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How Shall We Respond to Scripture #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2022 8:00 am

How Shall We Respond to Scripture #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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July 1, 2022 8:00 am

Today, Pastor Don Green looks at the absolute necessity of allowing God's Word to change us from the inside out. And what we can do, on a practical level, to make sure we see the changes God's word tells us we should see.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Today's message is designed to help you respond to Scripture and to answer one final question, how shall we respond to Scripture, is it possible to read the Bible on a regular basis. Yet never see a change in your life. Will the answer is maybe hello I build right you're listening to the truth pulpit with Don Greene, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio today as he continues teaching God's people. God's word. Don looks at the absolute necessity of allowing God's word to change you from the inside out and what we can do on a practical level to make sure we see the changes. God's word tells us we should see. Will Don what would you say to the person who reads the Bible all the time but really doesn't see a greater personal holiness, manifesting in their life.

What might that lack of response indicate well Bill that's a great question in my friend, you and I both know that it's easy to read scripture out of a sense of habit. Just because that's what you're supposed to do and to read it without any real desire to change it confronts me and it convicts me to know that David prayed Lord let them words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. Psalm 19 verse 14 he wanted God's word to have a living, dynamic in his life that made him pleasing to God, my friend. I would just encourage you to go to God with that same prayer each time you open his word Lord work in my heart by the power the Holy Spirit. As I read your word today.

Thanks God, and friend.

If you're ready, let's get started.

Here is our teacher with part one message called, how shall we respond to Scripture all we finished with giving some opportunities and some suggestions on how to read Scripture for yourself and to become a a systematic reader of God's word and the thing that is really on my heart to say today into the kind of wrap that up with is to help you understand and to show you biblically the importance of something very important. We don't read Scripture simply to check off a box and say that we did worry, we don't go after God's word. We don't go into God's word with a purely academic interest, or to be able to boast and say I read Scripture and someone else doesn't.

That's utterly foreign to the spirit of of the Bible.

Let me remind you of something that that James says in James chapter 1, you can turn there although won't be our text but but when there has been such a focus like we've had over the past a couple of days.

On reading the word of God and interpreting it and bringing it into our hearts.

It is vital and essential to help you remember that that's not an end goal in and of itself that this is not like reading a novel or a book and then you put it on the shelf and you go away unchanged. The whole point of this is to help you understand and internalize God's word so that it changes your life.

If there is not a life change that is produced in your life than reading Scripture has not reached its goal.

If you don't feel confronted in your sin if you don't feel confronted to to grow in Christ to love him more than you've completely missed the point.

We could say that even about being here on a week by week Sunday by Sunday basis unless you realize that this has authority over your life and has a changing influence on your you're missing the most important point of the mall so we want to help you realize the scriptural importance of this and give you some some leading from the Bible with those things said as we kinda turn our attention now to God's word and being mindful of of what we've done. Look at James chapter 1 verse 19 James says this, you know, my beloved brethren but everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

What is talking about in context there is to be quick to hear and slow to speak, slow to react in anger against God's word when it comes and convicts you that your mindset toward the word of God would be one who is is receiving rather than quick to speak most of us have that tendency where we think we have two times in one year instead of the reverse. We need to be mindful of that. That Scripture should should make us sober that it should make us serious minded and that we should be mindful of our weakness and our tendency to speak foolishly and that that that would act as a restraint before we would respond to God's word. Look what he says he goes on in verse 21.

This is all by way of introduction. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness and humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls, but prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror. For once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was, but one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. So Scripture cautions us about the the serious nature of coming to God's word. Scripture reminds us that were not merely to read it as if it's some other book, but that our lives come under the authority, let me say that again your life comes under the authority of God's word in a way that is not true of any other book that you read in the God's word when it when it when it speaks to you is, is calling you. It is commanding you.

Is exercising authority over your soul and over your heart and so we must be mindful of that and not detach our Bible reading not to attach our Bible study not to exist, not detach our Bible teaching from the totality of life that we live. That is absolutely essential for you to understand if that is not something that is ever immediate in your thinking than than you're really missing the point. And today's message is designed to help you respond to Scripture and to answer one final question as we wrap up this little in-house conference. How shall we respond to Scripture how is it you that you should be asking yourself how is it that I respond to God's word. What should be the settled mindset of my heart as I read God's word as I hear it proclaimed. As I study it with others and with that I want you to go back to Psalm 19 we studied the Psalm recently in the past we studied it in the more distant past as well, and I just want to focus on one aspect of this on to kind of help you have some direction for where you want to go from here in the Psalm by way of quick review in the first six verses David describes and exalts the glories of God in creation and he responds to that about how God has made himself known in the heavens. Then he goes on in verses seven through 11 and speaks about the more specific way that God has revealed himself in his word.

It's perfect, it's true, it's right that has beneficial effects upon those who read it verse seven, it restores the soul that makes wise the simple. It rejoices the heart.

It enlightens the eyes. It is clean and righteous altogether.

It is sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb just just a a a you a rich treasure that we have in God's word far richer than finding a treasure chest full of ancient gold coins.

This is the word of God, the Bible that you hold on your lap. You know if I could do anything if there could be anything that would that would be the mark of this church, I would have us and I thought I see this developing in us and in our in your lives that you would treasure God's word.

You would not only revere written and read it, but that you would that you would love it that it would be that it would be that the one of the that the central affections of your heart because it is that precious, that sweet more vital than your closest human relationship. The word of God is because it's the word of God alone that that point you to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the door to heaven who is the door to the forgiveness of your sins, who is the way the truth and the life apart from Scripture were in darkness with the Scriptures we have the mind of God and so we thank God for that and today what I want to focus on is how David ends this Psalm how he, as he shows us how the word should impact us and this is David isn't simply instructing us as a teacher to a student heat. This was his actual reaction to God's word to God's revelation and what we see here is is a humility that is marked by the man who loves God's word and that's what we want to take a look at as we see how to respond to Scripture. David expresses three desires in these final three verses of the Psalm that will help you respond rightly to Scripture and I want you to see these things. I want you to take them to heart and and God would have you meditate and reflect and think, not about the person next to you and say all you know Sam needs to hear this or Jill needs to really hear this. I'm glad she's here to hear this message. Now what I want you to be thinking is.

I'm glad that I'm here to hear this message because God's word here is instructing and in directing you in the way that your heart should be and what your attitude should be as at as an ongoing response to the word of God. So what can we say about what should it provoke in you will first of all, it should provoke in you a seeking of pardon for your sin, a seeking of pardon for your sin and what this so what this passage teaches us is that we fall short of the glory of God without even knowing it. We fall short in ways we don't even recognize. And you know we tend to think as Christians I think there's probably an unspoken assumption that that the measure of our sinfulness sometimes is is by what we know to confess by what we actually confess and so are mindful of you know I set a bad word here. I had a bad attitude. There spoke wrongly to my spouse here and you know and you confess those things and it doesn't take a whole lot of time and you say okay well I'm doing pretty good that well beloved. That's that's wrong way for us to think you know were a lot more sinful than we realize. You fall short in a whole lot more ways than you than your conscious of and David as he writes this passage in response to the word of God is mindful of that himself and he brings us to a very central and fundamental truth there in verse 12. Look at it with me. He says who can discern his errors acquit me of hidden faults.

David says God who can understand the ways in which he spiritually deficient. How can I know how can I really fully grasp all of the ways that I fall short of the perfection of your glory.

How do I measure my wrong motivations. My my speech that I say so thoughtlessly. How do I measure father, the lack of of my of my earnestness and loving you with all of my heart, soul, strength in mind. How do I measure the fact that I fall short and loving my neighbor as myself. God there's just so many ways when I realize about what you're perfection and what your word calls me to, I start to realize that there are so many ways in which I don't measure up to your Holiness, even though your word tells me to be perfect as you yourself are perfect. So David, David is realizing that there is a that there is a measure of his sinfulness that he doesn't recognize and what is more, he understands that he is prone to self-deception and that is that that is probably the biggest threat that each one of you have been here in this room is that you are prone to self-deception, to think that you are more godly than you actually are. Perhaps the think you're a Christian when you're not even more prone to congratulate ourselves because were better than someone else without realizing that we fall short of who God is and who our Christ is and so David here is is adopting a posture of humility in response to the word of God that says Lord I'm sure I don't measure up in ways that I don't even understand the verse 12 with me again who can discern his errors.

The anticipated answer is no one can. We don't even know the ways we fall short of the glory of God the best man among us does not see how sinful he is. He doesn't diagnose sin properly and therefore is prone to think more highly of himself than he ought.

Jeremiah 17 verse nine says the heart is deceitful above all else and is desperately sick.

Who can understand it. The commentator Matthew Henry said in a quote.

We are guilty of many sins which through our carelessness and partiality to ourselves.

We are not aware of. Many times we have been guilty of sins which we have now forgotten so that when we have been ever so particular in the confession of sin, we must conclude that God knows a great deal more evil of us than we do of ourselves." So beloved.

Here's what I want you to see. Even when you are serious about dealing with sin in your life even when you are watching guard over your soul. The concluding prayer of that spirit still is Lord forgive me of hidden sin. God there's bound to be more here than I recognize. And so I appeal to your omniscience.

I appeal to your grace and I ask you to acquit me of that which you see, but I don't recognize and then humility. We respond to the word of God. By recognizing that that we need cleansing from sin that we need him to acquit us of our faults, both known and unknown. We take the posture of one who is responsible to God who is humble before him because were mindful that were sinful in his presence.

You know what's great about that spirit of going to God through Christ. With that spirit know it's wonderful about that is that in response to that spirit. God doesn't respondent and scold us doesn't chastise us when we come to him in humble repentance like what David is describing God is actually willing and glad to answer that prayer out of his grace and that magnificent first John 19 says if we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And so we bring a portion of it and confess and say Lord. Here's what I mindful love here's what I'm conscious of and forgive me of all of the rest that I don't see in Scripture. Respondent says that's exactly what God does that. That's exactly why Christ died for you. It's exactly why he shed his blood on the cross was so that you might be washed completely from all of your sin and that you might be able to walk forward in life.

Having risen from your knees, as it were, and confessing that sin and and going forward with the sense that that things are fully reconciled between you and God.

And you can go forward with a clear conscience, confident of his favor and blessing being upon you.

That's the proper response to Scripture you humble yourself before him, you confess sin you trust him to honor his promise to forgive and then you move forward with a clear mind with serenity deeply embedded in your heart because of the reconciling work of Jesus Christ on your behalf wonderful in it beloved David's prayer here can reawaken your desire for pardon from sin reacquaint you with the ongoing responsibility that is ours that to confess our sins before the Lord even as believers to say Lord forgive me for that, you know there have been teachers in the past who don't deserve the moniker of Bible teacher applied to them who have taught Christians that you don't need to confess sin, even as a believer in Christ.

That's utterly false, and that is very wicked teaching because what that does is it hardens the conscience against God and says I can send with impunity and and I don't have to humble myself and it just makes somebody very hard in sin while claiming to be a godly Christian. We reject that don't you fall into that error either in your thinking or in your practice, we walk with humility before God and when we violate his word and when our lives are not what they should be. We need to go to him and humbly confess that is a true response to the word of God and so you know were not were not here to cover our sin were here to uncover it into expose it in the presence of God and deal with it.

Honestly that's the only right thing to do. That's the only right response to the word of God.

Now, as David goes on in this portion of Scripture. He does more than seek pardon for his past sins. He goes on, and he seeks protection from future, said he seeks protection from future sin.

In verse 12. David looks to the past. He says acquit me of my hidden faults the things that it that Mark me now. The things that I've done in the past that I'm not aware of the changes focus. He pivots as he moves forward in verse 13 and watch this watch what he does. He now looks to the future and he prays proactively in his pursuit of holiness. Look at verse 13 with me. He says also that I'm not done dealing with sin here Lord as part of my response to God's word not just going to rush through's confession and him and examining myself in your presence so I can get to what I want. He deals with it so thoroughly so thoughtfully so comprehensively in verse 13 he says also in addition to what I just confess. Also, keep back your servant from presumptuous sins. Let them not rule over me that word presumptuous that he uses here describes a defiant attitude that says I'll do what I want. It is the spirit that takes liberties with the grace of God that becomes self assertive, that becomes indifferent to what they, the call of God in the commands of God on your heart and soul and mouth would be and says I want to do what I want. David says God I don't want that spirit anywhere near my heart as I reflect on the greatness of your glory and creation as I see the wonders of the way that you have displayed yourself in your word. The last thing that I want father, one of the great spiritual priorities of my heart is that my spirit would be compliant before you as I walk in this life. David says God guard me, protect me, help me so that I would not have that self assertive independent, defiant spirit against you, but rather that my heart would be conformed to your will.

He says hold me back. He says, Lord, whatever you do whatever it takes in your in your in the power of your providence in your work in my heart whatever is necessary.

Father hold me back, restrained me so that I don't go into that realm. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to be a posse. Assertive person like that in your presence. I want to line up under you, not in opposition to you. I want to remember you not forget you.

I want to be under the influence of your spirit. I want your word to be guiding the kind of person that I am rather than the selfish, sinful impulses of my heart.

See what Dave is praying about here is he saying God God shake my character make me into a particular kind of person is not simply confessing individual sins here. He's thinking about the whole way that his character is in the presence of God in response to God's word.

Don't let me resist your will, oh God, now here's a question. If you read that and think about it at all, sooner or later you come to this point NASA's question is a prayer like that really necessary for a man who loves God, is it necessary to look ahead and pray that way if you're you're already in a compliant spirit. You're already of a mindset that your confessing sin and saying God acquit me of hidden faults is it necessary to take this other staffer is David just kinda being extravagant in a necessary and his heart affections is that prayer necessary as a response to Scripture. Yes, absolutely. If you know anything about your inner man you know that that's true. See, David knew that while he was presently submissive as he was writing this song. He knew that there were strands of wickedness. There were seeds of evil in his heart. Just like there are in each one of yours that could motivate him to sin against God. In the future, even though at the moment he is submitting himself to God. He understands he is not yet perfect that he understands he's not yet glorified. So while his spirit while his heart while his thinking while his mind is engaged and captivated by the word of God and the glory of God.

He says Lord III submit myself to you in this moment, he hears what he does watches truly strategic. He takes advantage of his present godly frame of mind in order to set the stage for his future holiness is not just living in the moment.

He's thinking ahead he's guarding against the wickedness of his heart by asking God to help him in the future that's done green, wrapping up his message today on the truthful friend if you'd like to hear today's message again or you'd like to find out how you could support this broadcast ministry. We invite you to visit the truth. Pulpit.com again that's the pulpit.com will hear the second half of today's message on our next broadcast below unbilled right will see that is done.

Green continues teaching God's people. God's word hereunder, truthful


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