological error theological at the door. Trip theological heresy. And Paul says that from your own church family. People are gonna rise up who will distort twist the truth and they will be savage wolves will not sparing the flock. The word literally means they will rip up they will ravage God's people and as a result, Paul says I want you guys to be vigilant and I want you guys to be passionate about defending the accurate and real truth of God. Just like I was. Paul says when I was there among you, he goes on to say, verse 31.

Remember that for three years when I was in Ephesus I never stopped warning you tonight and day with tears just along warning them about what friends warning them about theological error warning them about the distortion of God's truth and what we see here is that Paul had a passion for the truth of God he warn people about error so that they could stay on the true path to God. He called out for them and Paul's passion for God's truth was, not only for spreading God's truth. We talk about that in principle number three, but he also had a passion for defending God's truth for defending its accuracy for defending its correct interpretation, and for defending its true and genuine meaning. Paul tells us this passion ran so deeply inside him even brought in the tears.

He said sometimes. Now what what I find interesting is that this was not just a passion that the pop apostle Paul said he should have healed to every person he ever meant toward the tried to teach them to have this very same passion for the God truth of God.

We already saw it right here in acts chapter 20 that he called on these church leaders in Ephesus to have this about Timothy's personal disciple, look what he said to him. First Timothy four. He said the Holy Spirit. Timothy clearly says that some will abandon the true faith and will follow deceiving spirits and doctrines invented by demons. So Timothy, you devote yourself to the preaching and the teaching of Scripture.

Watch your doctrine closely because by doing this you will protect both yourself and your hearers. What was Paul doing here was calling Timothy to have the same passion for the it could be defense of God's true and he did it for Titus. He said the Titus. Titus chapter 1 verse 10. There are many deceivers. Paul says will ruin entire households by teaching error. They should not teach. They claim to know God, but by their actions. They deny him Titus, Paul says they must be silenced. Therefore, rebuke them sharply friends this is the fourth great principle that Paul gives us here in this little speech the fourth great principle about what it takes to be a real man or a woman of God. He says to these church leaders of Ephesus. If you guys want to be mighty servants of Christ like I am. If you guys want to see God usual life the way he's using my life in awesome ways. There are some non-negotiables you gotta meet number one obedience to God is nonnegotiable. Number one nonnegotiable number two is absolute surrender to the will of God in your life. Number three is a passion for reaching people for Christ, and number four. A similar passion for God's truth, knowing it and defending its as found in the Bible now want to stop there. In our passage because it's time for us to ask our most important question in we have done this for a while and in a little worried maybe you guys forgot what the question is the don't forget all right sorry already. I mean I do know let's this is going to feel good. I'm telling you this is this is going to feel good. So are you ready nice allowed 123 and I feel good on this that I think you did to all right thanks a lot. So what so this is great. So Paul had this great passion so yada yada yada so what what differences make to me. Well, let's talk about that.

I don't know if you are aware, this maybe some of your but my name is been in the news a fair bit over the last few weeks. Let me tell you how it all started it all started when David Brickner, the Executive Director Jews for Jesus on the board member of that organization for 15 years.

He sent out an appeal letter back in December entitled the war on Jewish evangelism and the article was all about the slippage of that is taken place over the last 25 years among evangelical Christians on this issue of whether or not Jewish people really need to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah. In order to have eternal life, and go to heaven. Well Mr. Brickner said they must, then I believe based on the Bible. They must, and what this is on the medias picked up on this and its countable, hot new item on the talkshow circuit. The Washington Times ran an article on this recently called me up. I gave him an interview on that family news and focus. You know the news program for Focus on the Family is running a program this next week on this issue. I was happy to give an interview to them and when I got to talking to this guy, the producer of family news and focus. I said to him I said not listen. I just want to tell you if you guys run this article on the on the airways and you guys defend the Jewish people need Jesus.

I'm telling you, you guys are going to take some flack you know you going to take some black right but I said I want to encourage and there is nothing wrong with taking flack as long as were taking it for the right reason, and to defend the truth of the gospel. The real truth of the gospel that is the right reason run the article and don't worry about the flack run it now cannot tell you why am happy to let all these people interview me. I mean, it's not that I got nothing else to do they call you up there talking for an hour an hour and 1/2 and maybe they use two or three sentences of what you said and they don't even get that right sometimes see if they will yeah so then why do you waste your time and let him know that I'll tell you why. One reason one simple reason is the only reason. Because theological error drives me crazy theological heresy just makes me see red when I see people for twisting and distorting the truth of God. It drives me nuts. And I'll tell you why because I understand that real people's lives are at stake. I understand real people's eternal destinies are at stake friends you know. False teaching does more than just benignly mislead people. We've got to understand that that's why Paul called these false teachers, savage wolves. That's why he said they rip up the flock they ravage the flock. This is strong language what Paul wants us to understand is that false teaching is serious theological error is serious and that it damages and hurts in and rips people's lives up. It doesn't in two ways.

Let me tell you what they are number one, it does it.

First of all by teaching people to live in ways that bring the consequences of sin on to their life instead of the blessing of God is he one of the main reasons God gave us the Bible friends is to give us a formula for life that works a formula for life that bring success formula for life that God's promise to bless and to honor. This is what God said to Joshua, he said, this book shall not depart from your mouth.

Joshua but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you might be careful to obey all that is written in the Bible for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success friends when we seek to live according to the principles of God's word. We bring the honor of God on the wildlife we bring the blessing of God on the wildlife we avoid the landmines and the alligators in life and all the people step on another legs chewed off, but the converse is just as true, and that is when we live in ways that contradict God's written word. We bring on ourselves the consequences of disobeying God and they are always painful. They are always damaging and they are always said now is different. As every false schism and ontology may be they are all the same.

In this first way and that is they all give people permission to live in ways and to do things that God warns us in the Bible, not to do because these things are harmful for allotments. For example, did you know that if all teachers it revenges okay that hatred and racial hatred is okay. Religious violence is okay. The treating women like dirt is okay.

I mean, the Mormonism teaches that polygamy is okay, and for the first hundred and 50 years of its history taught that severe discrimination against African-Americans was okay liberal Judaism teaches that divorce is okay abortion is okay homosexuality is okay sexual activity outside of marriage is okay. Buddhism teaches that slavery is okay. Christian science teaches that it's perfectly okay to deny medical treatment to people who might be saved by that medical treatment that's all right. Hinduism says that it's okay to let people*but don't touch the counts. The cows are fine just let the people starve all around him.

The New Age movement teaches the drug use is okay and alcohol abuse is okay in contact with the demonic world underworld is okay and the worst of all of these is liberal Protestantism is liberal Protestantism teaches all of this stuff is okay in some form and fashion just about any friends. These things are not okay. They are not okay because they violate what God says in the Bible. They are not okay because they wound people. These things hurt people. These things damage people. These things rip off our lives, and by giving permission for people to do these all these false religions do exactly what Paul says they ravage God's people, and God.

She let me tell you, there's a second way in which false religions damage and rip up people and that is second of all, by offering people strategies to get to heaven that don't work.

Jesus said, John 14 six I'm the way the truth and the life. Nobody gets to have unless you combine that with me. Peter said acts chapter 4 verse 12 there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name given to mankind by which we can be delivered and in the other area about which every false religion agrees. Is this that whoever Jesus Christ is he is not God in human flesh and whatever Jesus Christ did. It was not create the one and only way that human beings can get the help and you know well-meaning na´ve people believe this there led astray by this there led tiptoeing right down the primrose path to hell path to hell by all these false religions. Let me just say that God's truth preached correctly blesses people's lives and points them to heaven cannot repeat that God's true preached correctly blesses people's lives and points them to have. Conversely, God's true preached erroneously curses people's lives and points them to hell.

And because this is true. This is why in acts chapter 20 God called on these leaders of the church in Ephesus and it's why God called on you and me and every follower of Jesus Christ to protect ourselves and protect other people from theological error because these things are damaging, eternally. And on this globe as well. That's okay Lonza, how do we do that, I mean, there's so much error out there.

How in the world who can we possibly protect people from all that error will the answer simple friends. We do it by confronting theological error with theological truth to God says in the Bible that the best way for us to defend ourselves and others from theological error is to proclaim true to proclaim it boldly and courageously look what he said to Timothy second Timothy four. He said Timothy there will come a day when people will not accept sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own sinful desires, they will follow after teachers and tell them what their itching ears want to hear sound like America data well, so what method should we use to combat this, how should we counteract all of this, look what he says. So I give you this charge Timothy preach the word.

That's how you confronted preach the word correct, rebuke and encourage with careful instruction. Preach the word confront error with truth you know are not too long ago I had a friend here came up to me and we were talking in and out. He said to me said you know I work for the government will learn in Washington over the years, I used to say when people said that all really what branch now I learn not to do that. I just go okay work for the government on any said we got to talking and he told me little bit about what he did and he is involved in the encounter in Unocal catching counterfeiters and so we when we were talking. He said to me on these and you know how we teach our agents to recognize counterfeit money and I said no. He said will take a guess. What would you think I said well I guess you get everybody in a room a little magnifying glass and you get every counterfeit hundred dollar bill that's ever been made and you run it all but I am in you. Have a look at it and examine every place that these bills are wrong and he said no no no, absolutely wrong so that we do is really the city and let me tell you how we do it we get them in a room with a magnifying glass and what we put in front of them is the real hundred dollar bill and we have them become such students of the true hundred dollar bill that they know every square millimeter on that bill exactly what it looks like and he says when you know truth that well you spot error just like that you spot a mile away a fake bill when you know true bill the way we teach in the know it. That's how we teach them to recognize error. We don't teach them about error. We teach them about truth and I thought wow what a great spiritual principle, because that's exactly what God says. He says we not to be spending all of our time out here studying every theological error that's ever been made up where to study true and if we know true if we know the word of God down to every square millimeter friends will recognize error model way you see error common and this is what God called on Timothy to do to preach true. That's how you deal with error and friends.

This is our passion here proclaim Bible church week after week after week. This is what we labor to do here to teach you.

God's true to teach it to you accurately and precisely and practically to give you a deep grasp on the word of God so that not only do you know how to grab on to God's way of eternal life.

So not only do you know how to live a life that's healthy and fulfilling in Christ honoring but you know how to tell other people to do the same thing that you know this is not just the passion that God wants preachers to have nominal this is a passion that if you're a follower of Jesus Christ.

He wants you to have. You know what this means is that to be a true man of God to be a true woman of God friends. We have to have more than just a casual acquaintance with the Bible. We have to be students of the word of God. Listen to what he said to Timothy, Paul did.

He said Timothy second Timothy to be diligent to present yourself to God as a work who does not need to be ashamed because you know how to correctly handle the word of truth. And if you're a follower of Jesus Christ are today. My friend, this is what God wants for you.

God wants you and me to be people who correctly handles the word of God who have a deep and profound grasp on the truth of God so that not only can we live a successful life, but so that we can protect others, our children are friends, our coworkers, our neighbors and our relatives from being duped and led astray by error, so I want to close today by asking you guys question. My question is where are you individually involved in a deep and serious study of the word of God, where are you involved in a deep and serious study of the word of God in your own life. I me. Maybe it might be MacLean University here. Maybe you might be attending preset Bible study or community Bible study or Bible study Fellowship. Maybe you're taking capital Bible seminary call courses here. Or maybe just in your own devotional life. You got the Bible in one hand and commentaries in the other hand, in your really digging in and studying. But wherever it is, where are you involved in a deep and serious study of the word of God is that we want you know honestly I try I do I get the Bible out and I read, but you know somehow when I read it I never get out of it what you seem to get out of it. I don't know if I don't know how come I don't get out of it what you get out of.

Well friends. Why is it that you do you think that I get so much out of the passage that you don't salon. I thought about that. And here I think the answer is wiffle dust.

I think I'll sprinkle with dust on you and somehow someway. When you read the Bible dislike of anointing. It is like boot and you see stuff I don't see friend that is absolutely ridiculous that is actually nothing to do with it. Let me tell you why I get out of the Bible. What I get out of it when I was a brand-new follower of Christ, the guy would lead me to Christ grab you by the nape of the neck is a 21-year-old young man and said son, if you want your life to count for Jesus Christ and you want to be a man of God, you need to become deep and serious student of the word of God, and he pushed me in the seminary where they taught me how to study the Bible. That's the only reason I've learned how to study the Bible from some skill training.

It's not wiffle dust. It's not anointing nobody comes out the womb's been able to see deep strokes in the Bible, known no you learn principles that teach you how to pull the Bible's meaning out and how to do it properly correctly in friend if you are getting out of the Bible everything you like to get out of it. Let me tell you what you just need to go get some some skill training.

That's all it will give it to you.

We got a five week course starting next week called how to study the Bible appropriately enough, led by Jim battle. One of our elders. Dallas seminary graduate, and he'll teach you the historical grammatical method to study the Bible you go to Walla Walla while what was that will go to the class will teach you what that is still teach you how to pull basic principles out of the Scripture how to do it correctly and you know how to do that. Don't sit around and read the Bible and go home,,,, go learn how to study the Bible and get the meaning for yourself so you can become a student of the word of God.

Listen, you cannot become a man of God you cannot become a woman of God. It is impossible without being a deep and serious student of the word of God and knowing how to correctly interpret the word of God.

It can happen. This is what Paul was telling these elders. This is what I'm telling you, and it's not enough to come to church on a Sunday and have me regurgitated to you that's not enough. You need to be able to dig in and do that Monday to Saturday for you so if you're really going to become a man or woman of God. So if you don't how to do that go out the lobby right afterward on take the insert right out of our bulletin and we start next week right here on Sunday. Are you gotta do is calm and go on Sunday and will teach you how to study the word of God but friends I'm back to my question. Where are you in your life involved in a deep and serious study of the word of God. If you can answer that question and if you want to be a man or woman of God. My dear friend. You gotta go get an answer to that question will help you if you let us, it's pretty heavenly father. Thanks for talking to us today about this fourth principle of how to become a really serious man or woman of God and that is that we need to be students of the word of God in the deep in a profound way so that not only equal to God our life but we can defend it from theological error so it doesn't mislead so that that era doesn't mislead other people. God challenges today to really become students of the book and to be serious about theological truth to have a passion for God's word in our own lives and in the lives of others. Father, I pray for people here today who need help in learning how to study the Bible that they would take advantage of this course, and let us help so that they could become real students of the word of God. Father, thank you for the passion of the apostle Paul that were seeing in this little speech made everyone of these principles become passions of ours that we might become the kind of men and women of God that the apostle Paul was in. We ask these things in Jesus name, amen

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