Summary: The Word of God is the wisdom of God for us and the revelation of God to us. It is a living book and no other book can have that said about it.
The Book of God
Griffith Baptist Church – 11/9/08
Text: Nehemiah 7-8
Key verse: Nehemiah 8:8 - So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
Premise: The Word of God is the wisdom of God for us and the revelation of God to us. It is a living book and no other book can have that said about it.
A woman wrote “My doctor had recommended surgery and referred me to a specialist. Arriving early for my appointment, I found the door unlocked and the young surgeon, deeply engrossed in reading, behind the receptionist’s desk. When he didn’t hear me come in, I cleared my throat. Startled, he closed the book, which I recognized as a Bible. “Does reading the Bible help you before or after an operation?” I asked. My fears were dispelled by his soft, one-word answer: “During.””
Eleanor Schmidt, in Reader’s Digest
Discuss the text briefly, beginning in chapter 7.
1. The Prominence of God’s Word
A. When God speaks, we listen – 8:3
i. We should give attention to the Word of God when it is spoken
ii. There will come a day when people will not listen (2nd Tim. 4:3-4)
iii. We need to listen while the Word of God is still spoken - Amos 8:11 - Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
B. It is the centerpiece of preaching – 8:4
i. 2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
ii. This ought to be heartbeat of every Christian, to hear the Word of God proclaimed. – Read Butler, pp. 205-206, The Rarity of the Desire
iii. We ought to hunger for it – Acts 17:11 - These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
a. Readiness of mind – means zeal, spirit, eagerness
b. This is what they wanted more than anything, to hear the Word of the Lord.
C. It should be highly respected – 8:5
i. We do not worship the book as much as the God of the book
ii. Nevertheless, These are God’s words to us and are divine – Psalms 119:89 - For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
2. The Purpose of God’s Word
A. To ground us for spiritual living - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
i. Doctrine – God teaches us about Himself
ii. Conviction - Reproof – Nehemiah 8:9 - For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
iii. Correction – It shows us how to correct sin and overcome our sinful nature
iv. Instruction in Righteousness – Holy lives come from a holy book
v. Application (2nd Tim. 3:17) – that we will mature and be equipped and trained for good works.
B. To bring joy through obeying the Word (8:10-12)
i. Psalms 19:8 - 8The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: . . .
ii. Psa 40:8; Psa 119:14,24,54,92,121,143; Deu 12:11,12; Deu 16:11,14; Neh 8:12; Isa 64:5; Jer 15:16; Rom 7:22
C. That we might know Jesus Christ – John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
3. The Power of God’s Word
A. Nehemiah 8:6 - And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
i. It causes praise and true worship - Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands
ii. It causes humility - bowed their heads
iii. It causes responsiveness - worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
B. Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
i. It is living (quick)
ii. It is unbeatable(powerful)
iii. It goes deeper to reveal what we desperately try to hide (a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart)
C. The power of the Scriptures goes beyond any other book or power on earth: