Word of God – its functions, part 1 – Sermon
Scripture reading – Isaiah 55:10.11: “For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I send it.”
What a statement from our God! He means what He says and what He says takes place.
Everything God does has a purpose and He accomplishes it by His word!
Today we will look at first group of purposes - functions of God’s word.
1st purpose – God’s word in creation:
Psalm 33:6.9: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. For He spoke and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.”
Genesis 1:184.108.40.206.20.24.26. – read and comment
In every aspect of creation God’s word was the active agent – the means through which God made things happen. (Hebrews 11:3.)
2nd purpose – as it was in creation so it is in every step of salvation.
A) Conviction – Hebrews 4:12.13: “For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Under the workings of the Holy Spirit God’s word brings conviction of sin and need for salvation – John 16:8 – read.
Illustration – when I first started to read the Bible – describe its effect:
Ecclesiastes – had shown the vanity, emptiness and purposelessness of my life
Proverbs – revealed my folly and true wisdom how to live (lesson in Divine psychology)
Psalms – encouragement in human struggles, strength and victory over weakness
Gospels – revealed loving Savior, way of salvation and beauty of Christ’s teachings
Daniel and Revelation – made history understandable and future clear
As conviction of my sinfulness and God’s goodness was revealed, I was deeply moved and convinced. I began to commune with God asking for help, experiencing deepening repentance. But it did not stop there.
B) Saving faith – Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
This kind of hearing means perceiving, believing, accepting, receiving & submitting to it.
C) New creation through new birth – 1 Peter 1:23–25: “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides for ever, because all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”
D) Escaping depravity and partaking of Divine nature (which is His very character) – 2 Peter 1:4: “By which (God’s power, personal knowledge of God and by His glory and virtue) have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption (moral depravity) that is in the world through lust.”
Comment: We must take God’s promises as they are. We need to find and meet the conditions to their fulfillment and then claim them by faith. We must leave with God to answer and to act in His own way and in His own time.
E) Ongoing activity of God’s word in our life - 1 Thessalonians 2:13: “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works effectively in you who believe.”
F) Growth by God’s word – 1 Peter 2:1.2: “Therefore (as you experienced the new birth and blessings of forgiveness through the gospel) laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.”
Question: How much time do you spend with God’s word?
Recent polls among born-again Christians reveal growing percentage what is called “biblical illiteracy” along with confusion what to believe in the Bible.
Alarmingly low number of Christians feed on God’s word daily.
Among those who do, they primarily digest books written by others.
Among Adventists who used to be “the people of the book” similar trends exist.
Only 50% of membership read their Bibles regularly, some very little living in sort of a spiritual malnutrition. Some get exposed to God’s word only during a short time at church during the sermon.
Some who are spiritual get their main staple from TV evangelists – thus they are babysat, fed with a predigested spiritual food with little effort of their own to search the Scriptures for themselves. We need to develop own convictions of biblical message.
Good sermons are great. We can compare them to a banquet or a restaurant menu. But brothers and sisters we need a regular “home cooked food” that can only come when we take time to search the Scriptures with prayer and earnest desire to meet with God and know His will through its pages. Nothing like Jesus speaking to us through His word!
In John 6:48–58 Jesus compared feeding with manna in the wilderness with feeding on Him, on His words and teachings thus having on-going living connection with Him.
Manna provided for Hebrew’s physical life. It had to be collected every morning.
In John 6:63 Jesus explains: “It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.”
Jesus is not calling us to some mystical, emotional experience. We need daily “gathering of that Living Bread” from the Scriptures.
For far too many, emotions and circumstances are a barometer and decider of their faith and religious experience – up and down roller-coaster spiritual experience.
Poem: Feelings come and feelings go
Feelings are deceiving.
Heed His word and do His will
God’s promises believing.
Personal study of God’s word is the “great stabilizer” of spiritual experience.
Jesus invites us to connect and stay connected with Him through His word.
It will transform, keep, nourish and give spiritual strength and vitality needed each day.
It will also keep us humble, kind, patient, forgiving, at peace and joyful.
Christ’s love in the heart will flow out to others as we will long for and work for the salvation of others. Doing God’s will and doing good will become our greatest joy.
And yes, when we heed His word and obey it, it will positively affect, balance and heal our emotions as well.