Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Recognizing the Glory of God's Word" by John MacArthur

I read the latest blog essay at John MacArthur's site, the title is above. What a gift to the faith Dr MacArthur is! The Lord raises up good men to encourage us.

Denmark Castle
He posted about how wonderful the Word is, and how despite the plethora of bibles available and translations abounding, we set it aside. Spurgeon said, "There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write ‘damnation’ with your fingers."

I am guilty of this myself. I love the word and I benefit from it each and every time I open it. I am blessed, convicted, educated, encouraged, trained, awed, or a million other things. And yet there are some days I simply don't. Paul said,

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7:15-20).

My only consolation is that Apostle Paul, who was personally taught by Jesus and personally saw heaven, still had a hard time sometimes doing what is right, then I feel slightly less worse. But it's still no excuse.

Here is a wonderful picture of the bible as envisioned in three dimensions. The excerpt is from the MacArthur essay, in which MacArthur quotes Roy Zuck's picture of the bible as a magnificent edifice. Here it is for your encouragement.
I once read an illustration that described the Bible as a magnificent palace constructed of precious stone, comprising sixty-six stately chambers. Each one of these rooms is different from the others and perfect in its individual beauty. Yet, when viewed as a whole, they form an incomparable edifice that is majestic, glorious, and sublime.

In the book of Genesis, we enter the vestibule and are immediately introduced to the records of God’s mighty works in creation. This foyer gives access to the law courts, the passage way to the picture gallery of the historical books. Here we find hung on the walls scenes of battles, heroic deeds, and portraits of valiant men of God.

Beyond the picture gallery we find the philosopher’s chamber (the book of Job), which leads us into the music room (the book of Psalms). Here we linger, thrilled by the grandest harmonies that ever fell on human ears. And then we come to the business office, in the very center of which stands the motto: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). From the business office, we pass into the research department (Ecclesiastes) before continuing into the conservatory (Song of Solomon), where the fragrant aroma of love greets us. Then, we reach the observatory where the prophets with their powerful telescopes are looking for the appearing of the Bright and Morning Star.

Crossing the courtyard at the dawning of the Son of righteousness, we come to the audience chamber of the King (the gospels), where we find four lifelike portraits of the King Himself revealing the perfections of His infinite beauty. Next, we enter the workroom of the Holy Spirit (the book of Acts) and, beyond, the correspondence room where we see Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude busy at their tables under the personal direction of the Spirit of Truth.

And finally, we enter the throne room (Revelation) where we are enraptured by the mighty volume of adoration and praise addressed to the enthroned King. In the adjacent judgment hall, there are portrayed solemn scenes of doom and wondrous scenes of glory associated with the coming manifestation of the King of kings and Lord of lords. [1]
[1] While various versions of this description exist, it can be found in The Speaker’s Quote Book, by Roy Zuck.

I think that when we get to heaven, and the verse in Revelation 21:4 as we enter the eternal state, that says,

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

I believe are not tears of joy because Jesus would not wipe those away. I believe they are not tears mourning the loss of earthly things, either, because those will have paled in comparison. I think they are tears of shame.

Metropolitan Museum NYC Great Hall
I think as we leave behind the millennial kingdom and the last bits of sin are wiped from heaven and earth, and the devil and his beast and all unrepentant sinners have been cast to the Lake of Fire, that we will mourn our own Romans 7 acts. All the times we didn't read the bible, or all the times we didn't pray, or all the times we could have encouraged a brother in Jesus' name, or all the times we didn't go to church, we will cry over. We will be ashamed, seeing what we traded for bible reading. (Dancing with the Stars?) Or swapped for church (football?). Or substituted for prayer. (An extra half hour of sleep?)

I believe we will be ashamed of ourselves. Jesus will reassure us and wipe those tears from our face. What a good and gracious God He is.

Someday we will no longer mourn the missed opportunities we had on earth to further our relationship with Jesus, because He will be present and we will be away from the pleasure of sin, the power of sin, the presence of sin, the penalty of sin. What a day that will be.

Until then, we go on, not understanding our own actions. I could write more ... but I am going to enter those majestic rooms of the bible, and read it now. Right now.

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Further Reading
"A Fourfold Salvation: From the pleasure of sin, the presence of sin, the power of sin, the penalty of sin by AW Pink

Charles Spurgeon: "The Bible" A Sermon


7 comments :

  1. Had the enormous pleasure of meeting John MacArthur this morning. He gave a timely, relevant sermon at the chapel service at Southern Baptist Theological seminary.
    What a privilege to speak with such a faithful servant of God!! He was so gentle and kind to those who wanted to meet him.
    His sermon along with the Lectures will be online tomorrow.
    Pam

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    1. So glad you had the opportunity to listen to a good sermon, and meet John. I can't wait for the sermon links, I'll keep an eye out at SBTS

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  2. You will love the sermon! It is so timely. It is online there now under Chapel Mullins Lectures. It's a video.
    Enjoy!
    Pam

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  3. When I was a fairly new believer I heard a message from a man who commented that it's going to be mighty embarrassing if we come across Obadiah some day and he asks us what we thought of his book - and we never read it. Everybody laughed but that really stuck with me. I've read through the Bible several times, but still am not in the Word every day. It's funny how you acknowledging your failure doesn't make me feel okay about my own, but rather it encourages me to be more faithful. Thanks for that.

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    1. You're welcome. I can't pretend I'm perfect, so I might as well be transparent. Paul acknowledged his own failures and struggles, so he gave me the inspiration to begin with.

      I liked the Obadiah comment. I'd have to be honest with Obadiah- I've read it. Several time...but I don't understand all of it.

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    2. I think he'd be okay with that. :)

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  4. And when I say failure, I mean momentary failure, as opposed to a lifetime of failure. :)

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