Volume. XXVII, No. 34
Sunday, 17 February 2013


The Virtue of God's Word - Part 2


The Statutes of the LORD are Right – Morally, Practically and Universally

 

Third, the Word of God is also called "the statutes of the LORD" (Psalm 19:8a). It speaks of a thing that is appointed or charged or specific orders from God and is right morally, practically and universally as the Psalmist says, “the statutes of the LORD…rejoices the heart [of the hearers]...” (Psalm 19:8a). Since the statutes of the Lord are right, there is no moral perversion in them. Thus, we can be confident that when we keep the statutes of the Lord, we are keeping true to what is pleasing and acceptable to Him. But some Christians may say, "There are certain commandments I don't like and they seem out-dated and impractical in our days." Well, maybe some of us don't like them, but God does. And they are right morally, practically and universally! The Bible tells us that God determines what is right, not man. The standard of right and wrong is not determined by situation (i.e. situational ethics) or based upon human experience. This is God’s universe; He made it, and He made the rules. Now, some of us may not like the law of gravitation, but we should not fool with it. If you go to the top of a ten story building, don't step off. Because God will not suspend the law of gravitation for you. It operates for everyone, doesn't it? So as God’s Law! The aim of God in creating and redeeming us is the delight He Himself enjoys in seeing His creatures delight in Him! Therefore, those of us who know the Word of God and the God of the Word should rejoice in this—we should find joy—actual pleasure in the Truth of God and relationship with God revealed in His Word! As Jonathan Edwards, a great American Theologian said, “the glorifying of God is nothing but rejoicing in the manifestations of Him.” In other words, the purpose of the knowledge of God is the enjoyment of God because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

 

The Commandment of the LORD is Pure, Enlightening the Eyes of Man

 

Fourth, the Word of God is called "the commandment of the LORD" (Psalm 19:8b). The Word "commandment" is a more general word for any kind of order. What that means is, God's Word gives us both broad principles to govern life, and specific orders to guide us in specific situations because it is pure, enlightening the eyes of man (Psalm 19:8b) Have you ever come across a time where having read the Word, you said to yourself, “Ah huh, thank you Lord for giving me this verse, this is exactly what I need for the solution to my problem.” We all have. It is because God’s Word is sufficient in a sense that it guides us even in specific situations and circumstances we meet. God’s Word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy; thus, His Word is also pure and holy because a pure and holy God can communicate no other way. When He says that man’s root problem is sin, not past bad experience, we have got to pay attention; when He says no one can be saved by obeying a set of moral codes or simply by being religious, we better listen. When He says, “my Son came into this world to die for your sin so that you may have life eternal,” we better believe. When He says believers may only experience true joy through obedience to His Law that enlightens the eyes of man, we better comply!

 

The Fear of the LORD will never fade or Corrode, diminishing because of Impurity

 

Fifth, the Word of God is also called "the fear of the LORD" (Psalm 19:9a). Fear, in this case, is to be understood as an expression of reverent awe and of respectful worship. And, it is deeply connected to the majesty of God Himself. Dear readers, what is our attitude toward the preaching of God’s Word? Do we listen with the sense of reverent awe and respect of God? What is the attitude when we read and study the Word of God? Do we have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty – the fear of the LORD? The Psalmist says that the fear of the Lord is also "clean." The expression refers to something that is ceremonially clean in His sight. What that means is that God's Word not only brings about a reverential awe and respect in the hearts of those who walk in it, but it also cleanses the hearts of those who already believe in Jesus and obey His commandments. When you hear about the Ten Commandments, does it give you a sense of reverential fear and awe? I believe it does, but if we don’t obey them, it does us no good. When God’s Word says “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Romans 12:2) and “learn not the way of the heathen,” (Jeremiah 10:2) in the way in which they talk, behave, dress and live their life. You see, we may respect the Word with awe and respect, but if we don’t keep them, we are no better than religious hypocrites of Jesus’ day.

 

The Judgments of the LORD have nothing False or Unrighteous

 

And, sixth, the Word of God is also called "the judgments of the LORD.” (Psalm 19:9) And, the Psalmist says it is true and righteous altogether. The word “judgment” refers to an act of deciding a case, as in a court of law. In other words, the Word of God gives us the judicial decisions concerning what is right, and good, and just. His Word settles disputes, and answers all the questions of right and wrong that we might have, and it enlightens the eyes of the readers! Dear friends, do you wish to know the truth pertaining to this life and beyond and be enlightened? Like Pilate, the governor who sent Jesus to the cross, you may also ask, “What is truth?" (John 18:38)* Little did Pilate know that God’s Truth was standing right in front of him in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ! For Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me!” No wonder David expresses its great value when he writes in verse 10, More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” That is why we, like the Psalmist, must read, believe and love the Holy Scriptures. The Psalmist (David) only had a relatively small portion of the Scriptures available in his day, yet he could say: "More to be desired are they than gold . . . sweeter also than honey . . . in keeping of them there is great reward" (vv. 10,11).

 

Conclusion

 

In summary, says John Piper, “the challenge before us is not merely to do what God says because He is God, but to desire what God says because He is good. The challenge is not merely to pursue righteousness, but to prefer righteousness. The challenge is to get up in the morning and prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures until we experience joy and peace in believing ‘the precious and very great promises of God' (Rom. 15:13; 2 Peter 1:4). With this joy set before us the commandments of God will not be burdensome (1 John 5:3) and the compensation of sin will appear too brief and too shallow to lure us." May God help us all!


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Dn Colin Gan. Next Lord’s Day: Dn Edwin D’Mello

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

*Basic Bible Knowledge Class & Chinese Bible Study start today 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 next Lord’s Day. 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: Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan (Melb/Adl); Sisters Lin Poh & Felicia Tan (Adl); & others who have arrived safely.

2. Church Activities, in the past week.

3. Granting of Temporary Resident Visa: Sis Xiao Hui Chye

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

5. Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Requests

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  Stephen Choi & Ministry; Bro Sun Sokha & Ministry (Phnom Penh).

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: Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Adl); Bro Lucas Yiew (Adl/Per); Sisters Xandrea Cai, Jillian Chia, Megan Lim & Sharon Ying (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. Final weeks of pregnancy - Sis Kerrie Lam. Good labour & safe delivery.

14.  Australian work visas - Sisters 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.

19. Session Meeting this afternoon: God’s wisdom, guidance & decision.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063