THE WORDS OF JESUS
-I am so glad you are here today. I have been waiting to teach this passage ever since we started the Hebrews series.
-Today we are looking at one of those rare passages where the Scripture actually talks about the Scripture.
-Do you have your Bible…hold them up…let’s see them!
-Every so often, the Bible talks about itself and those passages are fascinating to consider.
-I did a little research this week about the bestselling books in history and I was really surprised.
-The 5 best-selling books in history might surprise you:
5. The Hobbit-Tolkien-English-1937-100 million
4. The Little Prince (1943) a French novel, sold140 million copies
3. The Lord of the Rings (1954), Tolkien, sold 150 million copies
2. Tale of Two Cities (1859), Charles Dickens - 200 million copies
-Those books have sold millions of copies!
-Most of those books are household names.
-But do you know how many Bibles have been sold/given out?
-No one does, because there have been too many to count.
-It’s estimated that somewhere between 2-5 billion copies of the Bible have been printed.
-And at least 10 of those copies are currently in my office.
-The Bible is hands down the most influential, best-selling book in all of human history.
-People from every continent, every country, and almost every ethnic background know about this book.
-People have read it, heard it, bought it, discussed it, wrestled with it, shared it, died for it, and lived it out 4 thousands of years.
-And there is a reason why people today still turn to the Bible.
-And those reasons are revealed to us in Hebrews 4:12 & 13
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful.
WORD OF GOD: WE BELIEVE THAT THE SCRIPTURE IS GOD’S WORD TO US.
-Skeptics sometimes say that the Bible was conjured up.
-The cynics say it’s a book of myths and fairy tales.
-But that’s not the story that the evidence reveals.
-History confirms the reliability of God’s word.
-Archaeology confirms what is recorded in God’s Word.
-The Bible even stands up to the scrutiny of textual criticism.
-You can learn more about the Bible in our new EQUIP class. Apr 7
-2 Tim 3:16 says “All Scripture is God breathed...
-We believe that the Scripture comes from God’s mouth.
-It is his words to our ears. And it is God’s story.
-It’s the story of how God set aside a people, to bring forth a Savior, so that all people who trust in the Savior could have life.
-In the Word of God we found advice, wisdom, and teaching about morality, and ethics.
-In the Bible there are practical guidelines for family, finances, government.
-There is teaching on praying, and serving, and witnessing.
-And throughout the Bible there is a there a theme which has been carefully woven into each page, using authors that spanned 1000’s of years.
-There is redemption through God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
-This book is the message of salvation! God’s Message (His Word)
THE WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE:
-Only people have really spent time with the Word of God can understand what this statement means.
-We aren’t talking about the Bible having some good advice.
-We aren’t talking about heartwarming stories.
-The Word of God isn’t just one of many philosophical books to ponder. It not an interesting literary novelty.
-A living thing interacts with its environment.
-The purpose of all living things is to produce more life.
-And that’s precisely what the Bible does for us; it points all people to eternal life.
-It speaks about the deepest needs in our lives.
-It calls us to reconsider and revaluate and to change our lives.
-It is relevant to our current situation, no matter what our current situation might be…because it’s alive.
-The Library of Congress is in Washington D.C. and within that building there are more than 35 million books.
-There are books on everything you could possibly imagine.
-Novels, poetry, science, selfhelp, nature, kids’ books, biographies…they even Where’s Waldo?
-I like those books with big pictures!
-There are over 3.0 million recordings, 15 million photographs, 5 million maps, and 61 million manuscripts.
-But in the Library of congress, there is only one book that can accurately be called alive…the Word of God.
THE WORD OF GOD IS POWERFUL.
-It’s important that we understands this clearly.
-The Word of God has power to help change and shape our lives.
-The Bible is not a member of the Trinity.
-There are only three parts to the trinity, not four.
-And I don’t see any vacancies in the Trinity coming open soon!
-So we don’t worship the Scripture.
-We don’t consider the Scripture apart from the God who inspired
-Because God is ultimately the source of real power.
-The Scripture points people to our Heavenly Father…
-When I was a kid my parents took us on a trip somewhere.
-And we stayed in a cheap motel one night.
-And in that motel they had the “Magic Fingers Bed”
-You know what I’m talking about!
-If you heard the title magic fingers bed…you might not get in it.
-If you saw the little sign on the headboard
-And you laid down on that bed you wouldn’t be impressed.
-Because to experience the magic of the magic fingers bed, you have to drop a quarter in the slot.
-The magic finger bed is not magical without that quarter…the quarter brings it to life!
-And that’s how it is with Scripture. Without God, the Scripture is just a book. He is the power that makes the Scripture come alive.
-And many of us are saved today because we experienced the power of God’s Word.
-We heard a message from God’s Word and it gripped us.
-We made a radical change in our behavior when we were confronted with a line or a passage.
-We had a change of heart, or attitude that came…when we opened the Word of God.
-Many here have had a breakthrough in your marriage when you finally yielded yourself to God’s word.
-Many here of you had a breakthrough in your addictions and habits when the word of God spoke into your heart.
-How many here experienced the powerful message of Christ’s forgiveness in the pages of the God’s Word?
-And there are people here who make it through each day by clinging to the power of God’s promise…in his Word!
-It is powerful! And our text goes on to say….
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
THE WORD OF GOD IS SHARP.
-I love the way the Scripture is described here.
-It’s like a scalpel that is so sharp that it can dissect the finest
layers of our hearts.
-It Scripture works on our hearts with surgical precision.
-It can cut through the lies, the stories, and the excuses.
-It cuts through the nonsense, and the pretense; past all the superficiality…and get us right down to the core issues.
-I remember in Jr. High at summer camp our youth pastor Mike said, “Erik, you’d make a great youth pastor someday.”
-That was the day I knew I was going to be a pastor.
-I would love to say that I went into ministry because of writing in the sky, or a neon sign from heaven, or because I heard God speak
-But years later I had abandoned that call and pursued my own path. I was in Alaska, going to college.
-And I was experiencing what we all experience when we’re caught up in rebellion and sin…I was miserable.
-I was doing it my way and it wasn’t working very well.
-So I’m sitting in the basement of the house where I was staying.
-And began reading my Bible, and I remember it very clearly.
-It was in 1 Kings 18. I was reading the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
-And I got to the part where Elijah turns to the Israelites and says, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God…follow Him.”
-That was the heart of the issue in my life. I knew who God was, I knew what he wanted for me, but I wasn’t following.
- I knew in precisely what I needed to do.
-I knew that verse was God’s word to me in that very moment.
-I knew I wasn’t enrolling in fall classes.
-I knew I was going to Bible College to what I was supposed to do.
-Many of us have had experiences just like that…as we went under the knife.
-The word of God is sharp… it cuts so precisely that the end of 12 says it exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
THE WORD OF GOD EXPOSES US.
-The word is like a light that exposes everything hidden in the dark
-That’s why people in the world don’t want to hear the Word.
-That’s why people who are running from God don’t want to come to church and the Word.
-That’s why Christians caught up in sin almost always stop reading the Scripture, because it has the power to convict them.
-They instinctively know that the Word is going to expose their motives, their secrets, their thought and their desires.
-Because that’s what the Word does. Vs 13…
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
-An ancient book that has not changed in 1000s of years….still has the power to expose the contents of people’s hearts?
-To the untrained ear this can sound terrifying!
-Be exposed before God? All my dirtiest sins?
-All my pettiest thoughts? All my secrets and lies exposed?
-Every rotten thing I’ve done and said?
-The anger, the bitterness, the envy, the petty thoughts and lies?
-All of the things I’ve tried to hide, and deny, and forget…all of it exposed by God’s Word? Laid out for God to see? Yes!
-That sounds like something that should scare us to death.
-But don’t be frightened…God doesn’t expose our sins so that he can punish us or intimidate us or make us clinically depressed.
-He exposes our sins, brings them into the light so we can be changed, renewed, and restored.
-As we grow in our walk with Jesus, we learn to invite God’s Word to expose our sins.
-We want our sins to be discovered! Just like King David prayed…
-Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
-Every time our sin is discovered it’s an opportunity for change.
-Every time our sin is uncovered it’s a chance for growth.
-Every time the word of God exposes a heart condition, it’s an opportunity for the Great Physician to do a healing work in our hearts.
-BUT FOR ALL THE THINGS THE WORD OF GOD CAN DO, IT WON’T DO ANYTHING IF IT’S NOT PART OF YOUR LIFE.
In the 2012 Summer Games, Kim Rhode won the gold medal in skeet shooting.
-She is the first American to win 5 Olympic medals in 5 consecutive Olympic games. That’s a span of 20 years.
-Even more impressive to me was that she tied the Olympic record by hitting 99 out of 100 skeets thrown.
-What makes Kim Rhode so good?
-In an interview with the New York Times, Rhode revealed her secret.
-She said that she shoots anywhere from 500 to 1,000 rounds every day of the week year around.
-My shoulder hurts just thinking about that!
-Over her career she has shot an estimated 3 million shots.
-She wanted to be the best shooter, and so she practices shooting every day. Rain, shine, good day or bad…she shoots.
-When you hear that…it’s easy to see why she’s so good.
-It kind of takes the mystery out of it. She simply works at it.
-When it comes to the Bible people say, I wish I knew the Bible.
-I wish I could quote Scripture like she does.
-I wish I could understand the Scripture like he does.
-I’d love understand the harder parts of the Bible.
-I’d really to know the about the promises of God in Scripture.
-Owning a shotgun doesn’t make you a skeet shooter.
-And owning a Bible doesn’t make you a student of the Word.
-At some point, if you want to know it, and more importantly…if you want to live it, you’re going to have to open it and read it.
-This is so critical to our walk with Christ…I believe this is one of the primary places where we are attacked by the enemy.
-When you try to make it a point to read the Scripture you will be attacked. You will face resistance on this.
-Time will get away from you. Distractions will abound.
-Excuses will come to you in abundance.
-There will be times when you’re doing better at it and times when you’re doing worse.
-But if we are going to be the people who follow Jesus, then we must be people of His Word.
-And this should be a joy for us. Don’t make a burden, it’s not.
-Don’t let guilt play a part in this. We read the Scripture because we want to…worship is our motivation.
-Missing one day, missing a month, doesn’t make God love you any less.
-How much we read the Scripture doesn’t change the way that God feels about us.
-But I suspect that it reveals how we feel about Him.
-If God is the one that we we’ve given our lives to, if he is the one that we turn to for power, and wisdom and healing.…then let’s get hungry to know what God says.
-Let’s be people who hunger for his Word. Let me give a few tips:
-Get a plan…there are a bunch online.
-Make it a priority…people in our house like surfing the web in the evening. No one gets online until they’ve read their Bible.
-Read for quality not quantity.