Ikthus East Sermon, 10 September 2017

SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND THE WORD OF GOD

Therefore, put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation. (1 Peter 2:2)

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)

I. PRELIMINARY REMARKS

In order to be changed by the Word of God we have to personally experience his life-changing power in the Scriptures.

A. TASTE THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN THE WORD OF GOD

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34: 8)

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

B. SEE THE GLORY OF CHRIST IN THE WORD OF GOD

In the power of the Spirit we see by faith the life-transforming beauty of Christ in the Scriptures. We become what we behold.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4)

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (John 6:68)

II. SOME BENEFICIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WORD OF GOD

A. THE WORD OF GOD IS PRECIOUS

The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. (Psalm 119:72)

Of course, gold and silver may give material comfort in this life; God’s words give eternal life and joy.

B. THE WORD OF GOD IS PLEASURABLE

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

To the spiritual person, spiritual pleasures are sweeter than earthly pleasures. Depending on the kind of person you are, the Word of God is either foolishness or sweet.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

The Word of God can give sweet comfort to the soul and sweet peace to the heart. Illicit pleasures, on the other, not only torment the conscience but also destroys lives.

C. THE WORD OF GOD IS POWERFUL

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

III. APPLICATION

A. MEDITATE

Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. (Psalm 119:97)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

B. PRAY

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

C. MAKE USE OF TEACHERS (WHETHER IN PERSON OR IN BOOKS)

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

D. APPLY WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED.

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for your precious Word which, through the power of your Spirit, has saved us by revealing to us the beauty of Christ’s person and the glory of his saving deeds. Through your word, we have experienced the joy of your salvation. Help us to love your word, to meditate on it always, and to obey it without fail, so that we may grow not only in knowledge but most of all in holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Author: attycortes

Filipino lawyer, preacher, composer.

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