Summary: A classic sermon by Dr. Adrian Rogers providing guidance on Bible study and not just reading but receiving the Word of God.
Take God's Word and turn to James chapter one would you please. And in a moment we're going to begin reading in verse twenty one. James one twenty one. You will never be a growing Christian without a knowledge of the Word of God. May that sink in. You will never be a growing Christian without a knowledge of the Word of God. These hath God married and no man shall part, dust on the Bible and drought in the heart.
But it's not enough even to know Bible facts. You must know the Lord of the Word. You can backslide with a Bible under your arm. You need to understand the Bible. Let's look in God's Word. Verse twenty one. Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted Word that is able to save your soul, but be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, that is in a mirror. He beholdeth himself and goeth his way and straightway forgeteth what manner of man he was, but whosoever looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the Word, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
And, in that passage, we have four ways to better understand the Word of God. Now, look if you will in verse twenty one. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted Word that is able to save your souls. This is written to Christians. He's telling Christians how to be saved. Receive with meekness the engrafted Word that is able to save your souls. Well, Pastor, I thought we were already saved. Well, we are. Then, why does he say, receive the Word so you can save your soul? Salvation comes to us in three tenses, past tense, present tense, and future tense. The past tense of salvation happens when you receive Christ as your personal Savior and you were saved from the penalty of sin. You will never have to die and go to hell because your sin has been washed whiter than snow with the blood of Jesus Christ.
A Sunday School teacher asked a little girl, I'm told, is there anything that God cannot do? That little girl wisely said, yes teacher, there's one thing that God cannot do, God cannot see my sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank God for that, that is salvation in the past tense. That's from the penalty of sin. But there's salvation in the present tense. That is from the power of sin. And, even though we'll not go to hell, the devil has not ceased working on us and sin still has its allurement and its attraction and sin is working every day and you know that is true.
So, not only do we need to be saved past tense, we need to be saved present tense from the power of sin, and one day when Jesus comes, that's future salvation, we're going to be saved from the possibility of sin. But that day is not here yet. And so it is the Word of God that is able to save our souls. The Greek word for soul is the word “psyche.” Able to save your psyche - your mind, your emotion, your will. That's what the soul is - your mind, your emotion, and your will need to be controlled by the Word of God. When your mind, your emotion and your will is controlled by the Word of God, then you're living in victory.
May I give you a testimony? The thing that keeps me going is not primarily how I feel. It is what I know from the Word of God. I've been on the trail long enough to look back and analyze and say, what is it that keeps me, what is it that holds me? It is the Word of God, sanctify them through Thy Word. Thy Word is truth.
Now the Bible says we are to receive the Word of God. Now, notice in verse twenty one, receive, do you see it? Receive with meekness the Word of God. They're two words in the Greek language for receive. One is the word lambono and that means to grasp, to reach out and take, to get. He doesn't use that word here because you can't just reach out and snatch the Word of God. You can't just take. Ever so often somebody says, well, I've studied math, I've studied geometry, I have studied physics. I've studied history, I'll study the Word of God. So, he gets a Bible and he gets him so lexicons and he gets him a concordance and he spreads the Bible out and he takes his mind and he takes his will and he takes his determination and he takes his intellect and he says, I'm going to master the Bible. He may get the words but he'll never get the