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1526. The Immeasurable Value of God’s Word

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2023 6:00 pm

1526. The Immeasurable Value of God’s Word

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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June 5, 2023 6:00 pm

Dr. Alan Benson begins a series called “Truth For Life” which is a study of the doctrine of the Scriptures. The text is from Psalm 19.

The post 1526. The Immeasurable Value of God’s Word appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.


Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today, we're beginning a study of bibliology called Truth For Life, and today's message will be preached by Dr. Alan Benson. Take your Bibles and turn with me, if you would, to Psalm 19.

Psalm 19. As you turn there, the theme verse for our study of bibliology, or the doctrine of the scriptures, is John 17 17, which says, ''Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.'' And it's out of that verse that we took the overall theme this time as we study the doctrine of the scriptures, truth for life.

There's a direct impact in what the scriptures accomplish in the people of God with regard to how they are able to successfully live a Christian life. We're living in days of cataclysmic cultural change. We are experiencing the seismic impacts of cultural shift. Our Western world is making the tangible move from a culture based in the historic Judeo-Christian ethic to one that is based in the secular humanistic ethical norm. And the manifestations of that pivot are that we have seen a culture shift from morality to pragmatism, from absolutes to relativism, from a world where morality matters to the ends justify the means. We're watching the quaking of a culture that is wrestling with the humanizing of God and the deifying of man. We're watching a world that's desperately trying to reconcile the unity of humankind while simultaneously stratifying humankind in every way possible. And thus, we have one part of the culture fighting for a woman's reproductive rights while another is making declarations that we now have a birthing person instead of a woman.

And they can't reconcile those things. We're watching a culture that has jumped headfirst off the jagged cliff of social destruction without a moral ethical parachute. And no matter what mid-air contortions it may go through, there is nothing that is going to slow the rapid descent or soften the inevitable crash, as long as our world has rejected the authority of God's word. John addressed that world when he wrote, love not the world, to God's people because it's all too easy for us to become equally unfettered and begin to adapt to and adopt the world's ethical norms.

He says, for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father. And that the world passeth away or literally it is in the process of constant decay. And so what does that look like in this cataclysmic cultural shift that we are experiencing in the Western world? Well, just a couple of things that begin to mark our culture that actually are beginning to impact God's people.

One, I would describe it this way, the deifying of transparency. Is it good to be transparent? Absolutely. Should we be completely honest?

Absolutely. But that's not what our culture means by that. It means this, I can justify saying anything as long as I say I am just being honest.

That is not the ethical norm of the scriptures. Or I can rationalize doing anything as long as I can say I'm just being real. Secondly, the moralizing of affirmation.

I can demand or expect acceptance as long as I have been transparent. And I can reject any correction because I hold the moral high ground of transparency. And your only ethical response to my transparency, whether it's right or wrong, is that you must affirm me.

And if you don't, you are unethical. Thirdly, the rationalizing of compartmentalization. It is a good thing for the sake of being relatable to pretend to be something I am not. Let me illustrate for you with a shocking statement. God is not interested in your spiritual life.

Are you shocked? God's not interested in your spiritual life. God is interested in your real life, and he expects and intends it to be spiritual.

Why would I say that? Because we're living in a day where through compartmentalization, I create this life that is somehow perceived as spiritual. And I'm completely transparent with that life.

I'll talk about its weaknesses and its brokenness. I'll confess its pride and its sinfulness. All the while, while this real person over here is actually immoral or caught up in pornography. But I feel good about myself because I've got a spiritual life that is being transparent. And I would say to you students, if that's how you're living, God has no interest in your spiritual life. He is interested in your real life, and he intends and expects for it to be spiritual. In these three ways, if we're not careful, we are becoming unfettered from the moral compass of scripture, and we are adopting the ethical norm of our culture, all the while telling ourselves we are growing in Christ's likeness.

And I will tell you, we are not. Because there is no spiritual growth apart from growing in my knowledge and understanding of God's word. So let's explore a few things. I want to kind of give you, if I can, a roadmap for where we're going this semester. Because I want us to see truth for life, but I want you to understand today that it's God's truth for your real life. So what is the Bible?

That's really one of the things we're going to explore. What is the Bible? Is it an authority among authorities? Is it one set of ancient scriptures among others?

Does it have a unique place among the ancient mythological stories that formed other culture? What is the Bible? And until you answer that question correctly, you will never allow the word of God to have the life shaping impact in your life that God intends for it to have.

Is God's word your sole rule for faith what you believe and practice how you behave? So we'll run through some topics. I won't read them all for you.

They're on the screen. Under what is the Bible, we're actually going to walk through these things. There'll be different speakers for each one of them and we are immeasurably blessed this semester. Several of the speakers on these topics actually have written books on these topics and we'll make those books available to you the days they speak in chapel. What is the Bible? But then we'll finish actually by going a step further because this isn't just some academic pursuit. We actually will explore then if that's what the Bible is, what should we do with the Bible? And when we explore that, we'll talk about the study of the word of God. How should I actually be embracing the word, engaging the word?

What tools should I have and how should I give myself to it? The application of the word. How do I take the word of God, understand God's intention to make right application to my life? And lastly, we'll talk about a worldview that is founded and formed by the word of God.

I don't want to leave the word worldview undefined for you. So we'll deal with that some today because we're going to talk today about the immeasurable value of God's word. Why should I make the word of God my primary source for knowledge, understanding, discernment, and wisdom about God and the world?

Why should I do that? I don't think that's a question that we should just leave unanswered. Psalm 19 is really a discourse, if you will, a song that addresses the communication of God to man. The opening section talks about general revelation, we'll look at that a little bit, and then it actually is comparative in that it then is going to deal with what we refer to as special revelation, which is a God-breathed word. Words that actually come from God. In a sense, in that comparison, you will see very clearly the general revelation, the created order actually has a message, but it's unspoken. Special revelation has a message that is spoken, and you'll see some of those comparisons, but I want you to look at the end of the psalm beginning in verse 11.

Why should I make the word of God my primary source for knowledge? Listen to what this psalm says about the communication of God to man. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins.

Let them not have dominion over me. Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. The things that the psalmist has just enumerated at the end of this psalm, he is making the case, are not possible without fully embracing God's special revelation to man. When you read those statements and put them all together, you come to this conclusion, without the word of God, it is impossible to be right with God. That's a big statement.

So let's unpack it then. First of all, by hearing some other things the scriptures say, you know these verses, all scripture is given by inspiration of God, it is breathed out by God, and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, mature, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 2 15, study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Psalm 119 9, wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Verse 11, thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. Joshua 1 7 and 8, only be thou strong and very courageous that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee.

Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, let thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. The scriptures over and over and over affirm the statement that it is impossible to be right with God without the word of God. I want us to see two earth-shattering realities as we begin this series. One, you will never truly understand God, the world, or yourself without knowing the word of God.

Let me say that again. You will never truly understand God, the world, or yourself without knowing the word of God. Second statement, the level to which you inform your mind with God's truth is the level at which you will truly understand life. The level to which you inform your mind with God's truth is the level at which you will truly understand life. If those two earth-shattering realities are true, how much time and attention should you give to God's word? So I asked you just some probing questions. As far as information goes, do you think through regulating the amount of time that God speaks to you through his word with the amount of time the world speaks to you?

I'm not standing in front of you saying, you know what, if you're gonna be healthy, you should balance them. I actually don't think you should, but how much time do you allow the world to directly speak into you out of its ethical norm from things like social media compared to the priority you give to allowing God to speak into your life from his word? So what is a worldview and why does it matter? What is a worldview? Richard May who says this, a worldview comprises a person's collection of presuppositions, convictions, and values from which he tries to understand and make sense out of the world in life. Ronald Nash says it this way, a worldview is a conceptual scheme by which we consciously or unconsciously place or fit everything we believe and by which we interpret and judge reality. Gary Phillips says this, a worldview is first of all an explanation and interpretation of the world and second an application of this view to life. So how do I form a worldview? May who adds this, every worldview starts with presuppositions. What are those beliefs that one presumes to be true without supporting independent evidence from other sources or systems? We as created beings all have presuppositions.

There are things that I begin to assume are true. A worldview is a process of either having that informed by a source of authority or allowing that presumed view of life to dominate my life. So what are the presuppositions of a Christian worldview that is solidly rooted and grounded in scripture? Well May who, summarizing Carl FH Henry, Ronald Nash, and Robert L Raymond writes this, two major presuppositions underlie a biblical worldview. The first is the eternal existence of the personal transcendent triune creator God.

I say that and you sit here and say well yeah duh friends the world that is informing your ethical norm does not make that presumption. It actually makes the presumption there is no God. Just from first John we know that when he wrote and all that is in the world is not of the Father but is of the world. The second is this, the God of scripture has revealed his character purposes and will in the infallible and inerrant pages of his special revelation, the Bible, which is superior to any other source of revelation or human reason alone. I'm sorry if you're sitting here and me making that kind of a clear statement offends you but I love you too much to not offend you with the truth.

The world in trying to inform you is not afraid to offend you. So what is a Christian worldview? Well James Orr was really the first modern theologian credited with organizing Christian thought around the core concept of a worldview in his work The Christian View of God and the World and he answers the question by writing this, the Christian worldview sees and understands God the creator and his creation if you will man in the world primarily through the lens of God's special revelation the holy scriptures and secondarily through God's natural revelation in creation as interpreted by human reason and reconciled by and with scripture for the purpose of believing and behaving in accord with God's will and thereby glorifying God with one's mind and life both now and in eternity. That is an incredible statement. If you ask me today to frame for you how I really want to live my life after reading that statement it actually captures the way I want to live my life. I want to live with an informed view that sees and understands God the creator and his creation through the lens of his holy word and then through God's natural revelation in creation as it is interpreted by human reason that is only and always reconciled by and with the scripture.

And why? Because I want it to be the source that informs my believing and my behaving so that I live in accordance with God's will and glorify him with both my mind and my life let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight oh Lord my God and my Redeemer. That is exactly what the psalmist said.

So I ask you this question. Do you have or are you pursuing living life with a biblical worldview? I want to quickly jump back into this psalm and I want us to understand the value of God's word as he presents it here in this psalm. He lays out a case for general revelation. It's wonderful, it is powerful, it is clear, but it makes no sense to the unsaved mind that does not have the lens of God's word. Romans tells us that basically general revelation tells us two things. There is a God and I'm not him, but general revelation gives me no instruction about how I should be right with God. It gives me no instruction about how I should behave the way God intends for me to behave. It doesn't give me any direction with regard to how I should pursue and live out God's will for my life. General revelation is a silent messenger to call the attention of a created being to his creator and by God's grace and in God's mercy, once he has that attention, he has provided special revelation to give me instruction about how to be right with God. There is no gospel in staring at the stars.

None that I can perceive or understand without looking at the stars through the lens of God's word. So I want us to see the colossal message of special revelation and I want us to see it as we look at it actually in six statements that the psalmist makes and I'll walk through them clearly or quickly. Claim number one, notice what he says in this psalm about the word of God.

He starts in verse seven where he says, the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. Claim number one is the comprehensiveness of the scripture. The scriptures make it possible to address every aspect of the inner man. The meaning there, complete or perfect, it needs nothing.

That's the idea. The scriptures claim to be all that a man needs to address everything about the inner man. But then understand the application of the word nefesh or inner man is the immaterial part of man. And so what you see there is that divine instruction from God restores, repairs, revives the inner man.

It needs nothing else to address the condition of the heart, the intellect and the emotions. Why should I give myself to the authority of the word of God? Because young people, all of us are struggling internally.

All of us are wrestling internally. All of us are trying to chart a path based upon an ethical norm that is informed by presuppositions that come out of our fallen nature and our fallen culture. And as we wrestle through that, where do you go for help and hope? The answer is the word of God. And the word of God has every answer. Claim number two, the trustworthiness of the scripture. It is able to make the simple wise. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. It speaks to certainty. Can I rest in what the scriptures say?

Is God going to change his mind? And so the meaning is this, the simple, the naive, the open-minded. It's describing a mind that keeps nothing in.

It doesn't mean that you can't remember anything. It actually means that there is so much information that is being thrown at me that my tendency to adjust the way I live based upon how I'm informed is open-ended. We're living in a culture that is walking through a value shift because it is constantly being re-informed with new information. What does it mean by the simple? The simple believeth every word, but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

In other words, I'm not just going to live that way. Proverbs 14, 18, the simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. And so why call it the testimony? Because it is the divine witness of God. God says, I will not shift the ethical norm.

I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. The divine witness of God is so sure that it is able to make the simple one who is wrestling with pathways skilled in all aspects of holy living. If you want to know how to live for God, you can trust God to tell you the right way.

Claim number three, the direction of scripture. It is the way to true fulfillment and joy. If I asked us to bow our heads and I raised your hands and I asked you how many of you today would say, I want to feel a sense of fulfillment in life. I want to have a purpose and I want the sense of accomplishing that goal. I believe every hand would be raised.

No one would sit here and say, you know what? I really would just like to live an aimless life. Even those who find in the rest of life an aimlessness somehow managed to find a way to play video games that have a purpose. Anybody like to play an open-ended video game that accomplishes nothing?

There are some of those. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. Right there refers to the right path, the straight course. It is the right way to reach a designated end and the statutes are divine guidelines for living. You see, true joy comes when people walk in accordance with the guidelines laid out in the word of God. Somehow we think if I do what the Bible says, I will be a prude and find no joy in life.

And exactly the opposite is true. So the scriptures rightly and frequently and directly and without apology constantly call God's people back to the right way of thinking so that they have a right way of believing that results in a right way of behaving that results in satisfaction and joy. God's not out to destroy your life.

He made it. Claim number four, the clearness of scripture makes it possible to comprehend the dark things in life. If I asked you today, are there things about life that are confusing? Are there pathways about your future you just don't know about? Are there relationships you're unsure about? Are there friendships you're questioning?

Maybe you're wondering, how in the world did I end up with these roommates? There are dark things in life. To that the scriptures say the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The command of Yahweh, an authoritative declaration. The word pure here doesn't mean that it's clean. It actually means that it's clear to see.

It is lucid. God is not somehow mystically hiding the truth that you need to live. He's making it clear. Enlightening the eye is the idea of illumination of the mind that a man may understand the significance of what God says with regard to how I am supposed to live my life. God through his word is promising you to give you clear instruction about how you should live your life. Psalm 119, 104 says, through thy precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119, 105 says thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Claim number five, devotion to the scripture brings knowledge and understanding that is applicable in every age.

God's word isn't outdated and God's word doesn't need updated. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. Why is it referred to as fear?

Well, a few reasons. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and serve him and shalt swear by his name. Fear or the expression Old Testament of faith, a reverential resting in God, actually is a pathway to actually living for God. Thus we hear the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This word fear is a faith-filled expression of worship. It is having a right view of God that results in believing rightly about God and living rightly for God. This is fear. It is enduring, meaning it is timeless and it is eternal.

No updating is needed. It needs no refinement and it is universally applicable. God's word is the knowledge you need to live your life. That's what God says. Claim number six, the verdicts of scripture are accurate and righteous. They are guidelines for belief and behavior. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Hear me, young people, with regard to your life, God is the judge, not the witness. These are divine pronouncements and they are true, meaning they are accurate and they are firm and they are straight and they are non-negotiable. They are not up for debate, but know that they are righteous. They are fair and they are completely balanced and so we take away from that that the word of God is a completely comprehensive guide for right living and right believing. Six statements about what God's word is. And I leave you again with these two earth-shattering truths. You will never truly understand God, the world, and yourself without knowing the word of God. And the level to which you inform your mind with God's truth is the level at which you will truly understand life. I ask you to wholeheartedly embrace our doctrinal theme journey as we explore truth for life. You've been listening to Dr. Alan Benson. Listen again tomorrow as we continue this series on Bibliology on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-06 23:10:00 / 2023-06-06 23:20:00 / 10

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