Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018
The Power of the Word of God
Speaker: Jerry Wragg
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Today, we begin a new series in the Men of Grace & Granite as part of our three-year cycle of material studied. We will examine Hermeneutics and later Bibliology. At the outset, we want to examine the only power that can transform lives: The Power of the Word of God.

Ephesians 2:10 teaches us that we are His workmanship.  We can stop right there and camp out on that one truth.

  1. The Word of God ALONE transforms lives.
    1. In Christ, we are created for good works.
    2. No other source has power to conform us to Christ and to transform a heart through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    3. Exposure to Scripture is not about you, but it is the work that the Scripture is doing in your life.
  2. Push back against the tendency to want God’s Word to meet our demands.
    1. By pushing back, we grow in our appetite for the truth.
    2. We must be pliable and open to what God wants.
    3. Pray that the Spirit of God does the work that God wants to accomplish.
    4. My assessment of how, why, and where God is working through the Word is not important. We believe He is working, and we follow where He leads.
  3. To come under God’s Word means we become convicted of sin.
    1. My flesh hates this! My flesh does not want to be exposed.
    2. The Spirit of God wants sin exposed and hearts changed.
    3. The Spirit of God knows our heart, intentions, motives and attitudes, intimately. He knows what needs to be exposed.
    4. We tend to forget that these desires wage war against the Spirit (James 4:1).

1 Thessalonians 2:13 is an interesting passage to examine in this context.

  • Receive the word of God = open to the content.
  • Accepted it = willing and welcoming to it
    • This means we anticipate heart change eagerly.
    • We actively desire that it will perform its work. Why? Because we believe in its power to do just that!
  • Not the word of men it is the word of God
    • There is no place to grumble against it. We are in unbelief when we doubt.
    • We dismiss men, we do not dismiss God.
    • Work hard to resist any temptation to doubt and believe this is God speaking to you in His Word.
  • Performs its work in you = this is a promise that God’s Word is working.
    • It brings insight and clarity to my life when I believe (Psalm 119:97-104).
    • Isaiah 55:11 – God’s Word accomplishes work.
    • James 1:25 – God’s Word liberates.
    • Our litmus test is John 8:31 – Christ says, “Abide in my Word and you are my disciple.”
      • This marks out a man who is God’s workmanship.
      • Abide = remain in it and under it, willingly.
      • God’s Word is our nutrition that produces fruit.
    • Further, John 8:47 – Christ says, “He who is of God hears the words of God.” He listens. He is pliable.
      • Do not be indifferent to Scripture.
      • The seeds of apostasy are in every sin.

And finally, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15

  • Those who are under God’s Word willingly suffer for it.
  • We know that believing God’s Word will cause hostility with those around us.
  • Suffering is a sign that we are welcoming to God’s Word.

Q/A – What if we are challenged by a Charismatic Pentecostal with a charge that the church is dead, because we are not open to receive the word of the Holy Spirit?  They might say to us, “You’re just adhering to ancient words on a page, therefore there is no life.”

Answer Outline:

The content of the written Word of God is not just a backdrop in which the work of the Spirit is to be compared. Or in other words, the Word of God is not just an information databank to verify the Spirit’s work.

  • Jesus said in John 6:63, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says the man of God is thoroughly equipped for every good work through Scripture.
    1. We know it is only the Spirit’s power that thoroughly equips us.
    2. Yet, all scripture is breathed out by God.
    3. And, scripture is going to bring about an adequate preparation for every good work.

We might want to ask a Charismatic friend?

  • Which good work in your life did the Spirit prepare you to do that was not in Scripture?
  • If God’s Word is adequate in the preparation for every good work, then no Biblically defined good work can be suggested that is not found in God’s Word (which is breathed out by God).
  • God breathed comes from God – adequacy is from a God breathed revelation by the Spirit of Truth Himself.

2 Peter 1:21

  • Men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
  • It dd not come from their will or their interpretation.
  • They did not receive a prophecy in their mind and put it in writing as they chose. God chose what appeared in God’s Word.
  • They were not used robotically with a dictated message.
  • Through who they are, they were moved along by the Holy Spirit.
  • Notice the last phrase, they “spoke from God” (they spoke from God Himself).

Matthew 4:4, Jesus said, “We live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  Ask the Charismatic, “Which word are you getting directly from the Spirit which is not in Scripture?”

  • They often reply, “We verify the prophesy by Scripture.”
  • They say it is outside of the written word, so they cannot verify it with the Word.
  • If it is verified by Scripture, why would we need the voice in someone’s head?
  • How would you know the source of that voice?
    • I might think it is the Spirit, but how would anyone else know?
    • It is unverifiable, if it is just coming into my head.
    • Is it the musing of my corrupt flesh?
    • Instead, we trust the written revelation of Christ.
    • God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
    • Philippians 2:12-13 “Working out our salvation with fear and trembling”
      • Fear & Trembling = Humility & Faith
      • We go to God’s Word and we bring ourselves under it in humility and faith. We know it will produce an adequate Christian for every good work and that path is in fact God working in me according to His will.
      • The words in Scripture are ancient, but the content is living and active.
      • 1 Peter 1:23 “We are born-again by the living and enduring Word of God.”

Providence can accomplish virtually everything they claim:

  • For example, a Charismatic might say, “God told me to share the gospel with that person on a park bench.”
  • They claim that have this massive inspiration that almost sounds like an audible voice: “Go share the gospel with that person.”
  • This is: Biblical Conviction in a Believer + Seeing a Need = God’s Providence.

The content of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is life for the believer.