1 THESSALONIANS 2.13
1Th 2:13 ¶ For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
- What was it that made these saints a reason for Paul to give thanks to God? What was it that made the saints individually and the church collectively at Thessalonica such an effective witness for The Lord Jesus Christ?
- When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works in you that believe.
- Like the Thessalonians, our faith in The Lord and witness for Jesus becomes effectual when when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.
- Paul himself testified that he believed that the Bible was God’s Word and not the word or opinion of man.
- Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets
- To be a serious follower of The Lord Jesus Christ, we must believe that the Bible is indeed The Word of God. When we believe that the bible is God’s Word, it will effectually work in our lives, for we will be acting on it.
You and I are living in a day and age when the word of God is coming under severe attack from society and liberal theologians. There is nothing new under the sun. Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has attacked The Word of God by adding to it, deleting from it or simply trying to explain it away under the disguise of scientific evidence or dead theological textual criticism. The devil knows that if he is successful in convincing a person to explain away or question God’s Word, it won’t be long before that same person will be trapped in by his lies or some godless philosophy. Saints, today more than ever we need to be grounded in and faithful to The Word of God.
Paul wrote these words regarding the power, purpose and intention of God’s Word.
- 2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God (God breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
What was one of the reasons that crowds thronged to Jesus during His earthly ministry.
- Scripture says in Luke 5.1 that the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God.
- Mr 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
Remember the source of Jesus first public ministry message after baptism and His 40 days in the wilderness?
- Lu 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
- Jesus, The Word of God Incarnate, spoke the God breathed Word of God to people. Whether it was an un-churched multitude by the seashore of Galilee, or an Orthodox congregation of Jews in a synagogue.
We find Jesus repeatedly using the phrase in the gospel of John it is written...
- Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
- Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
- Joh 8:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
- Lu 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Jesus provides for all who are called into ministry a wonderful example of the priority of teaching the Word of God.
- 1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.
- 2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
- Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Beloved, we are constantly engaged in a spiritual battle. Whether it be from the allurements of the world, the fiery darts of demonic principalities and powers, or the remaining corruption of sin that is in our flesh.
The Bible is our only weapon for spiritual combat and when facing inevitable temptation. I call to our attention tonight how Jesus Christ, The Son of Man, responded to the fiery darts of the devil during those 40 days?
Three times Jesus responded to the lies of Satan by saying it is written and He quoted from the book of Deuteronomy.
In Eph 6.17, we see that a vital part of our armor is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- I would only add here that acknowledgement that the Bible if the sword of The Spirit will not help you or me one bit unless we make a deliberate decision to pick it up and put it into practice.
Once again, listen to what The Bible says about itself.
- 2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (instruction, learning, teaching), for reproof (conviction), for correction (straightening up again), for instruction (chastening, discipline) in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
- Note all Scripture, not all Christian best selling books or sermons filled with modern pop-psychology, novels, all storytelling, all opinions.....all Scripture, and only all Scripture is God-breathed....
- Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- This is the exact effect that Scripture had upon the heart of the people who heard Peter quoting Scripture on the day of Pentecost? Acts 2.37 They were pricked in their heart. The Spirit of God anoints the Word of God. The word pricked their hearts. It made them feel uneasy or uncomfortable. They could not ignore the fact that what Peter was saying to them about Jesus and about their need to repent and trust in Him was true.
There are multitudes of people today who are perishing because their faith is based on man made traditions, or worldly philosophies instead of The Word of God.
- Mr 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.
- Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
- Beloved, a person has either a biblical worldview or a secular worldview. That worldview will shape every single part of their life. Who they choose to date or marry. What they believe about moral issues like marriage or abortion. What they believe about the origin of the universe and the origin of man.
- It will effect how you invest your time, your money and your talents.
In Matthew 22.29, Jesus said that people err because they know not the Scriptures nor the power of God.
- The Greek word for err here means, “to roam from safety, truth, or virtue; go astray, be deceived, seduced, to wander out of the way” This is exactly what happens when a person or a church begins to get away from Scripture!
In John 10.35 Jesus Himself said that scripture cannot be broken (destroy, dissolve). Jesus also declares in the face of all of the critics and skeptics and church growth gurus who use the carnal methods of Madison Avenue instead of the living word of God,
- Psalm 119.89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
- In Psalm 138.2 we read Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.
For those who have taught that Jesus never claimed to be God, listen to how He ties His Word to His character.
- Mt 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Only God can make that claim, My words shall never pass away.
Listen to more references to the Word of God.
- Lu 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
- God’s word being likened to seed is a very interesting analogy. A seed contains DNA, which is genetic information in the cell that is capable of self-replication. In other words, the DNA of God’s Word is eternal life to all that embrace it. The DNA of hearing and believing God’s word transforms lives....it is medicine for the soul, comfort for the discouraged, help for the hurting, joy for the depressed....God’s Word grants power to have victory over sin or anything that holds our lives in bondage.
Neither the new birth nor any other aspect of walking with Jesus, be it holiness, sanctification, raising children etc. is possible apart from hearing and believing the word of God, for
- Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
- Joh 17:17 ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
- Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
What was the one vital key to success for the early church? How did the gospel of Jesus Christ and the number of His followers grow and then survive the storms of persecution, rejection, personal loss and even martyrdom?
- Acts 2.42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine...
- Ac 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
- Ac 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
- Ac 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
- Ac 8:14 ¶ Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
- Ac 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
- Ac 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
- Ac 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
- Ac 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
- Ac 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
- Ac 28:30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
- 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
I want to speak to you young people here today...I am so blessed that you are here today....the world is out to sift you, ruin your character, and destroy your future, but God has promised you the most powerful weapon that you will ever need to live faithfully for Jesus.
- 1 John 2.14 I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
- You are only strong when The Word of God abides in you, which means when you read it, meditate upon it, and apply it to your life!
For those of you who are new to the faith or very young in The Lord.
- 1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
- Simply read the Word of God as a newborn baby drinks milk from it’s mothers breast.
Saints, the abundant life, the narrow path, the way to grow in holiness and intimacy with Jesus Christ comes by hearing and then doing what God says.
- Mt 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
One of the tragedies of the modern church is that we have misunderstood obedience as legalism.
- Lu 8:19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. 21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
- Lu 11:27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
- Lu 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The Bible apart from a personal knowledge of Jesus and personal application of its truth is a dead letter.
- James 1.21 receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
· If all of our study of God’s word is only a head trip and holy talking but lacks the fruit of obedience and becoming more Christ like, than we are missing the point.
- Ro 8:29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.
- 2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Once again, listen to a charge from Paul to Timothy that I take very seriously as a pastor
- 2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Listen to a passage that you should take very seriously as Christians. Your responsibility before The Lord is to pray for me and all others who teach here and to search God’s Word to make sure that what you are being taught is The Word of God.
- Ac 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Let me close with this precious reminder of the value and importance of being a Word oriented believer and congregation:
- Ps 1:1 ¶ Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.