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June 23, 2022 8:00 am
A lazy man has no claim on understanding God's word and in different woman cares not to crack open the Scripture should not expect the blessings and the understanding that God promises in his word to be made to the company times if you heard someone doesn't know the Lord say so hard, even impossible to understand.
Yet as a believer when you read it.
Its meaning is clear hello and welcome to the truth. Called John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I feel right today as God continues teaching God's people. God's word is going to give us the surprisingly simple reason why some can, and some cannot comprehend.
The Bible is our teacher. Now with the second half of the message of who can understand Scripture we said there's the promise of Scripture and the provision of the spirit is one other aspect. We need to look at 1/3 aspect that we need to consider. That's the preparation for Scripture. The preparation for Scripture we speak in these most broad general principles that set the whole framework and yet we need to continue to refine them to get our understanding to exactly what it needs to be everything that we said about the promise of Scripture and the provision of the spirit is true, but we need to understand that there are also certain spiritual traits that God requires from those who would know his word.
There are certain things that need to be in place if you would be a student of God's word. First of all, we would say this is that you must turn from sin, you must turn from sin, a sinful heart is not prepared to receive God's word and you cannot you cannot simultaneously in a in a stubborn hardhearted way cling to sin in your life and expect to have an understanding of Scripture unfolding as you read it you have to let one of the other go someone saddens been often repeated that sin will keep you from this book or this book will keep you from sin and I know that you understand that from your own personal experience of your Christian that when you're conscious of of sin in your being a little bit stubborn about it, you start to lose the desire for God's word. When you when you repent when you confess it thing. God's word seems sweet once again.
Will Scripture describes that process Scripture tells you that you must turn away from sin and repent. If you would be one who would comprehend God's word look at first Peter first Peter in chapter 1, first Peter chapter 1 just after the book of James. For those of you that are still getting familiar with where the books of the Bible are, that's fine. You're in the right place. This is how you get started. First Peter chapter 1 verse 22. Speaking to Peter writes to the readers and reminds them of their conversion, he says, since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls. For a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart for you have been born again, not a seed which is perishable, but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. It was the word of God taught you what you needed to know in order to turn to Christ and away from sin.
Verse 24 for all flesh is like grass in all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off. But the word of the Lord endures forever, and this is the word which was preached to you, Peter says you remember your conversion. You remember that the centrality of the word brings out to my well then he goes in chapter 2, and he applies it and he says therefore, in light of your conversion. In light of the nature of the word of God is what you need to do.
Putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander like newborn babies long for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.
If you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Peter says you want to understand God's word. Understand that you need to turn away from those sins in your life and not just the external ones.
Those internal attitudes of malice and deceit and hypocrisy and then be you need to put that all away. You need to be specific and intrusive and looking to step on your toes. Perhaps a little bit for the sake of your soul.
You need to you need to put aside and let go of some of the bitterness needed, put away the bitterness and say you know what I want to understand God's word and therefore the bitterness that I feel and that the settled resentment that I feel against so-and-so. I'm going to let that go and not cherish that ensuring that an and and cultivate that any longer because I realize it is I'm doing that I'm squelching the word of God in my life and that's the last thing I want. Why, because God's word is clear because it's precious because it can be understood because it promises blessing to me and that's the glory of all of that is so precious to me that I don't want to cling to my little earthly spats because that would keep me from the glory what I knows contained in God's word and so you see beloved. Here's the thing when when we get serious about God's word reading it. Understanding that we see how crystal-clear it is and how precious it is and everything that it promises to us well there start to become ethical demands character implications on that for you. God, I can always let every ounce of passion that I feel out or I would just be people would start asking why is Pastor Don yelling at us look. God is holy and his word is holy God expects his word to be treated as holy. He doesn't just convey understanding of it to mines that are in hostility toward him.
Those who reject God as unbelievers because they love their sin more should understand that their acts of their choosing sin over God's word.
We as the people of God should realize that God is holy and is a God without partiality that if his word is holy, then we should have holy affections and holy dispositions as we can't and not expect to cling on the one hand to our sinful former way of life and and and fractured relationships. We could actually do something to bring peace to we can we can approach a holy world with a sinful disposition that wouldn't be right and and we need to respect the holiness of God. We need to respect the holiness of his word is as as we come to it and say and say as I'm as I'm trusting in Christ am also going to consciously turn from any known sin in my life. Why, because not because I'm trying to impress anybody but because I desire this word and I understand that I can't be holding on to sin is one hand, as I try to open the Bible with the other and so what we believe about Scripture, the doctrine of Scripture points us to sanctification and in your marriage. Men and women you husbands and wives, you know.
Elsewhere, Peter says that were in Peter… Turn their first Peter chapter 3 verse seven says something along the same lines, that's referring specifically to Scripture, but that the the implications of of sin in the life of the believer. First Peter chapter 3 verse seven, you husbands, live with your wives, and in understanding way is with someone weaker since she is a woman show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Don't don't come to God with while you been cultivating conflict with your spouse and expect that God is going to receive your prayers favorably. It will hinder your spiritual life.
So, we realize we cannot be in different as we approach God. As believers, we come to his word.
As we come to prayer. We realize we have to turn from sin. That is the call of God, and it is right and fitting that he should do that for some of you maybe you just need to stop making excuses with your mediocre spiritual life and say you know what all of this points me to the fact that II have some spiritual business to do with God. And I say that not to know not to scold you. I'm not yelling at my not to scold you but for your own spiritual benefit to realize that this is the path forward to God's blessing sinful attitude sinful relationships you have to let them go. You have to set them aside. You have to turn away from. If you would have this blessing as your own. Now that's the spiritual side of it could say what else can we say about this preparation for Scripture, will secondly you must work for it. You must work for God's word. You must turn from sin, you must work for God's word. That's part of the preparation of receiving understanding Scripture says we must seek God's word like a treasure and that that the desire and watch this, the effort that you make toward it should be commensurate with the value of what you're seeking. Look at Proverbs chapter 2 Proverbs chapter 2 very challenging section of Scripture Proverbs chapter 2 verse one says my son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you make your ear attentive to wisdom.
Incline your heart to understanding. For if you cry for discernment lift your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures. Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God, the Lord gives wisdom from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Men will go to great links to find earthly treasure. Some men as you know will make a career out of searching for shipwrecks, a career of digging for gold mining for Jules. Maybe in the realm of South Africa were so many of our diamonds come from but but a lot of effort and a lot of machinery and a lot of digging and a whole lot goes to trying to find little precious jewel.
Well, Scripture compares the search for earthly treasure to the desire that you should have in the effort that you're willing to make in order to pursue God's word. See this book, the Bible is an accessible book if you set your heart on it, but it takes effort that corresponds to its great value. In other words understand this, God does not promise understanding of the Scriptures to you apart from your own effort and and it would be wrong for someone on the one hand you say okay I got the Holy Spirit. I've got I've got God's word here and you know and I'm going to in in 30 seconds I want to open a passage I want to immediately understand what it says it's crazy that is an insult to the holiness of God to take such a casual approach to his word. God's word.
Given its great value requires a valuable response of of effort of reading of study of seeking the diamonds are buried to be searched for the meaning Scripture requires your effort to find look at second Timothy chapter 2 second Timothy chapter 2C. A lazy man has no claim on understanding God's word and indifferent woman who cares not to crack open the Scripture should not expect the blessings in the understanding that God promises in his word to be made to them.
Second Timothy chapter 2 verse 15 says be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth, diligence handling it accurately.
It assumes that there is mental effort and there's time to be invested into it and so we embrace that the thing that I would say to you that God doesn't just dump understanding honest. God doesn't give profound insight into his word. Irrespective of the condition of your heart of the effort that you make for understanding is there for the taking. But you have to reach out and pursue it with diligence to find so that's part of the preparation for Scripture. There's a spiritual dimension of of sanctification and there's this dimension also of realizing that okay this is going take some time and effort for me to do and you say I'm up for it. I'm up for it if if if a man can can hire a ship to go out and look for a chest the gold buried in the ocean. The least that I can do is orient my time so that somewhere in my life.
There is a there is a section cut out so that God's word can be pursued by me, that would only be right if I say with my mouth the God's word is more valuable than earthly treasure which it is, then we say then somewhere in my life. There is a corresponding effort to seek it out. Your presence here today is a mark of the fact that yes you want to make the effort to understand Scripture that's why you're here, let me just affirm that in can encourage you to to pursue that the the impulses the desires that brought you here feed them and multiply them so that this treasure would be years. The last thing in this preparation for Scripture must turn from sin, you must work for God's word. Finally, you must look to God's spirit. You must look to God's spirit, desire and effort are necessary, but we approach Scripture in a spirit of dependence and we should humbly ask for the spirits help and with the spirit dwelling within us.
We don't we don't act independently of that were mindful that the spirit gave us this word we hold outside ourselves and we have the spirit within.
We say all spirit of God, be my teacher help me and lead me as I read as I study we humbly ask him for help. Look at Psalm 119 Psalm 119 and this is our final text here. For this session. Psalm 119. This great ode to the word of God has embedded in it.
A prayerful spirit asking for God's help to understand it.
I'm just going to walk you through four, five, versus just to give you a sense of the spirit of it all. Psalm 119 verse 12 says blessed are you oh Lord, teach me your statutes.
God, I come to your word. Teach me as I do. Verse 18 open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law.
Verse 33 teach me oh Lord, the way of your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding that I may observe your law for 73 verse 73 your hands made me and fashioned me, give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Finally, verse 125 that was in coordination with me think about it later. You laugh so you know I think about LA that was funny. Verse 125.
I am your servant. Give me understanding that I may know your testimonies. Notice that is notice that as the psalmist is writing about the glories of God's word woven throughout is the silver thread says God help me, God give me understanding God take me beyond my natural ability and and impart understanding to me so that I can know your word more deeply than if you didn't help me and so there is this humble spirit of dependence that marks the one who's truly studying God's word knowledge is good, but knowledge puffs up one of the ways that you avoid that puffing up is that you come with you approach Scripture with a consistently prayerful spirit that says says God I'm weak, mortal, weak flesh and your word is high and lofty. There are profound things here that I want to know and see the Lord on just that and I there's I have no special training for this I realize that men dispute over these things. But I want to know I want to understand God help me God be gracious to me so that I could so that I can grasp these things and know them and respond to them and respond to you in a deeper sense of worship.
You see core at the at the at the very very core of the one who would understand Scriptures that you you want to understand and know God's word. Understand that what Scripture models for you is someone who takes the position consciously adopts the attitude of a humble learner not a critic of God's word say God I respect you.
I revere you I fear you, I love your word I want to understand it. God, would you please help me what's Lord's response to that asking it will be given to you seek and you will find knock and the door will be open to you, Jesus. There is a promising those kinds of things. In Matthew seven not talking about earthly blessings at all. What if God wrote his word to be understood and he did if he saved you to become like Christ. And if you're Christian.
He did and he put his spirit inside you so that you could understand and he did. Then what is he going to do.
Having God has made his purpose clear in those things. What is he going to do in response to the earnest, sincere, humble prayer of you is a Christian and you comments I got.
I really want to know this for whatever it whatever it cost me.
I want this word inside me, I will. I want this to be a part of the fabric of my being. God help me, give me understanding that I might know your testimonies. What's God going to do with prayer like that know what is going to do you going to answer is going to give you understanding.
I know I know some men in different parts of the country to talk with them is incredible. Their depth of understanding of Scripture is profound and they never set foot in a seminary classroom. They never had formal training, but they can they can discuss the attributes of God and that and that the doctrines of grace with clarity and and with insight.
Why, because this is what God gives to his people.
This is what God God imparts to those who love his word.
Over time, and seek it humbly as a learner serious about sanctification in their lives.
Taking the time arranging arranging life around God's word. You see beloved.
Here's the thing.
God gives understanding to the humble as a gift, not to the proud is an entitlement. God's word is open to you if you will seek its treasure great blessing awaits going forward no matter what your past experiences been like Scripture shows us that going forward, you can be a man, a woman of the word. Everything is there that take place great blessing awaits. Won't you be that kind of Christian that's going green with another powerful lesson from God's word here on the truth pulpit.
If you'd like to find out more about this ministry, we invite you to go to the truth. Pulpit.com burial find today's message as well as this entire series called effective Bible study as well as a variety of other study resources. Again, that's all at the truth pulpit… A friend were out of time for today.
I feel like hoping you'll join us again next time on the truth pulpit but Don Greene teaches God's people got