Faithlife Sermons

"The Living Word"

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The Word Leads to Love (22)

The truth of God’s Word purifies us. It’s interesting how close this sounds to the washing of baptism. But here, it is the work of the word that purifies us. That purification is intimately related to our obedience to the truth, the Word. What does it mean to be obedient to the Word? To be obedient to the Gospel.
What has this done? It has made us new people, a family that is defined by brotherly love. This is a clear description that we need to heed and hear. Those that are truly born again by the Gospel truth related through the Word are in essence those that love one another in brotherly and sisterly love. That is who they are. They Gospel changes completely.
But who we are must also continually be sought. It is the dual emphasis of Scripture. God makes us these things, but we are also responsible to love in our own actions. This is done earnestly. From the purity of our hearts, we are then called to action to love one another as Christ loved us.
This love is sincere love. This isn’t just shallow love on the surface, or it looks like we get along. No, this is love that unites God’s people. It stretches us. It is difficult. This is the agape love, divine love show towards us. We love when people are unlovable sometimes.

The Word Regenerates (23)

Why do we love? Because of our identity as born-again people of God. All these points are closely related to each other, almost to the point where the order by which things happen gets a little fuzzy. Nonetheless, because of the work of the Word, we are regenerated.
The Word makes us born again. Why? The Gospel is found in the Word. It is the truth that God conveys in clearest form. This is a reminder that the preaching of the Word is so essential to the salvation of souls. What I mean by preaching again, is that is must be revealed from the Word. The Bible must be either read or declared by someone. You can be saved reading your Bible, because the truth is being proclaimed to you as you read. You can be saved hearing a preacher at a church service. You can be saved by hearing someone tell you the Gospel in a one-on-one conversation. But remember, the Word of God must be involved.
The living and abiding Word is imperishable: The Word of God is active in its work.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
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.
It is also the seed by which God works:
Matthew 13:1–9 ESV
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
Jesus goes on to further explain this parable
Matthew 13:18–23 ESV
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The Word Endures Forever (24)

And the Word endures. Peter quotes here from Isaiah 40. Here is why the Word being taught and preached is so important. It’s work endures forever. It never fails. It will do exactly as it intends to do. It will regenerate. It will also harden hearts. Regardless, it will do exactly what it does according to God’s purpose. Some will gladly accept the Word and believe. Some will also reject it.
But this also gives us great confidence that our ministries must be so Word saturated. It is the Good News. It is the truth that God will sustain us and never fail. It is also the encouragement to us that it will remain forever. What is preached in these classes, in this sanctuary, will ring forever. Why? Because people will be transformed for eternity. That which truly matters will be affected by the Word for eternity.
Edmund Clowney says this:
The Message of 1 Peter c. Holiness through the Word of Truth (1:22–2:3)

The word of God that has given us life is enduring; it is not subject to decay or change. God’s eternal word creates eternal life. The physical life of human procreation is no more permanent than the grass of the field. But the life that God gives is more than physical; it is the life of the Spirit.

The Word Grows Us (2:1-3)

And the Word changes us as the believer: Because of our new identity as God’s people, this is the expectation of what God’s people do. We put away the old ways of life. We live holy lives, cleansed from our sin. Malice and anger among us not be named. We are not to be deceitful and hypocritical in the way we live. We should not envy one another, and we should never slander one another. The Word cleanses us from these things, and it grows us to do them no longer.
Ephesians 5:25–27 ESV
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
How do we do this? Long for pure spiritual milk: What is it that does this work? The Word of God. Longing for it. The pure, unadulterated Word. Back then, they used many things in order to try to make things like meats and dairy last longer. Here, Peter is showing us that we are to want the Word that is pure. We are to long for it: Businesses spend millions upon millions of dollars to try to get people to long for their product. But here is what one commentator said: We should be addicted to the Word, the Bible.
Regular Bible reading is not mainly the fruit of the Christian life; it is the food of Christian survival. - Abigail Dodds
God’s people must be longing for the Word in their lives, as it changes us. It is the means of God’s great work in us. We can’t see the Lord in physical form, but we can see and taste him from His revealed Word.
Psalm 34:8 ESV
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
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