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THE PRECIOUSNESS of GOD’s WORD

With much assistance from Octavius Winslow and his book

The Precious Things of God.

March 23, 1999

 

FOUNDATIONAL THINGS - Part 1, The Holy Scriptures

Heb 6:1-3 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

INTRODUCTION:

The Holy Word of God and the Doctrine of the Scriptures: It seemed to me that the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures was a good place to begin our study of Foundational Things. If this foundation is not built how can we build any other? All truths and all doctrines must be derived from the Holy Scriptures. If we do not adhere to this foundation we can HAVE NO FOUNDATION. Let nothing shake your faith in the authority of the scriptures, and that God-by his own inspiration gave to us the HOLY Scriptures, for holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2TIM 3:16, 2Pe 1:21.

The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith also begins with this same foundation. In our own home we just completed the first section of this confession which is titled, Of the Holy Scriptures. Because I so heartily concur with these first ten articles I relay in a brief abridgment what is asserted with the scriptural proofs following. You would do well to check out the original and follow up with the scriptural proofs:

If you are not up to wading through a confession of faith then skip below to where we begin outlining Winslow’s Chapter on The Preciousness of God’s Word. This is truly a rich, rich meal for the soul. My heart soared as I read that chapter and I greatly look forward to expounding the doctrine of the Holy Scripture along the same lines as Winslow formerly trod. (If you do skip the abridgement below, consider coming back later or go directly to the original 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Also it is quite frightening to me to provide the abridgement below. I do so only to aid the modern ear knowing that it was with some difficulty my own wife and children tried to grasp the intended meaning.)

  1. The Holy Scripture is the only infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.
    2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalms 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Proverbs 22:19-21; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19,20
  2. Called the Holy Scripture or Word of God are these… [those 66 which we have in our protestant bibles]
    ( 2 Timothy 3:16)
  3. The Apocrypha not accepted as canon.
    ( Luke 24:27, 44; Romans 3:2 )
  4. The authority of the Holy Scripture depends not upon man or church but only upon GOD who is the author.
    ( 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:9 )
  5. Man and church may convince us much as to the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures yet OUR FULL persuasion is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
    ( John 16:13,14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20, 27)
  6. The whole counsel of God concerning his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is contained in the Holy Scripture: nothing is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word. And there may be things concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, where the light of nature and Christian prudence, governed by the general rules of the Word, must be followed.
    ( 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Galatians 1:8,9; John 6:45; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; 1 Corinthians 11:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 14:26,40)
  7. Some people do not understand some things in the scriptures as easily as others things. But those things concerning salvation are plainly revealed in many parts of the scriptures that anyone with due diligence may discover and understand them. ( 2 Peter 3:16; Psalms 19:7; Psalms 119:130)
  8. The Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; and the church must appeal to them to settle all religious controversies. However because not everyone can read or understand Hebrew and Greek they ought to be translated into the common language of the people in whatever nation they come. That these people in these nations may worship God and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.
    ( Romans 3:2; Isaiah 8:20; Acts 15:15; John 5:39; 1 Corinthians 14:6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 28; Colossians 3:16 )
  9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself.
    ( 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Acts 15:15, 16)
  10. The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.[Point 10 not abridged or paraphrased]
    ( Matthew 22:29, 31, 32; Ephesians 2:20; Acts 28:23)

    THE PRECIOUSNESS OF GOD'S WORD:

I. A More Precious and a MOST PRECIOUS Revelation

  1. Creation reveals God and yet the scriptures compared to the revelation in Creation is PRECIOUS indeed.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Psalms 19:1 <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Psalms 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

We can Learn Man’s insignificance from creation:

Psalms 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

Psalms 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Isaiah 40:12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Isaiah 40:17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

B. Creation does not unveil the glorious gospel of God.

Octavius Winslow writes: "I may wander in sad and pensive thought upon the sunny banks of its flowing rivers, I may tread its carpeted vales, or climb its cloud-capped mountains, reveling amidst its beauty, its grandeur, and sublimity, and yet find no repose for this restless mind, no peace for this troubled heart, no hope for this sinful and lost soul. Not a flower below, not a star above, tells me of—Jesus, a Saviour! I turn to the "GLORIOUS GOSPEL of the blessed God," and my case as a ruined, self-destroyed, condemned sinner, is met by that single, but comprehensive and sublime announcement—"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Beloved reader, the kingdom of nature, replete as it is with the wisdom, power, and benevolence of Jehovah, -- every spire of grass, every lowly flower, every towering mountain, every glimmering star, rebuking the "fool’s" denial of a God,--can never disclose how you may be pardoned, justified, and saved." [The Precious Things of God, Octavius Winslow, published by James Nisbet 1860 reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria 1993,pg 246]

  1. Proof that this is a Divine Revelation. Octavius Winslow not intending to prove: "the reasonableness of a revelation, that fact that such a revelation is given to us in the Bible, proof of its divinity, …[that this is indeed what it claims to be] the WORD OF THE LORD." Does not in anyway undervalue any evidence that such is TRUE. ONLY that for the purposes of his treatise it is to be understood as an established fact! We may ourselves want to spend a little time on this.

    NOTE:It was most interesting to me to see in the above Confession of Faith the statement, , "and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages." For indeed this was the confession of the church of God in times past though not so anymore. Todays confessions read only pure and inerrant in the original autographs; without the added infallible and kept pure in all ages. What good is an inspired bible without a providentially preserved bible? Divine inspiration of Scripture loses much value if we are unsure today what scripture is authentic and pure and what scriptures is spurious and manmade. Faith compels me to believe that God exercises providential care over his holy scriptures.

    God in His Word makes some wonderful claims regarding the inspiration of it:

    2Tim 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Rom 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

    Mark 12:36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

    Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

    Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

    Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

    1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you

    .Psa 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

    Psa 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

  2. FAITH IN THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES SHAKEN IS SHAKEN INDEED, WOEFULY SO:

Winslow writes: "The moment our faith in the divinity of the Holy Scriptures is shaken, everything else trembles with it." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 247] Alas, I am forced to quote at length from Winslow as he warns against a low view of scripture:

"No Marvel, then, that error should plan its strong and stern battery in front of this the most precious doctrine of our faith --- the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. How truly has the apostle described the unbelieving mind—"The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." We hold it, then of infinite moment that our faith in the divinity of the Bible in the plenary inspiration of Scriptures, should grow stronger and stronger; and that whatever tends to instruct and confirm us in this doctrine of faith, --- be it a fact in history , a discovery in science, or a page in the volume of our personal history, --- should be welcomed by us with eagerness, and be acknowledged with devout thanksgiving and praise. THE Lord keep you, my reader, from the low views of divine inspiration prevalent in this day! If this foundation be destroyed, or even apparently shaken, what else has your immortal soul to build upon but quicksand, every step, passing to eternity, over which sinks you soul deeper and deeper in doubt, darkness, and despair?" [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 248]

II. PRECIOUS AS IT IS THE VERY WORD OF GOD. "It could possess no REAL intrinsic worth apart from this fact." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 248-9] "And when the believer opens the Bible, it is with the profound and solemn conviction that he is about to listen to the voice of God!" [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 250]

  1. The bible is rejected by infidels for fear it is true.
  2. Truly God’s Word.

III. PRECIOUS AS IT REVEALS THE MIND AND WILL OF GOD.

A. Nature can tell me that there is a God but cannot reveal to me HIS nature and character as a Father and a sin-forgiving God.

B. "Where nature leaves me, revelation comes to my aid". Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

HOW MUCH MORE! HOW MUCH GREATER THE REVELATION IN GOD'S WORD!

"That is, God has magnified His Word above every other manifestation of His name, there being no such revelation and. illustration of the Deity as is found in His revealed Word. Do the heavens and the earth declare the glory of God ? Does providence testify to His divine government? How much more His revealed truth! Truly, "Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 251]

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

IV. PRECIOUS AS A REVELATION OF HIS CHARACTER.

A. Winslow wonderful points out the inferences we can make from nature concerning the character of God.

1. Creation itself declares the being of God.

2. Lovliness: From the lovliness of creation we infer that God is beautiful.

3. Wonders: We infer that God is great.

4. Unity and fitness: That God is wise.

5. Blessings scattered across the surface we infer that God is good.

6. Judgements following sin we infer that God is Holy and Just.

[The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 252]

B. HIS WORD HOWEVER IS the blazing and glorious Revelation of his character -- more so than CREATION can ever be.

Exo 34:5-7 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

But for the clear, positive, and complete revelation of God's character as a righteous, holy, wise, merciful, and sin-pardoning God, we must repair to His written Word. God has unfolded more of His moral character, perfections, and glory in the following words, spoken to Moses on Mount Sinai, amidst the awful emblems of His majesty, than in all the beauties, wonders, and sublimities of His created work:— [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 252]

As an example of the wonderful revelation of the Character of OUR GOD and KING as found in the Precious Word of God I have taken from the Online Bible Topical Index the following:

GOD

1) Is a spirit #Joh 4:24 2Co 3:17

2) IS DECLARED TO BE

2a) Light #Isa 60:19 Jas 1:17 1Jo 1:5

2b) Love #1Jo 4:8,16

2c) Invisible #Job 23:8,9 Joh 1:18 5:37 Col 1:15 1Ti 1:17

2d) Unsearchable #Job 11:7 37:23 Ps 145:3 Isa 40:28 Ro 11:33

2e) Incorruptible #Ro 1:23

2f) Eternal #De 33:27 Ps 90:2 Re 4:8-10

2g) Immortal #1Ti 1:17 6:16

2h) Omnipotent #Ge 17:1 Ex 6:3

2i) Omniscient #Ps 139:1-6 Pr 5:21

2j) Omnipresent #Ps 139:7 Jer 23:23

2k) Immutable #Ps 102:26,27 Jas 1:17

2l) Only-wise #Ro 16:27 1Ti 1:17

2m) Glorious #Ex 15:11 Ps 145:5

2n) Most High #Ps 83:18 Ac 7:48

2o) Perfect #Mt 5:48

2p) Holy #Ps 99:9 Isa 5:16

2q) Just #De 32:4 Isa 45:21

2r) True #Jer 10:10 Joh 17:3

2s) Upright #Ps 25:8 92:15

2t) Righteous #Ezr 9:15 Ps 145:17

2u) Good #Ps 25:8 119:68

2v) Great #2Ch 2:5 Ps 86:10

2w) Gracious #Ex 34:6 Ps 116:5

2x) Faithful #1Co 10:13 1Pe 4:19

2y) Merciful #Ex 34:6,7 Ps 86:5

2z) Long-suffering #Nu 14:18 Mic 7:1

2A) Jealous #Jos 24:19 Na 1:2

2B) Compassionate #2Ki 13:23

2C) A consuming fire #Heb 12:29

3) None beside him #De 4:35 Isa 44:6

4) None before him #Isa 43:10

5) None like to him #Ex 9:14 De 33:26 2Sa 7:22 Isa 46:5,9 Jer 10:6

6) None good but he #Mt 19:17

7) Fills heaven and earth #1Ki 8:27 Jer 23:24

8) Should be worshipped in spirit and in truth #Joh 4:24

V. PRECIOUS AS A REVELATION OF THE LOVE OF GOD.

A. God is declared love

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

B. What glorious revelation as God is not only declared Love but shown to be loving in the giving of His own Beloved Son.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Winslow writes: "Read the declaration, often read before, yet to be read again and again with deepening wonder, gratitude, and praise… How precious ought that Word to be to our hearts which contains such declarations and reveals such truths as these!" [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 253-254]

Winslow enjoins us to respond: "Oh, let every affection of our heart, every faculty of our soul, every power of our mind, every action of our life, embody as its grateful response the words of the adoring apostle---"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!" [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 255]

VI. GOD'S WORD PRECIOUS IN IT'S GOSPEL ANNOUNCEMENTS.

A. GLORIOUS GOSPEL

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

B. LOVE OF GOD EXPRESSED BY CHRIST:

(Note: Winslow makes a wonderful distinction that the death and atonement of Jesus Christ was not the origination of God's Love towards us but an expression of it.)

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

When, therefore, the Scriptures speak of Divine reconciliation, as in the passage just quoted, we are to understand the full expiatory satisfaction given to God's moral _government through the Atonement of Christ, by which His law is honoured. His justice is satisfied. His holiness is secured, His truth is maintained, and He appeared upon earth walking amongst men, "reconciling the world unto Himself." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 257-258]

C. PRECIOUS IN THE EXPERIENCE OF THE BELIEVER:

Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

VII. PRECIOUS BECAUSE IT IS TRUTH:

It is precious to the believer, first, because it is divine, attested, experienced TRUTH. Is it not so that, to you who believe in God's Word, every other word in comparison seems a fiction and a fable? And that, as you grow in grace, as your acquaintance with, and experience of, the Word of God deepens, as you near eternity, your hold upon everything else grows fainter and fainter, and your grasp upon it grows firmer and firmer ? [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 258-259]

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

He is a GOD of TRUTH and thus it follows that HIS word is TRUTH:

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalms 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Isaiah 65:16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

VIII. PRECIOUS AS IT TESTIFIES OF JESUS:

We learn the scriptures to learn of CHRIST!

Beware of studying the word of God as a mere intellectual exercise!

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

On the Road to Emmaus:

Luke 24:2-27 he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44-46 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Acts 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Acts 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

Romans 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

PRECIOUS IT IS because it testifies of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalms 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalms 119:97 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Psalms 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Psalms 119:131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

SPURGEON WROTE encouraging us to seriously dwell upon the scriptures:

Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord — not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord.

I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim's Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, "Why, this man is a living Bible!" Prick him anywhere — his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.

IX. PRECIOUS BECAUSE IT CONTAINS DOCTRINE, PRECEPT and PROMISE.

DOCTRINE: Teaching, truth, that which is taught

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

PRECEPT: Commandment, direction

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

PROMISE:

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Beloved, count not less dear to your heart, or as less the tender unfolding of God's love, those parts of His truth which reprove. humble, empty, and lay you low. [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 266]

X. PRECIOUS AS A SOURCE OF DIVINE CONSOLATION.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalms 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Psalms 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Psalms 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

WINSLOW WRITES:

. Luther remarks that he never understood the Psalms until God afflicted him. Fly to the Word of God, then, in every sorrow. You will know more of the mind and heart of God than you, perhaps, ever learned in all the schools before. We must be experimental Christians, if Christians at all. A bare notionalist, a mere theorist, an empty professor of religion, is a fearful deception. Study to know God's Word from a heartfelt experience of its quickening, sanctifying, comforting power. Sit not at the feet of men, but at the feet of Jesus. His Word can alone instruct you in these sacred and precious truths. You must learn in Christ's school, and be taught by the Holy Spirit. And if you are truly converted, spiritually regenerated, a real believer in the Lord Jesus, think not that some strange thing has happened to you when the Lord causes you to pass under the rod of discipline, brings you into trial, and makes you to partake of what may seem to you a soul-diet any- thing but healthful and nutritious," the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction." (Isa. Xxx.20) . [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 271]

The scriptures are a great comfort in affliction:

Psalms 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

XI. PRECIOUS BECAUSE OF THE LIFE-GIVING POWER:

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

Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me

Psalms 119:93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

NOTE: Without God we will learn nothing from HIS WORD.

XII. IT IS PRECIOUS - STUDY THIS WORD

Study the Scriptures of truth with a heart in prayerful uplifting for the accompanying power, light, and anointing of the Holy Ghost. [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 275]

A. The word is the sword of the SPIRIT -- It must be wielded by the SPIRIT.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ever remember that the Divine Author of the Bible is at your side—invisible and noiseless—when you sit down to read it. Graciously and benignantly He is bending over you, prepared to explain what is difficult, to harmonise what is contradictory, and to shed a flood of light upon each page, causing Heaven's glory to dart into your soul from the diamond spark of a single passage! [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 276]

1COR 2

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

B. "Cultivate a profound reverence for God's Word." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 278]

Stand in Awe of this HOLY BOOK! The words of scripture are DIVINELY inspired.

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Beware of referring to it doubtfully, or of quoting it with levity. To adopt the words of Scripture irreverently,—to. O speak of any of its parts with suspicion,—or ii: to employ its phraseology flippantly, is to cast discredit upon inspiration, to press it into the service of the flesh, and to make the Word of God the jest-book of the profane. This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Ghost. God says, "I will look to him . . . . that trembleth at my Word." This was David's holy reverence—"My heart standeth in awe of Thy Word." And this his prayer—" Order my steps in Thy Word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 278]

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Psalms 119:161 SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

Psalms 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

"Our constant rule should be:" Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

XIII. WINSLOW'S CLOSING COMMENTS urging a serious devotion to the study and obedience of the Word of God.

A. "Whatever you neglect -- neglect not the bible."

B. "God speaks to you from every paragraph and sentence of this Holy Book. It is His voice that we hear, His signature that we behold, His ineffable glory, which, the more it is viewed in this bright mirror, may the more powerfully command our wonder and praise." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 283]

C. "but to what extent is it studied in your churches, read in your families, taught to your children? There is no surer evidence of living without God in the world than living without intimate communion. with the Bible." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 284]

D. "Disbelieve, or neglect the Word of God, and you reject the only chart to eternity." [The Precious Things of God, Winslow, pg 285]

THE END

NOTE: Winslow finishes this chapter with a prophetic warning of the dire consequences that would fall upon the church if a revision of our English Bible is pursued. Read this section for yourself and see if it is not true what he foretold has come to be. Pg 286 ff.

 

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