Digesting The Word
Game show: Brady
There was a gift up here for Brady. It’s been here all morning.
Did Brady know that? No.
A message came for Brady. Was it easy for him?
No. It took some resources.
It told him something to do. Did he have to do it? No.
But when he did it, he found the gift that was waiting for him.
Acts 10:1-6 (NKJV)There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”
A man is praying. It is 3 in the afternoon. An angel appears to him and he is afraid. He gets a message. It is a strange one. What does Cornelius do? He sends men to Joppa to Simon’s house and asks Peter to come to Caesarea.
He does what Brady did. He follows the instructions.
Does he get a soccer ball? No. He gets eternal life. Because
Peter comes and tells him all that has happened in his life and Cornelius and his household and friends are filled with the Holy Spirit and saved.
Where did the angel come from? The scripture tells us that angels are spirits created to carry out God’s wishes. The angel came from God. What is God wanting to do? God wants Cornelius to find out that Jesus has been killed on a cross for Cornelius’s sin and has been raised from the dead because the debt was fully paid and accepted and He wants Cornelius to believe that so that Cornelius can be reconciled to God. Right?
Who wrote the Bible? The Holy Spirit. God wrote the Bible. He worked somehow through men and wrote the very words of the Bible. So that the Bible say that the words are God breathed, and they are living and active and sharper than any two edged sword.
So all that we know about Jesus and his life and his death and his resurrection and what it means for us---God wrote it right? And where did that angel that visited Cornelius come from? From God, right?
Why didn’t God have the angel just explain it all to Cornelius? Why did he say, send for a man named Peter and he will tell you what to do?
Why didn’t I just give the soccer ball to Brady?
Why doesn’t God just have the angel tell Cornelius? Or for that matter why doesn’t God just tell Cornelius? Isn’t He the living God?
Because the church of God is built on foundation of the apostles and the prophets
Ephesians 2:20 (NKJV)
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Revelation 21:14 (NKJV) Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Cornelius had to find an apostle.
What about you? Why doesn’t God explain it all to you.?
Because you are just like Cornelius you have to send for the apostle.
But where do you send? Right here, to this book. Here are the teachings of the apostles. These are what make up the New Testament. And the prophets? They make up the Old Testament writings.
The words of this book are a lamp unto our feet.
We believe an amazing thing. We teach an extraordinary thing.
We believe and teach that God, who called the universe into being, who created our souls, and all that is living and non-living, God himself wrote a book.
Do you know what is in a book? Words. Words and sentences. Do you know what you have to do with words and sentences? You have to do just what Brady did. You have to read them.
Music can go right to the emotions can’t it? Pictures can too. Sometimes when someone is telling about a dream, she will say, “I don’t know how I knew this, but I knew whoever these people were in the dream, they were friends.
But words …..go through the mind to the heart. God wrote to our minds.
Internalizing the Word of God
Turn down the lights.
It’s, dark isn’t it.
Sometimes we are like this: Imagine two buddies, and they open this book. Dude, what is that?
It’s light I think.
Light? Is it any good for anything?
I don’t think so.
Turn up lights.
The moves of God that birthed our church, Christian Fellowship, were moves that made real the presence of the Spirit and truth of the Word.
We have not been profound doctrinal people or people who made detailed creeds. But the Word was always been revered by us as the means to know God, the way to understand Him more and to love Him more. The word showed us how to serve Him, and worship Him, and display His good.
We have believed that Scripture is God speaking, God teaching and God preaching.
There was a lot that we didn’t understand about the Word, but what we did understand we attempted to apply. It’s why we stand in worship. It’s why we lift our hands, it is why we sing, and we shout. It is why we have invested in knowing one another and attempting to love one another.
It is why we have organized ourselves the way we have. It is why we have emphasized the importance of the church.
One of the early principles we received from Bible temple was that we would major on the majors and minor on the minor. What the Scripture most emphasizes we would set our hearts to emphasize and what is not so clear in scripture, would not be center stage among us.
Some of us were raised or attended liberal churches, before we were awakened by God, where portions of scripture we ignored, or deemed inapplicable, no longer true, or never true.
We have believed that all the scripture is true. We have believed that all the scripture has to be embraced and understood as a whole. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same person. We have believed therefore that the Old and New Testaments of the Bible form a coherent whole. We have believed that all the scripture is profitable for reproof, correction, and equipping for righteousness.
. The message in our game show would have made no difference if Brady hadn’t read it. The Word of God has to be read And it has to be wrestled with in order to understand it. It has to be pondered and studied.
A dictionary might have to be used for words like propitiation, and redemption, and justification. A man isn’t born with knowledge of those words. He has to learn them.
The scripture says: be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
Paul does not say, “Transform yourselves,” but “Let yourselves be transformed.” Transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit.
But it is also a command. We are not completely passive. Our responsibility is not canceled. We must allow the Spirit to do his work within us. Our duty is to co-operate to the full.
And the reason we do this is because we will learn this way that we were created for God’s will. It will prove to be our delight. We will learn that God’s will is good, and pleasing, and perfect.
§ ROM 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
§ Rev 3:20 Behold I stand at that door and knock
§ 1 Tim 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement worthy of all acceptance, Christ came to save sinners
§ Matt 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
§ 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
§ Genesis 19:16 (ESV) But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
§ ROM 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 
§ ROM 8:31b-32 If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 
§ John 14:23 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; …
§ John 15:12 (NKJV) This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
§ 1 John 4:20 (NKJV) If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
§ Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may test and approve what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is not the word of God alone that changes you. The Pharisees searched the scriptures and missed it. But if you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life what Jesus accomplished on the cross when He broke our bondage to rebellion….you will find that even you delight to do His will.
The New King James Version. 1982 (Ro 5:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The New King James Version. 1982 (Ro 8:31). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.