“ But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” – John 20:31 (KJV)
I can tell that this is going to be a “right on time” message because one of the first posts on Facebook I saw this morning was a question about the main issue facing the world-wide church today. There were some that listed a few sins, some that listed a few other things, but there was only a few of us who really understands the main epidemic that is killing the power in the church. What is the real issue facing the church today? How about that statistic I found yesterday from 2009 that said that 12% of the Christians they polled read their Bibles on a daily basis, and that means the other 88% use it as home decor.
That, my friends, is the number one issue facing the church today, and the reason I say that is because all the other issues that people were making comments about would be solved by simply returning to the Word of God. There isn’t a problem in the church today that cannot be corrected by a sincere return to having the Bible as the cornerstone…but the words of Paul to 2 Timothy 3:1-7 ring out as a prophetic message that’s being fulfilled right before our faces.
In today’s verse we read that one of the reasons we read the Bible is because that’s how we find out who Jesus is. If it weren’t for the Bible we wouldn’t know about Jesus, and we wouldn’t know that really the Bible is about Him.
We wouldn’t know things like: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We would never have come to understand that every Bible we hold in our hands is Jesus. How do I know that? The Bible says that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Now at first that might not resonate with us until we couple that with the first verse. When you understand that the Word was God, and that the Word became flesh…then the logical conclusion to draw here is that Jesus is the Bible…and the Bible is Jesus.
The Bible is the very foundation of the Christian faith, and it saddens me when I read statistics like I did about how out of the people polled in that survey in 2009 that only 12% of them read their Bibles every day. That’s why the church today has a form of godliness, but there’s no power in them…because there’s no Word of God being preached or taught in a correctly divided context. Today’s sermons are about the “feel good” religion, the prosperity message, and lately “positive thinking” messages.
Those doctrines are absolutely killing the power of the body of Christ especially when you think about the fact that 12% of the people in Joel Osteen’s church read their Bibles everyday. The more startling thing to me is that those 12% who read the Bible daily still attend his church. I liked his messages at first until I started to realize what he wasn’t teaching, and how everything he taught had such a “positive thinkers” mentality behind it.
Ummm. I am all for taking every thought into the captivity and obedience of Christ. That’s Biblical. What isn’t Biblical is that we can “think ourselves” into a better life. Jesus didn’t say that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed if we looked at that fig tree and thought about how wonderful it would be if it would just get out of our way it would obey us…did He? No…He said to do what? Speak to it.
By the way, I’m not part of the “name it and claim it” crowd neither. I do believe in positive confession. I do believe that the power of life and death is in the tongue, and I do believe that we can speak ourselves right out of a blessing if we’re speaking from a place of doubt and unbelief. However, I don’t believe that if I name that I’m going to be the owner of a $250,000 house that God is suddenly going to bless me with a title-deed to a house. The practical side to that is that we have to be good stewards of our finances, and eventually one day save the kind of money we need to buy a house.
Now, I do believe in positive confession. I do believe that you can confess your way to healing and out of healing. I do believe that you can speak good things, and bad things into your life. However, I believe that in all reality faith speaks, and while I believe having a positive mindset is a good thing. I’m fairly certain that when Paul wrote Philippians 4:8 he had some thing much deeper in mind that “positive thinking”.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I believe when it comes to our thought life, what Paul was trying to get at here was that our thinking ought to line up with the Word of God. Whatsoever things are true. The Bible says: “Your Word is Truth” John 17:17 (KJV). Whatsoever things are honest. The Bible says: “God is not man that He should lie.” Numbers 23:19 (KJV). Whatsoever things are just. The Bible says: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12 (KJV). Well, who gave the law? God did right? So that means God’s Word is just. Whatsoever things are pure, lovely, of good report, and praise worthy.
Every single part to Philippians 4:8 is an attribute of the Word of God. God’s Word is spoken in love. God’s Word is always a good report. God’s Word is pure. So, instead of using this as a way to illustrate that we as Christians ought to be “positive thinkers” really isn’t Biblical at all. We’re to be Word of God thinkers, and that only comes by making sure that we are searching the scriptures daily, studying to show ourselves approved, and making sure that the book of the law is our meditation day and night.
If you want to have a powerful, positive thought life…then feed your mind on the Word of God, and start confessing and speaking it out over your finances, unsaved loved ones, and those who are sick…especially if you’re sick.
No friends, this isn’t some cognitive thinking class…this is about the unadulterated, unblemished, and perfect Word of God that’s profitable for everything…and tells us the most important thing of all…about Jesus.
Interactive Study Questions:
This verse is said to be written only about the Gospel according to John, but I believe the Bible is written to tell the story of Jesus. Maybe I’m just one of them old-fashioned Jesus Freaks who believes that everything is about Jesus, but then again when I read the Word of God…it’s confirmed to me that I’m right.
- Based on today’s scripture…what is the purpose of John?
- What does John mean by “the power of his name”?
Heavenly Father, forgive us for departing from Your Word, and help us to understand that Your Word is life, it’s truth, and it’s got everything we need to solve the issues and problems not just in our lives, but in the church. I pray, Lord God, that You would raise up a generation of preachers, teachers, prophets, pastors, and evangelists who still believe, read, teach, and preach the Word as You instructed and commanded us to do through Paul’s letter to Timothy. I pray all who read these messages would have a burning passion in their hearts that’s only quenched by spending time in Your Word…for thy Word is Truth, and I thank You for it. I pray these things in Jesus’ might name…Amen & Amen.
The Bible is written for Jesus, it’s written about Jesus, and it is Jesus. After all, if you can come to a different conclusion then I have about what the Bible means when it said three different times: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here’s a bonus study question for you…who can tell me all three places where that’s written? If you can’t…then I suggest that’s a good reason to get out your Bible and look it up. There’s no prize for knowing where they are…other than knowing where the Bible says the same thing three times.
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Blessings & Grace;
Categories: Teaching Series