Summary: This is a message that shows how the Word of God must be processed to cause one to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only.
PROCESSING TRUTH: OR THE WAY THAT THE HEAD, HEART, AND THE HANDS ARE USED IN PRACITCAL CHRISTIANITY.
Text: James 1:18-27 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: I am going to consider the total man when I consider the way that Truth is processed. I will show you how the head, the heart, and the hands must be involved in ones practical Christianity. If you get this simple principle involving the way Truth is to be processed, your attitude towards the Word of God should never again be the same. I trust that we may all be helped.
TRUTH: You believe something about the Word of God. You use the expression, “I have Bible convictions”. If you really do have Bible convictions, it must be in relationship to what you believe about God’s word, in conjunction with what you express as being your conviction. Your belief is based upon what you have been taught and what you accepted after being taught. We will explore this further in the message.
The ultimate goal of Truth being taught and Truth being received is for the purpose of being conformed to the image of Christ and then to function as Christ would. A Christian is a Christ-like person. TO be Christ like, one must know who Christ is. You know Him by looking at Him. You do this through the Word of God. This brings about a transforming that results in us being like Christ. Notice this passage of Scripture. (Philippians 2
I. THE PROCESSING OF TRUTH MUST START IN THE HEAD
The head is where the brain or the mind is. That is where your cognizance is. That is where your thinking takes place. For you to have strong Bible convictions you must take Truth into your mind. The bottom line is this: What I believe is not important unless it is what God’s Word teaches. That in and of itself is what makes belief important. Is it Bible? Will I allow myself to be conformed to His image by the transforming of my mind? Romans 12:2 illustrate how this should happen. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
A. You Must Recognize the Truth
If you realize that Truth never changes then you must know what the Truth is. The King James Bible does not only contain the Word of God; it is the Word of God. As simple as it may sound, the menu for exercising practical Christianity is a steady diet in the Word of God. The Word of God is a lamp to your path insuring that you walk in His ways. David knew this when he said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105).
B. You Must Respond to Truth
For Truth to be processed there must be first a willingness to respond to it. God allows the will to be a major part of one’s processing of Truth. If you are unwilling to let the Word of God fall on good ground and respond favorable to it, you will never see in your life God’s fully intended purpose. Your attitude every time that you hear the Word of God should be, “God has something to say and I will listen to what is being said.”
Illustration: Bridge out (knows that it is out and goes on anyway).
C. You Must Receive the Truth
Once you recognize Truth and respond to it accordingly, it is time to receive it. You may pray as David, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18) or as David also prayed, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119:34). This verse introduces my next thought. Once you have the mind to receive it, then may it go to your heart…
II. PROCESSED TRUTH MUST GO TO THE HEART
The heart is the seed bed for the emotions. The heart is where you begin to feel and anticipate what you believe. It is where the Word of God has begun to do its faith work. Remembering that “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Some will have you to believe that faith is so sterile and that there is only a mechanical application of Truth. I have been saved too long to believe that. For Faith will affect how you feel, but how you feel should not affect your faith; there is a great difference.
A. There Must Be A Passion For Tuth
As you study the Word of God in regards to practical Christianity, you should develop strong feelings or might I say convictions about the importance of applied Truth, or literally the planned program of taking the Word of God into your heart for the purpose of developing a passion that results in conviction. The definition for passion is, intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.