The word of truth means that the proclamation of God’s Word is the ultimate basis for action that we take in terms of our eternal soul.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? It’s my delight to come to you day by day. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and you and I have the privilege of investing a few moments over the Word of God. I just treasure these times together with you. Some of you whom I know so well, and the miles seem to drop away and it is as though you and I were seated together just talking about God’s Word. And what a precious time that is, isn’t it?
Well, we were on Ephesians 1:12, the purpose of God, “the good purpose which he has purposed in himself together, everything together in Christ to give us an inheritance, to work all things out after the council of his own will,” and the ultimate goal is that you and I, we should be to the praise of His glory. We who first trusted in Christ, “in whom” — now this is verse 13 “in whom he also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the earnest,” that’s our word down-payment, the down-payment of our inheritance, “until the redemption of the purchased possession”, here again, ”unto the praise of his glory.”
Now he has this phrase, “who first trusted in Christ.” You don’t begin to understand anything about the purpose of God until you commit yourself to the will of God. You know, we humans we say “I’m from Missouri. Show me and I’ll believe.” God just turns it around, He always does. He says you believe, and I’ll show you.
Here’s this man who had been born blind, the Lord Jesus approached him as we read the story in John chapter 9 and applies a homemade clay made of saliva and dust to those eyelids and says “Go wash that off in the pool of Silom.” The man went and washed and came back seeing and says, “Once I was blind,” he said “but now I see.” He had to take the action of commitment and trust before the miracle happened.
Go back in the Old Testament, when it was time for God’s people to go across Jordan and on into the land that God was to give them, the promised land we call it, there is a river across and here are some millions of people together with their little ones and their flocks and herds and so on. How are they going to do it? Well, God said, “Line up the priests with the Ark of the Covenant, and when the priest go forward let them step right in into the water, and when they step in the water, then God will take care of providing a dry passage across.”
You recall reading that story. God simply took care of the matter, but they had to get their feet wet first. Somebody ought to make a sermon on the topic, getting your feet wet. That would be a good, wouldn’t it preachers? (Laughs) They had to get their feet wet first before God did the miracle. Naaman the Syrian came to the prophet and asked to be healed of his leprosy. And the command came back, “Go wash seven times in the River Jordan.” And the Syrian general was insulted, he said, “Why? If I’m supposed to dip in a river, why send me to a muddy one? The rivers in Damascus are much cleaner and clearer than that:” He was insulted and then somebody had the courage to say, “If he’d ask you to do something hard you would have done it. Why not do this? It’s easy, isn’t it?”
And so he went on down to Jordan and dipped in the river and came back healed. He had to take the action first, “In whom ye first trusted that we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ, in whom he also trusted and after you believe you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” So here’s where we start today in our discussion of these things, with the solid awareness that commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ precedes any real understanding of the purpose of God and it also precedes any miraculous experience of the intervention of God in your life.
Pray all you want, Lord help me. And that’s a good prayer and He does hear your prayer, but you’ll get very little answer until you commit yourself to Him. Yield yourself to Him to do His will in your life. The word trust is not simply a mental point of view. I trust that it will not rain. No, no, when you trust Christ that means you commit yourself to Him, doesn’t it? Oh yes. See, there’s the difference. There’s the difference, “who first trusted in Christ.”
Well, have you committed yourself to His will as yet? Are there still some areas where you, my dear friend, need to say, “Jesus I’m going to stop fighting you on this. I’m going to give up on it. I’m yours”? Pray that prayer today, and you’ll begin to understand something what He’s doing in your life. Now he says, “in whom ye also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” And there’s two parallel phrases there, but they have a little bit different meaning. The word of truth means that the proclamation of God’s word is the ultimate basis for action that we take in terms of our eternal soul. It’s the word of truth.
And one of the most damaging concepts, I think, in our day has been that nothing is really permanently, solidly, objectively true. Everything seems to be relative, and as a writer in Time Magazine said some years ago, “Relativism isn’t of much use when you’re in the back seat of a car and tempted to do wrong.” I thought that was pretty cogent remark for a writer in a secular magazine.
Relativism doesn’t do much good one when you’re under pressure like that. No, it doesn’t. You see, it has to be true; it’s the word of truth. Tell me what is your attitude toward the Bible? Oh you say, “Well, come on now, Brother Cook, we all believe it, and we all revere it and we all read it, and you preach it.” I know, I know. But do you consider it absolutely true without any variance whatsoever in terms of its application to your life?
I was looking at a map one day and it was an older edition of a map. It had been published back in the 1970s, I guess. And so, as I looked at it, I recognize immediately that there were some things that were shown on the map that were no longer true; as some roads had been changed and other roads had been built to take their place. And so I had to adjust my thinking at that point in terms of what the facts were. It seems to me that many people take that attitude toward the inerrant Word of God. They say “Well, it was written a long time ago and you have to adjust your thinking. It’s a different day today. You have to adjust your thinking and it was written a long time ago.” Have you heard that? I certainly have.
No, it’s the Word of truth. Every word of God is true. That’s what the Bible says of itself, “Forever oh Lord thy word is settled in heaven.” And you may beg the question if you wish and say, how are you sure that the Bible is the Word of God? But there you have a whole string of arguments that can be brought up. The fact that it is a unity written over centuries by many different authors. It agrees with itself. Something that is impossible; otherwise that the prophecies that were given centuries before were fulfilled exactly as they were given and so on. All the different proofs that the Bible is indeed the Word of God.
I’m not going to try and argue that with you today because there isn’t any time. I’m going to make that presupposition that the Bible is not just contains but is the Word of the living God. It’s the word of truth. Alright? If that’d be so and since it is, then I need to adjust my attitudes and my conduct on the basis of that absolute truth. There’s nothing relative about it; it’s absolute. And if God said its yes, it’s yes. If He says no, it’s no. If he says don’t, that means don’t. If He says do, it means do. It means something else. Every word of God is true. Then is the Gospel, that’s our word good news, the good news of your salvation.
See, the way you do business with God is first you get serious about Him, it’s the word of truth, then you listen to the good news He has for you, the gospel of your salvation and then you commit yourself to Him, in whom also after you believe. You commit yourself to Him and then He pours out the Spirit of God upon you. You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Now this 13th verse, beloved, gives you then the process by which God does work in our lives. And I want you to get hold of it today and make it part of your basic thinking in the days that lie ahead. Will you?
First of all, after you heard the word of truth, get serious about the Bible, get serious about God’s Word. It is the word of truth. It’s not a maybe, not a happenstance, not something written long time ago that you have to adjust. It is the word of truth, get serious about it. Second, listen to the good news God has for you. Anytime you apply the Bible to your life, it’s good news. Anytime your reject it, its bad news. Alright? Anytime you apply the Bible to your life, it turns out to be good news, the good news of your salvation, Alright?
Then what do you do? You commit yourself to Christ, personal commitment to him after you believe. The word believe means commit. Commit yourself to him in faith. And then what? The Spirit of God is given to you to indwell your life to be the evidence, the down payment. You read in verse 14, we get to that the next time we get together–the down payment of our purchased possession.
There it is. Now how do you — in the next two minutes I want just to finish out this broadcast by answering the question, Alright, Brother Cook, if you want me to get serious about the Bible, how do I do it? Well, you certainly don’t do it by having me shout at you, do you? (Laughs) No. All of the sermons and exhortations in the world won’t help you if you don’t have a mind yourself to get serious about God’s Word.
And so I think you have to sit down and say now am I willing to do this, am I willing to get serious about the Bible? Am I willing to listen, really listen to what God has to say to me? And then am I willing to obey of what He tells me? That’s the first step. I think you have to do that all by yourself, beloved. I can’t do it for you, nor indeed sitting by your side could I help you. You have to do that yourself. If that’d be so, if you pass that point, if you said, “Yes God I am serious about your word, the Bible,” then what? Well, then start reading it prayerfully. Start reading it prayerfully. The psalmist has prayed, “Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”
Start reading the Bible prayerfully and read portions that speak to your heart, first of all. Don’t start in one of the difficult books of the Old Testament maybe, but read portions of the Bible that speak quickly to your heart and pray over them as your read. Jot down some of the things God says to you when you’re reading. And pray over them and let God speak to you and then, act on whatever He suggests to your heart. I’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Father God, today, oh may we be serious about Thy Word, and obedient to Thy will in Jesus name I pray this. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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