Biographical Sketch of Dr. Stuart E. Lease / Bible Messages by Dr. Stuart E. Lease
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Im glad to be here to share with you a few thoughts about the Word of God, because thats the ministry that this works [that is, GOOD LIFE MINISTRIES] center in; and its the ministry were all interested in. In fact, what Ive called my message tonight is Wisdom from the Word about the Word. Now, we have here before us in the Bible, Gods Word. The word simply means the way somebody expresses himself in speaking; and God determined to express Himself to us in the pages of Holy Scripture.
I remember when I was a student at Gordon College, I took a course in Philosophy of the Christian Religion, and they said, You ought to be able to bring everything you believe down to one major premise, that is from which you can draw everything else that you believe (and we worked through a number of things and finally came to this conclusion): You can derive everything from this major premise There is a God Who has revealed Himself in the pages of Holy Scripture. Now, you see if you dont have this Book, you dont know what God is like. You can know about God from creation, from the inner conscience that we have and the awareness of God; but you cant really know what God expects of you or what He has provided for you unless you have this Book.
Now this evening, Im thinking about the Word and its worth. What is the Word of God worth to you? My first thought is from Psalm 19, verses 1-6, The Presentation of Creation. In 7-11, you have The Presentation of God in Revelation.
Beginning in verse 7, the law of the Lord refers to the Bible, wherein God has revealed Himself. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. By the way, that doesnt mean stupid. It just means somebody who has never been exposed to Truth, so that Gods Word makes wise those who otherwise would not understand. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Not only seeing the Word of God, but obeying the Word of God will transform an individual! You see, God has His Word forever settled in Heaven, and He has designed to reveal it in the Written Word. This is the Written Word of God! This is the Word that we can have in our hands, just as I have in my hands tonight the Written Word of God. But you see what we should do beyond this is to take the Word of God and store it up in our hearts. So, we have the Word in Heaven revealed, to the Word that we have in our hands, and then that Word that we store up in our hearts; and then we demonstrate that [How?].....in our lives, by the way we live!
In the Book of James, it talks about this (and I like the Book of James Ive taught it many times). In James, chapter one, Im going to begin our consideration of the Word of God at verse 17, Every good gift and every perfect gift (By the way, one is giving and the other is the gift.) is from above.... Thats an interesting word. Its the same word you have You must be born again from above. The Word of God comes down from Heaven, ....from the Father of Lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow [literally, cast by] turning. Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth.... Its having believed what God has said in His Word, concerning His Son and also concerning us and our sin, that transforms us when we realize that the Lord Jesus in His own body bore our sins and made it possible through His shed blood that we can have eternal life. So, we are begotten by ....the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. God wants us to be a kind of firstfruits, that is, those that He can put on display and that He doesnt have to be ashamed of ....that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (When I was a student at Lancaster School of the Bible, we had three classrooms upstairs. In the middle classroom there was a kind of a little plaque up front, and it was good for students, for all students, which had these words from this verse Swift to hear, slow to speak. Now when we were called to recite in class, we could always point to that and say that we are to be slow to speak. But thats not what this verse means.) It means that we ought to be open to hear what God has to say to us. Someone has said that God has given us two ears and one mouth, so that we can do twice as much listening as we do speaking; and I think that there is some truth in that. Swift to hear, slow to speak, but slow to wrath. By the way, its as we take in the Word of God and allow it to become a part of us that we then overcome this matter of loosing our temper....and giving place to wrath in our lives.
I remember in my first year of Bible School, one of my teachers taught Spiritual Life. He said, Never forget that whenever youre upset,....whatever is in you, is what will come out. He said, You cant upset a glass of milk and expect water to come out. You cant upset a glass of fruit juice and expect water to come out. Whatever is in there, will come out. Now some people say, I would have been alright if I hadnt been upset. Well, when youre upset, if youre filled with the Word of God, then that will come out. If youre filled with anger, wrath, malice, things like that,....then that will come out. So, .....let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore [laying aside thats what it really means] all filthiness and superfluity [overflowing] of naughtiness [or uncleanness], and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. Now I believe the word saved here doesnt mean the initial aspect of salvation. Now it is true that were saved by the Word of God. Indeed we saw that earlier in this passage; but the word saved here really means to deliver your soul, and its the Word of God that delivers our souls as we apply it in our lives even as Christians. In fact, that word engrafted Word means the rooted Word, the Word that has already taken rest which is able to [deliver] your souls.
Now verse 22, But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Most of you have studied the Bible to some extent, some of you to the extent that youve received diplomas because of it....and thats commendable. Indeed, we all ought to be students of the Word of God. We ought to thank God that we have this Bible. We ought to be storing it up in our hearts; but we ought to also be demonstrating it in our lives, Be ye doers of the Word demonstrating, practicing the Word of God and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (or a mirror): For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway [he] forgets what manner of man he was. Have you ever read the Word of God and then just forgot all that you read? Now lets be honest. I think that we all have from time to time. Now, why is that? Well, number one, we didnt pay enough attention to what we were reading. Sometimes we were thinking of something else, or something else was going on around us, and we were paying more attention to that than we were to the Word of God. Number two, we didnt allow it to make a sufficient impression upon us. We didnt pay enough attention. We didnt allow it to make enough of an impression upon us. Third, we didnt read it to understand, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And because we didnt read it to understand what God wanted us to do, we forgot it. He [beholds himself, goes his way, straightway forgets] what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty .... [By the way in my Bible, Ive tied together verse 17, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above... You know, this is the one perfect gift that is from above, and its a Perfect Giver, our God Who has given it to us, and it is ....The Perfect Law of liberty [this Book; and when we look into this Book] and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (or in his doing).
Now, its this emphasis that I want to share tonight and simply emphasize to you that God has given us His Word. Its a worthwhile Word. Its a wealthy Word. In fact, its more precious than gold, and its a Word that works if you let it work. You know, even as believers we can resist the Word of God either through neglect (We dont pay attention to it.), or by not applying it; and may I also say another way that we neglect it....by not sharing it, by not sharing the Word of God. I think that one of the best ways of learning the Bible is to learn to share it. Im sure that all of you who have ever taught a Sunday School class or a Bible class of any sort that you probably have learned more than any of your students, and you should have. Why? because youre taking it in to give it out. Youre taking it in to give it out! (When my brother, George and I went to Bible School, our father gave us some very clear advise, When you go to Bible School, get all you can and can all you get. Now you wouldnt understand or appreciate that unless youve been born or raised in a home where I was, because from early spring....as soon as any of the fruit or crops came along to late fall, my mother was constantly doing canning. She was storing up all sorts of things. You know, she never came up short. We could be sitting down and a half dozen people would come in and shed say, Come on in and sit down, and shed just go in and bring out some of her canned goods. Ive said this many times to many students and to many Christians, The tragedy of most Christians is that were not doing our canning. We arent storing up the Word of God in our hearts as we should, so that we can open it up and give it out to others.) Now thats the greatest privilege in all the world!
The greatest work in all the world is giving out the Word of God! Everything else is going to pass away. Jesus said, Heaven and earth [He didnt say, May...... but said] shall pass away, but my Word shall never pass away. On the face of Gods earth, other than God Himself, there are only two things that are eternal. One is this Eternal Word, the other is the eternal soul of man! Everything else is going to pass away! The souls of men and the Word of God are going to live on eternally! Now its only when this Word is united with the souls of men, that they become born again and live eternally in the presence of God. When people do not receive this Word, either intentionally or by neglect, they are eternally separated from God. So, the greatest work in all the world is taking this eternal Word, imparting it to your own soul, and then giving it out to the souls of others! Thats why Im impressed with the Ministry of this work (Good Life Ministries/Liberty Bible Camp), because I see that thats what youre committed to. Thats what were committed to....giving the Eternal Word of God to the eternal souls of men; and I hope that each of you would involve yourselves increasingly in this!
FATHER Were thankful that Your Word stands eternally in Heaven; but it also transforms us here on earth. Were thankful for Jesus Who is the Living Word, Who is the Central Person of the Written Word; and were thankful that when we believe Your Word concerning Your Son, we have eternal salvation. And then we thank You that we can, being in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, understand Your Word. We know that the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them. But those of us, who are indwelt by the Spirit, we have the precious Teacher within us to reveal Your Truth. Make us then students of Your Word, and teachers of Your Word, and appliers of Your Word, and demonstrations of Your Word. May we show to others the reality of Your Word by the lives that we live. Thank You for the time of fellowship that weve enjoyed here this evening, and for the pictures weve seen of Your working and progress in regard to this work. We look forward to the things that You have in store for us in future days. We give You our praise and thanksgiving.
In Jesus precious Name. Amen.
5/31/85 Message delivered at the GOOD LIFE MINISTRIES Spring Banquet by Dr. Stuart E. Lease