TOPICAL, “The Word Of God”
1. INTRO: For New Year’s Day messages pastors often teach about New Year’s Resolutions or some topic centered around getting our perspective back to where it should be, etc. However, as this day is the first day of January, 2006, I thought that it might be a good time for us to have a topical message that will both help us to focus upon the things that are important for us as a church in this coming year, but also help us to consider why we do some of the things that we do as a church, and as a Calvary Chapel church.
2. Calvary Chapel churches are known around the country for being one of
the only Christian groups who teach through the word of God, or teach the full
counsel of God’s word. This is really
what most defines the
It is stunning for me to
realize that today in
2.2. What is worse for me to realize is that there are so many churches that not only do not teach through the word of God but actually rarely if ever quote or carefully expound upon God’s word. Many churches just sort of refer to scripture or general Biblical truths without actually teaching from the scripture at all.
The most recent new movement
in the Christian realm has been what is called “The Emergent Church,” and these
churches tend to not believe that it is important to convert a person’s beliefs
but rather just seek to change what their people think is important. The pastor then is responsible for sort of
being the cultural tone setter for the church rather than being a Bible
teacher. These churches are known for
turning down the lights during worship and burning candles, however none of
those things are really of any consequence really. These churches came out of the seeker
friendly churches and they have gone beyond just being Bible-lite churches, they actually are embracing truth
subjectively as is seen when one of the “
2.4. Hopefully after this study you will realize why we in the Calvarys believe that it is so important to teach all of the way through God’s word. Hopefully, you will also realize that all of the good things that God does through the church and Christian’s lives occurs as a result of the word of God.
2.5. I want to tell you up front that what I believe that churches need more than anything today is to teach through God’s word with in-depth expositional teaching, rightly dividing and expounding upon God’s word, and applying it to people’s lives.
2.6. I will also say up front that I believe that the test for apostasy in the church is how the word of God is regarded. Churches who do not teach God’s word or believe in its inspiration and inerrancy are traveling down the road of apostasy.
2.7. I want to say one last thing before beginning and that is that I got most of the ideas for this message from a chapter in R.A. Torrey’s book, “Power-Filled Living.”
3. God’s power is stored in His word :
A pastor’s or teacher’s personality, funny stories and anecdotes, etc. will not give the church genuine power from God. Power from God is only received from God’s word and through the Holy Spirit ministering that word to us, and, as we store God’s word in our hearts we will experience the power that is stored in God’s word.
3.1. Psalm 62:11, “11 Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”
3.2. Jeremiah 23:29, “29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”
3.3. Isaiah 55:11, “11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
3.4. Hebrews 4:12, “12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
4. God’s word alone produces conviction in people’s lives :
We in ministry want those who do not know Jesus Christ as well as God’s people themselves to be convicted in heart as to the truth in God’s word and how that they should obey the truth, however that conviction has to come from God’s word. If you try to produce conviction in people’s lives yourself you will only cause people to come under condemnation and introduce legalism.
4.1. Acts 2:37, “37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”” What did they hear on this day? The word of God.
5. The word of God alone has the power to produce regeneration :
When we share the gospel with people it is imperative that we share with them God’s word, not just our own beliefs or opinions, for it is God’s word alone that can produce regeneration in them.
5.1. 1 Peter 1:23, “23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”
5.2. James 1:18, “18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”
5.3. 2 Peter 1:4, “4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
6. The word of God alone has the power to produce faith :
When people are having a hard time believing God, whether for salvation or just in the details in their life, we need to lead them to God’s word because we are told clearly there that faith comes about only from God’s word.
6.1. Romans 10:17, “17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
6.2. Acts 16:30-32, “30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.”
7. Effective, fervent, and persevering prayer results only from the word of God :
When we as Christians pray we need to base our prayers upon what God’s word clearly teaches us. When we pray the promises from God’s word then and only then are we assured that we will have our prayers answered according to God’s perfect will.
7.1. 1 John 5:14-15, “14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
7.2. Mark 11:24, “24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
7.3. Luke 11:13, “13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?””
7.4. Acts 2:39, “39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.””
8. The word of God gives the faith to overcome doubt that we experience:
Since the word of God produces faith in our lives it also has the power to overcome all of our doubts.
8.1. John 20:31, “31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
8.2. Revelation 1:3, “3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
8.3. John 7:17, “17 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” Jesus teaches in this verse that unbelief is not a matter of God’s word not being able to penetrate a person’s mind but rather a matter of him/her being willing to do God’s will in the first place.
9. The word of God alone gives us victory over sin and in the spiritual battles in our life:
Jesus when faced with temptations quoted God’s word and thus the Devil was rebuffed. Likewise, it is when we focus upon God’s word that we will receive victory to overcome in the midst of our trials and temptations.
9.1. 1 John 5:4, “4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” What is our faith based upon? God’s word.
9.2. Ephesians 6:16, “16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
9.3. Hebrews 11:33-34, “33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”
10. The word of God produces cleansing in our lives :
Through God’s word we can live in and experience the mind of Christ which the scriptures tell us that we now have since we have come to saving faith in Christ. We can begin to think God’s thoughts and dwell upon those things that are pleasing in God’s sight.
10.1. Ephesians 5:25-26, “25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”
10.2. Psalm 119:9, “9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.”
10.3. Philippians 4:8, “8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
11. The word of God builds us up :
It is primarily the teaching of God’s word that a new Christian, and any Christian for that matter, needs in order to be able to grow spiritually and be used mightily and effectively used by God.
11.1. Acts 20:32, “32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
11.2. Romans 12:1-2, “1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” What each of us needs is our minds to be renewed, and what is it that will renew our minds? It is the word of God which we need to read and study so that does an internal transformation in our lives.
11.3. 2 Peter 1:5-7, “5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.”
11.4. 1 Peter 2:2, “2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”
11.5. Psalm 119:130, “130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”
12. The word of God is able to give wisdom :
The word of God is the manual that God has given us in order that we might be able to know how to live our lives in this world as He would have us to live. As such, it contains all of the wisdom that we need in order to deal with any situation that we find ourselves in.
12.1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
12.2. 2 Peter 1:3-4, “3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
13. The word of God is able to give assurance of salvation :
The word of God is the authority upon which every Christian can have assurance that when he passes from this life that he will go to heaven and be with God. God’s word promises eternal salvation to everyone who receives Christ as his/her Lord and Savior and continues to abide in and serve Christ.
13.1. 1 John 5:13, “13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
13.2. John 3:36, “36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.””
14. The word of God can bring peace to our hearts and minds :
It is as we come to God and rest our hearts and minds upon the promises of His word that we can have the peace of God which surpasses comprehension in our hearts and minds.
14.1. Psalm 85:8, “8 I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly.”
14.2. Jeremiah 15:16, “16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”
14.3. Philippians 4:6-7, “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
15. The word of God has the ability to produce joy in our lives :
Every promise of God which we as Christians cling onto in faith produces joy in our lives. Joy is to be the characteristic in the Christian’s life second only to love in the list of the fruits of the Spirit (Eph. 5:22-23).
15.1. John 15:11, “11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
15.2. Romans 15:4, “4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
16. The word of God protects us from error and sin :
The word of God is the one absolute we have in our lives and it allows us to discern right from wrong and truth from error. God’s word also keeps us in our times of temptation and trials.
16.1. Acts 20:29-32, “29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
16.2. 2 Timothy 3:13-15, “13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
16.3. Psalm 119:11, “11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”
16.4. Matthew 4:4, “4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’””
16.5. Matthew 4:7, “7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’””
16.6. Matthew 4:10, “10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’””
16.7. Psalm 1:2-3, “2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
16.8. Colossians 3:16, “16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”