The Word of God

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Psa 19:7 KJV) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

I think sometimes we Christians take for granted the good ole King James Bible that we hold in our hands. It was the lineage of this Bible which spurred on the Reformation. In 1516, Erasmus created his first edition of the Greek text and then in 1517 came the Reformation. When God’s word was distributed to the people, then the light of the true Gospel began to make many inroads, not only in the hearts of people who were becoming converted by the Word of God, but the influence of it began to build western civilization as we know it. Wherever we find progress in society, normally you will find the Bible and God’s people behind it. What I want to do in this weeks writing is to look at the unique ability the Bible has to “convert our soul.” The word “convert” in the Hebrew is the very common word “sh v” which means “to return or turn back.”

We know that the Word of God is powerful and can cause a person to become saved but there is another aspect to the Bible that, I believe, that many in Christendom overlook to our detriment. That aspect is the “post-conversion position” that gives Christians a unique discernment of life and its circumstances. I call it a position because no other people in the world beside the redeemed of God have the ability to delve deeper into God’s Word through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

So I want to focus in on the conversion or turning back capability which the Bible alone possesses. It is a partial use of the Scriptures when we use our Bibles just for the purpose of doctrinal studies. I know as a writer and Bible teacher, I too, sometimes pull out my Bible, find the doctrinal emphasis I am looking for and then put the Bible away. The Scriptures not only have a great impact on God’s Elect for salvation, but it also has a great impact on our lives after salvation and once we realize this, our lives will show a remarkable stability. In such a frantic world, stability is one of the greatest gifts of God that His children can experience.

The Word of God turns back our…

Emotions
If there is one element which can describe our present society, it is runaway emotions. This is why sales of tranquilizers are at an all time high. People going through emotional distress and sometimes for the smallest thing. God’s word can turn the emotions of His children back to calm and peace. Probably one of the most comforting verses in the Bible is Psalm 23:2. (Psa 23:2 KJV) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Have you ever been in a place where there are green pastures and still waters? There is such a calming effect within that milieu. If you go to a park that has much green fields and just sit there under the trees, you will experience a tranquility. This is what the word of God does for our emotions. As a beautiful verdant area can help our physical make up, the Scriptures can bring a calm reassurance to us via the promises of God. (Psa 29:11 KJV) The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. The blessing of the Lord in the life of a believer is peace. It is a shame how many Christians are living with anticipating Heaven while not allowing God to minister to them in the present. You may not be taken home for another 50 years, why not seek the calmness of God during your stay on earth.
Perspective
How many times when a situation comes into our life, we immediately take the most negative perspective we can. We always seem to look on the depressing side of things. The word of God teaches us to look for the hand of God in our situations. No matter what comes into our life it is by the permission and design of God. Did Job’s situation just happen or did God engineer those circumstances to show the powers of darkness and the rest of us that a believer can remain faithful under the most dire circumstances. God was showing to the world that His salvation plan was real and not a religious crutch. It is interesting that Job, being a saved man, was the only one of his family and friends who had the proper perspective on what was happening, even though he did not know everything that was happening at that point. (Job 5:7 KJV) Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job knew that man on earth would face all kinds of trouble. The Bible teaches us that as Christians, we will also suffer the same things the rest of the world will suffer. However, what sets us apart is our perspective on the situation. The world may deem things as bad luck but we see things as the perfect will of God and we have the confidence that whatever God is doing, He will accomplish it to His glory.
Outlook
Many times when things may look bleak in the present, our outlook may become gloomy and we then start acting wrongly today in anticipation of a depressing tomorrow. The Bible can refocus our future outlook and place it back into line with the principles of Scripture. When we look at this world, we may think it is out of control but nothing could be farther from the truth. This world is being directed by God as He is bringing everything together for the last day. This world is not out of control but is kept under God’s control. To the world, events may seem random but to those who know God, there is no such thing as randomness. (2 Ki 19:35 KJV) And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. Can you imagine when Sennacherib woke up and saw 185,000 of his army dead, he probably had no idea what happened and may even looked like a plague that hit them but the Bible tells us that God slew them.

Not only does the Word of God give us the proper outlook on a global basis, but for our own personal lives. (Jer 29:11 KJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. God gives many passages stating how He deals with His children and that no matter what happens to us on this earth, we can have the confidence knowing that God’s plans for His children are never damaging. (Heb 10:36 KJV) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. What promise? (1 John 2:25 KJV) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Actions
When situations arise in our life or a temptation flares up, the Bible gives us the way that we should act in these situations. Sometimes we may take a wrong action and the ripple effect could affect us for years to come. The Bible teaches us how to cut off our own reactionary wisdom and to follow godly wisdom in our lives. (Prov 2:10-11 KJV) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; {11} Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:  Godly wisdom will always protect the believer. It is always detrimental for the believer to take a course of action which is based on worldly ways.
Summary
We have seen just four ways that the Word of God can turn our ways and actions from the ways of the world back to a biblical pattern. When a Christian stays upon the Word of God, they will be consistently converting their ways from worldliness to Christian. The Bible is our guidebook to keep us on the straight and narrow. When we forsake the teachings of Scripture for the teachings of man, we then lower our standards and with that lowering, sin can creep in much easier. If we continue to filter our entire life, not just parts of it, through the Scriptures, then we are going to know a level of living that the world can only dream about. When a person is trained from the inside to face the world’s challenges and not forced to react from the outside with the senses, that person is going to know true peace and may possibly avoid many physical diseases also. There is a connection.  (11/7/03)

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