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Obey the Word of God

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2021 2:26 pm

Obey the Word of God

The Verdict / John Munro

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January 4, 2021 2:26 pm

Dr. John H. Munro January 3, 2021 James 1:22–25, 1 Peter 2:1–2

Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts

Thomas Chammers, the Scottish preacher said, let me repeat that. The sum and substance of the preparation needed for coming eternity, we would also say for 2021 as well as eternity, is that you believe what the Bible tells you and you what the Bible bids you. That's what we believe at Calvary Church. We believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We believe that God made you and me in His image. We believe that each one of us one day will stand before a holy God and we believe that every single one of us will spend eternity either in heaven or in hell.

That's what we believe. We believe that each one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We believe that all of us without exception are completely unable into earth to be the savior of the world. We believe that He is sinless and that He died on the cross at Calvary as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We believe that He was buried and that on the third day according to the Scriptures, He rose from the dead and He's alive.

We believe that He ascended on high and is presently seated at the Father's right hand in heaven. We believe that Jesus Christ is returning for His bride for the church and that all who know Christ will be caught up to be forever with the Lord. We believe that all unbelievers will experience the judgment of God for all of eternity. This is what we believe. We believe that these truths are firmly taught in this book, the Bible.

We believe that this book, the Bible, is the unearned, inspired Word of God. And this is what we believe. We believe at Calvary Church.

And so at the beginning of 2021, I want, as it were, to reinforce the foundation. Our theme verse at Calvary is for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. I want to preach this first Sunday on the Word of God.

I've selected four themes for 2021, and this is the first one. Obey the Word of God. It's important that we reaffirm that we understand our commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. If you can't afford a Bible, let me know, or let Eric know, and Eric, our pastor, who is very generous, he will buy you a Bible.

In fact, any of us pastors, we will be delighted to buy you a Bible if you can't afford it because we believe that each one of us must not only own a Bible, but read it and obey it. If you, as Thomas Chalmers said, that the sum and substance of the preparation needed for coming eternity is that you believe what the Bible tells you and do what the Bible bids you, you'll understand that we must not only know about the Bible, not only have some information about the Bible, but we must, in fact, delight in the Bible. We must love the Word of God and obey the Word of God without the power of God unleashed in your life.

Without you knowing and obeying the Word of God, when you attend church, you may have an entertaining time, you may have an emotional experience, you may have cultural Christianity, you may have political or social activism from the pulpit, you may leave feeling very good about yourself, but there will be no lasting spiritual impact in your life without the Word of God. No food for your soul, no preparation for your eternal destiny. We believe that the grass withers, the flower fades. Think of past 2020.

It's gone. All that you did, all that you said is gone another year. Yes, we believe that the grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our Lord stands forever. Many changes in 2020, there will be many changes in the life in 2021. We don't know what they are, but this we know that life is different, life is changing. And what you think may be very, very important withers and is gone and is utterly meaningless.

All of your efforts spent in so many things are worth absolutely nothing, but this we know that the Word of God stands forever. Our Lord Jesus said, quoting the Old Testament, that man shall not live by bread alone. That is, we do not live just by the material things of life. Yes, we need that. We need bread. We need these things.

We need bodily exercise. That is true. But we do not live by bread alone, but by every word. Notice that, every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Now if you believe that, it is essential then that we know the Bible, that we study the Bible, that we memorize the Bible, and we obey it. I hope you've got your Bible there, so turn to 2 Timothy, 2 Timothy 3, Paul's last writing at a young Timothy. Paul is passing on the burden as it were at a young Timothy, and he's writing to him in these very, very important verses that I want us to read together. 2 Timothy chapter 3, and we'll begin at verse 14.

Paul has already said earlier in the epistle that Timothy should guard the deposit of truth which is given to him. We don't make up our own ideas. We don't formulate our own doctrine. We don't say this is the kind of church Calvary Church should be. We conform it to the Word of God.

2 Timothy 3 verse 14, Paul is saying to Timothy, Paul is saying to Timothy, ask for you Timothy, continue in what you've learned and have firmly believed. We don't believe in brainwashing. We're not a cult. That's why we want you to come with your Bible. If what you hear from this pulpit, if what you hear from your life group, if you hear from what your Bible study, ideas, if they don't conform to the Word of God, it doesn't matter who's saying it, reject it.

You need to firmly believe the truth. This is why I'd like you to come with your Bible so that you know what I'm saying is in fact the Word of God. People give their lives that we would have the Bible in our own language.

Calvary Church has been committed right from the beginning 80 years ago to sending missionaries and giving funds so that the Bible would be translated into all the different languages of the nations because we are so committed that people can read the Bible for themselves. It says Paul here, verse 14, continuing what you've learned and firmly believe, knowing from whom you've learned it, be it a godly mother and grandmother, and how from childhood you've been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able, notice this, here is what the Word of God does, it's able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the Word.

Timothy, I'm about to go. I'm telling you what the Bible is. It's the very Word of God.

It's breathed out by God. It's profitable and I want you to preach the Word, not your own ideas, but preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season, reproof, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching, for the time is coming. Isn't this interesting reading in the first century? Paul could have been writing yesterday, for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. How wonderful that we have these words to strengthen our faith in God and his Word. The Bible then is the Word of God and it is our authority. The Bible is absolutely authoritative because God is the author. If we believe as we do at Calvary Church, as I do personally, as our pastors and leaders do and our members do, that this is the inspired Word of God.

If we believe that, then clearly the Bible is authoritative. Over and over again, as you read the Word of God, we read expressions like this. The Lord said, the Lord speak, the Word of God came saying. That is when God speaks or when the Bible speaks, God speaks. Paul has said, it's breathed out by God. It's inspired by God. It comes from God.

It has its origin not in man but in God so that when you read the Word of God, God is speaking. You want to know what God says? Read his Word. He's spoken.

He's revealed himself. So our authority is not in our traditions. It's not in our confessions. And our authority, please hear me, is not in ourselves. It's not in our experiences. It's not in our personal feelings or opinions, which is the trend of today, isn't it? It is in God's Word. See, we believe that left to ourselves, we would never ever arrive at the truth.

Why is that? Because sin has entered our universe and sin has darkened our minds. Sin has hardened our hearts.

Sin has captured our wills. And so God in his grace, our Creator, has spoken to us in his Word. And so we believe that this Word, the Word of God, is absolute truth. The vast majority of people don't believe today in absolute truth, but we do. This is God's truth.

It's been revealed by God in his Word. And your salvation, your personal salvation, please hear me, depends on hearing, believing, and obeying the Word of God. So Paul writes in Romans 10, faith comes by hearing, adhering by the Word of Christ. Paul has said to Timothy, Timothy, from childhood, from infancy, from your earliest memory, you have learned the Holy Scriptures. He was taught them by his mother and by his grandmother, Timothy.

You know that. Paul had taught Timothy himself. From childhood, you've known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation. How are you going to have this spiritual wisdom? How are you going to be saved? How can you have a right relationship with God? By trying to work out your own ideas, by going along with the culture, by going along with your feelings, by believing in yourself, absolutely not. God has come into our world.

We celebrated that just a few days ago at Christmas, that God has entered into our world, into time and space, in Jesus Christ, who comes as the deliverer, as the Savior. And hearing and obeying God's eternal truth results in spiritual transformation, supernatural transformation. Do you believe that you can be supernaturally transformed? Do you believe that you can be changed by God? People find themselves in terrible situations, often because of their own sin, their own bad choices, and people feel hopeless. With God, there are no hopeless cases. The only hopeless case is those who reject God's Word.

The only hopeless case is for those who decide to do their own way rather than God's way, who go the broad road which leads to destruction rather than the narrow way, God's way which leads to life. Now, we're not surprised when God's Word is attacked. Satan has always attacked the Word of God. Jesus describes our enemy as the father of lies.

God is absolute truth. God cannot lie. Satan always lies. He's a father of lies.

He's 100% deceitful. And so the first recorded question in the Bible is by Satan to Eve, as Satan comes to Eve and says, did God actually say that? I mean, come on. Let's think about this, Eve. Did God actually say that? Satan's always saying that. Is that really what God says? Did the Bible really say that?

I mean, is that really true? And so Satan comes, and what's he doing? He's attacking the Word of God. He's tempting Eve to question the truthfulness, the accuracy, the authority of the Word of God. That's what he continues to do, to attack the reliability, the authority, the accuracy of the Word of God. Did God actually say that? Are you actually saying that?

The answer is yes. If God says it, I believe it. I accept it because it is the living Word of God.

How different from the common mindset in our society. Our society teaches you, demonstrates that each person is his or her own authority. I'm my own authority in interpreting my life. I am my own authority in determining my plan, my right plan for me. That might be okay for you, but this is my plan.

This is the way I'm going to go. And what are we doing? We're making ourselves as the authority. And it's very sad when people claim to believe in God, when people claim to believe in the Bible, but still make themselves the absolute and the ultimate authority.

So what do we constantly hear in our society, even in some so-called churches? Follow your own heart. Boy, is that bad advice. Follow your own, just follow your intuition. Follow your gut feeling.

Do what is right for you. And over and over again we hear, be true to yourself. Notice what's happened. Instead of the authority being here, the authority is now in me. I am the authority. You cannot tell me what to do. You do your own thing, I couldn't get less.

I authenticate you, you authenticate me, but I am going to do my own thing. I am going to be true to myself. So when I was a young man in my teens, early 20s, myself and all of my contemporaries, raised in Christian families and in Bible-believing churches, we were taught that you only had a marriage in the Lord. You only married a believer. And I knew that if I ever dated a young woman, the first question, and really the only question that my parents would ask would be, is she walking with God? Not just is she a professing believer in Jesus Christ, but is she an authentic follower of Jesus Christ?

That would be the main question. Is that true today? What do we hear even in Christian circles? I hear even professing believers saying, well, this person makes me happy. So now, we've done a dramatic change from the authority of Scripture into what makes you happy. And that philosophy has penetrated our churches.

Biblical doctrine, biblical exposition are marginalized or ignored. I had someone say to me who was sitting here, I said, well, you know, we really don't need doctrine, John. We just all love Jesus, don't we?

Isn't that enough? Who is Jesus? That's doctrine, right? Why should we love Jesus?

What does it mean to love Jesus? I mean, all of these questions are doctrinal. How trite, how foolish, how deceived to say that we don't need to be taught doctrine or to think of the deep truths of Scripture. But the idea is who cares about doctrine?

Who cares about biblical exposition? It's all about having an experience. I go to church and I want some excitement. I want to leave feeling good about myself. I want to be pumped up.

The greater the emotion and the greater the hoopla, the better I feel. It seems then that truth doesn't really matter. In fact, truth is boring. It's all about having fun. And in this way, God's word, God's truth are in their mind, ignored, marginalized, and replaced by what? Replaced by our personal psychological well-being.

Isn't that happening? That's what happens out there in our culture. It's all about your personal psychological well-being. It's all about you.

It's all about how you feel, your happiness, your ideas, your views. That's the authority. And you come to church and you want that to be reinforced. And God's word is saying, this is absolute nonsense. This is diametrically opposed to the word of God. That's the way of Satan. God actually said that, you know, if you do that, you're going to experience. You'll have a new experience, good and evil. I mean, God's keeping that from you.

You go ahead. And this idea that everything has to reinforce our psychological well-being, that our feeling, our personal happiness. We're so fragile people, aren't we nowadays?

It's all about me. And so, when that pervades the church as it is happening, so often we are kept in perpetual immaturity and we're kept in perpetual shallowness. No, this book, the Bible, is the perfect, indestructible word of God.

It remains forever and it is our authority. And we must, as we know the word of God then, be able to discern truth from error. We've got to be able to discern, as it were, spiritual junk food from the living word of God. Let me ask you to turn to a passage which will help us in 1 Peter 2. 1 Peter chapter 2, and we'll read, first of all, the first three verses.

What am I saying to you today? I'm saying read your Bible. We have a reading plan online that you may find helpful.

Or devise your own reading plan. But commit to read the Bible every day. Not only read it, but to obey it. And obeying the word of God, Peter is saying, results in spiritual growth. You will not grow spiritually without the word of God.

Now listen to what Peter says. 1 Peter 2 verse 1, So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation. Here's the way to spiritual maturity.

You want to grow up, long for the word of God. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. You see, your spiritual life, this supernatural transformation, begins with the word of God. We are saved by the miracle of the new birth.

How does that come about? By the living and abiding word of God. Look back to chapter 1, 1 Peter 1 verse 23, Since you've been born again, was born again, born from heaven, the new birth. Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.

Don't you love that? Here is spiritual transformation through the living and abiding word of God. For Peter knows his Bible. He's going to quote it. All flesh is like grass and all is glory like the flower of grass.

The grass withers and the flower falls. He's quoting from Isaiah 40. But the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news, is the gospel that was preached to you. All else in life withers and dies, but the word of the Lord remains forever. This is why we preach and teach the Bible at Calvary. As authentic followers of Jesus, notice what Peter is saying, we are to long, verse 2 of chapter 2, long for the pure spiritual milk of the world in order to grow.

And Peter uses an analogy that we can all understand. He uses the analogy of the newborn baby longing for milk. I mean the strong desire of a baby, a newborn baby, is not for a cute outfit. It's not for a fancy nursery.

It's not for an expensive toy. What does the baby want? It wants milk. You don't give a baby a T-bone steak or a donut or a hot dog or peanut butter.

Don't give anyone peanut butter is my view. But you certainly don't give that to a newborn. What does the newborn baby want? Milk. It wants the mother's milk.

That is a physical desire. And the desire for milk by the baby is evidence that the baby is healthy. Give the baby milk, clean up the consequences of the milk, and you've got a contented baby.

Right? It's quite simple, isn't it? Feed the baby, clean the baby, and you've got a contented baby.

Now think of that. We, can we say as baby Christians, here we are. We've been born again. We're beginning to follow Jesus Christ.

What's going to keep us healthy? How are we going to grow the pure milk of the Word? Pure spiritual milk. Do you long for the Word of God? See, authentic followers of Jesus have a love for, have a delight in the Word of God, and that is given by the Holy Spirit.

You cannot give that baby the appetite for milk. I cannot give you a spiritual desire for the Word of God. If you find the Word of God boring, it's not my fault.

It's your fault. There's something wrong. There's a spiritual disease.

It's a sign that you're not healthy. Listen to the words of Jesus in John. John chapter 8 verse 47. I think these verses are very striking. John 8 verse 47, whoever is of God hears the words of God.

The reason why you do not hear them is that you're not of God. The spiritual person, the people of God, hear the Word of God. Chapter 10, the great chapter on the Good Shepherd. Jesus says, John 10 verse 27, my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. That's the characteristic of the sheep. The sheep hears the shepherd's voice and follows him.

If you don't recognize the shepherd's voice, you've got to question, am I one of the sheep? This is one of the characteristics of the follower of Jesus. Chapter 18, John 18. He's before Pilate. John 18 verse 37. Then Pilate said to him, so you're a king? Jesus answered, you say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world. To bear witness to the truth. Notice what Jesus says now, everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.

That's striking, isn't it? Here is God himself, God incarnate before Pilate. Hear the Word of God. See, God's Word is pure, it's wholesome. It's not watered down, it's got no additives.

It is 100% safe. And the more you read the Word of God and the more you obey the Word of God, the more you will desire the Word of God. So here we are, beginning 2021, and you say, well, I've got to get into this habit of reading my Bible. It's a discipline. Yes, it is a discipline. You need to be disciplined, you need to do it.

Don't just talk about it, do it. Don't wait until you feel particularly spiritual, do it. Open the Word of God, pray for God to guide you. And as you read the Word of God, something supernatural happens. Your desire for the Word of God grows and grows and grows. Now, Peter has said something, did you catch it? That as you obey the Word of God, there are certain attitudes, there are certain actions that you've got to put away. They're destructive attitudes. Chapter 2, verse 1 of Peter. Put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

As I come to the Word of God then, there are certain things I've got to put away. If you eat junk food all day, you live on Big Macs and peanut butter and other horrible things and Coke and Pepsi, don't be surprised when you don't have an appetite for a wholesome, well-balanced meal. You've eaten junk all day, you've eaten junk all week and then someone puts in front of you this beautiful, well-balanced meal and you say, I'm not very hungry. Don't be surprised if you've taken junk physically that you've got health problems. There are people who have physical eating problems, eating disorders.

They eat too much or they eat too little and this is a well-recognized phenomenon that people don't eat properly and it affects them physically. So says Peter, there's a possibility that you're taking in spiritual junk food. That you've got a spiritual disorder, a spiritual eating disorder. If you're going to be spiritually strong, if you're going to have this desire for the pure milk of the Word, you've got to throw certain things out. Just as physically at the beginning of the year, you say I'm going to have a good diet and I'm going to keep myself fit, that means there's certain stuff you don't eat and you don't do.

Isn't that right? Nothing wrong with the occasional Big Mac? I love fries, I love milkshakes, but I don't live on them. If you want to give me one occasionally, I will thank you. I think I could have a milkshake just before I come up and preach and it might make me feel really good.

But to live on that kind of stuff, there's going to be disorder. Now what have you to get rid of? Notice it. Verse 1, malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander have to be put out.

Peter has encouraged us, chapter 1 verse 22, to love one another earnestly from a pure heart. You've got some malice in your life. You've got to grudge against someone. There's some deceit in your life. Malice is a deliberate deceptiveness.

You see, among Christians, yes, perhaps in your own family, perhaps at work, perhaps in the church. There's some nasty, destructive attitudes in your life. Envy and slander are to be put away, put aside, not uncommon in the church. What's envy? Envy is the inward attitude behind so much hypocrisy and malice. Envy is wanting to be what you're not. Envy is wanting to have what that other person has, their car, their home, their looks, their ministry, their attitude. Something about them, you envy them. And what happens then as you focus on that, you become bitter against them, and that envy often leads to slander, evil speaking, and criticizing people unfairly. Anyone ever done that? We've got almost perfect congregation here.

I really should say anyone here not done that? It's a common phenomenon, isn't it? To criticize others. Some envy to come and some slander. We know this.

We hear it. And we're sometimes guilty of it ourselves. And Peter is saying, listen, if you're going to have the spiritual desire for the milk of the word, you've got to get rid of these attitudes. You've got to get rid of that junk in your life.

Just as you get rid of physical junk food, you need to get rid of junk food in the spiritual life. Will you do that? Brother, sister, envy, slander, hypocrisy, malice? You're really ticked off with someone. You're bitter against them. That eats at you, doesn't it?

As I say, maybe in your own family, maybe in the church, someone you're working with has offended you, and they may not even realize it. And you have these nasty sins. And that's incompatible with this desire for the word of God. Turn back a few pages. If you're in 1 Peter, turn back a few pages and you'll be in James. James chapter 1. James says the same thing.

I find this intriguing. He uses the same picture of put away. It's take off your old clothes of envy and slander and hypocrisy. But there's something else we've got to get rid of if we're going to receive the word of God. James 1, verse 21. Therefore, put aside all filthiness and rampant wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls.

Very similar to 1 Peter 2, isn't it? To put aside filthiness and rampant wickedness. Oh, that's tough.

He's writing to believers. Any filthiness in your life? Any wickedness? Do you look at any junk stuff? Anyone here struggling with that?

Anyone that did pornography, for example? And you're looking at that stuff and then you take your Bible and you say, I'm not getting much from that. Wickedness, sin. I don't know what's going on in your heart. I don't know what's going on in your mind.

But you do. These things are incompatible with spiritual growth. You're wondering why you're not growing. You're wondering why you're still in spiritual immaturity. You're not receiving the implanted word because you haven't put away filthiness, rampant wickedness, these other sins.

You know what they are in your life. You think you can live as you like and get up into immorality and pornography and all kinds of stuff and then you can play being a Christian. Put it aside. See, these sins, please hear me, prevent you from receiving and obeying the word of God. These things pollute your mind.

They pollute your relationships. They pollute your relationship with God. The psalmist says, I've stored up. Psalm 119, verse 11, I've stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Your word have I treasured in my heart that I might not sin against you. It's the old adage that many of us were taught that this book keeps us from sin and sin keeps us from this book. You want to have a clean heart? Read God's word. It will cleanse you.

It's got a cleansing effect. But sin will keep you from this book. And so James and Peter are really saying the same things. It's wonderful to read the word of God. I want this to be your greatest delight. I want you every day as you come and you open the word of God to say, what's God going to say to me? I want you when you come here and listen to preaching or when you go to your life group and you're in your Bible study, I want you to say, Lord, what are you going to teach me today?

I want to love your word more. But these sins will come in and they will drag you away and they will destroy you. Sin distorts our understanding.

It prevents us from receiving and obeying the word of God. And so James says here in 1 James 1, verse 21, that we receive with meekness the implanted word. A humble attitude is essential. The word of God is to be received with humility. Isaiah reminds us that God looks to the one who is humble and contrite in spirit and who trembles at his word. Isaiah 66, verse 2. Who's the one that God looks to? The one who comes with humility, the one who comes contrite, the one who comes to God as we're on our knees, asking from a word from God.

And it's that one that God looks to. See, your attitude in coming to the word of God is so important. Your attitude as you come to worship is so important. We've addressed this before, don't come in a critical spirit. Come with humility.

Don't come looking for someone to complain about, some singer, some instrumentalist, the color of my tie or someone else, all these comments you think, that's not the point, please. Come with humility. You read the word of God, a humble attitude to receive it. You're coming to God himself as we come together like this.

Your eyes were in the very house of God. And we want to worship God, we want to praise him, we want to humbly receive his truth. There must be a humble expectancy in his word. Now notice verse 22 of James 1, 22 through 25. So we're going to receive the word with humility.

We got this. And be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he's like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror.

For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, you think the word of God is restrictive? You think the word of God is going to make life miserable for you?

The opposite is the case. This is the way of freedom, the way of liberty. And perseveres being no hearer who forgets, but a doer who acts. He will be blessed in his doing.

Notice that? Who is the one who is blessed by God? The one who just hears no. The one who does, the one who obeys with this humble attitude and responds to the living word of God. So James is saying, and I'm saying, don't just be a hearer of the word, be a doer. There are many people who just hear the word of God. They accumulate a lot of information in our life groups, in our Bible studies, in our worship services. But if you just hear the word of God and are not obeying it, James is saying you're deceiving yourself. So you may think you're a strong believer in Jesus Christ because you can discuss the word of God. You've got some verses memorized.

And in the life group you can give some little spiritual nugget and you think, yeah, I've got this down. But it's only in your head. That truth hasn't transformed your heart and your life.

It doesn't really impact how you are at home and how you conduct yourself. You're only a hearer of the word and you're deceiving yourself. You're like the man who looks in the mirror and he's got some dirt on his face.

He sees it, but he leaves. It's a totally pointless exercise. What's the point of looking in the mirror unless you are going to make some change? What's the point of reading the word of God and just accumulating information but it is not being obeyed? Rather than being humbled by the word of God, if it's just in your head you're puffed up with your knowledge. You may have strong views about Christian living.

You may have strong views about church government. You may have mastered every Christian cliché, but you are deluded in thinking that you're spiritual. Remember in the series in Matthew we thought of the parable Jesus told about the man building? One build on the rock, one build on the sand. Who is the man who builds on the sand? The one who hears the word of God says Jesus and does not obey it. He's deluded.

He's got a nice house on the outward. He looks very spiritual but in fact he's utterly foolish because when the storm comes he collapses because he has no foundation. It's very interesting that our Lord when he gives the commission at the end of Matthew chapter 28, he tells us to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And then he says, teaching them, remember what he says next? Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. That's what a good teacher does. A good teacher isn't just giving information.

There is some action point. And as you read the Bible and as you hear the Bible and as you discuss the Bible, think what do I have to observe? What is this for me? In 1 Peter, is there any envy in my life? Is there any filthiness in my life?

If so, I've got to throw it out. That's being obedient. That's humbly obeying. You say that can be difficult.

Yes, but the Spirit of God will give you all the help you need to do his will. What am I saying today? I'm saying that the Word of God must be heard, it must be understood, and it must be obeyed.

I just think. So I was praying this week. How wonderful if we at Calvary Church, each one of us, and as a church body, that we were obeying the Word of God. Some people as they begin 2021 say, I'm going to run five miles every day. I'm going to get up at 5 a.m. in the morning and I'm going to run. And I admire such discipline. I'm not going to do that.

I'm still fast asleep at 5 o'clock. So I admire your discipline and I hope you keep it up. But don't you agree, fellow brother, sister, that your spiritual life is more important than your physical one? That physical exercise, Paul says, profits for a little. It's good, it's important. You want to be in good shape.

You want to be admired and how good you are. That's fine. But don't neglect every day in this book.

You say, John, I sometimes read it and I don't get much from it. That's true. That's true. But it has a cleansing effect. You're showing humility. And read and reflect, meditate on God's Word. And when there's a command, when God and His Spirit touches you, obey it. Instant obedience. When I was growing up, that's what my father wanted for me, instant obedience.

He didn't want to say it twice. You know that if you're a parent. You want your children to get it the first time. Can you practice that? When your Heavenly Father speaks to you in His Word, it's instant obedience. Don't argue. Don't fret. But humbly say, yes, Lord. That must go out of my life. I must confess that sin.

I must do that. That demonstrates humility. That demonstrates a great love for the Lord. And so as you come Sunday by Sunday to Calvary Church and open your Bible, you will find that your appetite for spiritual things is growing and growing. And God will use you in an incredible way that that truth which you have received, which you have worked out in your life, is now being displayed to others. And people say, this is different.

My husband is different this year. There's something about my 13-year-old daughter. She's been spiritually transformed. This is a path of wisdom. This is a path of spiritual maturity. This says, James, that you are blessed in your doing. So obey the Word of God. Father, help us to do just that.

We confess that we sometimes listen to the devil as the father of lies. And so I pray that the pure truth of Scripture may penetrate our hearts. That we'll be humble. That our hearts would be good soil to receive that Word. And that will bear root and flourish. And that we will bear much fruit. And that Calvary Church will be a transformed church as we're obeying the Word of God. We thank you. Help us. In Christ's name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 23:03:09 / 2024-01-07 23:19:22 / 16

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