Volume. XXVII, No. 33
Sunday, 10 February 2013


The Virtue of Gods' Word - Part 1


According to C. S. Lewis, Psalm 19 is the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world. Indeed, this psalm is perhaps the most concise summary of the self-revelation of God in scripture, namely that God has revealed Himself in His creation as well as in the Scriptures. In both cases God reveals Himself through His Word. Such revelation is beautifully expressed by the words of the Psalmist. The Psalmist, David, says that the universe which God has created has a voice which reveals to us the glory of God. That voice of the creation speaks a universal language and surrounds us with brilliance and glory. And through that voice, God reveals Himself as the Creator. The Word of God also has a voice; it speaks in numerous languages and shapes and forms. That Word of God comes to us in the form of the law, the testimony, the statutes, the commandment, the fear, and the judgments of the LORD. Through the voice of God’s Word we hear not only God revealing Himself, but He also reveals to us the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ. It reveals God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as Creator, Redeemer, and Restorer of all things. And the Word of God also tells us that He loves us, cares for us and has sent His Son to live and die for our sin in order to redeem us from the misery of this life and save us from eternal damnation. How glorious God’s Word is! In Psalm 19, the Psalmist explains seven glorious statements about the Word of God and describes for us its virtue. He uses a variety of expressions to refer to the Word of God, namely the law, the testimony, the statutes, the commandment, the fear, and the judgments. Though there are seven different terms, it is best to see these as poetic terms describing God’s written revelation in general, rather than one specific type of revelation. So, let us spend some time to look at the significance of each statement.

 

The Law of the LORD is Perfect

 

First, the Word of God is called "the law of the LORD" in verse 7 of Psalm 19. This, of course, reminds us of the law that God gave to His people back in the Old Testament through Moses His servant. The Hebrew word for law itself means "direction" or "instruction." And the Psalmist says that the law of the LORD is “perfect” (v.7a). Because the Word of God is perfect, it gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Aren’t we glad that the God who created us also gives us “direction and instruction” as to how we may live a purposeful life? Because the Law of the Lord is perfect, there is nothing missing of what we need—His Word is absolutely sufficient for all that we need for faith and practice so that we may place total confidence in it.

 

Dear friends, though the Law of the LORD is perfect, it cannot save you. There is nothing wrong with the Law of God—it is our sin that makes the Law of God look bad and brings forth death! The great apostle Paul says, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin" (Romans 7:12-14). There is nothing wrong with the perfect Law of God, but there is something intrinsically wrong with all of us because we cannot keep God’s Law perfectly. Therefore, the Law was given to show us that we are sinners before God. And when the Psalmist says “the law of the LORD is perfect, ‘converting’ the soul”(Psalm 19:7a), the word “converting” is better understood as “reviving,” or bringing new life to the soul. In other words, there is power in the reading, studying and hearing of the Word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit. It actually changes the person for the better – it converts the soul which is dead in trespasses and sins as the Word of God says (Ephesians 2:1). It is in this sense, the Word of God is a greater revelation (i.e. than natural revelation), greater than what nature could reveal because it tells us much more about our Holy God and about our desperate need for a Saviour. It reveals Him as the God of mercy and grace, as reflected in the structure of this psalm and throughout the Scripture!

 

The Testimony of the LORD is Reliable

 

Second, the Word of God is called "the testimony of the LORD" (Psalm 19:7b). In this case, God\'s Word is viewed as that which bears testimony or witness of its Divine Author—GOD Himself. While the creation testifies that God exists, His Word authenticates the Bible itself as being God-breathed, as the very Word of God! And, it is also sure, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7b). The word "sure" implies that God’s Word is totally trustworthy. It means, what the Word of God tells us about God and His will for us is firm and solid; and we can rest our total confidence upon it! Because the Word of God is so reliable and certain, therefore, it does the work of “making wise the simple” or gives wisdom to ordinary people. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust the sure Word of the LORD. They are considered wise because they know where they came from; they know the purpose of their living and they know where they are going! Dear friends, do you know where man came from? Do you know the ultimate purpose of your life? Do you know where you are going beyond this life? This Book has the answer!

(…...to be continued)


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Dn Colin Gan

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm.

*Bible Study books for Ladies’ Fellowship now available from Dns Purdee Yeo.

*Basic Bible Knowledge Class & Chinese Bible Study start next Lord’s Day at 1:30 pm. Anyone interested in the Christian Faith, Baptism, Affirmation or Membership Transfer, please see Ps Weng or any Session member by today.

*Adult Sunday School (Gospel of Luke) will start on 24 Feb. All are encouraged to attend.

*Combined Ebenezer-Hope Family Bible Camp Please register as soon as possible.

*Ebenezer BPC (Melb) needs a new & expanded car park. If able to help with costs, please contact our Treasurer, Dn David Yeo.


Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Lond); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe (USA); Rev George van Buuren (Adl); Dns Joyce Gong (Canb/Adl); Bro Simon & Sis Demelza Ting & family (S’pore/Adl); Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (USA/Adl)); Sisters Mariam Atijatuporn & Jayden (Adl); Christabelle Selvanayagam (Sri Lanka), Catherine Teng (Sibu) & Sharon Ying (S’pore); & others who have arrived safely.

2. Availability of a Stall at Adelaide Uni during O-Week.

3. Church Activities, in the past week.

4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

5. Visitors & new worshippers.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Rev Srun Chivan (Sihanoukville).

3. Ministry in New Life BPC (London); Healing & health: Ps & Sis Ki.

4. Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions: Rev Keith Coleman, Board members & missionaries.

5. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

6. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & Ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melb, Vic).

7. House of Hope, Cebu - God’s guidance for counsellors, & drug addicts to receive Christ & be healed.

8. Ministry in Hope BPC - Ps & Sis Weng . 

9. Journey mercies: Sis Felicia Tan (Adl); & others who are travelling. 

10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

11. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Corinne Teng; & others looking for  stable jobs.

12. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches

13. Health in pregnancy - Sis Kerrie Lam

14.  Australian work visas - Sisters Xiao Hui Chye, Clara Sim & Felicia Tan

15. Australia - God’s wisdom & guidance for our politicians.

16. Queensland floods - comfort for those who lost their loved ones and properties. Salvation of souls

17. O-Week at Adelaide Uni: International students to hear the Gospel and come to our Lord Jesus.

18.  More Hopefuls to attend Bible Study classes, fellowship activities & getting involved in God’s work.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063