4 benefits of regular intake of the Word through memorization

1. It feeds biblical meditation (Ps.1:1-3; 19:14; Josh.1:8-9). To think deeply about the Truth. To purposefully mull over and over the Truth throughout the day until it grips your heart and changes you within.

2. It flushes the mind of sinful thought patterns (Eph.4:22-24; Rom.12:1-2). The Word encourages us to replace worldly thought with godly ones.

3. It forces our emotions to submit (Ps.42:3-11). Talk to yourself, hear your thoughts, and hear yourself speak of God’s authority.

4.It fortifies the will to choose God’s way (1 Cor.10:13; Ps.119:11; Mt.4:1-11; Eph.2:3; 4:23). We are at war. And the war is within and without. Submit to the victor.

Adapted from Chapter 6 of Counsel One Another by Paul Tautges

Surgery from God’s Word

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)

1. It is a divine book (“the Word of God”). God thinks, He has spoken, and it is recorded for you in Scripture (Gen.1, 2, 12, 15, 31; Jn.1:1-14; Heb.1:2; Mt.4:4; 1 Pt.1:19-21).

2. It is a living book (“constantly actively alive”). Because Jesus Christ is the Living Word. (Js.1:21; Jer.15:16; Ps.119:50; Jn.17:17)

3. It is an active book. It is productive; it is the instrument for the production of spiritual results (Is.55:9-11). God never sends His Word without accomplishing something for His glory. It takes time for fruit to become visible, but God’s Word will change lives. You don’t have to ‘doctor’ (manipulate) it up to make it more appealing or relevant (i.e. plastic surgery), just speak it in love and let God do His work.

4. It is a penetrating book (“sharper”). The Word has cutting power (Acts 2:36-38; Phil.1:6; Ps.103:8). His Word is the divine scalpel used by the Divine Surgeon to cut and expose the cancerous sin that must be dealt with in order to gain spiritual health.

5. It is a discerning book (“judge”; cf. Jer.17:10; Ps.119:130; Eph.6:17; 2 Cor.10:4-5).

Adapted from Chapter 6 of Counsel One Another by Paul Tautges

challenges to conversion

Conversion is the child produced by the marriage of faith and repentance (43).

In order to fully appreciate the necessity of conversion, we need to understand the depth of man’s sinfulness and the nature of the human heart to live in rebellion against God’s authority and to resist or replace His demand for singular worship.

Challenges to conversion:

1. Willful independence. This is in fact a definition for sin (Is.43:7; 53:6; Gen.2:7-25; 3:8-24). “Sin is first and foremost a rejection of the supremacy of God and His lordship over our lives” (Thomas Schreiner) “Sin is a deification of self and dethronement of God.” (Charles Horne) Sin is self-worship.

2. Selfish cruelty. Man is more inhumane that wild animals because we are about self-exultation although made in the image of God. (i.e. The Brothers Karamazov; Gen.9:6; Js.3:9)

3. Total Depravity. Our autonomous heart is rooted in our depravity (i.e. continually under the influence of sin).

4. Spiritual unresponsiveness. Without Christ we have total inability to save ourselves and left to ourselves sin will rule us to the grave (Rom.5:6; 3:11; Eph.2:1-3; 1 Cor.2:14). Regeneration is the supernatural imparting of spiritual life to the sinners hear by the Holy Spirit alone. (Eph.2:1; Rom.3:10-18; 5:6; Col.2:13)

Adapted from Chapter 3 of Counsel One Another by Paul Tautges