THE SUPERIORITY OF GOD’S BOOK
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
There is something about human nature that accepts over time the most controversial of change but would be appalled at the same innovation being abruptly introduced. I think the enemy of our soul is on to this characteristic of mankind. And, I think he regularly takes advantage of it. –GR
Our Purpose: Using the language of medicine and claiming the reliability of science, teachers have introduced theories and methodologies into the church that have subtly, but surely, pushed aside the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word. The results of such an incursion has been the cutting off of struggling believers from the powerful, life-giving, bondage-freeing, soul-satisfying truth of God. Our goal here is to uncover those theories and restore a full confidence in truth found only in God’s Word.
I. MAN’S WAYS VERSUS GOD’S WAY
A. Man’s ways: Problems and cures are proposed without reference to God or his glory.
1. Man: Man is an accident of natural causes with no ultimate purpose or destiny.
2. Problems: Problems arise from genetic, social and environmental causes.
3. Cures: Manmade theories and methodologies are proposed to help natural man to cope.
B. God’s Ways: Problems and cures are faced in God’s power for His glory.
1. Man: Man is created for the glory of God and is morally responsible to him.
2. Problems: Sin has infected man and the world bringing alienation and suffering.
3. Cure: Holding fast and obeying Christ’s truth gives the spiritual man success and a living hope.
C. Why should we be on guard against ideas and theories that have their origin in the world?
1. The wisdom of God is wiser than man’s wisdom: 1 Cor. 1:25
2. The lies of the enemy always come in deceptive forms: Col. 2:8
3. The simplicity of the gospel is continually being threatened: Gal. 1:8
4. The faith that we have must always be fought for: Jude 3
5. Every thought has its consequences so we must be diligent in our beliefs: 2 Cor.10:3-6
6. Every teaching and theory is to be tested by the written truth of the Scriptures. Acts 17:10-12.
7. We are to preach the Word even when itching ears want something else. 2 Timothy 4:1-5
8. It is the truth of Jesus Christ that sets us free and keeps us firm. John 8:31-32; Matt. 7:24-25
D. What does the Bible say about God’s ability help to the hurting soul?
1. Jesus offered rest [Matt. 11:28-29]; promised abundant life [John 10:10]; confronted fear [Matt. 6:25,31,34]; taught love and forgiveness [Matt.18:21-35]; promised joy. [John 15:11].
2. Paul commanded joy [Phil. 4:4]; won over depression [2 Cor. 1:8-11]; restricted anger [Ephesians 4:26]; defined love [1 Cor. 13]; proclaimed God’s faithfulness [Romans 8:28-39].
3. The Psalms record how God’s restores the soul [23:3/19:7]; conquers fear ; gives peace [119:165]; gives joy [21:6]; helps the sufferer [22:24]; strengthens the grieving [119:28]; gives wisdom [119:98]; counsels the depressed [42:11]; and provides hope [119:49].
II. Solving Problems God’s Way
There is not anything or any condition that befalls a Christian in this life but there is a general rule in the Scriptures for it, and this rule is quickened by example. –Richard Sibbes
A. Perspective: Judging our actions in the light of our desire to glorify God in all things by finding our joy in Jesus in all situations (I Corinthians 10:31)/2 Timothy 1:7/1 Peter 3:13-15]
Man’s Ways: The pleasure of life are found in worshipping the self: We are told we must: love self; serve self; forgive self; exalt self; assert self; trust self; esteem self; save self.
God’s Ways: The pleasure of life is found in worshipping and trusting in Christ above all other things: Repent of yourself (Acts 2:38); deny self (Luke 9:23); lose self (Luke 9:24); humble self (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6); put off your old self (Ephesians 4:22).
B. Promise: Fighting for joy based upon the hope we find in the truth found in God’s Word (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:31-32; Phil. 4:13).
C. Process: Acting according to the principles found in God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
1. Teaching: What does God say specifically about my struggle-Anxiousness?
Matthew 6:25-44/Philippians 4:4-6
2. Reproof: In what ways have I sinned against God? [What do I need to put off?]
Matthew 6:25-44-Put off-worry about food, clothes, and tomorrow.
Philippians 4:4-6-Put off worry about anything.
3. Correction: What do I need to do to get back on the path to joy? [What do I need to put on?] Matthew 6:25-44-Put on pleasing God with our lives today and trust God for everything else. Philippians 4:4-6-Put on prayer, right thoughts, obedient acts and trust God for everything else.
4. Training: What spiritual disciplines (means of grace) do I need to incorporate in my life that will keep me on the pathway to joy? [1 Timothy 4:7-8]
D. Practice: Establish a detailed plan that will incorporate God’s commands into my daily life.
1. Address this problem as a battle for faith and joy-which it is. 1Peter 5:8
2. Meditate upon scriptures that pertain to the problem of anxiousness. Joshua 1:8
3. Establish a regular pattern of prayer that will call upon God for help and grace. Phil. 4:5
4. Make use of all the helps God has provided to encourage and strengthen you. Eph. 4:9-16
5. Make a list of daily responsibilities and complete them for the glory of Christ. Col. 4:23-24
6. Note all circumstances that spark anxiety and deal with them in biblical manner. Phil. 4:4-6
7. Live your day based upon God’s promises rather than upon your feelings. 1 Peter 4:19
8. Keep in mind that any loss of delight in Jesus is a summons to battle. James 1:2-4
The “good fight of faith” is at its root a fight for delight. It’s a fight to maintain satisfaction in God against all the enticements of the world and all the deceptions of the devil. The fight for faith in future grace is a fight for joy. Knowing this will help us understand what is happening to us when the temptations come. Diminishing delight is a summons to war. –John Piper
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dr. Gary Rieben. © Give Me That Book. Email: Grieben@aol.com. Website: www.GiveMeThatBook.org. Postal: GMTB | P.O. Box 1045| La Quinta, CA 92247 USA | 619.829.2390
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