THE POWER OF SCRIPTURE PART #2
“Berry Conversion ——-“
When we proclaim that the scriptures are powerful, we mean the power to:
Transform Make New Convert Cleanse Fill with peace, joy, love, and hope!
Yes, life changing, heart cleansing, future shaping power.
Last week, we briefly noted the first aspect of scriptures power it:
A. Claims that exposure to it changes us
Did you catch that and note these references? Let’s look at that list another way and add some key scriptures to remember?
The Word of God claims that exposure to its truth has a:
1. Removing Power
John 17:17 – Sanctify (make holy) through truth, Thy Word is truth. Heb. 9:14; 10:22
How do we see the removal of sin, error, false teaching, filthy habits, and spiritual laziness?
By exposure to God’s truth.
The Word of God is truth. So it removes falsehood.
2. The Word of God by contact with our lives has a restoring power.
Jer. 15:16 – Thy words were found and I ate them and they are the joy and rejoicing of my heart.
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So – How do we see our lives restored from the sadness of defeat, sorrow of wasted years, and scars of ruined lives? By exposure to God’s source of happiness. His Word is that which can remove the hopelessness of earth and give the happiness of heaven.
3. Remember, the Word of God has a refining power.
Have you seen this? It is God’s way of bringing us to the race of maturity as we grow.
It is the way God causes us to see a decreasing frequency of sin and an increasing frequency of righteousness and obedience.
How? 1 Pet. 1:7 – trying of faith 1 Pet. 2:2 – as new born babes long for the sincere milk of the Word 2 Tim. 3:16-17 – All scripture…that we may be complete
By exposure to the source of growth and maturity – the Word of God.
4. The Word of God has fourthly a reviving power to it.
Are you aware of this in your life?
Heb. 4:12 – the Word of God is quick and powerful…
It enters our very lives and natures and divides and gets to the heart. Rom. 1:16 – it is the power of God (Dunamis – explosive energy) of God toward salvation!
So what are the scriptures? A source of – Truth Happiness Growth Maturity And here – the source of divine power!!
What else can we count on?
Well, 3 more.
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5. The Word of God has an ability to reveal. Revealing Power
John 16:7-10 – it is the discoverer and convictor of sin
Ps. 119:105 – as a light it reveals where our feet should and shouldn’t go!
How do we get this revealing power?
As we see it to be a source of divine guidance into truth. Ps. 36:9 – in Thy light, we see light John 14:6 – the way, truth, and life
6. The Word of God has reminding power.
Rom. 15:4 – What was written in earlier times through encouragement of the scriptures, we may have hope.
When faced with uncertainty and tragedy, does the Word of God give a reminder of hope?
When facing trouble, does the Word of God remind of God’s peace?
When hit with hurt, meanness of others, hatred and pain, the Word of God can remind us of God’s love.
This comes by personal contact and exposure to the divine source of comfort!
Don’t settle for a substitute. It is not friends, money, success, that truly comforts – The Word of God is the source of true divine comfort.
Finally, 7. The Word of God has a power for resisting sin. Yes, Resisting Power.
Eph. 6:17 – the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God
Ps. 119:9-11 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By the Word of God.
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James 4:7-8 – resist the devil and he will flee…
1 Pet. 5:6-9
The Word of God is thus, the source for victory in our lives.
What are you facing today? What battles this week?
Are you trying to turn from a gripping habit of your mind or body?
The Word of God is the source of victory.
Are you defeated by alcohol, tobacco, your tongue, a past situation, or present temptation?
The Word of God is the power for resisting, it is the source of victory!
1. Get in the Family – Be born again, not reformed, not join church, a divine work in your life.
2. Get in the Word – Today, read it, not tomorrow, open to Col. 3, Rom. 6-8, John 8, 1 John.
Just get in there and get exposed.
3. Get in Gear –
I mean it.
Decide to let God change you.
Agree that you are wrong, defeated, lost….
Ask for forgiveness and cleansing.
Seek His power in a specific way. Lord my tongue – control Lord my mind – clean Lord my laziness – stop Lord my fear – remove Lord my hurt – comfort
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4. Get on the Guard – Only one way – memorize and meditate on the Word of God.
So – the action is the same for all.
Do you want the ultimate source of supernatural:
Truth? Happiness? Growth – Maturity? Power? Guidance? Comfort? Victory?
Then – Get in the Family – saved Get in the Word Get in Gear
And then – stay on Guard!
Dr. Berry was one of the first of the so-called New Theology men, who preached salvation by character rather than by the atoning blood of Christ, salvation by ethical culture rather than by personal faith in the Lord Jesus, salvation by reformation rather than by regeneration. Popular, eloquent and personally pleasing, he attracted large audiences, who hung upon his words and depended upon him as their spiritual mentor. But a great change was seen in his preaching, which resulted from a new experience with God which revolutionized his thinking. He said that late one stormy night, as he was preparing to retire, the doorbell rang. When he went down and opened the door, there stood a poorly dressed young woman who asked if he was the minister. Upon being assured that he was, she begged him to go with her at once to get her mother in. He thought that she meant that her poor mother was out in the storm and the darkness in an intoxicated condition; so he demurred, saying he could hardly be expected to go out and get her mother in and suggested that she see a policeman who might give the help required. The girl explained that her mother was not drunk and added, “You must come with me. My mother is dying, and she is afraid to die. She wants to go to heaven, but she doesn’t know how to get in. I told her I’d get a preacher to take her in. Do come sir, and get my mother in”
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He now understood that the dying woman needed someone who could show her the way of salvation, but he hesitated, thinking it was hardly a case for him. He urged the girl to go to a missioner living near the wretched locality in which she lived. But she refused. She insisted she wanted a real minister and begged him to go with her. “Do come, sir. I want you to get my mother in before it’s too late. Please sir, do come with me.” At last, he consented to go, and the girl led the way to one of the worst sections of the city. In this miserable neighborhood, she took him into a tenement house and up a rickety flight of stairs to a poverty-stricken room. Down stairs many men and women were drinking and carousing, and the air resounded with horrid oaths and vile language. The minister found the poor woman lying on a miserable makeshift of a bed, evidently near to death. “I’ve brought him!” exclaimed the daughter. “I’ve got the minister from the big church where the swells go. He’ll get you in, Mother. Just do what he says.” “What can I do for you, my poor woman?” he inquired as kindly as he could. “Why sir, I’m dying, and I want you to get me into heaven. I’ve been a great sinner, and I don’t know how to get in.” The minister began to speak of the necessity of a good life, of building a noble character, and how goodness always paid in the end. “You don’t understand, sir!” she cried. “That won’t do! I’m dying and I’ve lived a bad life. It’s too late for me. Oh, can’t you get me in?” He tried again and gave some good advice and endeavored to comfort her by expressing the hope that all would be well if she would only seek to lead a Christian life. “That won’t do!” she exclaimed. I’m a poor sinner! I’ve no time to lead a Christian life. I’m dying and I want to go in. Oh, can’t you tell me how I may get into heaven?” Dr. Berry did not know what to say or how to comfort her. At last he thought, “Why not tell her what my mother used to tell me? Why not give her some of the simple texts and Gospel stories I learned as a child?” With this in mind he began to repeat some of the precious Gospel verses telling of God’s love for sinners and of the Savior who had died to redeem. The woman listened eagerly. “That’s it! That ought to get me in, shouldn’t it! Did he die for sinners? Then that should get me in.” Stirred to the depths of his own being, he told the story of the cross as he had not preached it for years. Like a thirst soul, she drank in the living water. Finally, he knelt and prayed with her. She trusted Christ for herself. Her fears were allayed and she entered into peace. “Jowett,” said Dr. Berry years afterward, “I helped get her in that night, and while I was helping to get her in, I got myself in also!”
DECISION February 1989