Today’s Scripture: “44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Psalm 119:44-45
We return to Psalm 119 to continue the discussion we’ve had over the past couple days about obeying the Word of God. We’ve been talking about how it’s not enough to just hear the Word, but we must do something with the Word we hear as well. I am excited to find out what it is that the Lord would have to say to us today as we talk about the “Freedom of Obeying The Word”.
Psalm 119 continues to some what be an underwriting chapter of the Bible for our series here on “Why Read The Bible?”. We haven’t visited Psalm 119 for a while, but here we are again using it to continue to talk about obeying the Word. So, now we’ve heard from David that it’s not enough to just hear the Word, we heard from James (the brother of Jesus) that it’s not enough to just hear the Word, and of course, we heard from Jesus Himself that it’s not enough just to hear the Word of God…that the hearing of the Word should be followed by action.
However, looking at it from the concept of freedom is intriguing to me. David writes “I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Do you mean to say that obeying the Word of God is liberating? Well…yes and no. First of all…David wrote it. Secondly…we all know that He who the Son sets free is free indeed. We also know that being set free at salvation is just the beginning. There are many other things in our lives that God will eventually have to deliver us and set us free from…right?
So, what David is saying here is something that’s quite exciting to me that I never really considered as a reason to read the Bible myself, but that’s the point of this series…fresh revelation as to why reading the Bible is so important for us as believers.
Freedom. As we inch closer to the Independence Day here in the United States of America one of the things that’s always talked about is that we “broke the chains of tyranny from Great Britain.” Don’t you know that when we come to Jesus and confess Him as Lord and Savior of our lives that He breaks the chains of tyranny that sin, death, and Satan once had over our lives? We received freedom by accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith, and once we responded in faith by confessing Jesus Christ as Lord…we were given freedom…freedom from spending eternity in hell.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s an awesome illustration of what David is writing about here. It is simple, but some times it’s good to not overly complicate things isn’t it!?! Sure, in my life there have been many things that God has set me free from as a result of me hearing the Word, and responding to the Word I heard. I have been set free from the bondage of alcoholism, pornography, and even slothfulness. Those things came as a result of hearing the Word, and doing something with the Word that I heard. So, yes, indeed…there is freedom in obeying the Word of God.
That brings me to this point. If it’s true that freedom comes from obeying God’s Word…then that means that bondage comes from disobeying the Word. That means that even as born-again, spirit-filled believing Christians we can find ourselves in bondage to things by simply not obeying the Word of God.
Isn’t that right? I mean a Christian who is born-again and spirit-filled can be addicted to pornography right? It’s certainly not God’s will for someone to be addicted to pornography, but what happens here is that Christians who are addicted to pornography having allowed the Word of God they have heard on sexual immorality to get into their hearts, and begin to walk those scriptures out. Freedom from that addiction will only come by obedience to the Word of God. There’s many scriptures that can help here…a few of them being “greater is He that’s in me than he that’s in the world.”, “I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.”, and my personal favorite: “There is victory in Jesus.”.
There’s many more things that born-again believers can find themselves in bondage to if we’re not careful to obey the Word of God…isn’t there. Sadly a lot of those things revolve around sexual sin. Things like adultery. We all know the Word of God is clear that if we’re married then we ought to not go outside of the boundary of our marriage to sleep with other people…right? So, why is it that adultery is just as ramped in the body of Christ as it is in the world? I’ll tell you why…there is a severe lack of preaching of the Word of God.
See, here’s where we get back to preaching and teaching the Word of God. No one ever really likes to preach on sin…do we? I know I certainly don’t enjoy sitting through services where the Lord feels it necessary for my pastors to preach a message that is dealing with a particular sin or sins. However, the awesome thing about New Life Christian Center is that I have three pastors who are unashamed to preach the Word of God. Therefore, sometimes they are going to have to preach on sin
See, friends, there was a question a while back over on Facebook that a certain poster was asking what the greatest issue facing the church today was. There were several different answers, and eventually I waited as long as I could before I responded by saying that the greatest issue facing the body of Christ today is the refusal to “preach the Word”. If the Word of God was preached than it would solve and deal with a lot of these other issues that are listed.
Can I say something here? I believe that all of the major issues that are damaging to the body of Christ could and would be solved by one simple thing. Preaching the Word. Why? Because you cannot tell me that all these moral issues that people are practicing in the church today would be going on if the Word of God was the focal point of the pulpits in this country. Why weren’t there all these issues in the days of old? I mean you never really heard about infidelity in the church until the fall of a few guys like Jimmy Swaggart, you didn’t hear about financial issues until we heard about Jim & Tammy Baker, and there wasn’t all this crazy stuff going on for many…many years.
I believe that the decline of the moral fabric in the church is directly related to the decline of the passion and obedience to one simple Bible verse. Preach the Word. That’s a command. It’s not a suggestion, but today people would rather preach from a Rick Warren or Joel Osteen book instead of THE Book. Today preachers would rather talk about prosperity, and become nothing more than prosperity pimps selling everything from healing oil to portions of their anointing for whatever you can give towards their ministry. Today rather than offend people by telling them that Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life…they would rather offend God by telling them that they really just don’t know anymore or that there’s a bit of truth to every religion, or that they’re going to leave the judging of someone’s heart to God…because they just don’t know who is and who isn’t saved.
Listen…I know who is and who isn’t saved. If you have never believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord…you are not saved. You cannot purchase anyone’s anointing because it wasn’t ever anything that they could purchase. Jesus purchased the anointing by His death, burial and resurrection on the Cross. You cannot sell that and think that God’s okay with you doing that…and you also cannot point to anywhere in Scripture where anyone was able to buy someone’s anointing. Finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading “The Purpose Filled Life” by Rick Warren, “It’s Not About Me” by Max Lucado, or any other book by any other Christian author. I have nothing against those books, and I’m sure there is a lot of really good insight in those books. BUT…there is absolutely positively NO redeeming value in any of those books. Yes, you may gain some knowledge, understanding, and a better biblical perspective…but not one person is going to get saved because they read “The Purpose Filled Life”. They are going to get saved by hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ that’s only found in the Word of God…and even then they are only really going to be saved when they believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord.
So…I believe the reason the church is under such bondage today is because they have strayed and disobeyed the Word of God. It’s a very simple word, but something that few seem to want to do anymore because they either feel the Bible isn’t relevant in today’s society or they feel that the Old Paths are outdated and won’t work today.
Well…I don’t know what their Bible reads, but I know that mine says that strict adherence to the Word of God will take care of a lot of these social, moral, and sexual issues that have invaded the body of Christ. Everyone in the body wants this “breakthrough doctrine” that’s been preached…well…if you want a breakthrough start preaching and teaching and hearing and doing the Word of God…and I guarantee that breakthrough that you’ve been wanting is going to come…start obeying the Word of God.
Freedom. I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to live in bondage. Sure. I do still have things that I need to learn to walk out and be obedient to the Word of God about. I know that. I told you that yesterday that if you’re looking for someone who is flawless and doesn’t make mistakes then this isn’t the ministry for you to follow…because I am most certainly not flawless. I don’t have a 100% when it comes to following the Word of God, and being obedient to the Word of God. I’m not willing to live in that kind of deception. Remember that John writes in his first epistle that if we say we have no sin then we make God a liar, and the truth is not in us. So…I’m not ever going to sit here and write to you that I am perfect, and that I follow the letter of God’s law to a “T” because I don’t…and I’d be lying to you.
But one thing that you can count on from this ministry and it’s pastor is that we will always be accountable to preach and teach the Word. I like freedom a lot better than bondage…and now that I know the more Word of God that I obey the more freedom comes…it makes me want to work that much harder to allow the Word of God to work in all the areas of my life…Amen?
Points for Pondering:
“ So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Psalm 119:44-45
- Why did David devote himself to God’s commands?
- Why would obeying God’s word lead to freedom?
Conclusion & Prayer:
So, we continue to wind down this series by talking about our response to the Word of God. We spent most of this series talking about the Word of God itself, and now we’ve been talking about why we should read the Bible…and that we shouldn’t just read it…but do something about what we’ve read. As always with many of the messages in this series I have on simple piece of advice, admonishment or encouragement…and that is this: Pick up that old dusty Bible and start studying.
Now…I would like to add one last thing: Do what it says.
Heavenly Father, thank You for today’s message. Thank You for speaking to us today about the freedom that comes from obeying Your Word, and the bondage that comes from not obeying Your Word. Lord, help us to become faithful doer’s of Your Word…and not just readers and hearers only. We want breakthrough, we want freedom, and up until this point maybe many of us (including myself) forgot to link these things with obedience to Your Word. So, give us, Lord God the ability, strength, and determination to not only be readers and hearers…but obeyer’s of Your Word. In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen