What Can God’s Word Accomplish?

| | 2 Peter 1

Introduction: [Adapted from God Wrote a Book, by James MacDonald] – RECOMMEND IT – MRC!
1. We’re continuing our NEW ABF series this morning: God Wrote a Book – this is the 3rd week of an 8-week study on various aspects of God’s Word – examples:
 Evidence for the Bible You Shouldn’t Ignore
 Where Did the Bible Come From? [BRIEF REVIEW] *Our goal was to communicate . . .
*  Our confidence in God’s Word [all of it] that it TRULY IS the Word of God [every word inspired] – He has preserved it for us, and it will LAST!
- and we’d better be careful not to ADD to it or TAKE AWAY from it! [Rev. 21:18-19]
*  The process that describes how the individual books of Scripture were set apart and recognized is Canonization – Which means? = Measuring rod
Measuring Rod of: Authority – Does it claim to be the Word of God? // Authorship – Was the book written by a prophet, apostle of God, or close associate of an apostle? // Authenticity – Does it agree with or contradict the rest of the Scripture? // Alive – Referring to the power of the book, its life-changing influence // Acceptance – especially by the early church receiving it as the Word of God, not as the word of men (1 Thes. 2:13)
2.  Our focus of this study is the Bible as our source of truth – the very foundation of our faith!
- we want to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to our everyday lives?
- we believe the Bible is more than just a bunch of ‘stories’ of things that happened a long time ago – we view it as TRUTH – God’s revelation of Himself to mankind!
> we want to LEARN from it the things God intended for us to know/learn when He wrote it. 
3.  We believe God’s Word is alive and powerful – it’s no ordinary book
[Review Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:8] – GET A BRAVE SOUL TO QUOTE IT! – then the class
 Psalm 19:8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
AND . . .
 Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. – repeat it with v. 8
Next week:  Psalm 19:9 – we’ll quote v. 7, 8 AND 9 together!
5.  Today, our study focuses on the question:
 What Can God’s Word Accomplish?
 How to Benefit from God’s Word!  [NEXT week]
 Jesus, the Message of the Bible
[READ Psalm 19:7-11]
- Maybe a question you’ve been wrestling with is: Why all the fuss? Why does it matter?
- At the heart of these questions is this:  What can the Word of God really accomplish in my life?
>  In other words, will the Bible make a practical difference in my life, changing me for the better.
* Key Passage for this study:
 2 Peter 1:3-10 [turn & read] – also 2 Peter 1:19-21 [read]
- this passage, along with several others, teach what is called, the “sufficiency of the Scriptures” 


  I.  The Definition of Terms About the Bible and What It Can Accomplish?


- MacDonald uses the following statement to summarize what the Bible is good for:
“The Bible is one hundred percent accurate in all that it asserts and constitutes all truth essential for human happiness.” (p. 63)
Input: Agree or disagree with that statement?  Why? Why not?
- I agree to a point, but I think it’s not about ‘human happiness’ (that may be the RESULT of the following/obeying the scripture . . .
 John 13:17 "If you know these things, you are blessed [happy] if you do them.”
- Peter writes and clarifies the focus is more on ‘human godliness’
> Conformity to the image of Christ which brings glory to God 1st, as the highest priority, and also results in the greatest JOY of the Lord in our hearts/life– or ‘human happiness’ if you want to use that term)
- the definition of ‘sufficiency’ is more complete and theologically accurate:
A.  Sufficiency of the Scriptures = through His written Word, God has provided all we need to live a life pleasing to Him – i.e. for godliness, holiness – the result of which is great joy
 2 Peter 1:3-10 Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
- this is why we use the Bible in biblical counseling (for non-physical problems)
- secular labels [e.g. ADHD, MPD (multiple personality disorder), etc.] are simply subjective evaluations of a person’s behavior – without verifiable evidence like cancer, liver damage, heart blockage, brain tumor
B.  Sanctify = to set apart from sin – there are 4 aspects of this action:
 Prepatory = the process of setting you apart for salvation
 Positional = what you are in Christ
 Prospective = what you will be in Christ, the final step of ‘becoming like Him for you shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-3 - quote)
 Progressive = the current process of you being set apart, specifically, conforming you more to the image of Christ in the way you think and act
[discuss what that process looks like] – Eph. 4:22-23 (put off/put on)
> renewing the mind (thoughts) and making choices based on God’s Word, NOT your emotions, feeling, >thinking because all of those are cursed by sin!


II. The Descriptions of the Bible and What It Can Accomplish – Psalm 19:7-11


A.  Six names for the Scriptures:  [hit these quickly; emphasize what the Word accomplishes!]
*  Each is a synonym for God’s Word, attributing to Scripture a slightly different aspect.
 Law= Torah, the law for life, rule for living, the norm or the standard by which every action is measured
 Testimony = to bear witness; pictures God as giving witness to Himself, taking the stand in His own defense
 Precepts = God’s rulings, His prescriptions, pronouncements, principles
- be thinking about some examples of worldly principles that don’t work?
 Commandment = orders, or divine decrees, the things God insists that we do
 Fear =  “not the fear of God as an act performed, but as a specific aspect of the Word, it is what God’s revelation demands, effects, and maintains” – (Keil-Delitzch, Commentary on the O.T., vol. 5, Psalms, p. 287
- in short, the Word reveals the way in which God is to be feared
 Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
> that’s done through the Word of God!
 Judgments = God’s verdicts, pronouncements of consequence, and punishment for sin
Remember, Abraham addressing the LORD in Gen. 18:25
 Genesis 18:25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"
- Because God is holy, He cannot make a mistake and His Word, which reveals Him, cannot present error about Him!
B.  Six adjectives that describe the particular terms for God’s Word:  [keep it moving!]
1.  Law is Perfect = lit. All sided, many faceted, all encompassing, thorough in every respect
- the teaching of the Lord lacks in nothing of its revelation about Who God is, what He’s done, and will do
- even the Scriptures state that NOT everything Jesus said/did is recorded in this book – or the world couldn’t contain it!
 John 21:24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.  25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
-  the standard He has set IS His will for our lives – it’s all we need to know about Him and ‘life and godliness’
Input:  What are some of the differences between man’s laws & ‘the law of the Lord’?
[various answers  - man’s thinking is inconsistent, contradictory at times, always changes]
2.  Testimony is Sure = to be faithful, reliable, or durable
- Similar to the verb: AMEN – God giving witness to Himself is AMEN! – it’s right on
- How many witnesses have taken the stand and lied!  - NOT GOD . . . He doesn’t even have the ability to LIE (He’s holy):
 Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began!
- and as we saw in Genesis, O.T. study of Abraham, Yahweh is the covenant keeping God of Israel – ALL of His promises will be fulfilled!
3.  Precepts is Right = 100% of the time; correct in all that they assert, set the right path for us to follow, points us in the direction of the eternal and things that really matter!
Q: Is there any other book ever written that makes that claim and able to back it us?
Input: Can you give an example of a time when you experienced the Word was “RIGHT”? [various examples]
4.  Commandment is Pure = radiant; absence of impurity, the absence of a visual impediment, no blockage or blot of any kind
“The Word of God is full strength from cover to cover.  There is no part of God’s Word that is of inferior quality or that would lead you astray in any respect.  You can believe all of it because it is clean.” (p. 83).
5.  Fear is Clean = without blemish, undiminished, uncompromised, and without delusion or defilement
Input: Contrast this with the fear of man – what is that like?
• ‘fear of man brings a snare’ – Prov. 29:25
• ‘if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of God’ – Gal. 1:10
6.  Judgments are True = firmness, sureness, reliability and . . .
- while all of God’s judgments are not yet finalized, the will be reliable
Example:  Judgment Seat of Christ for believers (2 Cor. 5:10);
Example:  Great White Throne – final judgment of the unsaved dead, small & great – our response? God is TRUE in His judgment (Rev. 20:12-13)
. . . & Righteous = to have a just cause, be in the right, to be justified
- God’s judgments are justified because He is God, Creator, the standard for what is right


III. The Claims the Bible Makes About What It Can Accomplish:


* Six results or consequences that follow for the person who takes God’s Word to heart: 
A.  God’s Word (Law) Restores Us
 Psalm 19:7a – The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.
Restore = to cause to return, bring back – Q: Bring back to what?
> To the original position man had with God before the fall – Gen. 1-2
- it would seem this is a redemptive term – reconciling the relationship between God and man
- soul (part of a human being that thinks and feels and chooses and relates to God) can be brought to a position of restoration by means of the Word of God!
Implications of this to our outreach [series: Is God Mad at Us?]
[various answers – let’s get the Word proclaimed – it can restore a person’s soul!]
B.  God’s Word (Testimony) Makes the Simple Wise
 Psalm 19:7b – The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple
Simple = lit. openness – more like a simpleton – a person who has no ability to discern which thoughts are valuable & which are useless
C.  God’s Word (Precepts) Rejoices the Heart
 Psalm 19:8a – The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart
“Notice the progression here.  First the Word of God converts you.  Then it makes you wise, and then it causes your heart to rejoice.  (p. 76)
Input:  What are some examples of worldly principles that don’t work?
[various answers – ‘the one who dies with the most toys, wins!’]
Point:  Faulty human thinking seldom guides and never satisfies!
- but that’s not the case with the Word of God – while it does ‘convict’ and bring guilt to our hearts, it also has the ability/power to bring GREAT JOY to our hearts
 Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.
Input: Give an example of a time when the Word of God brought JOY to your heart!
[various answers – Personal: Hebrew 6:10 – read – God notices what I do!]
D.  God’s Word (Commandment) Enlightens the Eyes
 Psalm 19:8b – The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
- we live in a very dark world (men love darkness rather than light cause their deeds are evil)
- the reason people of the world don’t understand the question: Is God Mad at Us?, is because they don’t understand the Word of God
IMPORTANT: Starts with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ – and unregenerate person does not have the ability to understand the Word – the Author (Holy Spirit) does not live/dwell inside of him
 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Input: Examples of times when God’s Word enlightened your eyes?
[various answers – Personal: Parenting Issues in the Bible! WOW!]
E.  God’s Word (Fear) Adds Stability
 Psalm 19:9a – The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever
“Fear is the attitude of heart that seeks a right relationship to the fear source.  When you have the fear of the Lord, you have something in your heart that makes you want to be in a right relationship with God.  The fear of the Lord is like a wall around your behavior that hems you in and protects you from making bad choices.  It’s the fear of the Lord that causes you to avoid certain behaviors that would displease Him and bring negative consequences.  If there are certain things you hope you will never do because you believe God might chasten or judge you harshly if you did them, then you have, to some degree, the fear of the Lord” (MacDonald 82).
- The Bible is the book that tells us how to get ready.  If you fear God in this life, you will not have to fear Him in the life to come, because the fear of the Lord is clean
F.  God’s Word (Judgments) Promises Justice
 Psalm 19:9b The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
- we can be sure that in the FINAL judgment, God will judge fairly and precisely, consistent with all He has told us in His Word
- - that’s why we put so much emphasis on the fact that God has revealed Himself to us in His Word – He will be consistent with that revelation – His judgments are TRUE and RIGHTEOUSNESS and the Judge is . . . Jesus Christ
 John 5:22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”


III. The Benefits of God’s Word


A.  Better than Money and Honey
 Psalm 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb [the drippings, the abundance of it]
- MORE than material possessions (fine gold) and MORE than things that you love to eat – the honey only temporarily satisfies – but remember the words of Jesus:
 John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
B.  Warnings and Rewards
 Psalm 19:11 – Your servant is warned [admonished], and in keeping them there is great reward
- The Psalmist doesn’t say exactly what the ‘reward’ (consequence, gain) actually is – but he does describe its magnitude – abounding, abundant – reward!
Input: Ex’s keeping (to guard, watch, observes, OBEY) the Word, God rewarded you?

Conclusion:
Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
Next Week: How to Benefit from God’s Word!  [NEXT week]

ABF Series: God Wrote a Book
#3: What Can God’s Word Accomplish?
Introduction: [Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:8]
* Key Pass:  2 Peter 1:3-10, 19-21
  I.  The Definition of Terms About the Bible and What It Can Accomplish?
“The Bible is one hundred percent accurate in all that it asserts and constitutes all truth essential for human happiness.” (p. 63)

A.  _______________ of the Scriptures = through His written Word, God has provided all we need to live a life pleasing to Him – i.e. for godliness, holiness – the result of which is great joy
B.  ___________ = to set apart from sin:
 _____________ = the process of setting you apart for salvation
 _____________ = what you are in Christ
 _____________ = what you will be in Christ, the final step of ‘becoming like Him for you shall see Him as He is”
 _____________ = the current process of you being set apart, specifically, conforming you more to the image of Christ in the way you think and act
II. The Descriptions of the Bible and What It Can Accomplish – Psalm 19:7-11
A.  Six names for the Scriptures:
 Law= Torah, the law for life, rule for living, the norm or the standard by which every action is measured
 Testimony = to bear witness; pictures God as giving witness to Himself, taking the stand in His own defense
 Precepts = God’s rulings, His prescriptions, pronouncements, principles
 Commandment = orders, or divine decrees, the things God insists that we do
 Fear =  “not the fear of God as an act performed, but as a specific aspect of the Word, it is what God’s revelation demands, effects, and maintains” – (Keil-Delitzch, Psalms, p. 287)
 Judgments = God’s verdicts, pronouncements of consequence, and punishment for sin
B.  Six adjectives that describe the particular terms for God’s Word:  [keep it moving!]
1.  Law is _________ = lit. all sided, many faceted, all encompassing, thorough in every respect
Input:  What are some of the differences between man’s laws & ‘the law of the Lord’?

2.  Testimony is _________ = to be faithful, reliable, or durable
3.  Precepts is __________ = 100% of the time; correct in all that they assert, set the right path for us to follow, points us in the direction of the eternal and things that really matter!
Input: Can you give an example of a time when you experienced the Word was “RIGHT”?

4.  Commandment is _________ = radiant; absence of impurity, the absence of a visual impediment, no blockage or blot of any kind
“The Word of God is full strength from cover to cover.  There is no part of God’s Word that is of inferior quality or that would lead you astray in any respect.  You can believe all of it because it is clean.” (p. 83).
5.  Fear is _____________ = without blemish, undiminished, uncompromised, and without delusion or defilement
Input: Contrast this with the fear of man – what is that like?

6.  Judgments are ___________ = firmness, sureness, reliability and … & ____________ = to have a just cause, be in the right, to be justified
III. The Claims the Bible Makes About What It Can Accomplish: 
A.  God’s Word (Law) ____________ _____________ – 19:7a
Restore = to cause to return, bring back

B.  God’s Word (Testimony) Makes the ___________ __________ – 19:7b
Simple = lit. openness – more like a simpleton – a person who has no ability to discern which thoughts are valuable & which are useless

C.  God’s Word (Precepts) _____________ the _____________ – 19:8a
“Notice the progression here.  First the Word of God converts you.  Then it makes you wise, and then it causes your heart to rejoice.  (p. 76)
Input:  What are some examples of worldly principles that don’t work?

Input:  Give an example of a time when the Word of God brought JOY to your heart!

D.  God’s Word (Commandment) _______________ the ________ – 19:8b
Input: Examples of times when God’s Word enlightened your eyes?

E.  God’s Word (Fear) ___________ ______________ – 19:9a
“Fear is the attitude of heart that seeks a right relationship to the fear source.  When you have the fear of the Lord, you have something in your heart that makes you want to be in a right relationship with God.  The fear of the Lord is like a wall around your behavior that hems you in and protects you from making bad choices.  It’s the fear of the Lord that causes you to avoid certain behaviors that would displease Him and bring negative consequences.  If there are certain things you hope you will never do because you believe God might chasten or judge you harshly if you did them, then you have, to some degree, the fear of the Lord” (MacDonald, p. 82).
F.  God’s Word (Judgments) _____________ _____________ – 19:9b

III. The Benefits of God’s Word
A.  Better than Money and Honey – 19:10
B.  Warnings and Rewards – 19:11
Input: Ex’s keeping (to guard, watch, observes, OBEY) the Word, God rewarded you?

Conclusion:
Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
Next Week: How to Benefit from God’s Word!

ABF Series: God Wrote a Book
#3: What Can God’s Word Accomplish?
Introduction:
Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:8
* Key Passage: 2 Peter 1:3-10, 19-21
  I.  The Definition of Terms About the Bible and What It Can Accomplish?
“The Bible is one hundred percent accurate in all that it asserts and constitutes all truth essential for human happiness.” (p. 63)
Input: Agree or disagree with that statement?  Why? Why not?
 John 13:17 "If you know these things, you are blessed [happy] if you do them.”
A.  Sufficiency of the Scriptures = through His written Word, God has provided all we need to live a life pleasing to Him – i.e. for godliness, holiness
 2 Peter 1:3-10
B.  Sanctify = to set apart from sin:
 Prepatory = the process of setting you apart for salvation
 Positional = what you are in Christ
 Prospective = what you will be in Christ, the final step of ‘becoming like Him for you shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-3 - quote)
 Progressive = the current process of you being set apart, specifically, conforming you more to the image of Christ in the way you think and act
II. The Descriptions of the Bible and What It Can Accomplish – Psalm 19:7-11
A.  Six names for the Scriptures:  [hit these quickly; emphasize what the Word accomplishes!]
 Law= Torah, the law for life, rule for living, the norm or the standard by which every action is measured
 Testimony = to bear witness; pictures God as giving witness to Himself, taking the stand in His own defense
 Precepts = God’s rulings, His prescriptions, pronouncements, principles
 Commandment = orders, or divine decrees, the things God insists that we do
 Fear =  “not the fear of God as an act performed, but as a specific aspect of the Word, it is what God’s revelation demands, effects, and maintains” – (Keil-Delitzch)
 Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
 Judgments = God’s verdicts, pronouncements of consequence, and punishment for sin
 Genesis 18:25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"
B. Six adjectives that describe the particular terms for God’s Word:  [keep it moving!]
1.  Law is Perfect = lit. All sided, many faceted, all encompassing, thorough in every respect
 John 21:24-25
Input:  What are some of the differences between man’s laws & ‘the law of the Lord’?
2.  Testimony is Sure = to be faithful, reliable, or durable
 Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began!
3.  Precepts is Right = 100% of the time; correct in all that they assert, set the right path for us to follow, points us in the direction of the eternal and things that really matter!
Input: Can you give an example of a time when you experienced the Word was “RIGHT”?
4.  Commandment is Pure = radiant; absence of impurity, the absence of a visual impediment, no blockage or blot of any kind
“The Word of God is full strength from cover to cover.  There is no part of God’s Word that is of inferior quality or that would lead you astray in any respect.  You can believe all of it because it is clean.” (p. 83).
5.  Fear is Clean = without blemish, undiminished, uncompromised, and without delusion or defilement
Input: Contrast this with the fear of man – what is that like?
• ‘fear of man brings a snare’ – Prov. 29:25
• ‘if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of God’ – Gal. 1:10
6.  Judgments are True = firmness, sureness, reliability and …Righteous = to have a just cause, be in the right, to be justified
III. The Claims the Bible Makes About What It Can Accomplish: 
A. God’s Word (Law) Restores Us – 19:7a
Restore = to cause to return, bring back – Q: Bring back to what?
Implications of this to our outreach [series: Is God Mad at Us?]
B. God’s Word (Testimony) Makes the Simple Wise – 19:7b
Simple = lit. openness – more like a simpleton – a person who has no ability to discern which thoughts are valuable & which are useless

C.  God’s Word (Precepts) Rejoices the Heart – 19:8a
“Notice the progression here.  First the Word of God converts you.  Then it makes you wise, and then it causes your heart to rejoice.  (p. 76)
Input:  What are some examples of worldly principles that don’t work?
 Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.
Input: Give an example of a time when the Word of God brought JOY to your heart!
D. God’s Word (Commandment) Enlightens the Eyes – 19:8b
 1 Corinthians 2:14
Input: Examples of times when God’s Word enlightened your eyes?
E.  God’s Word (Fear) Adds Stability – 19:9a
Quote, p. 82
F.  God’s Word (Judgments) Promises Justice – 19:9b
 John 5:22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”
III. The Benefits of God’s Word
A.  Better than Money and Honey – 19:10
 John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
B.  Warnings and Rewards – 19:11
Input: Ex’s keeping (to guard, watch, observes, OBEY) the Word, God rewarded you?

Conclusion:
Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.