The Dangerous Inconsistency
Matthew 7:24–27 (ESV) “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Luke 8:21 (ESV)But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
James 1:22–25 (NCV) Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves. 23 Those who hear God’s teaching and do nothing are like people who look at themselves in a mirror. 24 They see their faces and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like. 25 But the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.
“The enemy of your soul will gladly give you your orthodox theology, if in your real daily life he can control the thoughts and motives of your heart and, in so doing, control the way you act, react, and respond.”
God designed us as human Beings, made in his image, to be thinkers.
Every day at some time and in some way we all work to make sense out of our lives.
All of us have constructed a superstructure of life assumptions that functions as the instrument we use to make sense out of life.
Your thoughts always precede and determine your activity.
The Bible is the result of a loving Creator unpacking what is true for his image bearers so that we will know how properly to make sense out of life.
Paul Tripp “Without his loving revelation, we wouldn’t know how to know, we wouldn’t know for sure what we know, and we would have no way to know if what we think we know is true or not.”
The Bible is The Life book given for life purposes, so that the image bearers to whom it is given would look for life in the only place where life can be found.
The doctrines of the Bible are not so much ideology as they are living and divine tools of salvation, transformation, identity, and guidance.
Hebrews 4:12–13 (NLT) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
The Bible is the sweeping story of God’s plan and purpose of redemption accompanied by God’s essential explanations and life application notes.
First, the doctrines of Scripture provide a helpful shorthand for the grand redemptive story.
The doctrine of justification captures a set of things that God did to secure our right standing with him.
Second, every doctrine is an explanation.
God never intended the doctrines of the Bible to be ends in themselves, but rather means to an end.
Isaiah 55:10–12 (ESV) “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isa. 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Isaiah’s strange word picture paints a picture of radical, organic transformation.
The doctrines of the Word of God’s primary purpose is not information but transformation.
The doctrines of the word of God were not intended just to fill your head with Biblical knowledge, but to capture your heart and transform the way you live.
Biblical doctrine is meant to transform your identity, alter your relationships, and reshape your finances.
God isn’t just after your mind; he’s after your heart. And he’s not just after your heart; he’s after everything that makes up you.
2 Timothy 3:16–17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Teaching: the standard.
The truths of the Bible are God’s ultimate standard.
Everyone carries a “bible” around with them, either one of his or her own making or the perfect standard handed down by the one who is truthful.
Reproof: comparison to the standard.
Every truth is meant to function as a mirror into which we look to see what is revealed about us in light of that truth.
Study of God’s biblical truths should produce not only praise and worship of God, but also heartfelt grief, confession, and repentance.
Correction: closing the gap between where I am and where God wants me to be.
Correction is a process where what has been revealed to be wrong or lacking is brought closer to the standard.
Training: faithfully putting God’s standard into practice.
“What new thing is God calling me to put into regular practice in my thoughts, desires, words, and actions?”
Embedded in every doctrine of the word of God is a call to brand-new ways of living.
The truths you actually believe are the truths that you live.
Truth not lived is truth not believed.
True belief always results in a willing submission to God and a joyful obedience to his calling.
Gal. 2:11–14 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
We must always shine the light of the doctrines of Scripture on the thoughts, desires, motivations, and craving of our hearts.