OceanSide church of Christ
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God’s Word is Relevant (7)
Victor M. Eskew
A. The definition of relevant is: “closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand.”
B. Many do not believe that the Bible is relevant. They do not think that it is closely connected and appropriate for 21st century man. Why?
1. They believe the Bible is old and outdated.
2. They believe the Bible was written with another culture in mind.
3. Their hearts are frozen toward the Word of God.
4. They are selfish.
5. They love their sin.
6. They point to the divided state of the religious world.
C. In our lesson today, we want to show that the Bible is relevant. One man stated that the Bible is “radically relevant.”
D. Two verses will be used as the foundation for our study.
1. Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discern-er of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
a. The Word of God is alive, not dead.
b. The Word of God is powerful, not inept.
2. I Peter 1:24-25
All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth forever.
a. Man is finite. We are here for only a brief period of time. In the realm of time, man is irrelevant.
b. God’s Word endures. The New Testament has been here almost 2000 years. The OT has been here much longer than that. How does something that is so irrelevant continue to impact the affairs of man?
I. THE BIBLE ANSWERS MAN’S BASIC QUESTIONS
A. Every human being has three basic questions in his mind.
1. Where did I come from?
2. Why am I here?
3. Where am I going?
B. Evolution does not give a suitable answer to any of these questions.
1. We came from an ape, or amoeba or some soupy substance located in nowhere.
2. We are here to serve ourselves and to have as much pleasure as possible.
3. When we die, we just go back to the dust.
C. The Bible gives plain, simple, satisfactory answers to these three questions.
1. Man is a creation of God (Gen. 1:26-27).
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
2. Man is here to fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13).
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
3. Man will end at one of two destinies: heaven or hell (Matt. 7:13-14).
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
A. Relationships are a large part of life. Man left to himself, however, treats relationships very selfishly.
1. Out to get
2. Gives to get
3. Don’t get; get out
B. God’s Word teaches us how to deal with all kinds of relationships. They key verse for all relationships is Matthew 7:12.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
1. How I would want others to treat me is the standard for how I should treat others.
2. Example: The Good Samaritan helped the man who was half dead on the road going to Jericho. Why? Because he wanted others to do the same for him.
C. One of the practices found in many relationships is to “get even.”
1. We call this revenge or vengeance toward another who has harmed us.
a. Marriage partners
b. Children toward parents
c. Business partners
2. The Bible instructs in such a way that peace can be brought even to strained relationships (Rom. 12:18-12).
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
A. Morality involves the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil.
B. Without a standard, each man determines his own lines of morality.
1. Adolf Hitler and the killing of six million Jews
2. Others could steal from you and lie to you.
3. Marriage turns to multiple marriages, living together, homosexual marriages, polygamy, and adults having sexual relationships with “consenting” children.
5. Cheating in school
6. Greed and fraud in business
8. Children mistreating their parents
C. God’s Word provides a standard for morals.
1. Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
2. Galatians 5:19-23 provides us with two lists: the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.
a. The works of the flesh sets forth 18 specific behaviors.
1) Many people have been hurt personally because of these sins.
2) Many have hurt others by engaging in these activities.
3) Those who commit these things do not have happiness.
b. The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meek-ness, temperance: against such there is no law.
1) There is no law against these things.
2) The practice of these things hurts no one.
3) Those who engage in these things are happy individuals.
A. Youth seem to be a very important focus in our culture. If things are not geared toward them, things are not said to be relevant.
B. The Bible is a book that addresses youth in many places.
1. Almost the entire book of Proverbs is addressed to youth.
a. The introductory verses appeal to youth (Prov. 1:4)
b. Twenty-four times we read verses that begin with the words, “My son…”
c. Proverbs 1:7-10 has always impressed this speaker. Three pieces of wisdom are given to youth that are extremely important.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee consent thou not.
1) Fear and knowledge of God
2) Obedience to parents
3) Refraining from the ways of evil doers
2. Paul’s exhortation to the young Timothy stresses the need for youth to be examples in six areas of life (I Tim. 4:12).
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversa-tion, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
3. We could also spend a lot of time on young people of the Bible: Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, Timothy, and Titus.
A. Sin is a universal phenomenon. Almost all have some sense of it.
1. They know when they do something wrong.
2. Having done something wrong, there is usually some sting of sin: guilt, shame, embarrassment, or fear.
B. How does one deal with his sin and shame? The Bible is extremely relevant here. It provides man with a way to remove the wickedness of his/her life.
1. Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
2. God made Jesus to be sin for us (II Cor. 5:21).
3. We appropriate this grace by obeying the provisions found in the gospel of Christ (Heb. 5:8-9).
4. Sin is removed. Guilt is removed. There is no fear of death. There is no fear of wrath to come (Rom. 5:8-11).
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
A. We have attempted to show that the Word of God is a relevant book.
1. It answers man’s basic questions.
2. It gives us positive guidelines for our relationships.
3. It establishes a standard of morality.
4. It addresses youth.
5. It deals with man’s problem of sin.
B. We have not touched very much of what the Bible addresses: marriage, employer-employee relationships, finances, hardship, death and afterlife.
C. The psalmist understood how relevant God’s law was to his life and proclaimed: O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps. 119:97).