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The Seven-Fold Purpose of God’s Word September 7, 2009

Posted by JP in Uncategorized.
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The Word of God, energized by the Holy Spirit, has a seven-fold purpose in our lives:

Enlightening

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

Psa 119:130  The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.

Under the illumination of God’s Word, we see ourselves in the light of God’s holiness. The Bible sheds light on behavior and actions that displease the Lord and lights up the path that God has designated for you to walk.

Convicting

John 16:7-11 However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].  (8)  And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:  (9)  About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];  (10)  About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;  (11)  About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.

The Holy Spirit’s mission is to convict the world. When spiritually convicted, a person realizes that sin has been committed and that they are guilty before God. Through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts regarding three things:

  • Sin – because men do not believe in me. The rejection of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ is the prime sin and the most serious one, for it exposes a person to the judgment of God. The eternal destiny of a human life hinges upon the receiving in faith of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:11-13) The Holy Spirit’s mission is to expose any pattern of thought or behavior that is an affront to God.
  • Righteousness – because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer. Jesus is the standard of righteousness against which our lives are measured and the Holy Spirit has been sent to convict us of the stark reality of this fact. Compared to the righteousness of Christ, our own acts of righteousness are like filthy rags. (Isa 64:6)
  • Judgment – because the prince of this world now stands condemned. Note that the judgment of which the Holy Spirit convicts is the judgment of Satan. The judgment that took place at the cross (Col 2:15) is the pivotal theme of the Holy Spirit’s work of conviction and is the core thread of the entire Word of God.

As long as we are open to the Holy Spirit and to his Word, we will experience this ongoing conviction process. This is a sign of spiritual health, for the Holy Spirit never leaves us in a place of conviction, but leads us into his answer for our lives. The Bible’s amazing answer to sin – righteousness and judgment – is the other side of conviction.

Heb 4:12  For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Washing

Eph 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,  (26)  So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,  (27)  That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].

The Word of God has a washing action (John 15:3). Through his Word, the Holy Spirit renews our minds – conforming our minds His way of thinking. As we expose ourselves to the Word of God on a daily basis, the Holy Spirit will cleanse our minda of the filth of this world’s thinking, which the Bible calls depraved (Rom 1:28) and hostile to God. (Rom 8:7)

Rom 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

We cannot be conformed to Christ while still being conformed to this world. The two objectives are totally opposed to one another. Therefore, a major function of God’s Word is to realign our thinking to God’s thinking. This new Bible-based kind of thinking involves:

  • The Right View of God (Isaiah 40:18,21-28; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16)
  • The Right View of Yourself (Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3)
  • The Right View of the World (Isaiah 40:15-17; 1 Corinthians 1:20-31)

The Bible is God’s tool for renewing our minds. God so wants to renew our thought processes that His way of thinking becomes our way of thinking.

Encouraging

Rom 15:4-5 for whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.  (5)  Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.

Note that this passage attributes to Scripture that which is attributed to God – encouragement.

Paul writes to the Colossian Christians with the express purpose that they might be encouraged in heart:

Col 2:2  [For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One).

This is a major purpose of God’s Word, not simply to make us feel good about ourselves, but to encourage us to continue to persevere in our faith.

Instructing

2Ti 3:16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),

Notice that Paul writes to Timothy and declares that all Scripture (not just some of it) is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

  • Teaching shows us the right path.
  • Rebuking shows us where we have wandered from the path.
  • Correcting shows us the way back onto the path.
  • Training shows us how to walk on the path.

Psa 119:133 Establish my steps and direct them by [means of] Your word; let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

Remember, it is not only the New Testament which has been designed by God for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. In fact, the Scriptures that Paul is referring to when writing to Timothy is the Old Testament. The whole of Israel’s history has been chronicled in the Old Testament, not just as a lead up to the coming of Jesus, but also as exemplary instruction and strong .warnings for you. (Hebrews 3:15-19; Hebrews 4:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:6-12)

Defending

Luk 4:1-12  THEN JESUS, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit  (2)  For (during) forty days in the wilderness (desert), where He was tempted (tried, tested exceedingly) by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was hungry. [Deut. 9:9; I Kings 19:8.]  (3)  Then the devil said to Him, If You are the Son of God, order this stone to turn into a loaf [of bread].  (4)  And Jesus replied to him, It is written, Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God. [Deut. 8:3.]  (5)  Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye].  (6)  And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.  (7)  Therefore if You will do homage to and worship me [just once], it shall all be Yours.  (8)  And Jesus replied to him, Get behind Me, Satan! It is written, You shall do homage to and worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve. [Deut. 6:13; 10:20.]  (9)  Then he took Him to Jerusalem and set Him on a gable of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here;  (10)  For it is written, He will give His angels charge over you to guard and watch over you closely and carefully;  (11)  And on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. [Ps. 91:11, 12.]  (12)  And Jesus replied to him, [The Scripture] says, You shall not tempt (try, test exceedingly) the Lord your God. [Deut. 6:16.]

When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus did not debate with him or even entertain any discussion. He solely relied on the authority of the Word of God. God’s Word is described as a sword:

(Eph 6:17 and take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.; Heb 4:12  For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.).

When Satan attacks, we can wield the full authority of God’s Word against him. However, we can only wield what has become written on our hearts. (Isa 49:2 And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand, has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me.)

Perfecting

Col 1:24-29 [Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [on our part] of Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church.  (25)  In it I became a minister in accordance with the divine stewardship which was entrusted to me for you [as its object and for your benefit], to make the Word of God fully known [among you]–  (26)  The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations [from angels and men], but is now revealed to His holy people (the saints),  (27)  To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory.  (28)  Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).  (29)  For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.

Paul’s declared goal, toward which he labored so vigorously, was to present everyone perfect in Christ. This is the exact same goal of God’s Word. As Paul said, he was commissioned by God to present to you the word of God in its fullness. That commission was fulfilled largely through his letters, which make up the bulk of the New Testament.

Eph 4:12-13  His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),  (13)  [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

Paul’s purpose was God’s purpose – not just that we may be conformed to the image of God’s Son as individuals, but that together, as the corporate Body of Christ, we may reach the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

2 Co 3:18  And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

It is in the pages of God’s Word that we meet with the Lord on terms so intimate that the Bible describes it like looking in a mirror:

Jas 1:23-25  For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;  (24)  For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.  (25)  But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).

God’s Word acts like a mirror reflecting God’s glory. By revelation of the Holy Spirit we see, in the Word, dimension after dimension of his glory. This cannot but affect us! We are changed by what we see from glory to glory.

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1. JP - June 24, 2014

Reblogged this on JP's Mind.


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