TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD
I Thessalonians 2:13 Part #3
Taking God at His Word is a challenge.
• For ADONIRUM JUDSON it meant leaving his home, seeing no results for years, sweltering in prison… but then God moved. • For JIM ELLIOTT it meant leaving the popularity and comforts of Bible School and facing the raw edges of jungle life, personal struggles and the horrors of being pierced to death by savages. • For you it might be learning to be content, or giving up that temper or tongue… or just starting to read God’s Word… maybe to start serving here at QBC… it’s all part of our lifelong process!
We have met:
1) ABEL [Heb. 11:4, Gen 4:3-5] who offered according to God’s Word. 2) DAVID who ordered His life according to God’s purifying Word (Ps. 119:9-16] 3) Now let’s meet the others…ABRAHAM – He followed after God’s Word. Yes, he ran ahead. Yes, he fell behind. Yes, he failed at times. But in all, he FAITHFULLY followed God’s Word. In fact, he had 10 great tests:
1) [+] 12:1-9 The Test of obedience 2) [-] 12:10-20 The Test of trusting 3) [+] 13:1-8 The Test of contentment 4) [+] 14:17-24 The Test of Godly motivation 5) [+] 15:1-21 The Test of Faith in God 6) [-] 16:1-6 The Test of Endurance 7) [+] 17:1-27 The Test of Following on 8) [+] 18:16-33 The Test of Compassion 9) [-] 20:1-18 The Test of Confident trusting 10) [+] 22:1-19 The Test of Ultimate faith and obedience
Passed 7 / failed 3 and graduated to God’s Hall of Fame.
IT’S A LIFE OF FAITH – TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD!
From the Garden of Eden to the close of the pages of Scriptures the message is the same.
TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD – OBEY AND BELIEVE
Let’s strike 10 chords of appeal by great followers of God’s Word:
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1. ABEL [Gen 4:3-5; Heb 11:4] offered according to God’s Word and God accepted him. Are you offering what you are and have to God today? 2. ABRAHAM [Gen. 12:1-4] followed after God’s Word…Yes, ran ahead, fell behind at times but direction of life was God’s – is yours? 3. DAVID [Ps. 119:9-16] Ordered his life by God’s word…do we? 4. JEREMIAH [Jer. 15:16] SEARCHED OUT GOD’S WORDS, AND FOUND THEM AND ATE THEM…Are you eating the Word or still nursing? Heb. 5 says maturity is measured that way! 5. JOB [Job 23:10-12] TREASURED GOD’S WORD, THE MOST! What’s in charge of your mind and attention today… 6. CHRIST [Mk. 8:34-38] ATTACHED ONE’S ETERNAL DESTINY TO GOD’S WORD! 7. JOHN recorded his gospel TO PRODUCE FAITH IN GOD’S WORD [John 20:31] 8. PETER [Acts 2:38,41] PREACHED SALVATION – CAME BY GOD’S WORD
9. PAUL based his call to a life of spiritual worship on God’s Word. Belief that behaves!
I want you to notice Paul’s use of “therefore” as recorded by John MacArthur1:
1. Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you THEREFORE [#1], brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” PAUL IS BESEECHING PEOPLE TO PRESENT THEMSELVES AS A LIVING SACRIFICE –THIS IS THEIR DUTY. IT IS A DUTY THAT PAUL IS ASKING FOR. • The Duty In verse 3 he talks about the gifts they are to manifest. In verse 9 he talks about the love they are to manifest. Then further on he tells them to not be lazy [v.22], to rejoice [v.12], to give to the needy [v.13], to bless their persecutors [v.14], to rejoice with those who rejoice [v.15], to weep with those who weep [v.15], etc. All of these are practical things! => Chapter 12 is the first practical instruction in the book of Romans – the first eleven chapters are theology.
• The Doctrine Before Paul ever says anything about what we are to do, he gives us eleven chapters of doctrine. Notice he says,”I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God…” What are “the mercies of God”? The great theological truths of chap. 1-11. => On the basis of these great realities about God, which have been mercifully extended to us, this is our duty. On the basis of: The righteousness of God, the uselessness of law and works, the saving power of faith, peace with God, standing in grace, the promise of glory, the gift of love, <= [etc.]
2. Galations 5:1 – The first four chapters of Galations teach our freedom in Christ. In fact, Paul closes out chap. 4 with the statement, “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman [Hagar], but of the free [Sarah] WE ARE FREE – liberated for life! Then, immediately, his “therefore” comes in 5:1: “For freedom, Christ has set us free, THEREFORE [#2], stand fast and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”. [lit. trans.] The “therefore” is based on the theology of freedom. “Therefore,…don’t go back into legalism and get all tangled up.” Then in chaps. 5 & 6, he discusses the practical aspects of the life of freedom.
1 Study Guide on Romans 12? page?
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3. Philippians 2:1 – “If there be therefore [#3]… any consolation in Christ, if any comfort or love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love being of one accord, of one mind.” In other words, Paul says, “Look, if our theology is this, then our behavior must be like this.” We have to have a “therefore” based on theology and doctrine so that we know how to live.
4. Colossions 3:5 – “Mortify [kill], THEREFORE [#4], your members which are upon the earth.” From 1:1 to 3:4 it’s all doctrine. Finally in verse 5 comes the “THEREFORE” – the DUTY. This is a constant principle of the N.T. and basic to teaching principles for living.
10. James [Js. 1:21] spoke of the implanting of God’s Word. 1. ABEL offered according to GOD’S WORD 2. ABRAHAM followed after GOD’S WORD 3. DAVID ordered his life after GOD’S WORD 4. JEREMIAH searched to find GOD’S WORD 5. JOB treasured most of all GOD’S WORD 6. CHRIST attached one’s eternal destiny to GOD’S WORD 7. JOHN wrote to produce faith in GOD’S WORD 8. PETER preached salvation by GOD’S WORD 9. PAUL based all Christian living upon GOD’S WORD 10. JAMES urged us to believe implanting of GOD’S WORD
All that, and you and I hold it in our hands – Let the Holy Spirit implant some in you today…