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Author:Rev. Sjirk Bajema
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Congregation:The Reformed Church of Oamaru
 Oamaru, New Zealand
Preached At:Reformed Church of Mangere
 South Auckland, New Zealand
Title:This Book Is It!
Text:BC 7 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Sjirk Bajema, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


(Reading: Revelation 22:7-21)


This Book Is It!



Congregation in our Lord Jesus Christ...


     I think we’ve got the message by now, haven’t we?

          The Bible is very important.

              It’s in a whole class of its own.

                   Nothing and no one can match it.


     The first sentence of Article VII sums it well.

          For these “Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God.”


     This is the testimony of Christians throughout thousands of years.

          God’s Word hits the spot!


     And no wonder!

          For God alone knows the spot.

              Only He can expose us for what we truly are – sinners in desperate need of salvation.

                   That’s why this book is it!


     You know, if you want to become one of the nearly 24,000 licensed taxi drivers in London, you have to do a lot of studying.

          For the only way you get behind the wheel to do that is when you’ve mastered The Blue Book.

              This is the one manual for a course that takes between 2 and 4 years to complete.

     So while it might only take a few minutes for the driver of a traditional black cab to take you to where you want to go in London, it’s taken him years of dedicated study to get to be able to do that.

          Perhaps it’s an idea for Auckland taxis!


     Article VII takes the same view towards the Bible that those London Taxi drivers have towards The Blue Book.

          Having come to the point through the previous five Articles of clearly identifying what is God’s Word and how it is God’s Word, it doesn’t stand still.

              Instead, we now go on to confess that these Scriptures are the only Rule of faith.


     In other words, you have to be a student of this book!

          You have to depend on it every day and in every possible way.

              Not one single part of life can be lived apart from what’s in this book.

                   That’s why the first aspect as we look at Article VII is that HOLY SCRIPTURE IS THE COMPLETE WORD.


     Congregation, what we need for being saved is in the Bible.

          Indeed, that’s the main thrust of Scripture isn’t it?

              The apostle John wrote in this in chapter 20 verse 31 of his Gospel.

                   He said of what he had recorded that “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”


     And how many times in church history hasn’t God’s Word done exactly this?

          That’s been shown in the return to the Bible in revival stirring thousands at a time.

              Godly preachers brought many on their knees in repentance before the Lord God as His Word was preached in all boldness.

                   Ministers themselves were converted as the truth of Scripture struck them.


     And then there’s what’s been happening in hotel and motel rooms around the world as desperate men and women turn to those Bibles placed there by the Gideons.

          Even a pick-pocket when he stole what he thought was a pocket-book was converted because it was New Testament instead.

              He came to see Christ is the great Saviour while he was the worst of sinners.

                   Like the tax collector in Luke 18 he confessed, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”


     The Bible as God’s Word alone does this.

          It’s through these verses the Spirit touches hearts.

              That’s why this Word must be preached – whether from pulpits by preachers or by the people sitting in the pews as they go about their everyday lives.

     For this is about the Living Word Christ Jesus Himself.

          As the apostle Peter declared in Acts 4 verse 12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.”


     Now, having seen that the Bible as the Word of God is what saves us, you might have been wondering what I meant when I said earlier that this Article is also about all of our lives.

          You don’t recall the bit that said Scriptures directs all of our lives.


     Well, let’s go to the next sentence in Article VII.

          It says that “the whole manner of worship which God requires of us is written in them.”

              This is about everything!



     “Complete” here means sufficient.

          And having sufficient is exactly enough!

              That means not only enough for being saved but also enough to keep you in that state of grace.


     You see, it could be that a believer, while being saved, isn’t learning to find his satisfaction in God’s Word.

          You only need to look at times in your own life when you were so wrapped up in the things of this world that reading God’s Word and praying to Him took a back seat.

              And what about when you read it but you rushed it through because you had other things to do?


     Hebrews 5 addresses those who are become so diverted away from God’s Word they had to learn it all over again!

          The verses 12 till 14 there declare to such Christians, “You need milk, not solid food!

              “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

                   “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”


     This is quite a severe warning!

          Not being acquainted with the teaching about righteousness is to fail to appreciate your salvation.

              Yet if you’re continuing to delight in the full beauty of God’s revelation, you’re becoming mature.


     Thomas a Kempis was clear about this.

          He said that the Bible is the one book whose wealth rebukes us more the older we grow, because we knew and loved it so late.


     That’s why you must start young.

          And if you’re not starting with it now young people, you are heaping on yourself a lifetime of grief!


     So how is your study of God’s word?

          Do you think about it often?

              Are you meditating upon it during the day?


     Remember the challenge I laid before you several weeks ago in regards to Psalm 119?

          There I suggested that if you weren’t actively involved in studying God’s Word every day you should read through that wonderful psalm about the delights of God’s Word for the next week or so.

              That challenge is still there!

     Take one of the passages that psalm is broken up into every morning or afternoon or night – whichever time suits you.

          You read it carefully to yourself.

              Each one of those parts is eight verses long.


     Then you go through that part and picture what David is painting.

          Mentally think about the imagery he uses.


     After that you take up a pencil or pen – maybe even using a computer or Notebook.

          Rewrite those verses into your words for today.

              And pray over it.


     Don’t think that doing this is just about being religious!

          It’s about seeing yourself for who you really are!

              Because when you do that you will worship God all the more the way He told you to.

                   And the more you do that the more He’s able to bless what you do.


     The story is told of a short-sighted elderly man who, proud of his imagined ability as a critic of art, strolled through an art gallery with a friend.

          The old gent had left his glasses at home and was not able to see the pictures clearly.


     Standing near a large picture of a man, he began to point out the inartistic features of the painting.

          He said, “The frame is altogether out of keeping with the subject.

              “And as for the subject, the man is altogether too ordinary and lacking in character to make a good picture.

                   “What a mistake the artist made!”


     The friend had to interrupt him, though.

          He said to him, “You’re looking into a mirror!”


     Is that you, dear friend?

          Is God catching you out with your ignorance and your pride?

              Or are you worshipping Him in all humbleness?

     Because apart from the mirror of Scripture you cannot know yourself as you truly are.

          And you certainly won’t know God’s will!


     This is also why we must be certain that it is God’s Word alone.

          In the words of the second aspect to our sermon this afternoon, HOLY SCRIPTURE IS THE ONLY WORD.


     This is where the way Paul ends Romans 8 helps us.

          You know, I had always wondered why the apostle could say there that neither angels nor demons would be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

              I mean, an angel couldn’t do that!


     And certainly an angel as the ministering servant of the Lord wouldn’t do that.

          But Paul wants us to depend on the truth of what God has done in His Son.

              This is what the Holy Scriptures are about.

                   This is why Revelation 22 strictly forbids anything being added to or taken away from the Word.


     Congregation, the word “only” in Article VII means “perfect”.

          The Bible is incomparable.

              There is no other book like it.

     So it follows that we should not put anything on its level.

          But that’s exactly what the Church does when she turns away from the Lord.


     We see that in the Old Testament when Israel made the golden calf.

          It was there at the Reformation because of the place the Church had given to the traditions and decisions of men.

              And it’s part of the Church today as the feelings and experiences of people become more important than what God’s Word says.


     Scripture is clear about this.

          In Psalm 62 David is open about what he is really like.

              Verse 9 there tells us how much we can depend on ourselves.

                   For it says, “Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.”


     There was a clergyman who went from the Anglican church to the Roman Catholic church in the 19th century.

          He became Cardinal Newman.

              He was honest that temples, incense, lamps, candles, votive offerings, holy water, holy days and seasons, processions, blessings of the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, turning to the East, and images are all of pagan origin.

     But then he says next that they sanctified by the adoption into the Church!  

          Man becomes wiser than God!

              God’s Word becomes put aside.


     Congregation, when that’s happened the Church has lost her way.

          When so much importance becomes placed on what you say and do, the devil’s taking you away.

              Watch out!

     It’s coming to a church near you!

          Indeed it’s even in our churches.

              Listen to the popular choruses so many of our youth sing.

     Look at what’s in so many of the top-selling Christian novels.

          See what sort of movies are coming from the Christian media.


     They’re not scriptural at all.

          If anything they’re quite new age!

              You can do it!

     Be empowered to realise the spirit within.

          Let go and let God!


     These are the spirits the Confession warns us to test.

          I mean, if you would be most upset if I started preached these things from the pulpit why are you reading and watching them in your home?


     Just because something or someone has the name Christian doesn’t mean it’s biblical.

          You have to always ask yourself, “Where’s this from in the Bible?

              Doing your homework may show you that what’s influencing you is in the Bible alright but it’s what the Lord is warning you to stay away from!


     In America at the moment there is a strong movement to bring back the Bible.

          Many people have come to realise that as the Bible is the basis of so much of their society it ought to be taught about in schools and universities.

              They see that society is getting worse the less it opens up God’s Word.


     This is not a Christian movement, though.

          At best it recognises the Bible as one very useful and highly important part of our history.


     It’s not until there is a true revival that any one will see the Bible for what it truly is.

          It’s only when God’s Spirit convicts men’s hearts of the true meaning of His Word that you really see Scripture for what it is.

              Then you will know, together with Dr Robert G. Lee that “The Bible is the Word of God; harmonious in infinite complexity; divine in authorship; human in penmanship; infallible in authority; universal in interest; eternal in duration; regenerative in power; immeasurable in influence; the miracle Book of diversity in unity!

                   “It is an oasis in a desert of despair!


     “Though Nineveh with her pride is now a dirty doormat for irreverent feet, the Book lives on!

          “Though Greece with her culture and art is now a crumb in history’s rubbish, the Book lives on!

              “Though Egypt is now a shabby sexton of splendid tombs, the Book lives on!”


     The Lord Jesus declared exactly this in Luke 21 verse 33.

          As He spoke of all that was to come He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”


     Dear friend, are you a man of the Book?

          Is it clear where you stand?

              Do those around you know that you’re not falling for anything!





Let’s pray…

     Lord God,

          How truly blessed we are to have Your Word.

              What are people have been spoken to as You have spoken to us.

                   Indeed, what other people have had God Himself in His own Son come and save them?


     Help us to truly treasure these pages.

          Stir us to read them every day.

              Because then we will ourselves more and more show Your way.

     That way we will be living Bibles.

          In the name of the Living Word, we pray, Amen.






















* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Sjirk Bajema, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
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(c) Copyright 2007, Rev. Sjirk Bajema

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