The Bible is true. But I am not here to prove that the Bible is true, for it speaks for itself through the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Bible speaks historically, scientifically, experientially, miraculously, or whenever it speaks concerning Christ, the Bible speaks the truth; and therefore that truth stands up. What is most important for you and me is to see the power of God in our lives. I’m glad to know that the Bible talks about the balance of the earth, about prophesies, and about miracles, and about Christ. But what I really want to know is, what is the Bible able to do in my life?
How is the Bible relevant to my day-to-day living?
I want the Bible to be more than something that I admire.
As written by God, I want it to be what God intended it to be: the word of life for me.
And so here we are in Psalm 19.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul…
Answers for Your Every Need
Psalm 19, verses 7-9 give us six statements about the Bible that sum up the sufficiency of Scripture and answer everything that the human heart longs for.
Do you long for transformation, to be different than you are?
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
Do you long for wisdom and discernment, to be able to sort out the issues of life?
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Do you long for joy, lasting happiness, and deep peace?
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
Do you long to understand the dark and hidden matters of life?
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Do you long for something that is enduring, permanent, and trustworthy?
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Do you long for something that is consummately right and righteous?
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
The parallelism in these verses is matchless, and reveals to us God’s heart concerning His Word. It is like the many facets of a diamond, resplendent from every angle.
Let us now take a brief look at the different parts of these three verses, for these will be the building blocks of our study for the next six weeks, and then we’ll jump in to the first part.
Six Titles of the Word of God
- the law
- the testimony
- the statutes
- the commandment
- the fear
- the judgments
Six Characteristics of the Word of God
Six Benefits of the Word of God
- converts the soul
- makes wise the simple
- rejoices the heart
- enlightens the eyes
- endures forever
- is altogether righteous (provides full spiritual resources)
Six Times God Affirms That He is the Author of the Word.
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
Now, let’s look at the first title, characteristic, and benefit of the Word of the Lord.
Title #1: The Law
Law = torah = biblical, or divine, teaching
The root from which the Hebrew word torah originates means, “to flow as water; to shoot, as an arrow; to teach.” All of these aspects apply to the relationship between the Scripture and our hearts.
“To flow as water”
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word. [emphasis mine]Ephesians 5:25-26
Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because He comes to judge the earth.1 Chronicles 16:33
“To shoot, as an arrow”
O LORD, rebuke me not in Your wrath: neither chasten me in Your hot displeasure. For Your arrows stick fast in me, and Your hand presses me sore.Psalm 38:1-2
Blessed are You, O LORD: teach me Your statutes.Psalm 119:12
The Law refers to the didactic nature of Scripture. It is God instructing man. The word “law” identifies Scripture as doctrine, giving us instruction with regard to creed (what we believe), to character (what we are), and to conduct (what we do). It is God’s complete and comprehensive instruction to man for life.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8
And that from a child you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.2 Timothy 3:15-17
Characteristic #1: Perfect
Perfect = entire, without blemish, whole; complete, as opposed to incomplete
It means “all-sided, so as to cover completely all aspects of a thing.” The Scripture covers everything; it lacks nothing.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler [shield] to all them who trust in Him.2 Samuel 22:31
But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.James 1:25
Benefit #1: Converts the Soul
Converting = reviving, restoring, refreshing, transforming
Scripture is so comprehensive that it can literally transform a person’s life.
Soul = nephesh = the inner person, the whole person, the real you
So the Law of the Lord is all you need for total transformation—salvation, conversion, regeneration, sanctification, transformation, restoration.
All of these words refer to the same act of God the Father through Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Salvation is the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and death, and the assurance of eternal life and joy with victory over sin.
Conversion is a change of heart, or disposition, in which the enmity of the heart to God and His law and the obstinacy of the will are subdued, and are replaced by a supreme love for God and submission to His will.
Regeneration is the new birth by the grace of God; the change by which the will and natural enmity of man to God and His law are subdued, and a new love to God and His law are instilled in the heart.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.Romans 1:16
I won’t quote it all here, but in Luke 16:19-31, the rich man died and went to hell. From that place of torment, he spoke with Abraham, begging him to send the beggar Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool his tongue, for his was tormented in the flames. Abraham explained that he could not do so, for there was a great gulf fixed between them, so that those in hell and those in paradise could not pass from the one place to the other. Then the rich man said, “I have five brothers who are yet living. Please send Lazarus to tell them about this awful place so that they will not want to come here.”
But again Abraham said no, adding, “They have Moses and the prophets [the written Word of God]. If they will not believe the written Word of God, then neither will they will believe, though one were to return from the dead.” The Word of God is sufficient to save the soul.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever.1 Peter 1:23
Sanctification is the act of making holy. In other words, it is the process by which God transforms the heart of man to reject the love of the world and cling to the love of God. This does not happen overnight, but daily, moment by moment, as the believer allows himself to be changed through exposure to the Word of God.
Sanctify them through Your truth: Your Word is truth.John 17:17
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, who is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them who are sanctified.Acts 30:32
Transformation is a change of heart. This too is a gradual process. I’m not talking about what happens at the moment of salvation. The turning from darkness to light is both instantaneous and permanent. But the changing of one’s disposition to reflect the image of God is a gradual change. Have you noticed that the longer two people are married, the more they tend to look like one another? That is a sort of transformation. The same holds true in our relationship with God. The longer we walk with Him, the more we come to look like Him. He does not want outward conformity to a set of rules and regulations. That is bondage to the law, or Galatianism, if you will. What God wants is a radical change, like what happens to the caterpillar inside the cocoon. When he comes out as a butterfly, he is radically different, although still the same species.
And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Romans 12:2
Restoration is renewal, revival, the returning to a former state. No matter how close your walk with the Lord, inevitably at some point you will find yourself straying away from Him. We all do it. The sooner you come back to Him, the better. One thing I have learned, not only in my personal experience, but also in my reading of the Scripture, is that God is always willing to restore. He longs for fellowship with us, and He knows our frame, that we are weak. He knows we are sheep that will wander from Him, and He seeks to restore us to fellowship, using both the rod (to correct) and the staff (to protect) as necessary.
He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.Psalm 23:3
For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”Isaiah 57:15
The Bible Does Not Need Our Help
God’s Word is perfect. Period. It is complete—it is all we need. When we mix the gospel with worldly music in order to reach the world, when we water it down and disguise it, hoping the people will hear the truth without recognizing it as the Word of God, then we do not truly believe that the Word of God has the power to convert the soul. Do not be ashamed of God’s Word, but share it, and share it boldly, for the eternal life of those you love depends on it.
For the word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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.Hebrews 4:12
Photo taken along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah, Virginia, 2014