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October 5, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Ted Miller of the BJU Bible faculty continues a doctrinal series entitled “God’s Word in Our Hands” from Psalm 119.
Welcome to The Daily Platform program features sermons from Chapel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, whether it's the general travel service to the whole student body or services for those in the ministerial class or seminary.
Everyone at the school is blessed by the preaching of the word each day from the chapel platform were very very thankful this morning they have a Dr. Ted Miller to come this morning and speak to us on the authority of God's word. Listen carefully if you will please take your Bibles and turn to Psalm 119 in a variety of passes be there at least twice. So when meditating and thinking, which is where most sermon prep begins for me at least on the topic that I've been tasked with delivering thinking about authority and the thought occurred to me you know I've actually had a pretty good relationship with most of my authorities my life. I'm not saying I'm perfect. I'm not saying I have never gotten away with anything, and I have no intentions of going full. James 516 confessing any of those to you right now. I would love to actually spend today sharing with you my tips on how to get along well with her authorities but I'll note in the summary most and would reduced to simply not being a fool. Of course we know there's different kinds of fools there are. There their great fools.
I would say there the people I know who are simply bothered by anybody telling them anything to do at any time of their lives there. They sorta have to go through life with some sort of rebellious, flamboyant flair, as if the therapist started their own reality TV show on the cameras documenting their own mindless torturing torquing of their own life. Assume that you are familiar, perhaps with the class of great fools out there, and I assume that most of you are not in that class much like I would like to think that I am not you and I are admirably skilled at managing our relationship with our various authorities pretty good at managing my relationship with my parents with various teachers and had coaches, bosses, and so on. Whoever in my life Is to populate that mystical realm of being in charge of me in some way.
And so we know how to keep them happy and I for the most part were able to go about our own lives the most part with causing very little trouble to most anybody else.
However, when I come to this book and the voice that I hear in this book and the words that I read in this book I find them actually interacting with a very different kind of authority that I deal with on a daily visible level. Find your speaks of authority is unlike anything that I can compared any parent or teacher or coach or boss. It didn't take long. As a child to learn that you can manage and successfully hide things from your parents didn't take long. The student to realize you know if I really wanted to I could get a way with a lot the teacher would simply never know. Or one day maybe already having this experience to be an employee and you realize how much like my boss but I like my job thing just can outlast my boss and you can do it. You can pull this off. But just as we are made in God's image, not the other way around. So human authority is an inferior copy of divine authority and we will make great mistakes.
If we assume that everything that is true about human authority is likewise also true about divine authority, but man, and all this with our endless fathomless and often fallen ingenuity. We decided that God's authority could be managed know he may draw close. From time to time, but eventually he'll weary of it and go back to his own business, allow us to pursue our own affairs as we like certain time to get I want to address. Not just the topic of authority, but the idea of the fact that we are encountering in God's word. A different kind of authority in very specific ways that we deal with in any other kind of authority and just as Dr. Tolbert last week said it was very difficult to talk about the trustworthiness of God's word without talking about getting the topic of the trustworthiness of God himself. So is very difficult to really cool part and practice or on paper. The topics of the authority of God's word from the authority of God himself would like to explore, however briefly a couple ways that God's authority in his word is not like the various finite authorities that you and I may enter regularly interact someone 1989 says forever Lord thy word is what's the next word settled here. The word settled all that often supposes receiving right here at the various people settled in the various part of the world are part of the country but you do hear it. You actually might start hearing it now. The fact that we've had the death of a justice on the Supreme Court means there's no vacancy in our political system tasks the president with nominating a replacement and the Senate with advising and consenting is the going to go at some point through a nomination process and a series of confirmation hearings and you may hear some senators asked the prospective justice this nominee, whoever may be what you think about in the name some case law anything about Brown versus Board of Education or Plessy versus Ferguson. What's your view on eminent domain and the recent decision with kilo what was what's your opinion on this and the prospective justice might say some like will I consider that particular case to be the settled law of the land that is I'm not going to go back and revisit.
But quite frankly, he's one of nine justices, and there are very few laws in the human history that are absolutely totally settled. My uncle is in LA he's in his early 70s he carries around them should be at our last reunion of the Outer Banks.
He said I guy I she recently showed me his first Social Security card with his number and nodded and said, this number should never be used for identification purposes of the last definitely different era. Okay. Apparently, some way I didn't know that happened. Apparently some later Congress or just natural process of the way history unfolds is decided that that previous legislation simply was not as settled as we might think perhaps we need to think through why is it that God's law is settled. If you think about the character of God is personal. He submissions what further information. Does he need to be provided by some later hearing to make the proper declaration about a particular topic. He knows everything. He's also eternal. He never steps down.
He never abdicates he never leaves the vacancy's administration escalator fill all his power is united in one and is fix and establish an eternal so what he says on any topic through his word is simply the way it is.
It is in fact settled and no one can challenge it without challenging the omniscience in your teacher now to the one who speaks these works as a practical example might look at one of the first declarations that God ever made demand.
He told Adam and Eve in the day that thou leaves the tree. Thou shalt surely die will meet when you and I come to death. We're dealing with something that we simply cannot manage and know that there are things you can do to end your life. Earlier under things you can do to extend your life be smart about it will be a grateful bully, the fact of death. We are dealing with something which is in him is not just simply unavoidable. Even if, as a an atheist, recently said if you and I are all marooned on a desert island and he says you will really need God to step in and tell us how to behave. I think will we can figure this out on her own ears. That's true. We somehow finally create this awesome mythical utopia instead of some adult verse of Lord of the flies.
There's still going to be that moment when one of us finally breeds our last and our bodies are lowered into a grave or strapless a makeshift raft and pushed out in the deep and the great curse will found us again is like were living in the worst nightmare you can imagine a company of people under a curse that we cannot escape. We cannot, you may try to escape.
You may try to ignore it but you cannot get away with it is not the curse of some witch doctor some evil sorcerer is a curse pronounced by the all-powerful God who rules everything and he said assemblies can be put in Ezekiel also owes her mine. The soul that sins shall die for.
All souls are mine you everybody belongs to God.
You can't leave this jurisdiction. You can't renounce your citizenship. I mirror my own father passed away rather suddenly at 67. We have very little advance warning of this about two or three weeks and you will as well study wasn't advice. I think my body sitting down those on Tuesday past. When the Friday of 2009 remember standing there looking at his body in the casket, reflecting lot of other thoughts but it never crossed my mind to think well my dad was a investment analyst. He traveled a lot.
I don't want to do that. It never crossed my mind to think. Dad just died again.
Note to self, don't do that I cannot escape this. I cannot get away from this God is declared by his authority that the soul that sins that shall die and every time death visits our race is a reminder of the absolute unmistakable inescapable authority of God is another kind of way to God's authority is different, not just you can't hear you decide you don't like the laws America you can move right.
You can't move out of God's jurisdiction. But there's another way which God's authority is not identical to any other kind of authority that I interact with and this is I find answering a common mistake for many of us is that God's authority when he invites us to respond to him is nothing more like the kind of invitation that I get from my authority is not there different kinds of invitations that you and I may get right. I mean, I may get invited by a colleague.
I mean if I thought a friend of mine invites me to lunch. I could say yes I can say no. It's a pure invitation if you look at how God expects us to respond to his word and you if you do a quick word study of the word obey in Scripture, you'll find that doesn't happen every single time but you find it word obey, particularly the Old Testament shows it very regularly with another word that is the word voice my voice or the voice of God that God actually wants me to respond to his voice to his words with obedience is not merely some kind of invitation.
If you think about the kind of power that God's word has. This is the power that took nothing and made something out of it. This is the power that could tell a storm. Be quiet and it just stops doing anything.
This is the power by which Christ comes to a demoniac is been abandoned by everybody except a legion of demons has come out of him. This is the power that a Gentile's insurer in acknowledges that Christ as he says, you really need need to come to my house this miracle because I'm a man under authority but all this activity going out of my house. Why is it happening that I told the going when I told the company comes and you've got that kind of authority your voice can rule the universe and is that voice that doesn't just invite us to respond. There is weight behind the invitation. You may in fact ignore the invitation, but it cannot be done without consequence. As Christ and his lament at the end of Matthew 23. After issuing a bunch of woes of the Pharisees says O Jerusalem how voters of how often what I what gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not.
I guess you would respond limitation your house is left to you desolate. And if you go back to the Old Testament when man response the voice of God. There's always a blessing when the man rejects the voice of God is always a curse and a judgment and you simply cannot pretend that God's invitation is not a summons. It is a true invitation, but much like the parable Jesus tells about a man a king who prepared a bag invited a bunch of people they bloom off. I just bought some property got some got some new livestock.
You gotta train them for not my cup might not because it destroys all the invites new people do is banquet.
That's the kind of authority that you and I are interacting with is an absolute authority that God by his sovereign choice allows us to exist and fight. But you cannot fight it without your house being left desolate because is not merely an invitation. Third, God's word is not just on authority in this inescapable nature, but in the due to totality of what it addresses. God owns everybody far eluded to all souls are mine.
Psalm 24 the earth is Lord of the fullness thereof was a say next. The people all they that dwell therein. Now if you're a believer in Jesus Christ to come by his invitation and command a summons to respond to his grace he owns you another way. And guess what he owns all of you and he owns all of me and there's no part of me that I could somehow reserve for myself. It is a total and complete ownership. I don't really encounter anything like this are some a teacher, I was certain degree of derived authority my classroom.
You might like it. You might hate it.
Either way, guess what survived the term will be out and stay in touch like you like my children.
I really hope they stay in touch with me but as I told me you argument move out one day write you. I don't want you living in my basement all all your life. Okay. But guess what I might be a good data might be abandoned, but they can outlive my authority now with his desire to control my life and in the thing about this I think is more than just a desire to control because I don't think the controls inherently a anti-God thing to do. God created out relieved attend and keep the guard to break God brings order out of chaos. God wants man to take some order out of his creation by like to think of the kind of order. Here's a kind of ultimate veto control where I say to God. God, you've come this far in my life that I want to go no farther. Or I followed you as far as I will follow you and no farther kind of control. This is veto power. If I am entirely owned by God and he gives me commands in this book, he is free and sovereign to address any part of my life that he wants you to play the game of the of the Gnostics claimed that the that this is the buys inherently bad. This bears inherently good.
When Paul says this is not in the first screen is six your spirit and your bodies they're all owned by God.
He takes him his dwelling unit gets me really angry. Much of his personal property, especially where he lives, provokes jealousy, don't do that will start fights with God. He owns me, and he owns you an absolute sense, but I know that there are several different things were devoid of understanding. This is different. Even opinions of, say, the spiritual self assessments that we want to encourage you to do, whether formally or informally, guess what I can rewrite that in a biblical sense that all of you would hate and you wouldn't just be hating me on issues.
Let love be without the simulation abhor that which is evil plea that was good how you doing so far I don't ever get back at anybody for evil.
They do it, do you, God will repay how you doing there. I could go through and list these commands that God makes and starts feeling like a straitjacket and is not man-made rules either because God owns you and he feels no calls to say things about every single part of your life.
He owns your behavior. He owes your words even owns your feelings there's there's two different stories in Scripture the end in very interesting ways that expose this member.
Many Bible conferences ago an elderly gentleman coming in. Speaking from come internationally and universities invite ethics is about 20 years ago and I said I'd like to invite you to turn to Jonah 5 is let the joke settle and all of us said, I really would like to invite because there's a part of this story that I really wish I could hear what God said happen because here Jonah finally obeys goes and then of the preachers they all repent. Jonah sitting on a mountain sulking and God says what's wrong with you Jonah. Don't you understand how I love the city and the people in it. And Jesus actually gets the same kind of encounter. In Luke 15 from a bunch of sons of Jonah, who all say a wire you hanging out with all these people and I know this really easy for every generation.
My generation was really nice to the people who are ostracized by the previous generation and you can on a level annual you can deceive yourselves in the thinking of the nicest generation.
Guess what every generation ostracizes somebody not being down on any but I'm just saying. Everybody just moves the group moves and she is because the people who are not help anybody out with her social involvement. The professional advancement any interaction with them as people stand back going get you is is no you don't get God and they tell three back to back to back parables. What are they know if you had a friend who found the lost sheep, wouldn't you be happy over sheep if you had a friend lost her claim we think is probably part of her dowry. Perhaps she found it.
Would you be happy with her over coin or the one of the most painful losses you can imagine a parent losing a child.
There are many ways lose a child. This father loses a son in the sun finally comes back and the older brother is a solid Jonah he's mad about the whole thing and she says don't you understand I love people and I love it when they repented come back to me. God owns everything about you and he wants you to totally absently imitate him in every way.
I remember when I got they might my parents were very into my education, number of ways, and that included all year round. And so in the summers, my mom had a certain number of things I had to do. I had a practice trombone had to practice bassoon had the Latin headed study the Bible certain unnumbered check Saturday.
I got a report that she does.
She does not. She says she does not members but I have the a 4 x 6 note card and in a shoebox Maddock. She gave me a grateful is including attitude and was below a C who are these people living here anyway. I okay just wait it out. You get out from under the household okay but how long can a live until your outside of the absolute total control of God were causing jockeying for position somehow God if there's one more thing that we need to think about from God's authority and this begins expose Satan's greatest lie about the authority we find this word that is in Psalm 11 19 verse 145 I walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts.
I mean, is also a moment of summer vacation where all right now say I'm finally one I'm finally free.
I don't have all this structural remake DeAngelis in Bunyan's holy war comes the city is a city of Mansell is aggressively announced.
You your slave I'm here to liberate you had a great deal of the story, which we just finished reading 11:45 per semester is the question when is the city free. Are they free, under the rule of the apples or are they free of the role of manual chat.
I God's word actually liberates and what God wants to give you what God wants to give me as the kind of liberty that he enjoys. God cannot be condemned by his own law, God's son cannot be condemned by Zola, the Spirit of God dwells in us cannot be condemned by his own law. Liberty does he want to give us, among other guys he wants to give us the freedom to not be what condemned by his own law. What amazing freedom and so the very authority of God places this curse as pronouncing this book over entire rates. This same authority of God is found away to the Lord Jesus Christ to give us, not just freedom from the curse but absolute and total liberty is the same allies you will be free to lose your individuality will be authentic so eternally moving target. But I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts and here's my problem. I know that God's authority will free me and it's really hard to keep up. If I do something wrong inside me something wrong with my wiring a couple years ago for the same course. Chris Mathur said a student right. I wish God would make me a robot that thought came or what I wrote. That's kind of weird because it would be like a self canceling which you never wish anything again because robots don't wish for things reflection. I still think it's kind of word and action really like the comment is something wrong with me. What I wish is that God would take me and want very absolute control that would liberate me. I am constantly prone to pool away from his authority and destroy myself very much like the echoes of the him the organ and have asked us to close with prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love my love.
And why would I be prone to leave him take my heart it knows what the right thing is to do but I need you to take it and seal it. So I feel totally at home in your court. The place for your law where your authority is immediate and absolute. Seal my heart for your course above we respond to God's inescapable liberating authority is like the greatest gift that he could ever give a creature we are always in Scriptures you been listening to The Daily Platform. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and I invite you to join us at our beautiful campus in Greenville, South Carolina to see how you can be prepared academically and spiritually to serve the Lord through one of our more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.btu.edu or call 800-252-6363.
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