I want to speak to you tonight on the subject of the Word of God. Not just speak to you from the Word of God but using that as a subject as well. I always try to speak to you from the Word of God. You know, NOT doing that is the big problem today. So many people in so many churches and so many so-called preachers don't preach the Word anymore. In fact, so many of them apparently don't even know the Word anymore, let alone preach it. They just get up and say a few nice little things that are homiletically arranged and a little bit of "moral" talk of various kinds and call it a sermon. And, of course, that's not a sermon at all. An elementary school student that's been in school for three or four years could do the same thing, couldn't he? Just take a nice little speech and memorize it and get up there and give it. A little moral talk, and that'd be it. It wouldn't be a sermon at all.
And that is possibly the biggest problem in the world today. There is just too much of the so-called Christian world where they not only don't preach the Word but they apparently don't know the Word. And furthermore, many apparently don't even want to know the Word very badly because a man who REALLY wants to know the Word will seek until he finds a church where the Word is preached. Then he will get in that church, and will help build that church, and bring others to that church where the Word is preached instead of staying somewhere in one of these modern churches where they just don't preach much of the Word. Now that is free, that's not even part of the sermon; that's extra. Free.
Let us think for a few minutes about the power of God's Word or the power of the Word of God. I preached to you a while back about the power of the blood, now tonight I want to preach on the subject of the power of the Word of God.
Let us look at Psalms chapter 62, verse 11. And for the benefit of our visitors, I'll say something that they will soon learn anyway if they worships with us here. And that is that we go for The Book in a big way. Not only for preaching, but our members even bring their Bibles and they read the Word with us when we preach. And they read the Word with us in the Sunday school classes. And, of course, you'll see all that if you come to worship with us tonight or anytime in the future as well!
Psalm 62:11 has this to say: "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God." Now you may remember I read that same verse a while back on the power of the blood, didn't I? That was my introductory verse to the other subject or sermon when I preached on the power of the blood.
Let's go on now and read two or three other references before we begin talking about it. Look at Ephesians chapter 6, verse 10. Notice the heavy emphasis on strength and power all the way through all of these introductory references that I'm giving you. Ephesians 6:10 says: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
Now go with me to I John --- The first epistle of John. First John 2:14 --- "I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. 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." Now please notice that all of what we are reading is talking about strength and power in some way or another!
Now, let's go back to Ephesians 3:16, and see what that has for us. It says: "That he," and, of course, if you read the context there, you understand that it's talking about God the Father, "That he," God the Father, "would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might." Now, He's using a different word there but it still means power or strength! "Strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man."
Then if we go on down and read verses 17 through 19 in that same passage, we find these words: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Now as we begin to think about these passages and about others that we will read yet tonight in the message, we find as we begin to think of this subject that the reservoir of God's power is just one place. It's not just scattered around here and there and if you get the feeling, then you've got it and if you don't get the feeling, you haven't got it and you need to seek it. That is just a bunch of foolishness. The reservoir of God's power is right here. The Power is right here in this book (holds up Bible). This is the place we need to look for it. This is the reservoir where we get the power to win the lost, the build a Church, to do the Lord's work on earth!
The reservoir of God's power is His own Word, the Bible. And to tap His power, we go right here to this book. That is the way we tap His power! The only way we can tap His power in His work is right here in this book. We find it there and nowhere else. There are many kinds of power found in the Word.
One kind that we're always interested in or at least we pretend we're interested, and I believe that generally speaking we are, especially in a new, young church like this, people usually are interested in this kind of power. And that is power for fruit bearing. Yes, the power for fruit bearing. The power for fruit bearing doesn't come from sucking it out of your thumb or from out of the air somewhere. It comes from right here in the Book. That's where the power for fruit bearing comes from --- from the Word of God.
If you turn over to Luke 8:11 you will see a passage that bears out this thought that the power for fruit bearing comes from the Word, where it says that the seed is the Word of God. Now what if you didn't have any seed? Would you ever have any fruit? No, you wouldn't ever bear any fruit if you didn't have any seed, would you? You can't produce fruit without seed to begin. And where does the seed come from? What is the seed? Right here is the seed, isn't it? The seed is the Word of God. So, that means that the Word of God is what gives us the power for fruit bearing, doesn't it? Without the Word of God we can't bear fruit because we don't have any seed, without the Word of God we cannot produce fruit!
We find another thing when we think,and still in introductory terms, about this idea of the power of the Word of God: we find that the power to melt the cold, hard heart of the sinner comes from only one place. Oh, we can get up and tell all kinds of sad dog stories we want! We can get up and tell about our poor, old mother that died in the Lord! We can get up and talk about mother's prayers and wanting to meet mama on the other side. But that is not what really gives the power to melt the heart of the sinner, is it? The thing that really melts the heart of the sinner is this Word preached and implanted in the heart of the sinner by the power of the Spirt. That is where the power to melt the cold, hard heart of the sinner comes from ---it comes from the Word.
Jeremiah 23:29 speaks of this. And I quote this one to you from time to time. You've heard me quote this verse several times before. "Is not my word like as fire? And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" Now that's plenty of power, isn't it? "Is not my word like as fire? And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" And that's God, of course, speaking there. It has the power to break the cold, stony heart of the sinner and bring him under conviction. The Spirit using the Word like a hammer in the man's heart can break his cold, stony heart and bring him to Christ.
If we are to have fullness of power in our life and in our service for God, we must feed upon the Word of God. Unless we do, we are not going to have fullness of power in our life and in our service. Unless we constantly and consistently, often and continuously, and if I could think of a few other, additional qualifications, I'd add them in too --- but we must continuously and continually feed upon the Word of God! There is no other food that so strengthens for service as this book right here. There is nothing that gives us the strength and power to serve God as we should, except the preaching and the teaching and the study of the Word of God!
Listen to a few things about what the Word of God has the power to do! We have already in our introduction mentioned several things. Now let us think about it in a little more organized fashion as we continue.
The first and most important thing perhaps, and we've already mentioned this in passing in our introduction, the most important thing perhaps that God's Word has the power to do is the power to convict of sin. The power to convict of sin. Without that, nothing else would mean anything, would it? Anything else in the way of power from the Word of God, unless first the Word of God had the power to convict of sin, would not mean anything at all, would it? The rest of it would be useless.
Acts 2:37 speaks of an incident like this when the Word of God severely convicted men of sin. Notice that these were self-righteous men, too. These were holier-than-thou Jew types. And you couldn't very well find any more holier-than-thou type than a self-righteous Jew in those days! It would be impossible to find anything more self-righteous than a self-righteous Jew in New Testament days. These folks to whom Peter had been preaching were a bunch of self-righteous Jews. "We have Abraham to our father." And so forth and so on. You know all the rigmarole that they always went through every time they had the gospel plainly preached to them!
Acts 2:37 says: "Now when they heard this," that is this bunch of self-righteous Jews, "now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart." That means they were convicted, doesn't it? Like taking a big, sharp pointed knitting needle and poking their balloon until it pops. That's what he's talking about here. "They were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
When people truly get convicted, they want to know what to do to be saved. When you just get them stirred up by a sad dog story or something, that won't necessarily get them to want to be saved. But when you get them really convicted by the power of the Word of God, they're going to want to find out what to do to be saved. "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" That is what they asked, wasn't it? --- When they were really convicted by the power of the Word!
You may say, "Well, what about this? You haven't really showed us here that this was the power of the Word that convicted them?" Well, if you turn over there and read, we don't have time to read all of it tonight, but if you'll read Peter's sermon, you'll find that practically his whole sermon was Scripture quotations. It was just full of Scripture quotations. The same way that preacher there at Pomona Baptist (Dearmore referring to himself) does a lot of times. He had a whole lot of Scripture quotations in his sermon. And that's what convicted them, too, as we'll see a little bit later. His sermon was just Scripture from beginning to end and it pricked their heart!
The Word of God carried home by the Spirit of God always brings conviction. You say, "Well, isn't that wonderful?" Yes, it is. It is wonderful! It's glorious! But you've got to get the unsaved people here and the backsliders here to hear it before it will work on them. Because they don't hear it out there in the house where they're watching television. They don't hear it out there in the street where they're passing by coming back in from fishing all day, or from wind-surfing, or whatever they've been doing. You've got to get them to hear the Word before it makes any difference to them, you see. But the Word of God preached, and carried home by the Spirit of God, always brings conviction. And I'm so thankful that it does. And it doesn't just work on unsaved people, it works on saved people that are out of God's will as well --- It brings conviction to them.
I have had people come to me back through the years in preaching, and they just wondered how I happened to know about something that I preached about. They thought I preached it for them! And the truth of the matter was I didn't know about "them" at all! But the Spirit of God just took the Word of God as I read it or as I preached it and put it in their heart and made them think that I knew all about something they'd been doing when I didn't know a word about it! I had no idea, and yet, they felt like I had been tipped off by some rat-fink, you know, that they'd been doing this or that or something else and therefore I preached this sermon just for them. It is amazing how often it works that way!
But if we wish to produce conviction in others, there's only one way to do it. You must use the Word to do it! Not a bunch of funny stories or a bunch of sad stories. Not a bunch of this or that or something else, but the Word of God! Now there's nothing wrong with some sad stories from the Word. There are plenty of sad stories in the Bible. But all these dog stories and things like that, they don't get the job done. They just don't bring real, Holy Ghost conviction, like the sad stories from the Bible do! But the Word has the power, and is what we've got to use to bring conviction in others!
Going a step further, not only does God's Word have the power to convict of sin, but I'm so thankful that it has the power to do something else --- the next step after proper conviction should be regeneration, shouldn't it? God's Word has the power to bring to regeneration.
First Peter chapter 1, verse 23 tells us a little bit about this. First Peter 1:23. (That's way over there in the back, if you've forgotten exactly where it is, pretty close to the back). It reads like this: "Being born again," now regeneration remember is what we're talking about --- The power to regenerate --- "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by," what? By what? What does it say? "By the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Isn't that wonderful? Right here is the power to regenerate. The power to regenerate the lost soul comes by preaching of the Word. By the preaching of the Word and the Spirit takes the Word then and pushes it deep in their heart and convicts them with it and brings them to Christ. That is real regeneration, or the new birth.
James 1:18 is another good verse to read. And this one makes it very plain as well. It says: "Of his own will begat he us," --- what are we talking about? The new birth, the regeneration. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth." Now what is the word of truth? This is it, isn't it? (holds up Bible). Right here! We've got it! "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." Now that is plain enough, a straight-forward statement there! The Word of God has the power to regenerate, a And it certainly does, and aren't you glad it does?
If you've been saved, you've been regenerated by the power of the preaching of the Word of God. The Spirit takes that Word and buries it in your heart and convicts you and leads you to Christ. That is wonderful to think about, isn't it? Just think about the day you were saved. Think back to that time and then thank God for the Word that did convict you and that did regenerate you through the power of the Holy Spirit and brought you to Christ --- Wonderful, isn't it?
The Word concerning Christ, the Word concerning Christ crucified and risen, when it's in the heart, quickened by the Spirit and believed with the whole heart, brings forth the new birth in Christ. That's the way it's produced. Nothing else will do it. We can talk about all these other things we want to and there's nothing else that will bring about the new birth except this. This is what does it. We know the secret, don't we? Let's use the secret, and get others here to hear the Word.
To win others to Christ from our side (now notice I said, "From our side,") the process is very simple. Now I know from God's side --- and most of the time I preach from that side about Jesus leaving the glory of heaven, angels weeping as He leaves, and the very light of heaven dimming as He leaves to come down to earth to die in our place --- that is the direction I usually preach from on this subject. But now looking at it from the other viewpoint, to win others to Christ from our side, from the human side, the process is simple. It's not costly like it was to God, to Christ, and to the glories of heaven. It was a terribly costly thing from that view, from that side of the view. But from our side of the view, it is a simple process.
The human heart is the soil, and this is the process. The simple process from our viewpoint: human heart is the soil. You and I are the sowers. The Word of God is the seed. This is it right here. The Word of God is the seed. God quickens it. He makes it sprout, by His Holy Spirit and gives the increase, as I Corinthians 3:6 tells us. The heart closes around the Word. It just swallows up the Word. It closes around the Word by faith. And the new life in Christ is the product. There is no other way to produce this new life, except this process we are talking about now.
And by this new birth we become a partaker of God's nature; isn't that great? We become a partaker of the divine nature. Our nature is changed. It's not just that old, wicked, filthy, sinful nature that we had before, but we have a new nature in our heart. Our spirit is reborn, isn't it? Oh, I know that the body itself has still got some sinful tendencies in it that we don't get rid of until the resurrection or until the Rapture. I know that. We're not talking about that part right now. But that old nature is changed, isn't it? When a man really gets saved, some serious changes take place. He doesn't go home drunk and beat up his family like he did before, does he? He just doesn't do that anymore. If he really got saved, he doesn't. He doesn't go out and try to cheat everybody in sight like he was doing yesterday before he got saved. It makes some changes. Drastic changes take place in his life and in his nature.
Peter speaks of this in Second Peter 1:4. He says: "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature." Now that is plain enough a child can understand, isn't it? "Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
We become partakers of the divine nature when we experience this new birth by the power of the Word and the enabling of the Spirit. The Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul. That's what it is. It doesn't come from all this foolish stuff that the many modern people like to talk about. They say: "There's a little divine spark down in every man that just needs to be fanned a little bit, you know, and get it started and then it glows up, and then he becomes a Christian."
Well, that's just a big lie, of course. There is not any divine spark in man until he gets saved. He's depraved completely and totally and there's no divine spark down there to be fanned up to get him to become a Christian. The thing that's got to happen is he's got to have a new birth to become a Christian. That is what must happen. And unless that happens, he never will become a Christian! He may call himself one until he dies and then stands before God in judgment unsaved. That doesn't have anything to do with whether he's really a Christian or not, does it?
But the Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul. And it doesn't spring up from anything else! It doesn't spring up from baptism. It doesn't spring up from penance or good works or anything else you want to talk about. It just doesn't come from that. It has to come from the seed. You don't get fruit from anything unless you have the seed first! You've got to have the seed first. You plant the seed, then it springs up and then it bears fruit. But unless you have that seed to begin with, you don't get any fruit, just nothing!
The Word has power to produce faith --- Did you know that? That's another thing about the Word. It has the power to produce faith. If you look at Romans 10:17, you'll find these words: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Okay. If faith cometh by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God, then faith comes by the Word of God, doesn't it? That's an argument that any debater would take and just prove it over and over and over with that one verse, wouldn't he? "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Now take this, and think for a few minutes negatively about faith --- let's think of it just a minute negatively. Negative statements now about faith. One cannot get faith just by an act of will. You can't say, "Well, I just believe I'll have some faith." That's not the way you get faith, is it? "I believe I'll just have some faith." You don't get it that way! That is definitely not the way faith is produced. You don't get it just by an act of your will. You can say, "Well, I believe I'll try to have faith." You don't get it that way, either. You don't get faith just by trying. That doesn't produce faith. And unsaved man, you can never get it just by praying!
But Acts chapter 16, switching over now to a positive approach, we find that faith is a product of a certain cause. And that cause is the Word of God. And unless you have that cause, then you don't get the product. Remember, the cause is the Word of God, and the product is faith!
Turn now to Acts 16:30 through 32. You, of course, recognize immediately this is about the story of the Philippian jailer. It reads: "And brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'" Now a simple, straight-forward question. And did they give him, "Oh well, you pray to Mary and you get baptized and you live a good life and you do penance when you do something wrong and at last, if you're lucky and you're right when you die, you might make it to heaven." Is that what they said to him? No, they didn't say anything silly like that. And yet, you'd be surprised how many hundreds of so-called ministers in South Africa are saying something similar to that to people today. Today, they say it to hundreds of thousands of people --- things just like that.
But what did they REALLY say to him when he said, "What must I do to be saved"? Here it is --- "And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.'" But don't stop there. Go ahead and read the next verse. "And they spake unto him," what? --- "The word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house." That's what produced the faith, wasn't it? The Word of the Lord. That's what brought faith to him.
Saving faith always rests on the Word. If your faith is resting on anything else, it's not the New Testament saving faith, I can tell you. The only thing on which saving faith can rest, does rest or needs to rest is this Word right here. It always rests on this Book! Saving faith always rests or is based on the Word as we saw there in the sixteenth chapter of Acts.
Teaching people, "Only believe," is not enough. Oh, it's wonderful to teach people, "Only believe." But that's not enough by itself. You must teach them what to believe as well. They might think when you said, "Only believe," "Well, only believe that the sun will rise tomorrow." That won't save them, will it? Or, "Only believe that there's a car parked out here." But that won't save them either! So, teaching, "Only believe," is not enough. We must teach them what to believe.
We need to go ahead and show them how and what to believe. Isaiah chapter 53, verse 6 has this to say: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Think about that. If you think about what that really means, it will do something to you. If it doesn't, then you're either backslidden or lost, one or the other, if you can read that without it really doing something for you. Just think about what it means.
Turn on to I Peter again. First Peter 2:24. Let's read a verse there. A little bit later version of similar words to those of Isaiah. First Peter chapter 2:24 says it this way: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." Oh, Yes! the Word is wonderful to study and to think about! To think how Jesus died for us and bore our sins, how He loved us and took the stripes that were rightly ours. Oh, it's wonderful to think about and to read from God's Word!
But faith must have a foundation! And here is the foundation of faith --- the Word! That is the foundation of faith, the Word, and what brings us to faith!
For the Christian, faith that overcomes the world is based on the Word. Brother Lind quoted or read to us this morning in Sunday school class that verse over in I John 5:4 where it says: "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
You might say, "Well, you just said that the faith that overcomes the world is based on the Word and that verse you read doesn't prove that." Well, it does if you take it along with the other verses in the Bible that speak of the same subject. It certainly proves that. Let me read that one in I John 5:4 again for you. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
Now remember we read to you earlier a verse over in Romans 10:17, didn't we? And what does that verse say? It says: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," doesn't it? Romans 10:17. So that fits in perfectly with I John 5:4 to fully justify our statement that the faith that overcomes the world is based on the Word! Those two verses together clearly prove our statement.
Faith comes by the Word and we must be fed daily on the Word. Unless we are fed daily on the Word, we become weak, piddling Christians!
Going a step further, the Word of God has the power to build up. Do you know the reason we have so many weak Christians in the world today, so many who think they are Christians who are not truly Christians but believe or "hope" that they are? It is because they have never been built up, they have not had enough of the Word preached to them to really understand what being a Christian means, or what being saved is! And they, even though some of these numbers have been saved, they've never been built up by the preaching of the Word and by the study of the Word, therefore they're just weak and wobbly Christians. They never amount to anything in God's service, are never faithful in their church, never witness to anyone. Much of the time they don't even go to church. And if they do go, they go to one where it's entertainment instead of the Word or where it's showmanship instead of preaching and teaching the Word. That's not the kind of church to go to for a real Christian!
The Word of God has the power to build up and make a Christian strong. One who can win others. One who can be a proper servant of the King. One who can have a proper place in the kingdom of the King when He comes back to reign.
Let's read here in Acts 20:32: "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." The Word of God has the power to build us up, make us into proper servants so that when the King comes back, we can go to meet Him unashamed because we will be proper servants of His. We will be among those who stand before Him and say: "Lord, you gave me five talents and here's five more." "Lord, you gave me two talents, here's two more." "Lord, you gave me one talent, here's one more." And I guess you remember in that story He didn't make a bit of differentiation in the commendation that He gave to the one with one talent who brought back one more and the one with two talents who brought back two more, and the one with five talents who brought back five more. They all got the same word of commendation: "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord." It's not how much you do, it's what you do with what God gives you that counts. And everybody has been given something by God that they can use for Him!
Another step further, we see God's Word has the power to produce joy. You know, I've never seen a time in my fifty-two years when there were so many unhappy people on earth. And a lot of them claim to be Christians, too. And, no doubt, some of them are Christians and yet they're unhappy. But this Word I hold in my hand has the power to produce joy. And it will produce joy if we study it and preach it and live it! It will produce joy in our life!
Jeremiah speaks of this in Jeremiah 15:16 --- "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts." How could you read that and not be happy? "I am called by thy name." The Word tells me that I'm called by His name. I'm a child of the King! I'm justified in the sight of God! How could you really read and understand, and not be joyous? That will produce joy!
There are many things in the Word that will produce joy! It has the power to produce joy! If you will just read it and study it and hear it preached often, it willll produce joy in your life and in your heart!
Jesus speaks of this in the Gospel of John, in 15:11. Jesus has been giving them some more of the Living Word of God directly into their ears from His own mouth. And then He says this to them in John 15:11: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you," (be in you all the time, in other words) "Remain in you, and that your joy might be full." Not just a weak, little, old niggling joy once in awhile when the preacher hits a high note on Sunday morning. That's not what He's talking about, is it? He's talking about being full of joy. He's talking about having that joy remaining in your heart --- when you go out to work tomorrow, that joy ought to be there!
This Word can produce that joy there, too. When you go to work tomorrow, the devil starts getting you a little bit downcast, just tell him, "Devil, get behind me." And then start thinking of some good promise from God's Word and that will restore the joy, won't it? That will bring the joy back!
The Word has the power also to produce patience, comfort, and hope --- All of these things. And all of these things come through the power of the Word of God: patience, comfort and hope!
Romans 15:4 speaks of this as follows: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime," now what's He talking about? He's talking about all the Scriptures that have been written before this time, isn't He? "Whatsoever things were written aforetime," that includes all of it that was written before Romans --- Everything that had been written, certainly all of the Old Testament had been written. And no doubt some portions of the New Testament had already been written. But He says: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Thus we see that the source of patience and comfort and hope is the Word of God! That is an unfailing source!
What is the hope we're talking about? Well, we know that we're going to heaven when we die. But we have another hope too, don't we? We have another hope that the Lord may come before we die. He may come before we die. And we know we're ready to meet Him. Therefore, we have the blessed hope! Yes, The blessed hope! And that is certainly a comfort to us, isn't it? Just to know you're saved is a great comfort! To know that we're on God's side and therefore we're on the winning side! Oh, we may lose a few battles here on earth, but we know who's going to win the war, don't we? We know who's going to win the war. God's going to win the war and since we're on His side that means we're going to win the war, too!
The last thought I want to bring to your mind is this, and this is one that's badly needed today. The Word has the power to protect from error and sin. There's never been a time in my fifty-two years that I can remember anything about when error was so prevalent among so-called Christians as it is today! They are just running wild with all kinds of weird, ridiculous ideas. Most of it they've sucked out of their thumb or from some other ridiculous place. And they certainly didn't get it from the Word. They never read nor preach the Word, so they couldn't get it from there. But the Word has the power to protect from error and from sin.
Let's think for just a minute about that and we'll close. We said it has the power to protect from error. Let's think of that firs, protection from false doctrine or error. The Word has that power. Nothing else has the power to do that.
Oh, they can spin you some good stories that sound good, these false teachers can. They can make it very interesting. They can even make it thrilling if they're a good enough orator --- not only interesting but thrilling. They can deceive you with their oratory, their fine words and their human reasoning, but when you put it up beside the Word, it just doesn't hold water, does it? It just springs leaks all over. So, we have protection from false doctrine or error in the Word!
II Timothy speaks of this in 3:13 thru 15. Speaking of protection from false doctrine, it says: "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse," now He's talking about this --- this shall happen as the time draws near. "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." They will even deceive themselves, some of these fellows. "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 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." So, this Word right here can protect us from all these false seducers as he speaks of them here in His writing to Timothy.
The Word of God also provides the power for protection from sin! Psalms 119 speaks of this in verse 11. It says: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." That's a simple straight-forward statement that the Word gives us power for protection from sin. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Even Jesus Himself rejected the temptations of Satan with Scripture quotations. If you will notice over in Matthew chapter 4, just take the time to read it, you'll see that to every temptation Jesus answered: "It is written, it is written, it is written." And then He went ahead and quoted a Scripture to Satan. So He rejected or refused Satan's temptations every time by a Scripture quotation!
There is no fullness of power in life and service without proper study of the Bible! Without this, there's just no way you can have fullness of power! We cannot possibly obtain and maintain power in our lives without a deep and frequent meditation upon and study of the Word of God! It is not enough to depend on what somebody says about it, but what it says itself!
And if our leaf is not to wither, and whatsoever we do is to prosper then our delight must be in the law of the Lord. And we must meditate therein day and night as Psalms 1:2-3 teaches us.
I want to close with this old song we sing sometimes. I like this old song. And it fits in very well with our message tonight:
HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION
"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord;
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word.
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee, I only design,
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."
Right here is the source of power, and we need to tap it! It is the only source of power we have that we can see and read and touch! It is right here (holding up Bible)! We can see it, we can read it, we can touch itand we can tap into the power of the Word! Let us do it! May we constantly tap into the power of the Word of God, and use this power of the Word to build a real lighthouse here in Africa for the glory of the Lord.