Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version of the
Bible © 1979, 1980, 1982, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc
Lesson 3: The Preeminence of God’s
As you begin to learn more about God and more about the
relationship that He desires to have with you, it is very important that
you begin to feed your mind and spirit on the truths that can be found in
the Word of God. The Bible is not just an ordinary book. It is the very
Word of God that is able to save us (James 1:21), conform us to the image
of Jesus (Romans 12:2), and keep us secure in the love God (Ephesians
5:26). Plants can die for various reasons,
especially when they stop receiving nutrients from the soil that they are
planted in. In fact, they can wither away fairly quickly when their roots
are not absorbing enough water and minerals. Just like a root that is cut
off from its source, we will die spiritually if we cut ourselves off from
the very source of life that God intended to nurture us and feed us with.
That source of life is found primarily in the Person of His Son, the
Messiah. As you have already learned, the Scriptures point us to the
person of the Jesus (John 5:38-39). It should make sense to you that if we
are to come to Jesus for life, then the way we come to Jesus is tied to
the Scriptures themselves. Though it is not the only way God can speak to
us, the Bible is the primary way that He speaks to us about His ways, His
personality, and His vision for our life. Not only that, the Bible is the
only reliable source of truth that we can base our ideas of God on.
Consider the words of Jesus found in John 8:30-32.
Who was Jesus talking to when He said “abide in
What is one thing that distinguishes a disciple (follower) of Jesus
from someone who is not?
According to Jesus, where does the truth that sets us free come from?
Most of the world does not consider the Bible to be
reliable or to be inspired by God. In fact, most people do not believe the
Bible has anything relevant to say to those of us who are living in the
21st century. We will consider much about the validity of the Bible later
on and why it is reliable both as a historical document and as a book that
we can trust our eternal destinies with. For right now though, realize
that in John 8, the Lord Jesus was talking to people who had believed in
Him first. Only those who believe in Jesus will ever bother to read,
study, believe, and obey what the Bible has to say—to listen to the words
of Jesus. It is interesting to note that Jesus went even further when He
was describing those who needed to continue in His word. He told those who
believed in Him that if they wanted to be His follower or disciples, then
they must abide in His word.
There are many people who “believe” in God or who “believe” Jesus died for
their sins. However, that is really not the kind of belief that God is
looking for in us. Belief in the sense of mental agreement is required of
course… but Jesus is looking for those who not only believe in Him but who
would be His follower or disciple as a result of their belief. That is the
kind of belief that will save a person. Many refer to it as “saving
faith.” Jesus addressed His teachings to His disciples, or followers.
There are many people who believe in Jesus who do not follow Him or do not
have a desire to put His teachings into practice. However, it is
impossible to be His disciple or follower without first believing in Him.
As you study the life of the Lord Jesus more and more, you will discover
that He never compelled or forced anyone to believe Him, to follow Him, to
trust Him, or to love Him. He simply lived a life of obedience to the
Father, spoke the truth that His Father told Him to speak, and then left
the decision to those who heard Him and those who saw His miraculous touch
of love. We are no different… and if we want to be His disciples or
followers, then we must do what our Lord tells us to do. That is what it
means to be a disciple: one under the discipline or direction of another.
The rest of your life is going to be spent following the Man Jesus,
getting to know His ways, putting into practice His commands, imitating
His way of life in relationship to God, and falling in love with Him. This
defines the “Christian” life. As you follow the Lord Jesus, He will use
you to touch the lives of other people, just as Jesus was obedient to His
Father and was used to touched countless people in His everyday life.
Jesus also related “truth” to His word. Pilate, the Roman ruler who had
authority to crucify Jesus, would ask Jesus, “What is truth”? (John
18:38). Many people today want to know what is true as well… and there are
almost millions of voices out there all claiming to be “truth.” The Bible
tells us that our enemy, the devil, is the father of lies (John 8:44) and
that he works to deceive people in the world from seeing the truth of who
God is and the truth of man’s separation from Him. Jesus told His
disciples (those who would follow after Him) that if they would abide in
His word they would know the truth (John 8:32). Knowing the truth in this
Word will in turn set us free. This freedom involves being free from sin,
free from the prison of our selfish desires, free from the rulership of
lesser “gods” and spiritual influences, and free to become a part of God’s
family. The greatest freedom we enjoy in Jesus the Messiah is the free
access we have to God through Him. Every human being has the possibility
of a deep, passionate, and intimate relationship with the very Creator of
the Universe! This friendship has requirements of course on our part.
Every friendship does, correct? However, God has done everything that is
necessary to break down the walls that would keep us from Him… all that we
need to do is say “YES” and respond to His offer.
What else do you think Jesus requires of those
who would be His followers?
What priority must Jesus have over every other relationship in our
We can be assured of this: those who follow Jesus are
those who abide in His Word. Jesus did not leave us any options in this
regard. He simply stated to those who believed in Him, “If you want to be
my disciple, abide in My Word.” Of course this is not the only
stipulation He put on those who would follow Him, but it is the one we are
going to begin with because it is part of our basic foundation. Jesus
also told those who wanted be His disciples that they must deny
themselves (Mark 16:24), take up their cross (Mark 16:24, Luke 14:27),
forsake even family relationships if they prevent someone from following
and obeying Jesus (Luke 14:26), In most every case, Jesus related
following Him to coming after Him in pursuit, denying ourselves, obeying
Him, loving Him, dying to our own unholy and impure desires, and keeping
These are all tied together of course:
We cannot serve
Jesus without following Him
follow Jesus without coming to Him
We cannot come
to Him without keeping His Word
We cannot keep
His Word without abiding in Him
We cannot abide
in Him without loving Him
These are the very basic parts of the foundation of a life
that is lived for God. Again, Jesus never forces anyone: He simply says
“If you WANT to get to know Me intimately as My follower and as a member
of My very own family, you can!” This is the greatest privilege that you
or I can ever say “yes” to. In fact, it is what you and I were made for!
We were made for just such a relationship with God. We were made so that
God could “make His home in us.” Going even further, we were made by God
to be completely unsatisfied and unfulfilled outside of pursuing such a
relationship with Him. That is why there is so much conflict, greed,
pain, and suffering in the world: people are trying to fill that desire
for a relationship with God with everything else but the One true God who
made them. God has made us “brand new” through the power of the Holy
Spirit working in our hearts… He has made our spirits and hearts alive and
receptive to Him.
Why would God compare a new believer or disciple
of Jesus to a newborn baby?
How often does a baby need to drink milk or be nursed? Why?
How much can a newborn digest at one time? Is it a lot or a little?
Why don’t we feed babies ”steak and potatoes”? What would happen if we
As a “new” creation in Jesus, what parts of your life have already
begun to change?
You should understand that God is ecstatic over you just
as a new mother or father is ecstatic over their newborn baby. The Word
tells us that angels rejoice when sinful people realize that they need God
and change their mind about sin on the earth (Luke 15:1-10). Jesus told
us in Luke 5:31 that He came as a physician to those who were sick
(damaged by our disobedience and independence from God) and as a savior to
those who realize they are unrighteous before God. Because of our
repentance and faith in Jesus, God makes us into a new creation… our
hearts are made alive and receptive to God in a brand new way. He is so
proud of you! Really! You are one of the few people on the planet earth
who has responded to His calling and wooing. You said “yes”. That puts
you in a very small percentage of the billions of people who live on
planet earth right now and in an even smaller percentage of those who have
Do you realize how excited He is just over you?
The emotions of a mother and father at childbirth are very rare… they are
not everyday kind of feelings. I can remember laughing and crying both
at the same time when my own children were born… it is just that kind of
feeling when children are born. This is exactly what Peter is
saying in 1 Peter 2:2. God sees you as a new member and addition to His
family. He is excited and thrilled that you took Him up on His offer of
love. Zephaniah describes the emotions of God toward His people as
“rejoicing over us with gladness” and “rejoicing over you with singing”.
Do you notice that Zephaniah references the emotions of a mother to her
child as well? Just as a mother quiets a baby with milk, the Lord
“quiets” the storms in our hearts and minds with His what? You guessed
it: His love! It is the knowledge of God’s love for you (that can be
found in the Scriptures) that you need to begin to feed on, meditate on,
put into your mind, put into your memory, and put into your heart.
He is excited and thrilled that you didn’t have all the
facts, you didn’t have full evidence of His existence, you didn’t see
heaven or the spiritual realm fully opened, you didn’t listen to the
doubts of friends or family or the enemy of your soul, and you didn’t even
know everything there is to know about spiritual and Biblical truth before
you made your decision. You just responded to the love that you felt God
offer you through His Son Jesus and you said “yes”. Just like a newborn
baby, though, you are not “mature”. Newborns require constant attention
and constant reminders of God’s love for them. The Lord wants you to
know: that is OK! He expects that you are going to have burps, make
messes, need changing, need washing, and that you may not be able to do
hardly anything for yourself spiritually at first.
You need to be absolutely confident that through this “new birth” God
is with you and living in you, even though you may not feel Him or sense
Him, and He wants you to begin to respond to Him on that basis. You are
not trying to clean yourself up so that He will come make His home in you:
He has come to make His home in you so that He can make you clean! This is
how God always works: inside out. Jesus made final promises before His
ascension into heaven (Matthew 21:20) that He would be WITH HIS DISCIPLES
Of course Peter talks about some of the very immature
characteristics of many believers: malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and
evil speaking. The day after you receive Jesus as your master and savior,
you will very likely still have some or all of these qualities. Your “yes”
however has given God the permission to begin changing you and molding you
into what a member of His family looks like. The difference now is that
the day after you receive Jesus as your master and savior you may begin to
realize how wrong and sinful it is to have malice, to speak evil, to be
hypocritical, to envy your neighbor’s job or position, or to be deceitful
and sly. As you act in these ways, you will most likely feel uneasy about
it. There will not be a peace any longer when you sin in this manner. More
than that, you will not be at ease or have a sense of joy when you sin or
disobey God from here on out.
This is normal! It is because God has begun the process of making
His home in you that now you will no longer find the same pleasure you
once did in anything that is sinful or disobedient to God. In fact, His
coming into your heart will make you a miserable sinner from here on out!
This is why Peter encourages followers of Jesus to “put away” or “lay
aside” these old ways of living and to instead FEED ON the pure milk of
God’s word. If we do not take an active part in putting away these old
habits, they will cause conflicts within us and within our hearts. It must
be this way, though. God is preparing you as a very dwelling place for His
Spirit and for His presence to be manifested through. Wouldn’t it make
sense that the King of the Universe is doing His own renovations in your
heart so that He will feel at home? He is entirely humble, though: He has
condescended to live in you even though your heart might be equivalent to
a shack with a leaky roof! It is His purpose to make you into His very own
temple (1 Corinthians 3:16), however, if we will simply continue on in
faith and follow after Jesus.
If you are trained how to approach God through His Word… using it as a
point of both conversation and meditation with an eye towards obedience…
you will not depart from this as you mature in the Lord. The Word is to
be your point of contact with the love, truth, and power of God that will
see you through to the end of your life of faith on this earth. Peter
says that “if” we have “tasted that the Lord is gracious”, then the only
logical and natural response would be to drink deep from His Word. This
is very similar to Jesus addressing His command to abide in His Word to
those who believe and to those who would be His followers. God will use
His Word for many purposes. He will use it as a means to talk to you,
correct you, affirm you, discipline you, examine you, love you, and
comfort you. What you should begin to realize is that you must take an
active part in the growth of your heart in love toward God, and the Bible
must take a “first” place in your activity.
What was the primary reason that Peter wanted new
believers to “desire the pure milk of the Word”?
Is reading books about the Bible different or better than reading the
Bible itself? Why or why not?
Why do you think the Bible is the “purest” form of nutrition for a growing
believer in Jesus?
What kind of things can Scripture be profitable for?
What role does Scripture have to play in our “new birth” into God’s
What role does Scripture have to do with faith?
Why would God’s word be equated with a spiritual weapon like a sword?
What difference would it make if you believed the Bible was written
just by men (i.e., its just a human book) as opposed to it being
written by God through men (i.e., a divinely inspired book)?
The Apostle Paul (who wrote most of the books in the New
Testament) had a very specific view about the Scriptures. He essentially
said that the Scriptures were “God-breathed” or “inspired” (2 Timothy
3:16). The word inspiration sounds a lot like the word “respiration”,
which is a word that has to do with human breathing. Likewise the word
“inspiration” has everything to do with “divine” breathing. As you study
the account of how God created human beings in Genesis 1 and 2, you will
see that God took something that we normally don’t associate with “life”
when He made Adam. God took the lifeless “dust” of the earth, formed it
into a human body, and then “breathed” into it the breath of life. It
was when God “breathed” into the dust that the first human became a living
soul. Likewise, when God “breathed in” the men who penned the words of
the Bible, He was imparting His very life into the words they were
Peter in (1 Peter 1:2) refers to the “milk” of the word as
being “pure”. One of the problems that occur as we approach God’s Word is
that sometimes we can put our understanding and interpretation of the Word
above the Word itself. This happened in the history of the nation of
Israel and it happens in modern day Christianity as well. There are some
truths of the Word that you should hold as immutable, and we’ll try to
discuss those as we progress. Other interpretations and doctrines of the
Bible (which are influenced by our culture in America, denominational
affiliation, and theological persuasion) are not to be confused with the
Word itself. In fact, you should be cautious of all doctrinal
positions—especially ones that deny the power of God or ones that promote
unrighteousness or sin. Never confuse a “commentary” or “opinion” about
what the Bible says with the Bible itself.
The Holy Spirit has the power and ability to reveal the
truth of the Bible to YOU. You do need to be wary of false
doctrines and teachings, and that is why you were born into a FAMILY.
Families exist in the natural realm to provide PROTECTION and GUIDANCE for
young people who will become fully mature adults one day! The spiritual
family of God is no different. God has given teachers, preachers, and
shepherds to believers for the sole purpose of nurturing others in their
faith. As long as you don’t separate yourself from other Christians and
exist in a vacuum, you can be assured that God will speak to YOU from the
Scriptures and that you can receive revelation from the author of the
Scriptures yourself. Commentaries and books about the Bible are good..
don’t get me wrong. However, the Bible itself is the “purest” form of
truth you can feed on to grow spiritually. Begin now to formulate a
radical hunger for the Word of God. You WILL grow as you do and God WILL
speak to you in a personal and intimate way through the Scriptures.
Peter goes on to describe the process of how the prophetic
word of God was produced (2 Peter 1:21) and says that men were “moved” by
the Holy Spirit. This is a picture of a leaf that is picked up and blown by
the wind from place to place, with the leaf not really knowing exactly
where it is going to land! The word breathe is associated very
closely with the Holy Spirit because the word for “spirit” is the word
“pneuma” (noo-ma’). You can think of other words like a pneumatic press,
pneumatic tires, or pneumatic pump that all have to do with compressed
air. In fact, the study of the lungs is called “pneumatology”. The
Scriptures are said to be “God-breathed” because the Holy Spirit of God
was the source or inspiration behind the words that we see in the Bible.
When Paul wrote to his young pastor friend named Timothy,
he made it a point to say that “ALL” Scripture is God-breathed and is
profitable. That means that the entire collection of writings (the 39
books of the Older Testament and the 27 books of the Newer Testament) are
all profitable for you. Of course, you will want to primarily focus your
attention on the writings of the Gospels and the apostles as you start
out. Just keep in mind that the first followers of the Lord Jesus
preached the Gospel exclusively) from the Hebrew Scriptures (Acts 9:20,
Acts 18:28, Acts 26:22-23). This would make sense if you consider that
the New Testament had not been fully completed in the early days of the
church (AD 30 – 90). Paul reminded Timothy of the “Holy Scriptures” that
he had known since childhood that were able to make him wise about
salvation through faith in the Messiah. Timothy’s mother was Jewish (Acts
16:1) and had most likely made sure her son knew the “Torah” from his
youth. Paul was referring to Timothy’s knowledge of the Hebrew
Scriptures that made Him wise about faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
The Hebrew or Jewish Scriptures are referred to
collectively as the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (or Psalms):
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and The Twelve Minor Prophets (treated as one book:
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth
Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther , Daniel , Ezra & Nehemiah (treated
as one book), I & II Chronicles
The Hebrew Scriptures are also referred to as the “Tanach”
or “Tanakh” because of the first letter of the Hebrew words for “the Law,
the Prophets, and the Writings” which are T, N, K. Many Jewish believers
refer to the entire Hebrew Scriptures as simply “the Law” or “the Torah.”
You should place your reliance on these Scriptures not so much because you
can present an “intellectual” argument for their defense. One of the
strongest arguments for these books came from the Lord Jesus Himself and
the fact that Jewish people reliably transmitted and reproduced the
Scriptures over a nearly 1500 year period. I believe in the authority of
the Hebrew Scriptures because my Lord did…
If we have made Jesus our Lord, then we should
understand that He trusted the reliability and inspiration of the
Scriptures fully. When Jesus expounded all the Scriptures, He
expounded the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (Psalms). As we
will also discover in our study, Jesus corrected the “commentaries”
on the “Law” of His day on several different occasions. The main
Jewish commentary on the Law was called the “Talmud”, and is still
used extensively in Rabbinical Judaism today. Jesus never refuted
“the Law”, but rather He refuted people’s wrong interpretation and
application of it. Jesus never told us that there were Hebrew
Scriptures that were incorrect or that there were books that should
have been included that were not. His disciples (who were all Jewish)
would have made sure that revelation was carried forward if it were
You should understand that the major purpose of the
Bible is to reveal the person of God to your heart! When Jesus met
His disciples on the Road to Emmaus, after His resurrection from
the dead, He personally gave them a tour of the Scriptures, from
Genesis to Malachi. In this tour of Hebrew Scripture, Jesus could
have discussed many different topics and expounded on many
different doctrines. What Luke tells us is that He expounded
(interpreted) in ALL the Scriptures “the things concerning
Himself”. Luke goes on to say that “He opened their understanding,
that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” This is the MOST
important fact of Biblical interpretation you can ever learn: the
interpreter of Scripture is available to you the same way Jesus was
to His first disciples!
The Bible is designed to reveal the person of Jesus and
the Holy Spirit is given to you as a helper so you TOO can understand the
Scriptures. You were saved and accepted into God’s family in order that
you would have 1st hand knowledge of God. Even someone else’s
commentary on the Scripture is 2nd hand… It is a gross error to
believe that you cannot read and understand the Bible for yourself. The
Bible was written for uneducated, unskilled, and theologically untrained
people—just like you and I! It is also important to realize that the Holy
Spirit MUST open your understanding and impart the truths of the Bible to
your heart. It is one of the greatest privileges you have… you, even you,
can approach God and can talk with the Author of the Scriptures through
the Lord Jesus. Error comes when we believe that there are other
approaches to God (than the Lord Jesus) and that other prophets apart from
the Bible can give you more in-depth revelation of God.
In terms of the New Testament, I like to look at the
authorship in speaking of their reliability. The Lord Jesus validated
the Old Testament or “the Law” as being inspired by God and
trustworthy for us as His followers. He in fact said not even one
“jot” or “tittle”, which are small accent marks on Hebrew letters,
would pass away. The New Testament books are validated for the most
part by a simple test: they were authored and authenticated by the
original 12 disciples who were with the Lord Jesus. This is called
“apostolic authority” and was the same divine privilege that the Lord
entrusted the Old Testament prophets with. Apostolic authorship was
the key test for the books of the New Testament and in some cases, the
apostles accepted books written by close associates that they
themselves attested were divinely inspired.
Gospel of Matthew
One of the 12 apostles
Gospel of Mark
Validated by the Peter/apostles
Close associate of Peter (1 Peter 5:13)
Gospel of Luke, Acts
Validated by the Paul/apostles
Close associate of Paul (Col 4:14, Phil 24, 2 Tim 4:11) and the only
Gentile (non-Jewish) author
Gospel of John, 1 John, 2
John, 3 John, Revelation
One of the 12 apostles
1st and 2nd
One of the 12 apostles
Romans, 1st and 2nd
Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st
and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd
Timothy, Titus, Philemon, (and more than likely, Hebrews)
The apostle to the Gentiles
Validated by Peter and the Jerusalem church
Eyewitness of the resurrected Jesus
Considered by some to be the “replacement” for Judas Iscariot, who
betrayed the Lord
The physical half-brother of Jesus
Eyewitness of the resurrection
Leader of the Messianic Church of Jerusalem
Validated by the apostles
The physical half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3)
Eyewitness of the resurrection
Validated by the apostles
God is still speaking today, just as He is described in
the Bible as doing. However, there are no additional Scriptures that have
apostolic authority being written (like the Book of Mormon) and there are
no apostles alive today that have the authority to pen or write
“Scripture”. There are indeed apostles alive today and God indeed speaks
to us apart from the Scriptures today (which we will talk more about
later), but the key point is that the ONLY authoritative source you should
rely on to test or judge all other revelation by are the 66
books of the Bible. If you WANT to be a disciple or follower of Jesus,
then “follow” or “abide” in His Word. Many have left this basic command
of our Lord and as such have become confused, deceived, and shipwrecked in
their faith as a result. All cults are departures from Biblical truth
because they include “other” books in their definition of “Scripture.
Islam, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witness are three of the largest cults
that depart from the revelation of the Bible.
Many new believers like to spend exhaustive time
discovering the arguments as to why the Bible can be trusted so they can
defend to others why believing the Bible is so important. There are many
great evidences, which have all been ordained by God, to point to the
trustworthiness of the Bible and to His Word. Just to set your mind at
ease, you do not have to have all the answers! God doesn’t even require
us to have all the answers to everything that He has written about in the
Scriptures. The MOST important thing, however, is to have a heart toward
God that loves Him and wants to obey Him. That is MORE important than the
intellectual knowledge of arguments for the Bible and arguments that
support certain theologies.
How can you increase your understandi ng of the
What relationship does obedience and experience have with
understanding the Bible?
Jesus tells us in John 7:17 that if anyone really wants to
do God’s will (obey the Bible and the words of Jesus), then they will know
whether the teaching is from God or not. People who just want to argue
about Scripture on an intellectual level (whether they are Christians or
non-Christians) really are never going to understand what they are
reading. The Bible was written to those who would be followers of Jesus
(those who want to be part of God’s covenant family) with the idea that
understanding does not come until there is first a willingness to obey or
believe. If you notice, Jesus began to DO and then TEACH, not TEACH and
then DO. His theology and His revelation of Scripture flowed as one with
His life and His actions. Never listen to anyone who tells you that you
can separate your actions and your belief as a follower of Jesus. If you
want to understand the fullness of the Bible’s meaning, give your heart to
obeying and following the one who wrote the Bible first… then as you DO,
you will be given the understanding. You should understand that we do not
have to have a seminary degree, have a full understanding of the Greek or
Hebrew language, or be in full time paid ministry in order to have
revelation and understanding of the Bible. Many believers in Western
Christianity define spiritual maturity based on their intellectual
knowledge and understanding of the Bible. This is just not so! Most
religions are designed to be intellectually and logically sound. You
should understand that truth is REVEALED to us BY the Holy Spirit THROUGH
the Bible. This is the method that Jesus used to train His disciples. As
He spoke His words to them, the Holy Spirit gave them understanding of
what He was saying. Luke 24:45 has one of the MOST important principles of
Bible study: Jesus opens our understanding so that we can understand His
Word! Yes, we can listen to preachers and teachers or read books about the
Bible, but never forget that YOU can understand the Bible just as it is
written if you have a heart of sincere belief and a willingness to do the
things that Holy Spirit reveals to you.
What does it mean to
abide or continue in the Word?
What does it mean for Jesus to abide in us?
There are not simple answers to either of these questions, but rather
lifelong pursuits! To have a living, effectual reality of God’s word in
our heart is going to take our effort, our time, and our desire to come
after Him. You should begin to put the reading, meditation, and study of
God’s word as the number one priority in your life. You must see it as
being vitally linked to your spiritual survival… because it is! Just like
we would never leave a baby unfed and just like babies can only take in
small amounts of milk at any one time, so you too must earnestly desire
the “milk” of God’s word if you want to survive. God’s word is the vehicle
through which His grace and His power are going to be extended to you,
through the working of the Holy Spirit who has been given to live in you
and with you. The Holy Spirit has the power to take the words of the Bible
and “breathe” upon them in your own heart and your own mind. Jesus through
the Holy Spirit has the same ability to make your heart “burn” with the
truth and knowledge and understanding of His word. It is His goal to make
His word “alive” in your heart, mind, emotions, and will.
This is not the same as cultic concept that we are to discern whether
something is true or not by whether we get a “burning” feeling. Absolutely
not! People who wind up discerning truth by non-objective means other than
the Bible essentially wind up no longer being a disciple or follower of
Jesus. They are disciples, no less, but they become followers of a
religion, followers of a prophet, or followers of an intellectual belief
system. We are followers of Jesus, and based on His instruction and the
authority of His apostles, we keep the Bible as our objective standard of
truth and as the wellspring of our spiritual life in God.
God will honor His Word. You can trust that. When Paul
left the group of believers in Ephesus (whom he had personally discipled
and labored with), he commended them to God and to the WORD of His grace.
God grants signs and wonders, miracles and healings, gifts of the Holy
Spirit that bear witness to the WORD of His grace. Paul tells us that the
Word of God is able to BUILD us up in our faith and it is able to
establish you in your inheritance among all those who have said “yes” to
God’s invitation of love and covenant.
What is to be our ultimate source of truth and
doctrine in living ou r new life in God?
What role do we play with abiding in the word’s of Jesus?
What things in your life must change if you are going to abide in His
Can you put God’s word as a priority without changing the way you spend
It is because of the hope that you have in heaven and it
is because you are now part of the very family of God that we are to make
every effort to present ourselves to God as a wholehearted lover. That
means that we must exert energy and effort if we are to grow in our faith
and knowledge of Jesus. One of the paradoxes of grace is that it does
require human response. Grace is the power of God given to us freely
without our merit or without our deserving it. His grace and His Word
give us the power to have faith, change our minds, have victory over area
of darkness, and become more and more like Jesus in our thoughts, words,
and deeds. We are to let God’s word dwell in us RICHLY, not POORLY. We
are to be SKILLED in the Word, not UNTRAINED. We are to be DILIGENT in
approaching the Word, not LAZY. It all starts with a simple ‘YES” and a
change in the way we live our lives. If you want to be a healthy,
growing, and mature follower of Jesus, you have no choice but to abide in
His word. To choose otherwise is to choose the common way that many
believers in America have gone over the last century. If you do not abide
in His word, you will eventually have a version of Christianity that may
look “American” or “Western”, but it will not look “Biblical” and “like
Many Christians who have known the Lord for many years are
still spiritually “immature” because they never took serious or never put
into practice the command of Jesus to abide or continue in His word.
Although God is thrilled over new additions to His family, He is certainly
not thrilled with all of the junk that we each bring with us. However, He
sees us in love as new additions to His family… just like a mother and
father feels about a newborn baby (they too overlook the messes that a
baby makes initially because of their love relationship with the child).
As the baby grows into childhood and further into adulthood, more and more
boundaries are required and more direction and discipline is needed. Even
we as humans think that babies are cute and adorable but most of us would
be appalled to see a 20 year old wearing a diaper! The behavior that we
would overlook in a baby we would consider to be abhorible in a much older
person. As you being a new journey of following the Lord, we are going to
focus on the “milk” or the “basics” of the faith. They are the building
blocks that more “meaty” topics can be built upon. If you want to be able
to swallow the “meat”, you need to take serious the command to feed night
and day on the Word of God. Get to know Him, His character, His ways, and
His heart! Use the Scriptures to fall in love with God and be caught by
His passion for you. Then you will more readily be able to work for Him
and be able to discern right and wrong and walk in “right” paths.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that our senses are trained to discern good
and evil only by reason of USE. In other words, it takes time and a
constant attention of applying God’s word to every area of life to produce
maturity. Don’t equate maturity with physical age either! There are
spiritual “adults” that are teenagers because they are passionately and
actively saying yes to God in a continual manner and learning as a result.
This should be our goal and the cry of our heart. Our minds have to be
renewed to a new way of thinking, a new way of perceiving the world, and a
new of way of viewing God. We are going to spend a considerable amount of
energy doing just that. If you will begin to change the way you see
yourself and the way you see God, your words, thoughts, and deeds will
change as a result! They are bound to.
1. If we want to be disciples and followers of
Jesus, we prove that by ____________ in His ___________ (John 8:31).
2. What is our primary source of truth as
followers of the Messiah that we are to judge all other truths by?
3. ____________ is a spiritual being who is
described as the “father of lies” (John 8:44).
4. If we want to be _____________ from sin and
our own selfishness, we must know the truth that is found in God’s word.
5. True or False. Love for God is tied to our
sincerely wanting to obey and put into action His words. (John 14:23).
6. A _______________ of God can be defined as
one who does what God asks and commands (John 15:14).
7. ______________ is the most purest and basic
ingredient that we must earnestly seek and desire if we are to grow
spiritually (1 Peter 2:2).
8. The Word of God is compared to an
_______________ seed that is planted in our hearts and will produce fruit
that will last forever. (1 Peter 1:23).
9. True prophetic revelation does not come by the
_________ of man but rather by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter
10. __________________ is developed by hearing
the Word of God through teaching, preaching, and application of its
principles in our life (Romans 10:17).
11. Scriptures are said to be “God-breathed”.
What does this mean?
12. The Gospel or “good news” about Jesus was
first expounded by Jesus to His disciples based on the revelation that
could be found in what part of the Bible? (Luke 24:44-45)
13. We trust the inspiration and authority of the
Hebrew Scriptures based on the authority of ____________ and the priestly
history of the nation of ______________. We trust the inspiration and
authority of the New Testament based on the authority of the
__________________, who were all eyewitnesses of the resurrection and were
originally called by the Lord Jesus.
14. The Word of His grace is able to
__________________ and give you an _______________ among God’s people
15. If we want to know the truth concerning the
Scripture, we must first ____________ what God says (Hebrews 11:6) and
then be willing to _______ His will (John 7:17).