Imagine being the younger brother of Jesus Christ. Always following in the footsteps of the glory child!! James is refreshingly matter of fact and down to earth. As we read the letter by James, we read his concern that those following Jesus don’t only listen, but actually walk in his footsteps. For him righteousness matters, and it is the practical righteousness that you can hear in the words and see in the actions of the follower of Jesus that really counts. This talk challenges us to listen to, obey, and live out the Word.
Our words have a moral status in the eyes of God. Proverbs recognises the great power of our words to bring life or death, prosperity or poverty, wisdom or folly.
With our words we can condemn others and even ourselves.
If our words and tongue are so potent, we need God’s words to accept us, save us and protect us. This sermon looks at how.
Read the Bible text – Proverbs 1:1-7
How is it that the Bible arrives in the form we have it?
The Apostle Paul, along with Timothy, writing to the church in Thessalonica said:
‘we thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe’ (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
The word received, was handled down by God through those who had first heard it and their job was to tell others.
Of course that begs the question – how can the Bible be from men but really from God? How can we be sure that humans who spoke and wrote actually have the spoken and written word that God wanted them to express?
The clearest way to know God is to listen to what he says!
One of the first things that we learn about God in the opening Chapter of the Bible is that he talks. ‘In the beginning God created’ and how did he do that? By his word ‘And God said: ‘Let there be light’…., and then God said: ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters…, and then God said: ‘let there be sky’… and so it goes on for seven days (Genesis 1:1-2:3).
Each of the special acts of creation come about by the word of God. What he creates is new and wonderful and he does that by uttering his words.
If the significance of that is lost on you, give it a go! Test the power of your words. Create something by your words and only your words – ‘Let there be a ham sandwich’! How did you go? I think I can guess!
Christians are people of the Word – the written and spoken word. I am not saying that Christians are just bookworms, but I am saying that at ground zero, a Christian is shaped by God’s Word. It informs, it motivates, it comforts, it rebukes, it sharpens, it directs and does so all by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you have just become a Christian you are faced with this big volume of 2 testaments, 66 books, 1189 chapters, 31,103 verses and you may think – is it worth it, how do I read it, where do I start?
And if you have been Christian for a while, then you may recognise the struggle it often is to read the Bible regularly and well – to let the Bible work on your heart and change your mind and apply to your behaviour. In short, to shape your life.
They are good concerns.
Yet, without the Bible, a person will struggle to grasp the fundamental Christian truth that while they were still a sinner, Christ died for them (Romans 5:8). Without the Bible it is impossible to understand what it really means to be Christian.
Don’t run away from the Bible – ground yourself with it!
For more in this Series:
Listening to the Word
Grounded in the Word
God makes himself known – look around!
God makes himself known – look at ourselves!
God makes himself known – look his Word!
How can the Bible be from men but also from God?
What does a Christian do with the Bible?
How can I trust that what was written down in the Bible is reliable?
I had never read anything like it! It was amazing, it was as if the words were leaping off the page and calling out to me – these words were for me!
Those chariot journeys were a good time to read and reflect. Work was so busy and so much was asked of me. My day job is Head Official overseeing the Royal Treasury. I like the responsibility and I feel honoured to be working for the Ethiopian Queen making sure my people are provided for well. Not all eunuchs are given much respect so I know I am in a fortunate position.
I can’t tell you how I came across the scroll but I have to say it blew my mind.
Christians are word people. I don’t mean simply that ‘Christians are people of the WORD of God’, although that is true. I mean, that Christians need to listen, read, think and speak words with great intention and purpose.
Let me see if I can explain, starting with some background.
Sermon on ‘Taming The Tongue’ (James 3:1-12) by Ken Noakes is now available to stream or download: http://bit.ly/2dfbDPV
Read the Bible text: http://bit.ly/2cy2CTL
‘With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.’ – James 3:9