World View

Pastor Jerry Gillis - May 29, 2016

The Christian's world view should be shaped by the self-revelation of God in Jesus through Scripture.

Community Group Study Notes

  • What is the difference between treating our time in God’s Word like a New Year’s resolution versus treating it like air and water? How do you know which one it is for you?
  • Why is the Bible so critical to the shaping of our world view?
  • What steps will you take to consistently get into God’s Word for yourself? Who will help hold you to this?


Memory Verse

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:103-105)

Sermon Transcript

So sometimes in the ministry of the gospel the pastor has to be a number of different things in communicating a message. Sometimes you have to be a philosopher, sometimes you have to be an apologist, sometimes you have to be a prophet of sorts, sometimes you have to be a communicator, sometimes you have to be a teacher, among other things. And then sometimes you have to be all of them in the same message. And that makes it challenging, but that's what today is going to be. I'm going to have to be all of those things in one message.

Now I'm going to go ahead and tell you upfront and give you fair warning. For those of you that are note takers, get ready. For those of you that aren't, you probably need to. And for those of you who maybe expect me to be in the lowest form of simpleton today, you're going to be sadly mistaken, because I'm basically going to do - in some way - a masters level class on the Scripture. And the reason that I'm doing that is because of what we need to understand in terms of what we're talking about in this idea of world view. So you've had fair warning.

What I'm asking you to do today whether you're on this campus or whether you're at Lockport or whether you're at Cheektowaga, any of our folks anywhere under the sound of my voice, even those of you who may be watching online this morning, maybe you're away or sick or whatever, I'm going to ask you to stay with me today, because I may say some things that you didn't know, maybe not, but I may. We may learn some things that we didn't know, but it's going to be real important for us.

And the reason I talk about that is because we talked about last week and established last week that everyone has a world view. Everyone has a lens through which they look and they make sense of everything. Everyone has a lens through which they look and form their opinion of what reality actually looks like. What we said last week is because Jesus is God made visible, and because in Jesus all things are held together, not only the universe, but even the way that we view the world, that means that Jesus has to be at the center when we want to have a world view that makes any sense. Jesus has to be at the center of all of that, right? That's what we talked about last week.

If you weren't here last week, then I'm positive that before this week gets over you will have watched this message on I'm 100% positive. And we'll check because we can do that. It's a scary technology we live in.

So it's foundational to our world view that Jesus is at the center because what we understand is that Jesus is God's revelation of himself to us. But there's another foundational element to this idea of world view that I need to give you before we move forward in this series, and that is that not only is Jesus God's revelation of himself to us, but that the Scripture is a revelation of who Jesus is in being the revelation of God to us. And so we need to understand how foundational that is to us when we understand the nature of the Scripture. If we don't have the Scripture, ladies and gentlemen, then we really don't know how to know God. That's something for you to think about. You don't really know how to know God without the Scripture itself.

Now I realize that in a room this size or in an audience this size, whether you're at one of our other campuses or watching online or whatever, maybe you're watching us on television, whatever that looks like, here's what I know: that there are some people that are fully convinced about the Scripture, and you believe it and that's it, right? Cool. I'm in that camp as well. Then there are others who are more skeptical of that and they say well, it's just a book written by people, blah, blah, blah and all that kind of stuff. Well, I'm not going to go into all of those arguments - I've dealt with that stuff before - but I'm not going to go into all of that.

What happens is that sometimes people get a little bit shaky, even those who embrace the Scripture, when they feel a little bit intimidated, when they're talking to somebody who is a bit skeptical about this, when this person says to them you can't talk to me about proving the Scripture by using the Scripture. That's a circular line. That's just kind of circular reasoning and you can't do that. You can't prove the Scripture by the Scripture. That's not something you can do. You've made a presupposition that the Scripture is true, but I don't subscribe to that, so therefore you can't use that.

Well, let me just pause - let me say two things about that. Here's the first thing. The first thing is that every world view has an indemonstrable axiom at its beginning. Every world view has an indemonstrable axiom at its beginning. In other words, every world view comes with a (or a set of) presuppositions that inform it and therefore you build a world view on it. So it is disingenuous for a skeptic to say to someone who holds to the validity of the Scripture that you can't use the Scripture to talk about the Scripture because you've made a presupposition. Well they've made a presupposition as well, whatever their world view might be. So it's disingenuous to say that about one and not apply it to self.

But the second thing that I would remind you of is the Scripture is actually two-pronged - that I need you to understand what it means when we talk about this - that the Scripture is self-authenticating and it is self-attesting.

Here's what I mean by that. The Scripture is self-authenticating in that it is a document that you can look at - its history and its geography - you can look at all of these things and authenticate whether it's talking about true things, not only in relationship to physical objects and places and people, but also in relationship to when we put it into application and the spiritual fruit that results from it.

It is a document that is given to us that is self-authenticating, but it is also self-attesting. In other words, the Scripture says some things about itself that either are true or they're not true but it attests or testifies to itself in this way. It's not just something that people are ascribing to it, but in fact the document itself says it about itself.

Listen in fact in the New Testament you've got two passages that are of note: 2 Timothy chapter number three says this: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. All Scripture is literally breathed out from God. And then Peter gives some indication to what Paul said. He builds on that idea and makes it a little more specific. Peter says this is 2 Peter chapter one: Above all, you must understand that no prophesy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. So what you have now is Peter helping us to understand that though these words of Scripture are breathed out, they come through the vehicle of human personality. And so you can see human personality in writing it, yet they are superintended by the Spirit of God through human personality to speak God's word to us.

Now why do I go into this kind of idea? Because the Scripture actually says something about itself, and gives us an opportunity to authenticate it both historically and geographically and archeologically as well as spiritually in the fruit that it bears out when people live it rightly understood. And frankly, this is more than virtually any other world view anywhere ever even dares to try. Most world views are not self-authenticating or self-attesting, but those who hold to Jesus at the center and his revelation of himself through the Scripture have that as something that backs them up.

You see, the issue of the skeptics when it comes to the Bible, the issue of people who are critical is not an issue of credibility of the Scripture. You see, the Scripture that we have in our hands is the most studied, critiqued document in the history of human civilization. And it has met the test of time, of critique, of research, of study for millennia. So this is not an issue with skeptics related to its credibility, this document has stood the test of every document and stands alone at the top in the history of human civilization. The issue of the skeptics, while it's not an issue of credibility, it's an issue of authority. They just don't want to do what it says.

You see, that's ultimately the issue. It's not credibility. It's authority. That ultimately we just don't want to do what it says. Here's why: because if we don't have Jesus at the center of our world view, the one who is God made visible and the one who holds all things together, then that means that probably in some form we have self or we have some kind of false god or idol at the center of what we believe. And if it is self, listen to this: those of us who embrace Jesus as the center and the Scripture as a revelation of Jesus who is God made visible to us, that means we now submit to an authority outside of ourselves. In other words, when we come to the Scripture we are under it, not over it. We submit to an authority that is outside of ourselves but those who have self at the center of their world view don't submit to an authority other than themselves. There is a huge difference in those two things when it comes to the nature of the world view that we embrace. Now what ultimately this is about is whether or not one depends on God's self-revelation or we end up with just a warped revelation of self. You're going to have to make a determination of which one you prefer and who you think knows better about how everything is supposed to function.

So if there's a big idea today that I want you to grab hold of and write down, it's simply this: The Christian's world view should be shaped by the self-revelation of God IN Jesus THROUGH the Scripture. There it is. The Christian's world view should be shaped by the self-revelation of God IN Jesus THROUGH Scripture. This is an opportunity to put both of the messages - last week and this week - together in a big idea so that you can see it.

Now, if Scripture is a revelation of God, stay with me here, then there are some things - in other words if Scripture is what we would call, instead of saying a self-revelation of God, if we would say it's God's Word to us, the way that we would phrase that, then that means the Scripture would have to be, or should be certain things. There are certain things that it would need to be if it is in fact God's Word to us. If it is a self-revelation of God to us, there's some things that it would need to be.

One of the first things that I could think of is it would need to be divinely inspired, right? That this would have to be something that God initiates and helps to superintend - that He has inspired this. If this is in fact God's word to us it would need to be divinely inspired.

Secondly, it would need to be infallible. That means that it will not lead you into mistake in everything that it claims to give you leadership on. It's infallible because if it is in fact God's word to us it's not going to be a mistake-driven type of thing. It's not going to lead us into error.
The third thing is this: it would be authoritative. In other words, it would be something that we could grab hold of and claim and understand that it has a claim on us and that when we claim it, that we can live in obedience to it and find blessing as a result of that.

The fourth thing that I would note is that it also would have to be truthful. By the nature of the fact, this is kind of the positive way of saying that it not only will not lead us into a mistake, but it will be completely and totally truthful. If God is who he said he is and this is God's word to us, then this will be something that is truthful for us.

And then the last thing is that it would be foundational to right belief. In other words, we can't form a picture of God, we can't fully understand the nature of who God is unless God actually reveals that to us from himself, right? We can't just make up stuff about God that we think. We need God to reveal himself to us and if this Scripture is God's Word to us, then it is going to be foundational for a right belief and a right understanding of God.

Now if those things are true, because they would at least need to be and there's probably others that we can list, but those would at least need to be true if we're talking about this being God's Word to us and God's Word for us. Then at the very least, I would want to ask this question: would the most intelligent being that's ever walked the face of the earth - and who was that by the way? Yeah, that was Jesus. We established that last week, right? He doesn't show up on all the lists of the smartest people ever to walk in the history of the world, but we know him as the most intelligent being in the history of the world because he is God with skin on, he is God made visible, he is the manifest presence of God in bodily form.

And so, as the most intelligent being to ever walk the face of the earth, I'm curious as to how Jesus himself viewed the Scripture. Because if the most intelligent being on the face of the earth viewed Scripture a certain way, then maybe it would be wise of us to actually view it the same way as the most intelligent being on the earth. Or else we're actually putting ourselves in a position where we say: actually, no, we're smarter than Jesus. He doesn't quite know as well as we know about all of these things. And of course we're more modern. We start rolling into chronological snobbery when we're talking about the one who is the Ancient of Days - who has no beginning and has no end. And we want to be chronologically snobberish. Because we live in 2016, and we know more now. You know? O.k. We know more than God, the one who made you? I'm sorry. I'm trying to follow that, struggling with that.

So let's look through the lens that we just established that God's word needs to be these things and let's ask the question: Did Jesus view the Scripture in these ways? So did Jesus view the Scripture as divinely inspired? That's a fair question, isn't it? Well, notice what Jesus said in Matthew chapter twenty-two. It says Jesus said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, "The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."' He's quoting the psalmist here, and what he says is that David was speaking by the Spirit. He is referencing the inspiration of the Spirit of God relative to the Scripture.

How about the idea of infallibility? Well Jesus, when he was talking to some people in John chapter ten he was quoting from Psalm eighty-two and when he was referring from Psalm eighty-two where it talks about the judges of Israel, and they're sometimes called gods with a little "g" because they're rulers, right? Jesus answered them and said: "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"? And if he called them gods" (this is from Psalm eighty-two) "to whom the Word of God came" -listen to this "and Scripture cannot be set aside-" Do you know what that literally translates as well? Scripture cannot be broken. Scripture cannot be broken. See Jesus talked about infallibility here when He's talking in that context in John chapter ten.

But what about the idea of the Scripture being authoritative? Well, you remember Jesus - when he needed authority in dealing with the enemy of our soul, Satan, Jesus was just come out of the waters of baptism and made his way into the wilderness and there he was tempted for forty days and nights by the enemy of our souls, Satan the adversary, right? Do you remember the story? And in Matthew chapter four at each one of these times of temptation, notice what Jesus does and what authority he calls upon. In Matthew chapter four verse four Jesus answered Satan and said "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" And then after a second temptation Jesus answered in verse seven "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" And then after a third temptation, you know throw yourself off of the Temple and see if the angels come and get you and Jesus said to Satan: "Away from me Satan for it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"

Jesus is quoting from the book of Deuteronomy over and over again. Why? Because he believes it to be authoritative and do you know what happens when he deals with the enemy that way and he tells Satan that you're going to have to flee, and he quotes the Scripture as authority? Do you know what Satan does? Flees. Do you know why? Because the Scripture has authority. And because Jesus submitted himself to the Father and embraced the authority of the Scripture itself because he believed it to be divinely inspired and that it would not lead us into error and it had authority.

How about whether or not it's truthful? Well I mean, there's probably a million places we could turn here. Let me give you two. Jesus said these words in John seventeen: "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." And then in Matthew twenty-two verse twenty-nine Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."

He was actually talking in that context to the Sadducees. The Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection, and they were coming and presenting Jesus with this fake scenario about these people who had died and this woman was married to multiple husbands because they had all died and whose husband is she going to be in the resurrection, Jesus, ha-ha? And they didn't even believe in the resurrection, right? They were just trying to pigeonhole him as a teacher, and here's what he says: You're in error. Here's why. Because you don't know the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the truth and you're in error because number one you don't even believe in the resurrection and the Scriptures teach us about the resurrection, and you obviously don't know what happens after the resurrection because you haven't paid much attention to the nature of who we're going to be. You're in error because you don't know the Scriptures, because they're truthful.

Well what about the Scriptures being a foundation for right belief, a right understanding of who God is and how God as revealed himself in the person of the Messiah? Well, again, multiple places we could turn. Listen to Luke chapter sixteen verse thirty-one. Jesus said to them: "If they don't listen to Moses and the Prophets, they won't be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" Why? Because Moses and the Prophets were actually pointing them in that direction and if they're not paying attention to them then they're not going to pay attention to any of these other things that come along either.

Then listen to Jesus in Luke chapter twenty-four after his resurrection and when he's with the people on the road to Emmaus. He says to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter into his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." You see, this is a foundation to right understanding. It's a foundation to right belief.

And then in John chapter five, Jesus said these words to the Pharisees. He said: "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." Jesus said isn't it odd that what you do is you spend your time studying the Scriptures and you think that you have life just because of that? But these very Scriptures that you're studying, the whole content of them is about me! And you won't come to me to have life! Why? Because the Scriptures are foundational for us to have a right understanding of who God is and how he has revealed himself to us in the person of his Son.

So if the most intelligent being that's ever walked the face of the earth embraced the Scripture as divinely inspired, as infallible, as authoritative, as truthful and as foundational to right belief then what are we doing? We should embrace it the exact same way if in fact Jesus did.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking slow down, professor. But those of you who are trying to think ahead, who are maybe even thinking a little skeptically are thinking to yourself right now, well here's the deal, Jerry. Jesus, when he was authenticating all of these things about the Scripture, when he was talking about the Scriptures' divine inspiration and its infallibility and its truthfulness and its foundation for right believing and all that stuff, when he was talking about all of this, there was no New Testament. Jesus was talking about the Hebrew Scriptures. He was talking about the Old Testament.

So Jerry, what about the New Testament? Did Jesus, who lived, who died, who was buried, who rose from the dead, who ascended to the Father, all before the New Testament was written, could he somehow authenticate the New Testament, even though he was already gone? Yup. If you pay attention close enough to what he said.

I want to show you something. When Jesus was talking with his disciples at length, and you track it in John chapter fourteen, chapter fifteen, chapter sixteen and chapter seventeen, it is one long dialogue with his disciples in those chapters. And if you pay attention to what he's saying, because he's saying this not long before he is going to a cross and dying, rising from the dead, appearing to them over the course of forty days and then ascending to the Father. If you pay attention close enough, what you'll find is that Jesus was actually pre-authenticating what was to come.

Let me show you what I mean. In John chapter fourteen, Jesus says these words: All this I have spoken while still with you. "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name," - listen to this - "will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." And then when you read in John chapter sixteen, notice what Jesus says: I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. I have much more to say to you. But it's more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He's talking to his apostles here. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you."

Now, this passage certainly means plenty more than what I'm just lasering in on, and for our purposes today I actually want to show you just a couple of things but did you catch it when Jesus said I have much more to say to you? But more than you can now bear? What Jesus was indicating is that there's more revelation to come. I've got more to say to you. It's just that right now you're not able to handle this at this moment, but I've got more coming. How am I going to do that? You see I'm going to send the Holy Spirit.

And do you know what he says the Holy Spirit does? Three primary things that I highlighted for you. The first one was this: He's going to enable you to remember everything that I said to you. Secondly, he's going to teach you all things. And thirdly, he is going to tell you what is yet to come. Now I'm going to pause you right here, because if you look at the New Testament (just leave that slide up for just a minute), if you look at the New Testament, I will now have you take a picture of this. You can pull that down - you maybe have a bottom third of it. I don't know if you do. If you don't get it, go back to

Watch how the New Testament is laid out. The gospels and Acts are where we see where Jesus reminded his apostles of everything that he said to them. And that they began to chronicle the big pieces of those into the gospel accounts, and even in the book of Acts, because Acts begins with Jesus right before he ascends to the Father saying, here's what I'm going to do. And then the book of Acts unfolds showing us that it's exactly what Jesus said. So the Gospel and Acts are the fact that we know the apostles were reminded by the Spirit of everything that he said to us. Romans through Jude is Jesus now by the power of the Holy Spirit leading his apostles so the he could teach us all things. And Revelation is an opportunity for us to know what is yet to come. Is that mind blowing, or what?

When I began to think about the reality of what Jesus said, here's what I began to understand. Jesus pre-authenticated the New Testament as strongly as he authenticated the Old Testament as God's own word to us, because he understood that both were given and superintended by the Spirit of God. It is absolutely startling for us when we get to that place.

Now the reason I tell you these things, is because I don't want you to get fooled when it comes to the nature of the Scripture and how it was put together and why it was put together. I don't want you to be fooled by some silly argument, some weak argument, or some bad history. See, some of you have heard skeptics say to you, well, the Bible's just a book that's put together by men and Constantine called them together. It was a political power play because the religion of the Roman Empire was about to become Christian, and he needed a document to be able to work off of, and all that kind of stuff. Please. Please. Listen, I don't mean to be a smart aleck, but you need to read more. You need to do your homework before you start spouting off silliness like that. You've clearly not read the church fathers. You've clearly not read the Scripture itself where Jesus, the smartest being on the face of the earth, is actually pre-authenticating the work of the New Testament. You're not paying attention to the apostles themselves in this context.

This happened, by the way - listen - the canon of Scripture happened well before all of the Councils began in 325 in Nicaea - well before that. Now, it's true that Athanasius in whatever it was, I think it was 367 AD - Athanasius had a full listing of all twenty-seven books of the New Testament. So we have that from history and we know that. So, o.k., great. We've got that. So you've got fourth century, you've got this compendium of all the New Testament, twenty-seven books signed off on as the canon. But do you know that over one hundred years before that - in 250 or so AD, Origen also had a list? And it was basically a list of all the New Testament books as well?

Let me see if I can back you up a little further. By the way - just as a heads up - the church never voted on these. They just validated them. They just validated what was already in use - that the Church of Jesus had already discerned had come from an apostle or an apostle's associate with the authority of an apostle that was led by the Spirit for our teaching and for our remembrance and for to tell us what was yet to come. This wasn't a, hey, we're going to vote on these. I like this. I like this. Hey, I want to write one. It wasn't that! It was a validation of what was already in existence.

But I can back you up further. The Muratorian canon was in 170 AD, so by the time that you got to the mid to late second century, already there was a canon in terms of the nature of these New Testament books called the Muratorian canon. And during that same time, in about 180 or so AD there was a man named Irenaeus who was one of the early Church fathers. And Iranaeus wrote a book called Against Heresies and if you read it, which I have - it was translated. I didn't read it in his original writing - it was translated into English - but when you read it, and I have, you will see that in there, he quotes from virtually every New Testament book as Scripture. This is in 170 - a couple of hundred years before these councils were taking place that supposedly this I where all this stuff got picked up.

And if you want to go back even further, just ask Peter. Because Peter actually referenced the writings of Paul, another apostle led by the Spirit - he referenced Paul's writings as Scripture. Listen to what Peter said - 2 Peter 3. "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." He just equated Paul's writing to Holy Spirit God-breathed superintended Scripture in this context.

So, Jesus actually showed us the Old Testament as God's Word and validated as such. He pre-authenticated the New Testament itself by sending the Spirit to the apostles to communicate a revelation of himself and then the Church of Jesus, led by the Spirit discerned and authenticated what came from God through the apostles and validated this as Scripture from God himself, not through some political power play in the 300's AD. That's why a high view of Scripture is fundamental to a genuine Christian world view. Fundamental.

In fact, let's do this. In fact, the Scripture's view internally, the Scripture's view of a high view of Scripture is so high in terms of a superintending process of the Holy Spirit that there are times, ladies and gentlemen, when something is said in the Old Testament by an author, and another author is ascribed it in the New Testament, but not just another human author.

Let me show you what I mean. In fact, sometimes it will even just use Scripture where God spoke. In Exodus, listen to what this passage says. This is actually God speaking to Moses. He says but I have raised you up for this very purpose - he's talking to Pharaoh actually - but I've raised you up for this very purpose that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. This is God speaking and he's talking to Pharaoh about the release of the people of God. God speaking. But when this passage is quoted in the New Testament, notice what it says in Romans chapter nine. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." God himself said it in Exodus, and do you know how Paul quotes it in Romans? The Scripture said to Pharaoh.

Why would Paul feel like he could even do that? This is somebody who had studied the Scripture all of his life - who knew God, who had seen Jesus. Because he knew the internal testimony of the Scripture was led by the Spirit and it was all from the Lord. And he could actually use the term Scripture where God spoke because he knew that it was still God's voice.

Let me give you a couple other to think about. So the psalmist writes this in Psalm chapter two, verse one. Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? Right? And then he goes on to talk about a number of other things. This is what the psalmist writes. But when this is quoted in Acts chapter four, listen to what it says. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: "Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?" He didn't just say David said. What he said is you spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant David.

And sometimes it gets even more specific. Listen to this in Psalm chapter ninety-five the Scripture says Today, if only you would hear his voice, "Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness..." So the psalmist writes this. The psalmist is the author here, right? But when you read this in Hebrews chapter three - So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness...". Do you see how interchangeable this is even internally in the Scripture itself?

So a high view of the Scripture is fundamental to our world view, ladies and gentlemen. That's why I said at the very beginning and I want to make sure you got it if you didn't get it on the front end these words: The Christian's world view should be shaped by the self-revelation of God IN Jesus THROUGH the Scripture. In Jesus THROUGH the Scripture - this is what the self-revelation of God looks like.

Now, before we leave and before we finish, I want to challenge us for a moment. We don't spend enough time in the word of God on our own as a culture. As the people of God, we don't spend enough time because we're distracted. We have so much else going on. We are distracted and as a result here's what happens - as a result instead of Scripture being able to center Jesus as the center of our world view, we have so many other competing forces that are now trying to get us to center other things as the center of our world view - because we're distracted.

Just as a for instance: Did you know that according to...Common Sense Media did a study in 2015. And for teenagers thirteen to eighteen years old, on average they consume nine hours of media a day. On average, nine hours of media. Music, television, video games, phones, social media, all combined averages out in the United States to nine hours of media a day. But let me dial it in because a lot of that age group is not in this room. Some are but a lot aren't. The Informate Mobile Intelligence Study helped us to see a couple of things: That in the U.S. people check their social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever else you're on, right? - people check their social media seventeen times a day on average.

And some of you are going, man, those teenagers today. Guess what? Teenagers are not the biggest offenders. The biggest offenders? Twenty-five to fifty - those are the biggest offenders. Twenty-five to fifty. Average checking their phones - average seventeen times a day. Do you know what that means? One time every hour for every waking hour of your life. Because you sleep for a while. So for every waking hour of your life, once an hour I'm checking my social media stuff. And then, how long do you stay on it in those contexts? I mean to the point of drool, right? This is what happens. What's wrong with them over there? Somebody needs to wipe their chin - they're drooling. It's like you're in a social media coma.

The total average per day of average time spent on social media in that same demographic - five hours a day. Five hours a day. One third of your waking day is spent on social media. Did you see this video about this dog? See that? Like it. I'd like it ten times if I could. Oh, that's a cool dress. I mean {falsetto voice} that's a cool dress. I'm going to pin it.

Hey, all that's o.k. I'm not saying social media is evil. I'm not saying any of that. What I'm saying is you've got plenty of time for everything else in the world and often time no time for God's breathed out word to us. The self revelation of God in Jesus through the Scripture that pulls everything together and brings into the center.

See, ladies and gentlemen, we've got to stop treating our time in the word like it's a New Year's resolution or a gym membership. We need to start treating it like water or air because this is the Word of Life God has given to us to show us the nature of who he is, not so - not so - that we get lost in the Scripture to the point of not understanding what it's saying but so that it brokers our ability to know the living God and to sense and know the power of his Spirit coursing through our lives as we minister to a world that desperately needs Jesus. That's why - because people are not reading the Scripture in our world, they're reading you. And if you're not reading the Scripture, they've got nothing to see.

So the Christian's world view should be shaped through the self-revelation of God IN Jesus THROUGH the Scripture. You've got plenty of time to allow God to speak to you and to have his word coursing through your heart. The issue is not I can't. The issue is I won't. God help us. God help us to get to know him through his word. I hope that you won't leave today without determining to make a plan - not a resolution, but a plan of action to know God through his word and to take seriously his self-revelation to us. Let's bow our heads together.

Before we're dismissed, if you're here and you've maybe heard some of what I've talked about today, I want you to know that what the Scripture reveals to us about God is that he so loved people who were far from him and who were sinful and who have blown it and who have made mistakes and who could never earn his favor - that he still loved us in the middle of that. So much so that Jesus - God with skin on - came and was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, went to a cross so that he could pay for your sin and my sin because God, in his justice and his holiness is never going to just wink at sin. Sin is an offense to God. Jesus took yours and he took mine and he put it upon himself even though he was sinless so that God could judge our sin in the sinless one, Jesus. And upon his death on our behalf, for our sin, he rose from the dead demonstrating that his sacrifice was sufficient and if we would put our faith and trust in him, the one who owns life and death and beyond death, that we could be changed forever, made new, born from above, forgiven, exiting the Kingdom of Darkness and walking into the Kingdom of Light only because of the grace of God through our faith in Jesus. That's what the Scripture reveals.

And if you've never come to a place where your sins have been forgiven, where your life has been transformed, that you know God in the now and that you'll be able to live with God forever through his Son Jesus then I pray that before we're dismissed, before we leave the building, that you - whether you're in this room or whether you're in the East Worship Center, whether you're in the Atrium - wherever you are, that you would come by our Fireside Room and speak to one of our pastors, one of our prayer partners in there about what it means to begin a relationship with Jesus. Because there is no greater issue you have in your whole life that is of eternal consequence. And I pray that you will. God gave us his breathed out word to show us how we could know him. And he revealed to us what God has done for us in Christ. I hope that you'll respond to that in faith.

And Father, for those of us who have been born from above, who have been transformed by your grace through faith in Jesus, I pray that you would help write on our hearts that your word is like air and water to us. That we simply can't live and grow because we cannot know you rightly until we know how you've revealed yourself to us in Jesus and we can only see that through the Scripture that you have revealed to us by your Spirit. So I pray that we would view the Scripture as Jesus does. The one who leaned on its authority. The one who claimed its promises because he knew the author was faithful and good and true and righteous and the only way of life.

So God help us to know Jesus through the Word because Jesus himself is the Word made flesh, the Word who dwelled among us, the one who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and the one where no one can come to the Father except through him. So Father, I pray that you would write this on our hearts. Help us to see you more clearly because of the revelation in your word. We pray in Jesus' name, amen.

God bless you guys. You're dismissed.

More From This Series

Where to Start

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 1 - May 22, 2016
Watching Now


Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 2 - May 29, 2016


Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 3 - Jun 5, 2016

The Value of Life

Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 4 - Jun 19, 2016

One Among Many

Pastor Deone Drake Part 5 - Jun 26, 2016


Pastor Jerry Gillis Part 6 - Jul 3, 2016

Worship Set List

God and King

Gateway Worship


No Other Name

Hillsong Worship


Hands to the Heavens

Kari Jobe


Lamb of God

Vertical Church Band


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