Fall Out of Love With the World

The words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians have been on my heart for some time now:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  -Philippians 1:21

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:7-14

Oh how I want to live like that.  I want to be able to say from the depths of my soul that I count all things as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ!  I don’t want to be lured into mainstream American Christianity that preaches that you can love the world (money, houses, cars, comfort, career, vacations, reputation, etc.) and love Jesus.  That is a lie from the pit of hell which leads to death (Matthew 7:24, 1 John 2:15)!

May God be pleased to make Bethel a people that live a radically different and un-American lifestyle which screams to a dying world that Christ is all satisfying, that he is utterly sufficient,  that in His presence is fullness of joy, and that there are pleasures forevermore at His right hand (Psalm 16:11)!

Let us press on to make it our own, because Christ has made us His own.  Let us forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead; namely, the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

Joel

At Bethel, we love the Bible.

Pastor Kevin exhorts us constantly to be in the Word.  I wanted to expound on some of the reasons why the Word is so critical.  Why do we love the Bible so much?  Are we Bible worshipers?  Here are a few reasons, taken from Scripture, which will help explain our reasons for loving the Bible.

  • It is the very Word of God

2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  2Ti 3:17  that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

That pretty much sums it up; the Bible is breathed out by God.  Every word is His, written to us.  Every word is important, every word is relevant, and every word is perfect and good.  It makes the simple wise.

In addition, it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.  It is all we need.  It is the sole authority.  It does not need support, it does not need addition, and it does not lack anything.

  • The Word of God helps us see ourselves rightly

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

James 1:23-25  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

We are incapable of accurately evaluating ourselves apart from the Bible.  Our heart is always deceiving us, and we cannot understand it.  The Word of God cuts us open and shows us what is truly inside us.  It is a mirror, which allows us to see ourselves rightly.  Seeing ourselves as we ought allows us to repent and turn from our sin.  It also humbles us before God as we see the wretchedness of our hearts apart from Him.

  • The Word of God fills our hearts with light

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Matthew 6:22-23 The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Our hearts are completely dark apart from the light which God places there.  Our hearts have no mechanism by which to generate light of their own.  Left to themselves, our hearts will be void of any light.  The Bible is light, and if we place it constantly before our eyes, it will purge the darkness from within us and fill our hearts with light.

  • The Bible opens our eyes to see the Glory of Christ

Psalm 19:8  the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Psalm 119:18  Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

The entire Bible is about God and His plan for redeeming lost people who were His enemies through His Son, Jesus Christ (see Romans 5:10).  Reading it helps us to see Him more clearly.  When we see Him revealed in Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are moved to repentance, worship, & action; like Isaiah.

Isaiah 6:1-8 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

  • The Bible grows our faith

Romans 10:17  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Pretty simple: the Word grows our faith, and our lack of faith (unbelief) is the root of our sin.

Hebrews 3:12-19  Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.  As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”  For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?  And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

  • The Bible helps us fight sin and Satan

Psalm 119:11  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

David “stored up the word in his heart” (memorized) to fight against sin (see this blog post for more on memorization).

Ephesians 6:10-12, 17  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

 The bible is a critical offensive weapon against Satan’s endless attack on us, the saints.

  • It is our spiritual food

Matthew 4:4  But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

John 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

 Jesus is the bread of life, and we feed on Him in His Word.

There is much more to say about the importance of the Bible, but there’s a sampling.

In summary, we do not worship the Bible at Bethel, but we know that it is the primary means by which we see and savor the one whom we do worship, namely Jesus Christ.  We know that the Bible is the means by which He speaks to us, reveals sin, encourages us, exhorts us, corrects us, etc.

Let us continue to be a people who love the Word of God.  Let us study it, meditate on it, eat it, drink it, linger on it, and memorize it; that God might grow our faith!

Joel

Join us this Saturday, February 11th, we will be showing the film, Job.

Jōb the Film from Chris Koelle on Vimeo.

For more information visit jobthefilm.com.