Summary: Often we ignore the only powerful tool that God has given us to overcome sin. God has promised to bless His Word, not our talent. We need a commitment to share God’s Word with others.
Putting the Word to Work
Purpose: To explain that the Word of God is our only tool to help others.
Aim: I want the listener to look for ways to confront others with God’s Word.
1:1-2:13I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
4:1-22 IV. How Can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
Vs.1-5 A. Put First Things First
Vs.1 1. The seriousness of the commands “solemnly charge you”
a. God sees us “in the presence of God”
b. God judges us “who is to judge”
c. God is coming “His appearing and His kingdom”
Vs.2 2. The importance of the Word
INTRODUCTION: I don’t want to scare anyone here this morning, but the truth is that every person listening to my voice has thousands of cancer cells in their body right now. The reason we don’t all have cancer is that our immune systems are healthy enough to fight off the cancer cells and keep them contained. Once our immune system gets weak enough, though, then the cancer cells can take hold and begin doing their damage.
In the same way, sin and temptation is always close to every Christian. We need regular infusions of God’s Word in order to keep us spiritually healthy. Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. (NAU)
The best way to stay in the Word is to be giving it out to others. Jesus commanded each and every one of us to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, . . . teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NAU)
If we are going to obey Christ’s command to share God’s Word with others, then there are four things that we must do.
a. Proclaim the Word only “preach the word”
Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Jesus’ ministry says, “I did not hear Him say ‘Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow."
The importance of this command can hardly be overemphasized. It is only the word of God which is given the promise, ". . . It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the things for which I sent it. " Is. 55:10,11. Thus our source of success in the ministry does not lie in our gifts, intellect or personality, but rather it lies in the penetrating power of "the word." It is interesting to note the different images given to God’s word throughout the scriptures and the power which these images evoke.
The Power of God’s Word
✔ * God’s Word is a FIRE -- "Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire and this people wood, and it shall devour them." Jer. 5:14 "Is not My word like a fire . . .?" Jer. 23:29 It burns away corruption. It purifies.
✔ * God’s Word is RAIN -- "For as the rain comes down . . . so shall My word be . . . " Is. 55:10,11 It refreshes and cleans us.
✔ * God’s Word is a HAMMER -- "Is not My word like . . . a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" Jer. 23:29 It breaks up our deception. It cruses our sin.
✔ * God’s Word is a SWORD -- "For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. . . " Heb. 4:12; "and take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Eph. 6:17 It cuts into our conscience. It slices our excuses to pieces.
Each of these pictures of the Word describes ways that the Bible changes us. The Word, and only the Word, has the power to change who we are on the inside.
Paul’s main concern was proclaiming what God said. We should avoid religious teachers who don’t spend much of their time teaching the Bible.
☛ 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (NAU)