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November 20, 2018 9:35 am
Be Psalm 19 the night so if you want to avoid an open your Bibles to Psalm 19. No one in light of the sermon this morning I thought about bringing up big jug of water, one that you have to use two hands that Mike from so even going to the life of David and Amber to take a look at this wonderful Psalm Psalm of David. Psalm 19.
So let's start with prayer.
Heavenly father, we come before you, Lord, we know your word is perfect. Nothing can be added. We know that you breathe out these very words Lord so open our hearts, sanctify us, in truth, we know your word is truth.
Lord help us now as we open your word in Christ name we pray.
In April of this year. The pew research Center conducted a survey of about 5000 Americans to find out what they believe about God and what they found out is the vast majority of those they surveyed about 90% believe in some kind of higher power.
Now that should surprise at all because we know that God put in us a desire to worship in word and worship something or someone.
Calvin says our hearts are our idol factories and that is very true. So think about it now 90% of Americans believe in a higher power is another. Another survey conducted by life way research and listen to these questions they asked these four questions they asked these folks do you agree with these four questions, let me ask you number one. The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe you believe that yes number two is very important for me personally to engage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior believe that absolutely number three Jesus Christ death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin that last for number four. Only those who trust Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God's free gift of eternal salvation you agree with all, for those absolutely this this research showed that only 15% agreed with all for those statements. So think about it. 90% of Americans believe in some type of higher power, whatever that is. But I would argue that few believe in the God of the Bible. I would argue that even in churches. So the question do you believe in God is becoming a complicated question. You know we shouldn't assume that if somebody says he's a Christian that he believes in the God of the Bible where dangerous and a dangerous age is a growing gap between who invent evangelical say they are and what they believe. Let me let me give you a couple of examples. This is from a church not far from us. This is on their website. This is part of their belief statements.
Listen to this.
All people are created in the image of God and expansive love beyond humanity's limits. We affirm that there are many paths to God and that no one person or religion holds all the truth that God's revelation is ongoing providing relevance and wisdom for society. Today we cherish the historical freedoms of the church. While acknowledging that our experiences of the sacred important following creeds or duct when you give, you know this is from a church. This is part of a sermon from our church in New York City. 10,000 people 10,000 members in this church. This is a quote there was a time when you could see people in the pulpit say well if you don't believe in Jesus, you're going to hell. This is the pastor speak will. That's insanity because that's not even what Jesus believed people take many paths to God. And so the key is you believe in God and whatever that path is I celebrate did Jesus say I am the way the truth and the life didn't say that yes he did in response to the sermon and academic Dean at us at a seminary in Chicago says that the wisdom is the wisdom and truth found in various religious traditions is in line with the school's approach to faith. He said this is the future of theological education among give you one more recently, a saw the sink on the Christian Post.
You can is still up there. I think an article, a pastor in Denver, Colorado came out is saying that ethically produced pornography is okay to look at the listen, this person, this pastor was chosen last year and spite of her Orthodox on Orthodox beliefs to speak to 31,000 teenage using.
To the untrained undiscerning year these pastors and their many Pakistan appear all day. They talk of God.
They talk of love.
They talk of compassion. But it's not based on this. It's not based on the truth, and the scary thing is is that these churches are making disciples to.
They had BBS programs. They have Bible studies. They had prayer groups who were they pray and to they pray and are the, the God of Scripture. Let me tell you this is a quote from JI Packer. He says all theology is ultimately a mystery, and less true. We will never be able to know God in an exhaustive way.
God is incomprehensible in this cut. This is because the church to react in two ways. Number one, try to figure it out make it palatable or to worship him because he is beyond our intellectual grasp God movement remain mysterious yet he's made himself known through revelation and in that revelation. There is eternal life is a Packers right there's much will never gonna know about God. He he's mysterious. He's a minutes we can never incomprehensible way. No, but he's given us revelation what we have to do we all have to come that Billy Graham we put our Bible down the Hickory stop and say Lord I don't understand it all, but I believe this is your word and I believe it's truth and I'm going to live by this, don't you agree with him. We have to do that. Jesus said Jesus said the hour is coming when people worship God in spirit and in truth, absolutely worshiping God in truth and truth means worship pain worshiping him as he has revealed himself in Scripture.
So this central question of any religion is can God be now and yeah yes absolutely.
Our God can be known. He's revealed himself and David tells us this, he worked his revealed himself in his creation and in his word and is ultimately revealed himself and his son, the radiance of the glory solicitous look at Psalm 19. When read the first six verses first and this talks about God's general revelation. Psalm 91 through six. The heavens declare the glory of God in the sky above proclaims his handiwork date tonight, pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor their words whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. And then he set a tent for the sun which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, like a strong man runs its course with joy from its rising, it's rising is from the end of the heavens and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from his feet.
God has revealed himself in his created world. It's a it's in a way that's perceivable to every human being, just as you can know something about an artist or an architect. For example, for by looking at their work.
You can know something about God by looking at his creation and notice here that God's creation declares the glory of God proclaims his handiwork pours out speech and reveals knowledge.
Their voice, their language is universal.
Doesn't matter if you speak Spanish, Mexican or Spanish Spanish Spanish or southern English outfit are doesn't matter his voice goes out it's clear it's nice not communicated with actual words. Some people call it a silent sermon silent sermon is not sporadic.
There's never a time since in the big since the beginning of human history that is that this is these voices have not gone out the heavens, or testify Makoto testify about God's miraculous infinite power and there's nobody ever been. Everybody's been exposed to this that what Paul says in Romans one for his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world and the things that have been made, so they are without what excuse. Think about something I've been doing a little bit of reading about our universe is estimated that there are more stars in the universe and there are grains of sand on the earth and said that about 100 billion stars in 100 billion planets in our galaxy Milky Way, so galaxies were frozen peas there would be enough to fill an auditorium. The size of the Royal Albert Hall receipts 5200, so the sanctuary seats right around the same 5200, so galaxies.
The if they were the size of the P of the P would feel the sanctuary. Now I've got an example for you. Imagine your imagination that this sanctuary is the universe and our galaxy.
This is the universe.
Our galaxy Milky Way would then be about the size of a grain of sand nabbed here a little crumpled up piece of tinfoil you never know when you gonna need some tinfoil in your pocket, but there you go. This represents Milky Way galaxy.
We live in this Milky Way galaxy. Another hundred billion stars in this little galaxy hundred billion planets in this galaxy and this is all in this universe. Now it would take 100,000 ly just to travel the distance of across this one little Milky Way galaxy and that great. Think about the wisdom and the power of our God. We look up into the night sky.
All we see is a small fraction of this galaxy. Not all of this in the Hubble telescope is revealed a lot of things but a speck of dust in an immense universe. That's what is the sign in all of this would be microscopic to the sun. This bridegroom leaving his chamber in which nothing is hidden from his.
He is perfectly the earth is perfectly positioned from this sign to sustain life SOA. I read an article couple of days ago. The article is titled 13 incredibly lucky earth facts while were lucky to live on such an incredibly perfect plan. The article talks about the climate, the temperature the gravity sea levels and things like that but let me give you a quote from this article it says it's amazing we have gotten on our own 2 feet and developed brains big enough to ponder just how lucky we are to be here were lucky. We have evolved to figure out how lucky we are not now you know what that's called that's called suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and that's exactly what is called for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the soap God's revelation is creation is so great that it should leading every human being to seek after him. Anyone who looks up and that night sky should say there's there's somebody who created this someone created this but that's not what they do do that. Paul tells us that the unregenerate mind suppresses the truth in unrighteousness, Christopher Hitchens, you may have heard of them. He was a is deceased now, but he was one of the four Horsemen of the new atheism famous atheists hated Christianity and he said when you consider the amount of the immense size of the universe. Do you really believe that God had you in mind when he created all this, do you really think so when you think about this immense universe Richard Dawkins Arthur, author of the book God is not great.
Surely you can see a God who is grand enough to create the universe is not going to care about you. What you're thinking or sin or things like that. Does God really care about you and me you think about this universe can use your imagination. This is the universe. This this sanctuary and then this little thing is our galaxy, Milky Way, and there is microscopic pale blue dot we call earth zoom in on this little Earth.
Think about how brand God is zoom in on this little Earth two loops back a little garden of Eden in two little people in this garden of Eden.
God says I want to dwell with you. I want to make my home with you. Yeah, God had us in mind from before the foundation of the world. He had us in the wee small yet incredibly small or insignificant. Absolutely not, were created in the image of God, and he wants to dwell with us.
That's our God. David says in Psalm eight when I look at your universe, the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is man that you are mindful of in the Son of Man that you care for. You've made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and yes, the God who spoke all of this into existence wants to dwell with you and me but we have a problem zoom ended this little area we call South Shore didn't take long to realize we have a really big problem headlines from yesterday Charlotte Observer CMS will use electronic winds and bag searches to keep guns out of school autopsy showed drug overdose doses into jail deaths in no time. Addictive E cigarettes have sucked our kids in North Carolina. Congressman reprimanded by panel over response to sexual harassment allegation yet. We got problem and that problem is called sin.
Now God's natural revelation cannot tell us how to take sin away.
We can can can't do that he has to have his we have to have his special revelation and that is his word. That is his word. He had to reveal himself in a special way. So he has given his work, his words of his goat now to section 2 story verse seven verse seven. For the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandment of the Lord is pure and enlightening. The ice, the fear of the Lord is clean during forever the rules of the Lord are true and righteous altogether more to be desired are they than gold. Even Feingold sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover by them your servant is warned in keeping them there is great and we at Calvary have a high view of Scripture. We believe that Scripture is breathed out by God himself and as we talked about this morning. Faith comes by hearing and hearing to the word of Christ. It is power.
It is wisdom is strength is breathed out by God himself. Notice what David is saying in this in the section look at the character and the effect of the word of God noticed the character perfect.
Sure, right, pure, clean, true wise that because this word of God comes from the mind of our perfect God. Only our perfect God breathes out his perfect, don't you agree with that. Yeah, absolutely. Here's the effect of the word of God. It revives God's general revelation is enough to condemn a person, but only his word can restore the soul. Just as there's no physical life without the sun.
There is no spiritual life without the word. James says receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save yourself so it revives and gives wisdom that brings joy it enlightens word of God is living and active, sharper than a two edges. And lastly, it endures, Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away all the we read in the first six verses will pass by all of Peter says the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved in the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn.
But these words will not pass away the word of God is eternal. So what we do with well verse 10 more to be desired are they then go even much fine gold sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Do you have that love for the word of God. Do you desire that were do you know that man does not live on bread alone, but every word that comes out of the mouth of God.
The word God sanctifies us. Jesus said, sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth. John Stott says churches live and grow and flourish. By the word of God and they will and whether, without without and that's exactly what's happening in our world today. The word has been watered down and compromised. If it's even preached it all in the churches become weak and anemic for short time I worked as a fitness instructor at the YMCA and there was a woman about my age that I used to see come in. I think Rhett rather frequently. I never spoke to her. She never spoke to me, but one particular day she walks up to me and she was quite angry and she said no I come in here all the time and I'm still not in shape and if she walks off. I didn't say anything out. It took me off guard, but later saw her on a treadmill and the treadmill was going so slow I thought it was gonna cut off and I didn't say anything to her, but thought about, but I thought there's your problem. You know you can you can belong to the YMCA, but you gotta put in the work.
I thought you know is as I was preparing this. What a great analogy for the church. He said we can come to this church that has high reverence for the word of God. And every time you come in here. You hear it Sundays twice Wednesday nights, but it doesn't necessarily mean you personally know you may be saying to know Jesus Christ as your Savior, but it doesn't mean you have a desire and a hunger to learn and grow in the word so there's no substitute for your own devotion time with God opening up these the sanction pages and I'm not talking about getting on your cell phone and googling. What is the Bible say about this or that. No, actually opening up the word of God, meditating, reading, praying over and asking the Lord to speak to you through his work is no substitute for that man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God you to have to do the work.
You have to. And David says in in verse 11, he says. Moreover by them. Your word is your servant warned and keeping them there is a great reward. I think about this.
Keep in the word of God is one of the major themes in all of Scripture, Adam and Eve God says you can surely eat of any tree in the garden except that where they do disobey God says to Israel in Deuteronomy 5 you should be careful therefore to do is the Lord your God has commanded you, you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left, walking all the way your Lord God has commanded you, that you may live. God says to Joshua, be strong and courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success.
Wherever you go. And then what about the New Testament was Jesus a you and me. If you abide in my word, you were truly my disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Abide in my word, think about it another way, were talking about the importance of keeping the word of God, keeping the work. This is also part of our great commission. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing you in the name of the baptizing them in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit. Now most people stop right there. There's more, the great commission. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you heard of her pastor one time preaching. He said you know my job is to get up here and preach the word of God. Just get out of the way now is not, that's not what were called to do it all were called to make disciples were called to teach them all that he has commanded us that that involves rolling up the sleeves and opening up this Bible done. It does Solomon the wisest man to ever live apart from the Lord.
He says everything's been said, everything's been heard the end of the matter is this fear God and keep his commandments.
That's the whole duty of man. You hear the word do you keep work. If you love me you will keep my commandments. How important is keeping the word of God.
You know John 316. Open your Bible is real quick. Keep keep Psalm 19 and when you put a finger in there flip over to John chapter 3 for second John 336 John three verse 36 whoever believes in the sign has eternal life.
Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. How important is obedience. How important is it keeping the word of God, not everybody says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom, but those who do the will of my father.
If you love the Lord you will keep his commandments. How you know the commandments if you don't open your Bible and hope you do open your Bible, sanctify them in truth in these last verses.
David is reflecting on these two things he's least talked about the general revelation of God's talked about the word of God and now is now his. This is his response 12 through 14 Psalm 1912 through 14 who can discern his errors, declare me innocent from hidden faults keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.
Let them not have dominion over me, then I shall be blameless and innocent of great transgression, but the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord my rock and my Redeemer.
Listen David is looking through it.
The stars and he contemplates these revelations of God's glorious majesty is splendor in all of creation and he thinks about the purity and the power of the word, and you know what he can only see his own depravity. Lord keep me from sin, even in my mind declare me innocent Lord you the greatest power. The universe David is encountering he's thinking about this holy all-powerful God.
Now think about Isaiah in Isaiah 6. Isaiah looks into the throne room of God and what is Isaiah say he didn't say blessed in my from looking at the Lord. I get to see the know.
He says whoa whoa is me. I am undone. God is holy. He's all-powerful, we approach him with the reverence with all we know that the heart is deceitful, it's wicked. We know that we know that our own hearts are prone to wander from the God we love. We know this, every sin, every same whether it's in my mind or not is rebellion against God. So Lord keep me whole cleanse me sin. The desire is for you just like cane sends desires for you. It's for me it's crouching for you to ready for you is calling for you. Keep me from this Lord you powerful righteous one. Keep me from sin and David asked who can discern his errors as a rhetorical question. David knows David knows the God who created all this can discern his his errors. He notes who can discern his heirs. The word of God is a living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow's discerning the thoughts discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart, read your Bible. Don't lay your head down at night without opening your Bible, but the word of God cleanse you and speak to you and sanctify you guard the truth in cling to in our weakness. No were vulnerable and weak without the word of God lost in the same God spoke all of creation into existence billions and billions of galaxies created you and me AW treasuries.
He's got an interesting quote here he says so he says we are able to extract it. Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question what comes into your mind when you think of God, we might predict with certainty the spiritual future. That man is true the heavens tell us he existed.
He's all-powerful. The Bible says that he is our Redeemer are rock and our source of truth. Heaven is my throne, the earth is my footstool. All these things he's made. He says in Isaiah, but this is the one I will look to the one who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word trembles at my word. This is the same God spoke all this into existence. This is the same God who breathed out these words that are perfect. Sure, right, pure, clean and true. He breathed out truth. It's absolute it's unchanging is not be tampered with and wise person will build his life upon where to desire his word more than gold more than hunting more than anything else know I was David a man after God's own heart. Marty think he was in a perfect man, we know his history. He did some rotten things but you know he revered the Lord.
He feared the Lord. He loved the Lord and his heart was in tune with the word of God, he set out in Psalm 119. How does a young man keep himself pure by guarding it according to what your word your work.
I've stored up your word in my heart, Lord, that I might not sin against you. Do you know the word of God. Do you really know Bart Ehrman, Bart Ehrman is a he had a he's got a seminary degree from Moody get a PhD from Princeton.
Super sharp guy claims to be claims that he used to be a believer and then he lost his faith and he now is the chair of the religion department UNC Chapel Hill found this next section on his blog and he teaches a New Testament class.
Chapel Hill this this came from his blog, so this is right from his own words 300 students in this religion class. Chapel Hill and he begins the class like this, knowing that Chapel Hill's in the Bible Belt, he says, how many of you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and most everybody in the class raises their hand and he says next question how many of you have read some of the Harry Potter series. Most all the hands go up. He says okay.
How many of you believe how many of you have read completely. The Bible Hanscom and then he starts laughing and he says listen I don't believe there's a God I don't believe this is inspired, you do and you haven't read it, you got to know you Scripture.
You gotta saturate yourself from the truth.
Paul says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly this will writ today wherein a dangerous age where an age in which many Christians are wandering away from the truth. They don't acknowledge the good of the God's word is in error and are infallible. They this think maybe it's just a basic moral guide for life and I love every body no fear of God, no reverence for the word of God. That's the age that's condition of the church. Paul says the time is coming when people will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their itching ears and they will wander away from the truth, always learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. We learned this morning Israel zealous for God, but not according to truth and so we're in a situation in which the holy and the profane.
There's no clear line anymore.
It's blurred. It's hard to tell a Christian any people confess that there Christians, but they don't believe this. So why is the church and in well is not being fed the pure word of God. That's that's the reality and what we do about that when they read your quote from John MacArthur. He says many Christians are willing to speak up against abortion and homosexuality and euthanasia there willing to fight for religious freedoms in America and among other things, prayer in the school's but the worst form of wickedness is the perversion of God's truth that is wrong doctrine and false teaching. The church today. Treat spiritual error with indifference as if it were harmless as if the right interpretation of Scripture was unnecessary. While many Christians are fighting for riff real issues there given away the essential truths that define our faith. There will be no church left to fight anything if we do not preserve the truth. Think about it for second the churches in Revelation, Jesus tells John to write seven letters to seven churches. Most of the churches. Five. The churches are in bad shape. You got false doctrine, your false apostles you had adultery, sexual immorality, but of the church in Philadelphia which Jesus can find nothing bad to say. He says you have kept my word, you have kept my word and not denied my name and because you've kept my word about patient endurance. I will keep you from the trial that's coming up on the whole, we believe that this word of God's inerrant and infallible breathed out by God himself is so important that you and I never been the need anything else. We had to stand for truth when even professing Christians are wandering away from you have to do you have to stand for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. When a dangerous age. I would suggest to you when you think about evangelism. Most times we think about those who don't hear the word or of never heard the word folks over the across the ocean. I will suggest to you think about those in the church. Think about those that have accumulated for themselves teachers to suit their itching ears and have wandered away from the truth. We cannot compromise Scripture, God tells us that do not turn to the left to the right you abide in my word, and that's where we are. So if you're here and you don't know the Lord will open your heart, he has revealed himself in his creation is revealed himself in his word and ultimately he's revealed himself in his son, the radiance of the glory of God. The exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe word of his power as power CS Lewis says I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun is risen, not only because I see it, but because by and I see everything else. If you don't know the Lord you completely blind, as stored into your heart. Have him remove the scales from your eyes and then you can truly say then you can truly lookup that creation and say yes on I know the God who created all of this by just speaking for those of you know the Lord open this thing every day be sanctified in truth, no way. Get it in your soul into your bones teach it to your kids and never ever compromise the truth on this day and age. Father, we do. Thank you. We thank you for your love, your grace, your mercy, we thank you for your son.
The great sacrifice on the cross, Lord and Lord in this age floors help us to stand for truth always help us to be lights in this dark world Lord were you call us to be salt and light permeating the darkness Lord, give us strength give us courage give us boldness. Help us to love one another so that the world would know that Christ has indeed come into the world and be with us now in Christ name we pray. Amen