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Do What It Says! (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2021 4:00 am

Do What It Says! (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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September 30, 2021 4:00 am

There’s no question that all believers should listen to God’s Word. Yet James warns that if we only listen, we’re deceiving ourselves. So how should we respond to the teaching of the Bible? Find out when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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All of us as taught to listen carefully to God's word and yet James chapter 1 warns us that if all we do is listen were deceiving ourselves. Is it possible to hear God's word and remain unchanged today on Truth for Life. Alister big teaches on the right way for us to respond to the Bible study continues in verses 22 to 25 Jesus says it's not a healthy Veneto doctor said I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. And then the physician who heals, gives, if you like the prescription he says now I have redeemed you in order that you might become the firstfruits that you might be dedicated to God.

How are we to be dedicated to God where where to be dedicated to God by the doing of God's will. Where do we find the doing of God's will, we find it in his law, what is this law is it external know it's in China. Where is this law it's written in our hearts and paradoxically, the constraining impact of the law is what provides freedom.

Freedom now unless we get this, we will be in all kinds of difficulty in some of us, frankly, and I know that from talking with you because you bought an approach to Christianity which says which which uses terminology correctly in its phraseology, but Miss applies. So for example you routinely say were not under law when under grace which of course is true.

That's a quote from the Bible.

But what is it mean in a significant number of people who say that phrase. To me it is what it mean used to be in the Old Testament there was nothing going on about law, but once we got to Malachi and went through the 400 years of into testamentary. Going to Matthew and we were finished with law and all we do is grace under law. You're supposed to do what you were told to be the 10 Commandments under grace. You do what you feel like the Holy Spirit helps you to feel the way you want to feel so really you don't want anybody telling you anything that you're supposed to do or not do because that's Old Testament stuff. If you're truly in the New Testament, they will never say that to you and if they do, you will know they are legalists. So don't listen to them. Don't pay any attention to them.

It's all because the key is you been set free from all that you are no longer under law you're under grace now. Maybe something of a caricature, but not too much.

The fact is we are no longer under law as a means of acceptance with God all about acceptance with God, and it always was. As a result of grace. The grace of law we are not under law as a means of acceptance with God that we are under law as a means of living for God, our freedom in Christ and this is the paradox is tied directly to our obedience.

It is by our obedience that we are free disobedient people think they're free by their in bondage, obedient people may feel themselves constrained by their in freedom. James is taking a leaf out of his brother's book is Jesus said the same thing. Time and again John chapter 8.

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples is verse 31 of John eight. If you hold to my teaching, you're really my disciples. Remember we talked earlier about the people who listen to the lectures but and become disciples. Jesus may live the same thought in his mind.

You come along to all these talks. He says you listen, you go away your charm by them are not changed by them. If you hold to my teaching, then you really my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. I have to get back to the to the this is a parenthetical journey here if you want to think this through a little more. Let me commend a book to your call pathway to freedom. You don't need to read the whole book by just the prologue and in the prologue, the author their deals with Calvin's third use of the law. The third use of the law and as I say you will be held by that Cowper in one of his hymns succinctly grasps this in one stanza when he puts it as follows to see the law by Christ fulfilled okay.

Jesus kept the law every detail of the law in his perfection. He did what we in our sin cannot do could not do to see the law by Christ fulfilled and hear his pardoning voice and hear his pardoning voice that the rest of the quote in Hebrews 10 there is in the Holy Spirit goes on to say, and their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more. Why, because of the finished work that he just referenced in the in the earlier part of the chapter to see the law by Christ fulfilled and hear his pardoning voice changes a slave into a child and Judy into choice to see the law by Christ fulfilled and hear his pardoning voice changes a slave into a child and Judy into choice. I love your loss. As the psalmist. I love it's not external to me.

It's not a nuisance to me. It's not making me chafe at the bit. Why because it's written in his heart.

If you want to know freedom guilt, lust, fear, loneliness, aimlessness, emptiness as a Christian.

It is dependent upon your obedience on obeying what you've been taught.

That's why you see some people in a congregation like this go on to maturity and others don't. The same scene that sold everyone here is the same sermons. What's the difference this all in the parable of the sore. Remember, Jesus said, and that's one for the storm when he sold some seed fell by the wayside is landed on stony ground. It was on the hard bits of the path and never had any rude it's all the birds picked it up and it was gone in a moment or two that I hardly had a chance to hit the ground and it was away in the same way the people come and listen to the Bible taught and there out the door within 15 seconds, they can they can think they can't imagine why they would stay around for over an iota longer than others instant bloom, all of a sudden their enthusiasts springtime enthusiasm wanes in the summer dies by the autumn and in the winter.

No one knows where they are. Others seem to be going along nicely and the truth is choked out, choked out by staff by worries and cares and money and possessions, and anxieties because we forgotten that godliness with contentment is great gain and in actual fact, when you read the parable of the sword becomes perfectly clear that there's a tremendous amount of waste each in the whole process isn't, but the good soil said Jesus represents the hearts of those who receive the truth when it is planted in who obey it and who go on nine greater assume for the moment that every one of us in this room wants to be that good soil wants to be that good soil what is represented in that good soil.

According to James here in this verse. What is the right way to respond to the Bible while he tells us first of all, we are responding to it intently intently. The man who looks intently into the perfect law, the word that is used here is the same word that is used in first Peter chapter 1 where Peter says that the Angels desire long to look into the things about salvation because they have been able to observe what is going on.

They do not know it experientially. They have a genuine desire looking is aware from the ramparts of having to look into these things. The same word that is used when Peter and Mary arrived at the tomb on resurrection morning and they ducked down and he looked into the tomb. They looked intently, perhaps even we might say wonderingly and worshipfully so says Dames.

If a person is going to get benefit from the Bible, then they need to be that kind of person the man who looks into the word, not with a casual glance, but with a genuine desire to know what it says with a genuine desire to miss nothing of its truth. That person is not happy man.

That man is the man who will be blessed and remember he's very happy to talk about being happy, blessed, he said, is the matter perseveres under trial.

Verse 12 as paradoxical trials and blessing. Yes, trials enjoy. Yes, law and freedom. Yes, another paradox here is the blessed none.

I hope that you made use of every means that we suggest is available to you through the Bible in a year. Through the Bible and half a year through the Bible in the Bible on the Bible, whatever it might be there's a constant refrain say there's a direct correlation between our individual response to the Bible and our effectiveness and enjoyment of the Christian life. We don't have to make a great show and tell out of all you need is all you need are just blank sheets of paper and your Bible and then the passage of the Bible and decide what it is. If you've never done this, you know, decide what tomorrow sins was the shortest gospel marks okay. I can try that one. I will try Mark. I'm going to try and read Mark now before we get Easter so you get Mark tomorrow morning and you go to Mark chapter 1 and you read for eight versus let's say if you want to go for honors you go to verse 13. If you want to really bust through it, then you could go. Of course the whole chapter. Some of you are perfectionists and want to go read the whole of Mark and that I would be a tactical error but all you need to do is you open it up and you ask a number of questions in your little book and you ask yourself the question. First of all, is there anything in this passage that teaches me about God the father and in that teaches me about God the son, and adding that teaches me about God the Holy Spirit and you will get another to do it for you but you look in there and if you find out an answer to that and you write it down and then you can ask a question like is that is there anything in this passage that tells me something about myself. Is there a sin that I need to avoid is there a promise that I should accept. Is there a command that I need to obey and before you know where you are. You've done your own investigation and you have discovered things. As a result of your desire to look intently into the Bible intentionally and intently as opposed to reading the Bible in a way that expects the Bible to do things absent the engagement of our minds like well I didn't hit me what you mean it didn't hit you. What did you expect them to do what I expected. Use I hear these people tell managers jumped out at me right and jump out at me well you know what it has been jumping out at me a lot either lately and study in James chapter 1. I've had to do a lot of jumping into it because it hasn't been doing a lot of jumping out of and if I waited for it to jump out I wouldn't have sermons Sunday by Sunday I have to look intently into it and if you will do the same.

Before you know where you are, you will build your own compendium of the discovery of God's truth which you will find yourself sharing with others.

Somebody says something to you in four weeks time you so you know what funny you should mention that, because just towards the end of Mark's gospel.

After Jesus has done all those healings and the disciples come and find him in the early hours of the morning say you know the were doing well on the healings Jesus. I think we ought to just keep this going.

Jesus said to them, let's get out of here and go to other villages where I can preach the gospel because that is why I have come. And the reason that you brought that up was because somebody told you that the key to Christian living was in miracles and then healings and you said no. I discovered something in Mark about that. I wonder if I can remember, yet apparently Jesus was more concerned about preaching the gospel and he was about healing where you get out from all.

I just discovered it myself. You didn't. How would you do that well you just get a book. It has the blanks right that's where you tell your children intently habitually, habitually notice what he says the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, continues to do this, not a burst of enthusiasm followed by chronic inertia. Not all I think I read all of Mark's gospel before before the evening service and that I'll take care of and I wanted to do any for month. No, no, he habitually does. He continues to do this he keeps coming back to heads Solomon when he urges wisdom upon his son gives is a classic few lines on what this will look like. He says my son, if you accept my words know if you hear the accept and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom, applying your heart to understanding and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding and if you look for it is for silver, and search for it is for isn't treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. The corollary being if you don't you won't straightforward raw talent will win intermittently but not consistently unremitting diligence managed to pull off one or two events combination part two store God's word or general store of God's work. Java different store than you have. This time last year. Are you or someone go meditating on the law day and night. I chose the world habitually had, rather than consistently because I wanted to make the point that there is such a thing as a good habit, we tend to use a word of habit as if the habits are bad, but no other good habits that are holy habits.

I think God for the establishing of holy habits when I was a boy for the memorization of the Bible for the vast majority of the Bible that I know I haven't learned is a past I learned as a boy and I was a very, very, very ordinary and routinely bad boy finally not only intently and habitually but obediently obediently, not forgetting what he is here, but doing it doing. Remember, Jesus says the same things doesn't end again. I think it's impossible to read James without, as it were healing unethical of Jesus in the background after Jesus and wash the disciples feet. He then turns to his disciples and he says now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do that do that now that you know you will be blessed if you do, knowing doing. The blessing is directly related to the doing now to the knowing he made the same point dramatically, that is Jesus. On one occasion when a lady calls out from the crowd. Much like in a golf tournament.

You're the man she didn't actually say that this is what she said, blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nurse to Jesus shouted back, blessed, rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

In other words, thanks for that thought. Let me tell you what really matters can imagine the ladies husband going.

I told you not to show that I reshot and outlived him a shout.

Wait. I'll tell you what to shout out. I I I got some things to shout out fine in the way through the Bible. I could go on all morning but I wound the psalmist. Psalm 19. We talked about the law of God. He's in any says you know the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandments of the Lord are pure and enlightening the eyes and end in the fear of the Lord is clean and so on. And then he says in keeping them there is great reward in keeping them there is great reward. Not in knowing them in keeping them in keeping them. You see how the law gives us freedom as we keep it and we keep it, not because we are endeavoring to be accepted by God but because we have been accepted by God. We live in purity and honesty with our spouse, not as a means of gaining her hand in marriage, but on account of the fact that this treasure even accepted our hand in marriage.

I could not work my soul to save for this, my Lord has done but I can work like any slave for love of God's dear son final verse from the psalmist. I will always obey your law, forever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I love the paradox I hope you do too. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought your precepts is not, I will walk about in freedom on the basis of my own judgments on the base of the judgment of my own heart to put the judgments of our hearts before the law of God to court Anthony Burgess in the 17 century is to have a son follow the clock.

Be aware and be where of those tell you that you have been set free.

Now simply to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and that is all you need to obey know it isn't because the Holy Spirit turns us back to the abiding truth of the perfect law which brings us into freedom and it is in our obedience that we discover blessing. That's how he finishes and this man will be blessed in what he does and what he does. Someone has said that when the word of God makes an impression. I.e. when we hear it. If it is not followed by an expression i.e. in the doing of it that it leads inevitably to depression when the word of God comes home and makes an impression on our minds and calls us to action. We give no expression to and is no surprise that we find ourselves living in an increasing, with an increasing sense of disappointment and disheartened the pattern that James gives us here is straightforward. Hearing plus doing equals blessing hearing plus doing equals blessing. How can I hear because of God's amazing grace, how can I do because that same enabling grace fashions in my heart and enables me to do that which the word calls me to and it is there that genuine happiness. True blessing is to be discovered that the equation hearing. Plus doing equals blessing this is Truth for Life. You been listening to Alister Bragg with a message titled do what it says. Alister returns in just a minute to close this program with prayer.

Today's message emphasizes the importance of reading God's word impact. Alister mentioned that the vast majority of Scripture.

He knows he learned as a boy because of habits that were established when he was still young. We want to help you build habits of reading God's word in your home.

Even with the youngest members of your family and that's why we been recommending a book titled Bible stories every child should know this is a colorful book that retells stories of Scripture, so you can read them to your children or your grandchildren back there were more than 120 stories in this collection that allow you to start and end each day in God's word for several months, you can request your copy of Bible stories every child should know when you donate, please don't delay today's the final day will be mentioning this book on this daily program. Click the image you see in the app call us to request the book 888588788.

Now, here is Alister with the closing prayer father, thank you again for the Bible made the truth of your word find a resting place in our hearts and minds and may your grace and mercy and peace from father, son and Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with all who believe now and forevermore about competing you may think most religion is worthless. And there's a sense in which you wouldn't be completely wrong but it doesn't have to be that way, what kind of religion does God accept find out as you listen tomorrow Bible teaching of Alister big furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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