The Gospel Project – Sermon Outline
Sermons in this series
Title: God Speaks through His Word
Scriptures: Psalm 19:7-11
Connection to Unit Theme: God speaks, both through His world and through His Word. As God speaks through His Word, He makes clear His character and nature, mankind's character and nature, and how man can be reconciled to God through God's Son, Jesus Christ. This Word provides warning for disobedience and promises reward for obedience, with the greatest reward being God Himself.
Francis Bacon, the 15th-century scientist credited with developing the scientific method, said: "There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent us from falling into error: first the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the creation, which expresses His power." In last week's message we considered how God speaks through creation. In this message, we will consider how God speaks through His Word, the Bible.
Paul tells us that God is the divine author of the all the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16). Scripture is God's revelation of Himself and His plan of redemption, which He accomplishes through Jesus Christ (Luke 24:25-27). Let's look together as how God speaks through His Word.
I – God Speaks to Reveal His Character and Nature (vv. 7-9)
God's special revelation of Himself in His Word is an incredible picture of His grace. We could not know God if He did not take the initiative to reveal Himself. He has taken such initiative, and He has done so through His Word. David uses several words to refer to God's Word – law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, and rules. With each reference to God's Word, David lists an accompanying characteristic – perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, enduring, true, and righteous. Finally, David lists effects of God's Word. It revives, makes wise, brings rejoicing, enlightens.
It is important to remember that God's Word is His revelation of Himself to us. As such, we do not worship the Bible, but rather the One who gave it. The reason the Bible is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, enduring, and righteous is because God is. His revelation reveals, reflects, and is consistent with His character and nature. The reason we can become revived, wise, joyful, and enlightened by God's Word is because it points us to the One who can accomplish those things in us. God does not give us life, wisdom, and joy as gifts outside of Himself. He gives us Himself, and we find all those things in Him. It is the Word of God that points us to the God of the Word, who then completely satisfies our soul with Himself.
Application: When you read God's Word, do you marvel simply at the content of the book, or at the one to whom it points? As you read the Word this week, ask yourself, "What does this passage tell/show me about the character and nature of God?" Also, "How does God want to use this passage of Scripture to revive me, make me wise, give me joy, and/or enlighten my Spirit?" God's ultimate goal is to glorify Himself by making us more like Him. As John Piper puts it, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
II – God Speaks to Show that Our Desire Should Be for Him (vv. 10-11)
The Word of God should never be considered apart from the God of the Word. God did not reveal Himself in His Word so that we might treat the book as our greatest treasure. Instead, He gave us His book so we might know how to regard and worship Him as our greatest treasure – in Spirit and in truth. The reason God's Word is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey is because through it God leads us to Himself, the One who is preeminently desirable and who alone is worthy of our adoration. A growing love for the Word of God should naturally lead us toward a growing love for the God of the Word.
This does not mean the Word of God itself is not valuable. It is valuable, as a good gift from a good God. It not only tells us about God and what He is like, but it tells us about ourselves and what we are like. It warns us when we stray from God's standard – holiness. It reminds us that obedience to God's Word brings reward. The Word of God is the means by which the Spirit of God confronts a lost man with his sin and draws him to a restored relationship with God, through Christ (Romans 10). The Word of God is also the means by which the Spirit of God sanctifies believers (John 17:17), calling us to walk in greater obedience. But again, in all of this work, the Word of God directs our desire to the God of the Word.
Application: Can you say with the Psalmist, "My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times" (Ps. 119:20)? Or again, "Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them" (v. 129)? Ask God to give you a love for His Word and strength to obey it so that through it God might cultivate a greater love in your heart for Him. As He does, we will be challenged to live greater lives of obedience for His glory.
As we have seen, God speaks through His Word, revealing His character and nature. Through His Word, He also shows that our desire should be for Him. The Word of God shows the lost man, however, that we do not live up to the demands of God's holy nature and that our desire is not for Him. It brings the lost man face to face with His need to be reconciled to this Holy God, and shows how that can take place only by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Word of God also points the believer to the God of the Word, bringing about an ever-deepening love for the God who loved him first.