Sermon #1400 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: The Fourfold
Purpose of Holy Scripture
Text: Romans 15:4
Subject: The Purpose of God in Giving us His Word
Date: Tuesday Evening – April 11, 2000
Tape # V-78a
Readings: Larry Criss – Rex Bartley
When trouble comes your way, when your heart is heavy, when all is dark, and your soul trembles with the heaviness of the burden you carry, where do you go for help? Where do you seek comfort?
If you are wise, you go to the one Book that was written specifically to give you comfort, the Word of God. Opening the pages of this blessed Book, we find exactly what we need, as we bow before our Father’s throne, seeking mercy and grace to help in time of need.
The Holy Spirit tells us plainly that this is specifically the reason why the Scriptures were written (Rom. 15:4).
When I speak of the Scriptures, the Bible, the Word of God, I am talking about the whole Book of God, the Old Testament as well as the New. The Old Testament is as much a book of comfort and hope as the New. In fact, when the Apostle Paul penned the words of our text, he was referring specifically to the Old Testament. The New Testament had not yet been written.
You see, the New Testament was not written to replace the Old Testament, but to complete it. We rejoice to know that the ceremonies and statutes of the Mosaic dispensation are no longer binding upon us because Christ has fulfilled them all. “Christ is the end of the law,” and we are now “dead to the law” in him. That means that “we are not under the law, but under grace.” What good news that is!
However, that does not mean that the Old Testament is irrelevant. Not at all. It is more relevant now than ever. It has the same authority and comfort for us today as it did for David in his day. And it is even more precious today because we who believe now read it and understand it in the light of the New Testament.
Proposition: Our text tells us plainly that – God’s intention, purpose, and design in giving us this Inspired Volume is that we might learn the way of life in Christ and enjoy the patience, comfort, and hope of the Scripture.
Divisions: The title of my message tonight is The Fourfold Purpose of Holy Scripture. My outline is in our text. Why was this blessed Book written? The Scriptures were written…
1. For Our Learning.
2. To Teach Us Patience.
3. To Give Us Comfort.
4. That We Might Have Hope.
I. First and foremost, the Word of God was written for our learning.
The Bible was not written that we might simply learn historical facts, moral ethics, religious ceremonies, and doctrinal truth. Without question, this is a Book which sets before us specific facts, principles of life, gospel ordinances, and doctrinal truths. And we cherish those things. We count nothing in the Word of God irrelevant, or insignificant. But the intent of Scripture is far greater, far more spiritual, practical and beneficial. The Word of God has been given to us that we might learn the way of life and salvation in Christ, that we might know God as he is revealed in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and obtain eternal life in the knowledge of him.
A. The purpose of God in giving us this Book is that we might know Christ and be saved by him.
Everything in the Book of God points to, speaks about, and reveals the Son of God.
Note: In preaching the gospel fully, we preach the Scriptures fully. Christ crucified is all the counsel of God.
1. The prophets speak of Christ (Ps. 22-24; Isa. 53).
2. The types and ceremonies of the Old Testament point to Christ (Passover – Daniel in the Lion’s Den -- Noah and the Ark --Smitten Rock).
3. All the law of God was given to show us our need of Christ, to shut us up to Christ alone or salvation.
4. The four gospels tell us what Christ did.
5. The epistles tell us what he taught and explain the nature and necessity of his redeeming accomplishments as our Savior.
6. The Book of Revelation tells us of the certainty of Christ triumph and glory.
B. In order for sinners to be saved, we must be instructed in the gospel of Christ as it is revealed in this Book.
Let men argue and debate as they will, no man can be saved apart from the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God. God does not save sinners apart from the knowledge of the gospel, without the knowledge of Christ (1 Pet. 1:23-25).
1. The heathen are lost without the gospel (Rom. 1:16-20).
2. And religious people are lost without the gospel (Gal. 1:6-8).
This is the first purpose of Scripture. – This Book was written that we might be taught and learn of God the way of life in Christ.
II. Second, the Scriptures were written to teach us patience.
Patience is that calm, even temper and unruffled spirit with which believing men and women bear the evils of life. Someone said, “It (patience) is not a careless, indolence, a stupid insensibility, mechanical bravery, constitutional fortitude, or daring stoutness of spirit, resulting from fatalism, philosophy, or pride. It (patience) is derived from a divine agency, (the indwelling grace and power of God the Holy Spirit), nourished by heavenly truth, and guided by Scriptural rules.” The patience of the Scriptures, that patience taught, exemplified, and encouraged in the Scriptures, involves many things and reaches out in many directions.
This is our Lord’s admonition to us. – “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19).
A. Patience is faith’s willing resignation to the will of God.
Believers submit to God in all things, willingly, not perfectly, but willingly. This is an essential aspect of faith. C. H. Spurgeon was exactly right when he wrote, “ The man who will not yield himself to the divine will and meekly bear it, whatever it may be, is evidently rebellious against God.”
Illustrations: Job (Job 1:20-22; 2:10)
Eli (1 Sam. 3:18)
Note: If we truly believe God, we will bow before him in patience, no matter what his providence brings.
B. Patience is a steady continuance in faith and obedience to God.
True faith is not a temporary faith. True love is not a spasmodic love. God’s saints walk before him in patient, obedient faith and love, regardless of loss, cost, or opposition.
Illustration: Noah served God with great patience.
C. Patience also has something to do with bearing one another’s burdens, weaknesses, and infirmities, for Christ’s sake.
May God teach me patience in dealing with, caring for, and ministering to his people. That is what we see in the context. Is it not?
D. Patience is simply waiting on God.
If I believe God, I can wait upon him with patience and resignation. “Though the vision tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come. It will not tarry.”
1. Wait upon the Lord. He will fulfil his word. -- (David waiting to be made King).
2. Wait upon the Lord. He will do you good in all things.
3. Wait upon the Lord. He will perform his work and save his people.
· No Need for Fear!
· No Need for Compromise!
· No Need for Fretfulness!
III. Third, the Book of God was written, God has given us His Word, that we might enjoy the comfort of the Scriptures.
No one in this world lives without trouble. If misery loves company, misery has a lot of people to love. We all have much bitterness in our cup, much pain in our portion, and much sorrow in our situation. “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”
· 2 Corinthians 4:18-5:11
These things are the portion of sinners in this world, saved sinners as well as lost sinners. But believers have a medicine the unbelieving can never swallow. – “The comfort of the Scriptures.” Our comfort is not in reciting verses like good luck charms. Our comfort is the message of God given us in Holy Scripture. That which troubles and angers proud rebels is the the very thing that comforts us.
When trouble comes, my brother, when your heart breaks, my sister, tke down the Book of God. Open this Medicine Chest, and find the comfort you need.
Here is my comfort…
A. The Gospel of Christ
“There’s no bad news since I got the good news!”
B. My Relationship with the Eternal God
He who is the God of the universe is my heavenly Father! He cares for me. (Ps. 23; Heb. 4:16; 12:5-11).
A loving Father’s hand
Will never cause his child a needless tear.
C. The Character of my God
1. He is absolutely sovereign (Ps. 115:3).
2. He delighteth in mercy.
3. He is compassionate and good. – “God is love.”
4. He is faithful.
5. He is immutable (Mal. 3:6).
D. The Promises of God
This Book is filled with great and precious promises, promises made by God himself to you and me.
Child of God, whatever your present need is, there is a promise in the Book of God for you. Find the promise and, believing God, you shall enjoy “the comfort of the Scriptures.”
Illustration: “T - P” – Tried and Proved
Let me show you three things that I hope you will take home into your own heart, for the comfort of your soul. The Word of God describes a bag, a book and a bottle, which ought to console our hearts throughout the days of this earthly pilgrimage.
1. God has given us A Bag for our Sins (Job 14:17).
Like men buried at sea are sewn and sealed in a weighted bag and cast into the depths of the sea, so the Lord God has cast the sins of his people into the depth of the sea of his infinite forgiveness.
2. The Lord has written A Book for our Names (Ps. 139:16; Phi.4:3; Rev. 13:8). Take heart, child of God, all is well for those whose names are written in the book of God!
3. The Lord God keeps A Bottle for our Tears (Ps. 56:8-9).
It was customary at ancient Egyptian funerals for mourners to have a small sponge or cloth to wipe away their tears. Then they were squeezed into a tear bottle and placed in the tomb with the dead, symbolizing the care the mourners had for the one who died. Even so, the Lord God cares for us.
Can anything be more comforting? In this world of sin, sorrow, and death, the Lord our God has put our sins in a bag and buried them, our names in a book to remember them, and our tears into a bottle to show his tender care for us.
IV. Fourth, the Lord God has given us this blessed Volume so that we who believe might live in the hope of the Scriptures.
God has, upon the pages of this Book, given us “good hope through grace.” Faith has to do primarily with the past, looking back to what Christ has accomplished. Hope is based upon faith. It arises from faith. And it looks forward to the future.
We live by faith; and, believing God, we live in hope. We live in hope of…
A. Christ’s Appearing (Tit. 2:11-14).
B. Being with Christ and Like Christ Forever (1 John 3:3; Rom. 8:30).
C. God’s Manifest Glory in All His Creation (Rev. 19:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:25; Eph. 2:7).
1. Such hope gives us patience and comfort.
2. Such hope teaches us to turn loose of the world (2 Cor. 4:18).
Illustration: “These are the things that make it hard to die.”
This is the fourfold purpose of Holy Scripture; ad this is my desire for each of you.
Illustration: The Choir Singing