Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program features sermons from preaches by seminary professor, Dr. Billy Goacher. Today we're going to talk about the way of text, so I've done, I've put most of those on the screen for you, but we'll finish in John 17. Here's a picture of Notre Dame Cathedral. Back in 2018, I led a missions team from our church in Vermont.
We went over, we were on our way, actually, to Zambia. And so we had a 12 hour layover in Paris, so we did a good tourist thing, so we decided to take a tour of Paris. And I put this up for a couple reasons. One is that we were just a few months before the fire that then burned Notre Dame Cathedral, so it kind of stuck in my mind that we were actually there. And then secondly, when you go inside, you see the beauty of all the stained glass. And so I hope this would be a little bit of a helpful analogy, but as you look at that stained glass, it was meticulously prepared and thought through by those who prepared it on the impact that glass would have on the light shining into the cathedral.
They knew what they wanted to appear. So the glass itself affects the light without ever being the source of the light. And that's an important analogy I was trying to make, because when we think about the doctrine of inspiration, which I'm just going to touch on, because Dr. Crockett is actually speaking on that next week. And so, but it's hard to talk about the authority and the necessity of God's word without at least talking briefly about how God gave us his word. But a very familiar text in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16, all scripture is given by inspiration of God. God has given us his word.
And the analogy I hope is helpful if you think about that stained glass, not the source of light, but affects the light. It is similar effect to the way God prepared the human authors of his word. God specifically prepared these men. He prepared their dispositions.
He prepared them in their experiences. They were the right man to write the text that he had for us. And so their lives, if you will, colored the word by their own experience, their own vocabulary, but without ever claiming to be the source of that word. They were not the light. They didn't claim to be the light. In fact, 2 Peter tells us that no prophecy of scripture, and that's an important point coming into how God moves. So holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Well, it's referencing to the prophecies given in scripture. So they were moved or carried along by the Holy Spirit to give us God's word.
And so they were not the light, but they affected, if you will, they colored the light much like the stained glass affects the light that shines through it. And so God prepared these men to give us his word. Dr. Roland McCune, my seminary professor, often said this, The kind of Bible one believes in is directly proportionate to the kind of God that you believe in.
Who do you believe God is? And that comes reflective as to the fact that God has spoken, he's revealed himself, and the very character of the word that he gives partakes of his character as the God who has all authority, thus his word, as we will see, has all authority. Dr. Benson offered this warning last week, really, just mentioned how our culture is attacked. And Michael Lawrence stated it, similar idea here, but Michael Lawrence stated it this way, In a fallen world, culture becomes the possibility structure for unbelief, for the denial of God and the exaltation of self. We live in a culture that exalts self. It is the deification of self. It is you're basically going back to the garden, to the lie of Satan that says you have a right to decide for yourself what you're going to believe is good and what you're going to believe is evil.
You can define truth, but that lie of Satan, that lie of our culture, actually leads to the denial of God and the deification of self, which actually leads to the destruction of life, not human flourishing. I wish our culture could get that right. I'm not counting on that culture getting it right, but folks, we need to make sure that in the question of what influence has predominance in your life, the big question is, is it the culture around you influencing you more than the God you claim lives in you? And part of that's going to be really seen or evidenced in your life on your response to the word and the value you place on the word, whether the word is truly cherished in your heart or if it is simply another source of information that you put alongside of your experience and ultimately you become the interpreter by deciding for yourself what is good and what is evil.
Mark Dever in his book on compelling community mentioned this, that it's simply our culture has infused us with a skepticism of authority, but that skepticism of authority is not wisdom, it's actually satanic. And so if we're going to pick up the authoritative word of God without coming under its authority, we're going to be influenced more by the culture around us than the God we claim lives in us. We're looking at the authoritative word of God, that God has given us His word as absolute authority. Meaning, and I saw a meme on social media, it's as simple as, you know, the school bus driver, and he's pointing at his stop sign, and he's made the words under it as, this is not a suggestion. And I thought about putting it up here, probably should have, but my point is, is we're going to walk through the authority of God's word. Folks, this is not a suggestion.
It's not an opinion among many. We actually are handling the very words of God, and Jesus Himself comments to them, and He reminds us to look, heaven and earth are not going to pass away. Not even sooner than God's word is going to be fulfilled. God is sustaining His creation, but He is fulfilling all that He has said. One writer on the word of God just simply declares this simple statement. He says, all that God's word teaches is unimpeachable.
Absolute authority cannot be contravened, a contradicted gainsay. Scripture is unfailing, incapable of proving faults, erroneous or mistaken. God's word cannot fail to accomplish all that God has sent it forth to accomplish.
God cannot fail, aren't you glad? We come to the word of God with certain promises that God cannot fail. We have the authoritative word of God in our hands, God has given.
In fact, the Scriptures illustrate this priority of the word, or the authority of the word, in so many ways. We step back into creation, God speaks. Let there be light, there is light, by the word of the Lord where the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth, for He spake and it was done. I love that phrase, it's just illustrated and repeated over and over in Scripture. God speaks, it is done. What God says, He accomplishes.
He does all that He promises. And so, we see that illustrated force throughout the Scripture. I think of Genesis chapter 18 and Abraham. The Lord appears to Abraham, tells him what's going to happen in Sodom and Gomorrah.
And by the way, what he speaks, he does. And then he tells Abraham of the son of promise that he's going to have, and Sarah's outside the tent listening in, and Sarah laughs. And then God rebukes Sarah and makes this statement. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
Literally, it says, is any word too wonderful? The promises of God may seem wonderful, they may seem beyond pale, but here's the thing, what God has promised, God does. God promises a child, He comes back. Sarah, who is beyond childbearing years, has a child. God's word, God's promises are true.
We see a similar thing in the Gospel. We come to the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, and he's telling her that she's going to have a child. And Mary doesn't laugh, but Mary does what we probably would expect.
She's confused. How is this possible is her answer, her question. And the angel Gabriel speaks to her and simply says, as the King James would translate, nothing is impossible with God. Literally, no word will be impossible for God. God's word, in fact, Jesus Christ himself, comes as the word of God incarnate.
He identifies with the word because the word is really that extension, if you will, of himself. It is not God. Your Bible is not God. It's authoritative because it partakes of the very character of God.
And God is not ashamed of that reality, so He identifies with it in His Son, taking even that title, the word of God. In 2 Chronicles, we have a scene here where the temple is finished. Solomon has completed the building, and there's a grand celebration.
The temple, which, by the way, God told David, you will not build, your son Solomon will, and what God said is now done. They're celebrating. Well, everybody is there. There's a grand mass celebration. The Holy Spirit fills the temple.
All stand in awe. And Solomon praises God before the congregation, saying, Blessed be the Lord God, who hath with His hands fulfilled that which He spake by His mouth. What He said, He does. What God speaks, He does. He accomplishes all of His promises. His word will not fail. He says through the prophet Isaiah, my word that goes forth from my mouth, it shall not return void. It will accomplish that which I please.
So one of the things we're confronted with here is just a simple reality. God is not like us. I can tell you stories of promises I made. I mean, as a father, I wanted to keep my promises to my children. You can imagine, I still remember a time when I promised that there was a new Harley Davidson store going to be built and my kids were interested in bikes and they wanted to go. And there were several reasons why I didn't take them. One is there came this Christian biker club that really was not really much about the gospel, claimed to be Christian.
They kind of moved into our community. And so I did not want to go, so I broke my promise. But I can tell you this, my kids to this day, and they're much older than you are, remind me of Dad breaking his promise, okay?
Sometimes your promises you can't fulfill, sometimes you shouldn't. We speak all the time about the things we plan to do. We have plans for the weekends, plans for the day. We think of what life's going to turn out. We're constantly thinking forward. We speak about our desires and all of that, but we do not have the capability of bringing them forward. Our culture thinks that they believe enough, that they believe strong enough, they can bring about the future they desire.
I'm sorry to tell you this, but life is not a Disney movie and you're not the star of the show. And you can believe it all you want, but you cannot manifest forward your future. You cannot actually thwart the plans and purposes of God. John Frame says in his book on the Word of God that the whole biblical narrative is structured in a dialogue. God speaking, we responding.
God speaking, we're responding. And as we respond with the humility of faith or the ears of faith to receive the Word of God, there's tremendous blessing. If we do not respond with the ears of faith to receive what God has said, there's only hardening of heart. God speaks with absolute authority.
That means there's obligation on the side of the recipient. God declares his love, for God so loved the world he gave his son. Hearing his love that God sent his son. God's revealed his love in his son.
We're obligated to treasure this son. God has revealed his grace, for grace are you saved through faith. If you've come to Christ in faith, you know that as a work of God's grace deeply in your heart, you are obligated then to trust the one who has been gracious. God has revealed his desires through his word, and we're obligated to live under those desires, to be conformed to them, to take delight in them, to love what God loves, to hate what God hates. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God has revealed his intentions, and we're obligated to live under those purposes in submission to him as the Lord.
And so we are to live under them. God does not exist to bless your plans. God exists to transform your life so you take pleasure in his. So we're taught to pray. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And as we learn to pray, as we learn to submit our hearts to Christ, as that is the nature of faith that God has given, we come under his authority. It means we come under the word of God, that our minds must be saturated by this word, so we learn to think God's thoughts after him to actually have right affections does not come from the culture around you. It can only come from the Holy Spirit using the word of God in you. And so we come to the word, and we must come to hear, and we must have a heart like the psalmist to cry out to the Lord. As the psalmist would in Psalm 119, teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.
Keep me. Make your face shine upon me. We come into the presence of God asking God to teach because we are not the teacher. The Spirit of God is. We need to come in humility to say, God, I need to hear from you that I might learn to walk in your way.
And here's the warning, and I put it up in this text in this simple statement. You never leave hearing the word of God the same. You have this incredible privilege being in a Christian college and having chapel and Bible classes and then being taught from a Christian worldview the integration of Scripture across all of your education is an incredible privilege, but it's also very dangerous because you can become so accustomed to the word of God being everywhere that you hear without hearing. You hear without applying. You hear without submission. You hear without asking God to teach. You hear and do nothing, but that nothingness is a response.
We will either hear for the better or we will hear for the worse. It's an amazing promise God's given that we come into his presence, open his word, he will be with us, he will speak. God speaks, we respond.
We cannot not respond. We can basically sit down, go through the motions, speak the word of God out here, but that is a response that can only lead to one thing, the hardening of your heart and the elevation of self. And so we come under the word of God. We come under its authority. It is the authority, it is absolute authority and it is God's personal word to us.
God has spoken to us. This word that is authoritative is also essential. It is absolutely essential for life and we could just stop there, life. But it is essential to have eternal life. It is essential to know how to live life in this world.
It is absolutely essential. So God is this essential for eternal life. John chapter six, John six, John eight are these incredible chapters of confrontation between Jesus and the would-be followers and religious leaders. What you find and what you learn is so many have come after Jesus for all the wrong reasons. They're looking for, he can feed them, he can heal them.
There's crowds followed, so they come and the authorities come because they're jealous of the crowds that come and so many come without the ears to actually hear. They don't come with ears of faith and Jesus begins to confront their unbelief and as he does, the crowds begin to go because he speaks hard statements. He speaks clarifying statements of what it means to actually believe in him, to believe the gospel and follow him and so the crowds begin to leave and Jesus turns to his beleaguered disciples and he asks the question, will you two go away? And Peter's response then gives us a window into this reality as he says, where should we go? I mean, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. It is that declaration, Lord, you're the one, only one who is Lord. You're the only one who gives us the revelation that actually brings life that is eternal.
It is to you, you are the way. Peter recognizes this truth, declares this truth and Jesus has said that the words of eternal life are not, they're not some mystical, magical words. They're not something we repeat and say in Jesus' name at the end of prayer, that it is actually the gospel that has been given that reveals our sinfulness and calls us to repent in faith and to be followers of Jesus Christ who is himself the word of God incarnate.
The absolute authority of the word because God has absolute authority. Jesus calls us to follow because he is the word of God incarnate in human flesh. In John chapter 20, and I put this out of order so I'll jump to it.
John chapter five, excuse me, first John. It says and we know the son of God hath given us understanding and we may know him that is true and we are in him that is true. Now this is the son, Jesus Christ and this is true God in eternal life. Jesus has come so we might know him, not know about him. Jesus has come so we would know him. He has revealed himself through the word of God.
There's no other way. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. Faith has content. We live in a culture filled with what they call faith in the sense that they believe something but they believe something on the basis of their feelings, their impression, the culture around them value. Here's the thing, faith is not a mystical feeling.
It is built on the revelation of God. If one cannot actually articulate the gospel, it is not possible he can believe the gospel. That's why you and I are called if we're children of God to take that gospel message.
We're called to be witnesses, fishers of men. We're to take the gospel which is God's power to salvation to all and declare the gospel, the content of the gospel that calls men to repent in faith that they might actually put their faith in Jesus Christ because if they put it anywhere else, they're hopelessly lost. And so we are to take this gospel message that leads to the knowledge of God knowing that it is only by the hearing of this word that people can come to faith. First Peter reminds us that we're born again not of corruptible seed, not of the incorruptible, but by the word of God, that the very new life we have has come to us through the word of God. And one quote, and I think I actually put this in the front so excuse me, I'll back up, here's an important quote. Augustus Strong said this, only the renewed heart can properly feel its need of divine revelation or understand that revelation when it's given.
I mean, here's an important reality. See, if you're as a child of God, then you should sense the very need for the word of God. In fact, Strong's statement is just simply suggesting this, that if we actually have no pleasure, if we don't delight ourselves in the word, if it's not going to dwell richly, be at home in our life, then there's no real evidence that you actually have been made alive spiritually. Remember, the kind of Bible you believe in is directly connected to who you believe as God. God has spoken, revealed himself with absolute authority and the question is, do we live under that authority? I doubt if I took a poll coming after chapel today and asked, do you believe the Bible's authoritative that many of you would say, oh no, I don't believe that.
You came to a Christian college after all, I believe the Bible's real, I believe it's authoritative, but the question is, do you really live under its authority? Do you really saturate your mind with the truth, come hungry to be taught so that you actually discern good and evil? The author of Hebrews reminds us it's by reason of use, through the use of the word of God, the application of the word of God, we come to discern the difference between good and evil.
Your culture's constantly offering you ideas. The idea of a biblical worldview is not a cute motto you put on the wall, it only takes place through the renewing of your mind by the word of God so you learn to think about life around you, the God who is above you, and the God who dwells in you the same way God knows it to be real. Either you're going to believe the truth and operate out of that truth, or you're going to be deceived by the lie.
And the devil is a liar and a liar from the beginning. And so we come to this truth as desperately needing people and we should have a heart that would receive the word and only a heart that receives. That word is a heart that evidences that it has tasted that the Lord is gracious. If we have tasted, we've experienced the goodness of God and salvation, then we ought to be like newborn babes desiring the sincere milk of the word. So what's your time in the word like? Is it, well, I got chappeled this many days a week, that's good enough.
No, it's not. What does your time in the word look like? Does it look like somebody coming under the authority of God's word and saying, God, teach me.
God, show me. God, help me to live life in this world in a way that actually honors you. It is essential not only for life, eternal life, but it's essential for real life. I mean, you had to like Dr. Benson's quote, and I'll just put it up there real quick, right? God is not interested in your spiritual life.
He's interested in your real life. And he expects and demands that that life would be spiritual. And so in John 17, we see that Jesus reminds us of this. He's given us the word. And as a result of giving us the word, we become people of the word. So the world hates us because we're not of the world, even as Christ is not of the world. And he prays that God, he doesn't pray that God should take us out of the world, but should protect us from the evil one. Namely, the fundamental lie of the evil one is you have the ability and the right to decide for self what is good.
Fundamental lie of Satan going all the way back to the garden repeated over and over again that society lives filled with people who believe the lie that they think is going to bring them human flourishing that is only going to destroy them. God has given you his word. It's an incredible gift. Do you treat it as such? Do you cherish it? Do you delight in it? Do you truly hide it in your heart? Is this word ruling how you live in this fallen world, or is the fallen world teaching you how to think about the word that you claim has authority?
Does it? He says in John 16, in verses 16 through 18, John 17, they are not of the world even I'm not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth. Thy word is truth.
As thou sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. Folks, we've been called to go on a mission, to go engage a culture with a gospel message knowing this, God is setting you apart through the word. The only way it happens, through the word, is by the Spirit taking the word of God, transforming your life, beholding in the mirror of the word the glory of God, and being changed. We come to the word as desperately needing sinners, needing our eyes opened, our hearts changed, to come to the word and say God speak, God teach, as you promise you will do.
And we live life out of that promise, not the promise of all the world's promises to tell you what is going to make you happy or successful or something people are going to look up to. We have to come to the word. And through that word, our life is transformed as we're then sent into the world with this incredible promise that there are those who are going to believe in Christ through your words.
Isn't that amazing? God has given you the authoritative word to live under its authority, then to advance it into a broken culture, to know how to live, navigate life, actually discern what is pleasing to God and what is not. You can have the mind of Christ through the spirit taking the word and teaching you to think God's thoughts after him. Then you can take that word, that authoritative word, that power of God that raises dead men from spiritual death to life. That's the gospel you've been entrusted with. And with a promise, there are people in this world right now that will believe through you speaking the word.
And I end with two quotes. The rigor of your spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held in the word in your life and in your thoughts. Your discipline spiritually is going to be determined right there. So the word is to be hidden that we might not sin and then I end with simply this. A reminder, I hope, that you will meditate on and think about, that you never leave the hearing of the word of God the same. Not at church, not in chapel, not in Bible class, not in seminary. You never leave it the same.
You hear it for better or for worse. That's why the blessed man is the one who does. The blessed man does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or standeth in the way of the sinners nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord. And in it does he meditate day and night. That's the description of somebody who loves the Lord.
They love his word. Let's pray. Father, thank you for your love, your kindness. Thank you for the privilege of assembling here underneath the authority of your word. I pray your word will do its work by the ministry of your spirit to transform our lives, our affections, our thinking, that we be a people of the word living under its authority and then carrying it forth with bold proclamation as a people on mission. And we'll give you the glory if it's in Christ's name we pray. Amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached by Bob Jones University Seminary professor, Dr. Billy Goecher, which is part of the study series called Truth for Life. Listen again tomorrow as we continue this series on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-06 23:20:02 / 2023-06-06 23:31:24 / 11