The power of the Word of God is perhaps nowhere better seen than in Psalm 19. There we find six declarations that tell us what the Bible IS and DOES: 6 nouns, 6 adjectives, 6 verbs. The focus is on the identity, the quality, and the function of Scripture.
First, “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” (v. 7a).
identity – “law” = lit., instruction, in whatever form God sends it;
quality – “perfect” = whole, complete, lacking defect of any kind;
function – “restoring the soul” = it renews, refreshes, and brings the soul back to where it belongs.
Second, “the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (v. 7b).
identity – “testimony” = Scripture is God’s own witness to who he is and what he requires of us;
quality – “sure” = true in principle and verifiable in life’s situations;
function – “making wise the simple” = the Bible takes the undiscerning and naive and gullible person and makes him/her wise. “Every fork in the road does not have a biblical arrow” (Piper, 123). We need wisdom for decision-making. It comes from Scripture. He who is immersed in the Word is equipped to choose wisely where no explicit direction is found.
Third, “the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (v. 8a).
identity – “precepts” = rules, regulations, guidelines for living; cf. Ps. 119:16,97,111; Jer. 15:16;
quality – “right” = never wrong; always can be counted on to provide truth and accuracy;
function – “rejoicing the heart” = if your heart needs joy, dive into God’s word.
Fourth, “the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (v. 8b).
identity – “commandment” = do’s and don’ts;
quality – “pure” or “radiant” (NIV) = devoid of sin or malice or corrupting influence;
function – “enlightening the eyes” = it brings understanding so that we can see how to live, what to do, etc.
Fifth, “the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (v. 9a).
identity – “fear of the Lord” = a reference to the fear of God that the Bible produces in us;
quality – “clean” = both in terms of its essence and its impact on our hearts;
function – “enduring forever” = its power and purpose never end; we can always count on God’s Word to do its work; God’s Word does not change with the seasons or with fashions; it is always “in”!
Sixth, “the judgments of the Lord are true, they are righteous altogether” (v. 9b).
identity – “judgments” = divine decisions about human conduct;
quality – “true” = never false; never off the mark; the only barometer for reality;
function – “righteous altogether” = the Word of God provides us with the standard of righteousness; no guesswork.
Note also from Psalm 19 that the Word of God is that which brings to us satisfaction and joy and delight, so that we will not be enticed and tempted by the passing pleasures of sin:
“They (i.e., the laws, precepts, commandments of God’s Word) are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (vv. 10-11).
Posts Tagged ‘God’s Word’
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, God's Word, Psalm, Psalms, Sam Storms, Sam Storms: The identity the quality and the function of Scripture, Scripture, Word of God
Tags: attributes of God, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Charles Spurgeon, daily Bible, God's character, God's Word, Scripture, This God—his way is perfect, Treasury of David
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
Far past all fault and error are God’s dealings with his people; all his actions are resplendent with justice, truth, tenderness, mercy, and holiness. Every way of God is complete in itself, and all his ways put together are matchless in harmony and goodness. Is it not very consolatory to believe that he who has begun to bless us will perfect his work, for all his ways are “perfect.” Nor must the divine “word” be without its song of praise. “The word of the Lord is tried,” like silver refined in the furnace. The doctrines are glorious, the precepts are pure, the promises are faithful, and the whole revelation is superlatively full of grace and truth. David had tried it, thousands have tried it, we have tried it, and it has never failed. It was meet that when way and word had been extolled, the Lord himself should be magnified; hence it is added, “He is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” No armour of proof or shield of brass so well secures the warrior as the covenant God of Israel protects his warring people. He himself is the buckler of trustful ones; what a thought is this! What peace may every trusting soul enjoy!
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Charles Spurgeon, daily Bible, God's Word, Scripture, Spurgeon: "Man's words are yea and nay but the Lord's promises are yea and amen.", Treasury of David
The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times. Psalm 12:6
What a contrast between the vain words of man, and the pure words of Jehovah. Man’s words are yea and nay, but the Lord’s promises are yea and amen. For truth, certainty, holiness, faithfulness, the words of the Lord are pure as well-refined silver. In the original there is an allusion to the most severely-purifying process known to the ancients, through which silver was passed when the greatest possible purity was desired; the dross was all consumed, and only the bright and precious metal remained; so clear and free from all alloy of error or unfaithfulness is the book of the words of the Lord. The Bible has passed through the furnace of persecution, literary criticism, philosophic doubt, and scientific discovery, and has lost nothing but those human interpretations which clung to it as alloy to precious ore. The experience of saints has tried it in every conceivable manner, but not a single doctrine or promise has been consumed in the most excessive heat. What God’s words are, the words of his children should be. If we would be Godlike in conversation, we must watch our language, and maintain the strictest purity of integrity and holiness in all our communications.
Tags: Acts, apostles, Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, God's Word, Peter, prayer, Priorities under pressure, Scripture, unity
- First, notice that they were of one mind. They knew they needed each other, and so they hung out together. Pride and arguing over petty differences fall by the wayside when we are thrown into daunting circumstances.
- Second, notice that they devoted themselves to prayer. As they waited, prayer was a central priority.
- Third, in verses 15 & following, Peter stood up and shared the Scriptures as a basis for guidance in determining the roles and responsibilities of the apostles.
What a great example to follow: to make community, prayer, and the word of God our priorities at all times, but especially when our circumstances overwhelm us.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, Charles Spurgeon, daily Bible, God's Word, Scripture, Truth
2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
There is need in these perilous times to come back to such an elementary truth as this. The truths taught us in God’s Word are not fables, myths, or merely parables, but they are matters of actual fact. The apostles were eye-witnesses of “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”-”eyewitnesses of his majesty.” We receive these truths without the slightest question, and base our faith upon them. We should be troubled indeed if we had any doubts whatsoever about these great foundation facts of our holy religion.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Dr. John Piper, God's sovereignty, God's Word, Jeremiah, No accident or chance but God's plan!, plan of God, Plans change but God's purpose doesn't, Scripture, Trusting God, Turn on your windshield wipers (the Word of God!), Word of God
Jeremiah 29:10-14 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Suppose you are in a car race and your enemy who doesn’t want you to finish the race throws mud on your windshield. The fact that you temporarily lose sight of your goal and start to swerve does not mean that you are going to quit the race. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong racetrack. Otherwise the enemy wouldn’t bother you at all. What it means is that you should turn on your windshield wipers and use your windshield washer.
What I mean is this: when anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked. At first blow our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether we set in motion a process of resistance. Whether we fight back against anxiety. Will we turn on the windshield wipers and will we use our windshield washer?
The Testimony of Scripture
Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee.” Notice: it does not say, “I never struggle with fear.” Fear strikes and the battle begins. So the Bible does not assume that true believers will have no anxieties. Instead the Bible tells us how to fight when they strike.
For example, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” It does NOT say, you will never feel any anxieties to cast onto God. It says, when the mud splatters your windshield and you lose temporary sight of the road and start to swerve in anxiety, turn on your wipers and squirt your windshield washer.
To the One Who Struggles Daily with Anxiety
So my response to the person who has to deal with feelings of anxiety every day is to say: that’s more or less normal. The issue is how you deal with them.
And the answer to that is: you deal with anxieties by battling unbelief. And you battle unbelief by meditating on God’s Word and asking for the help of his Spirit. The windshield wipers are the promises of God that clear away the mud of unbelief. And the windshield washer fluid is the help of the Holy Spirit.
Without the softening work of the Holy Spirit the wipers of the Word just scrape over the blinding clumps of unbelief. Both are necessary—the Spirit and the Word. We read the promises of God and we pray for the help of his Spirit. And as the windshield clears so we can see the welfare that God plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), our belief grows strong and the swerving of anxiety smoothes out.
Tags: Bible, Bible daily, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, delight in God's Word, Dr. John Piper, God's Word, James, LOVE the Word of God, Receive like oxygen not like kidneys!, Receive like oxygen!, Scripture, value of God's Word, Word of God
James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Receive it—this implanted word. In other words, if you treat the word of God like your kidneys, you are making a big mistake. Your kidneys are implanted in you by your first birth. But you do not go on “receiving” your kidneys. They just sit there doing their work, and you rarely think about them. You certainly don’t “receive” them. They are already there—firmly implanted.
But James says, “Receive the implanted word.” It is already in you. And you should receive it. It is rooted and planted in you. It brought you life. It is there sustaining that life by feeding faith in Christ.
But it is not there like kidneys. It is there like oxygen. It gives life and in giving life, it makes you breathe, and in breathing you receive oxygen. No one says: “I have oxygen; look how well it is working in me; it makes me alive; I don’t need to receive oxygen.”
The implanted word of God and the external word of God are so united that we live by having it already implanted and we live by receiving it. It is at work in us, as Paul says. And the work it does in us is it makes us want to receive it. Receiving the external word replenishes the power of the implanted word, and the implanted word creates the hunger to receive the external word. And then to make us very serious about this process, James adds at the end of verse 21 “which is able to save your souls.” What saves our souls? The implanted word which we receive.
In other words, our souls depend on the implanted word, and our souls depend on receiving the word. If you decide that you don’t need to receive the external word, you are like a person who decides he doesn’t need to breathe. If you are spiritually dead, you can carry through that decision. You can choose not to breathe. But if you are spiritually alive, you can’t. The implanted word is powerful; it produces life and breathing. It takes over the spiritual diaphragm and demands oxygen. It demands the life-giving external word. If the word is implanted in you, you can’t hold your breath forever. The implanted word will sooner or later conquer and be replenished. You will receive the word again. And you will love it.
Tags: 1 Thessalonians, Accept God's Word for what it really is, Bible, Bible reading, Bible study, daily Bible, Dr. John Piper, God's Word, Knowing God's Word, Scripture, sermon, Word of God
1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
So the point of 1 Thessalonians 2:13 is that there is a right way to accept or welcome the teachings of the Bible when we receive it. And the right way is to accept it for what it really is, the very word of God. We should embrace it and welcome it as the word of God, because it is the word of God. It is God’s truth and has God’s authority. It is the rule for all other claims to truth and the rule over all other authority. We should embrace it that way.
Now how do we do that? What does it look like to welcome the Scriptures as the word of God? I have a three-fold answer from the context of Thessalonians and a five-fold answer by implication based on what the Bible says elsewhere about how to use it.
Tags: Alistair Begg, Bible, Bible reading, daily Bible, flawless, God is our shield, God's Word, Truth
At my previous church in Scotland, it was our custom to choose a verse which served as our theme for the year. For some reason, I have never been successful at establishing the same pattern here at Parkside. Writing this at the end of the year, I am toying with the possibility of re-instituting this concept. As of now, my top contender for “Verse of the Year 2009″ is Proverbs 30:5, which reads:
“Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”This provides us with a timely reminder that our security in these uncertain times is grounded in the sure promises of God. It also has an evangelistic potential, allowing us to urge people to take refuge in Him. It has been well said that “there is no refuge from Him, but there is refuge in Him.”
It is the flawless nature of God’s Word which enables us to trust it entirely and to proclaim it boldly. I am greatly helped in this endeavor as I read your letters which assure me of your prayers.