Summary: A Biblical way of thinking for solving our problems.
MUCH MORE THAN THE MOST: A Biblical Rationale for Solving Our Problems
(Matt. 6:26, 30; Rom. 5:9, 10, 15, 17)
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Jesus Himself tells us in John 8:31-32:
31 "... If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NAS
In John 15:7, He also tells us:
7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. NAS
Let’s take a moment to quietly confess our sins to God, so that we are in fellowship with Him and led by the Holy Spirit when we study God’s word. 1 John 1:9 promises us, that if we name our known sins to God, He always forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, even from the unknown sins we forgot or didn’t even realize we committed. Let’s pray.
Thank you, Father, for always restoring your children when we admit our sins to you. May your Holy Spirit teach us your word as we study it now. We ask these things in Jesus Name. Amen
My main method of learning God’s word from the Bible is to listen to sermons every day on cassette tapes. I’ve been doing this since January of 1990, on the average of 1-2 hours a day. I have a walkman and headphones, and I can listen to these taped lessons while I’m on public transportation going to and from work each day. It takes me an hour each way on the 20 bus and the Frankford El, so I get to use two hours to learn God’s word. This time would otherwise go to waste if I spent it like most other people do --- reading the newspaper, eating a donut, having a soft pretzel with mustard and a Pepsi (disgusting at 6AM!), or just snoozing. An added advantage I have is that with my headphones on, I don’t have to listen to the rude gum-cracking, or to people’s nasty conversations, which at times can be unbelievably raunchy.
For the past few months, I’ve been listening to a series of taped Bible lessons about the Exodus generation of Israel. These lessons are taught by Pastor Robert McLaughlin from Grace Bible Church in Somerset, Massachusetts. This week, he’s been teaching something that I’ve found really exciting, and want to share with others. It’s one of those insights into God’s word that changes the way I look at things. A little bit of this message is technical, but if you can stay with me and not tune me out, I really believe you’ll find this Bible lesson to be one that you’ll always remember and be able to use in good and bad times. I’m going to show you something called a Biblical "rationale", and I want to first explain what that means.
When we were each born physically, we were babies and didn’t know a thing about the world around us. We had to be taught words, how to know right from wrong, what things were good for us and what would hurt us, and many other things. Likewise, when people first become "born again", they enter the Christian life as babies spiritually. We need to learn spiritual words from the Bible that we’ve never heard or understood before.
As we listen to Bible teaching, one of the most basic things we first learn are to trust and stand on the promises from God. Some promises concern our salvation, some tell us of God’s faithfulness when we face trouble, and others protect us from sin that can hurt us.
Such promises can be found in one or two verses that we remember and use in good times or bad. As we mature spiritually, we will still have those promises to help us, but we also start to learn what’s called Biblical rationales. A rationale is a general truth or doctrine, based on many Bible verses.
For instance, the doctrine of salvation is a rationale.
If we understand salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, we can use this as a rationale to correctly know other Bible doctrines. Applying salvation as a rationale, as a way of thinking, works like this:
- If I didn’t work to GET my salvation, then why would God make me work to KEEP it? This gives us an understanding of the doctrine of GRACE, of living our Christian life based on faith rather than works.
- If God FREELY GAVE me the gift of eternal life when I was a lost sinner, then why would He TAKE BACK that gift of salvation now that I’m His child? This logic helps us to properly understand the doctrine of ETERNAL SECURITY.