By Reuben Archer Torrey
TOPICAL SERMONS IN OUTLINE
# THE BIBLE: WHEREIN IT DIFFERS FROM ALL OTHER BOOKS
INTRODUCTION. -- The Bible stands absolutely alone. It is an entirely unique book. It is not a book, it is THE Book. Wherein the Bible differs from all other books:
I. In its Depth.
The Bible is the unfathomable and inexhaustible book. It is unfathomable not because of the obscurity of its style, but because of the profundity of its teaching. The style is so simple and clear that a child can understand it, but its truth is so profound that we explore it from childhood to old age, and can never say that we have reached the bottom.
1. There are whole volumes of meaning in a single and apparently simple verse.
2. The Bible is always ahead of man. What other book ought to command the attention, the time and the study that this book does which is deeper than all other books, ahead of all other books and ahead of every age?
II. In the Absolute Accuracy of its Statements.
The Bible is the only book that always says all it means to say, and never says any more than it means to say.
III. In its Power.
There is perhaps no place in which the supremacy and solitariness of the Bible shines out as in its power. In what direction does the Bible show a power that no other books possess?
1. Saving power.
(a) The Bible has unique saving power in individual lives.
(b) It has saving power in national life.
2. The Bible has a comforting power no other book possesses.
3. The Bible has a joy-giving power no other book possesses.
4. The Bible has a wisdom-giving power that no other book possesses. Psalm 119:130.
5. The Bible has a courage-giving power no other book possesses. No other book has made so many and such peerless heroes.
6. The Bible has a power to inspire activity that no other book possesses.
IV. In its Universal Adaptability.
Other books fit certain classes, or certain types, or certain races of men, but the Bible fits man universally.
1. It fits all nations.
2. It fits all ages.
3. The Bible fits all classes.
4. The Bible fits all experiences. It is the book for the hour of gladness, and the book for the hour of sadness, the book for the day of victory and the book for the day of defeat. The book for the day of clearest faith, and the book for the day of darkest doubt.
V. In its History.
1. The Bible has been hated as no other book.
2. Loved as no other book.
3. Studied as no other book.
4. It has been victorious as no other book.
VI. In its Authorship.
Finally, the Bible differs from every other book in its authorship. Other books are men's books, this is God's book.
# IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER?
INTRODUCTION. -- Many consider that the Bible is in grave danger. Many think so because they are glad to think so; it gives their conscience some little consolation in a life of sin. Others fear so with great reluctance. They love the Bible; would be glad to believe, they are afraid that the old book must go. So let us honestly face the question, "Is the Bible in danger?"
We will not deny that the Bible has enemies and most gifted ones. Six reasons why the Bible is not in danger:
I. Because the Bible has already Survived the Attacks of 1,800 Years.
II. The Bible is not in Danger because it Meets and Satisfies the Deepest Needs of Man.
1. First of all the need of pardon and peace.
2. The need of man is deliverance from sin's power.
3. The need of comfort in sorrow.
4. Need of hope in the face of death.
III. The Bible is not in Danger because there is Nothing Else to Take the Place of the Bible.
The Bible contains all the truth of moral and spiritual subjects that other books contain, it contains more than all other books put together, and it contains all this in portable compass.
IV. The Bible is not in Danger because it has a Hold that Cannot be Shaken on the Confidence and Affection of the Wisest and Best Men and Women.
The Bible has the distrust and hatred of some, but it has the confidence and affection of the wisest and especially the best and holiest of men and women. The men who know the Bible best are the men who trust it most and love it best. The Bible is distrusted and hated by those whose influence dies with them; the Bible is loved and trusted by those whose influence lives after them.
V. The Bible is not in Danger because it is the Word of God.
Many things prove that this book is the Word of God: its fulfilled prophecies, its unity, its Divine Power, its inexhaustible depth, the fact that as we grow in knowledge and holiness -- grow Godward -- we grow toward the Bible.
VI. The Bible is not in Danger because any Honest and Earnest Seeker after Truth can find out for Himself that the Bible is God's Word.
CONCLUSION. -- The Bible is in no danger. But while the Bible itself is in no danger those who vent their spleen upon it are in danger. It is no small sin to ridicule the Word of all-holy and all-mighty God. There are others who are in danger. Those who listen to the fascinating eloquence of an Ingersoll and allow it to lull them to repose in a life of sin.
# INFIDELITY: ITS CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND CURE
1. The misrepresentation of Christianity by its professed disciples. Two kinds of misrepresentation:
(a) In doctrine.
(b) In life.
2. Ignorance. Ignorance of what the Bible contains and teaches. Ignorance of history.
3. Conceit. Men become infidels because they find things in the Bible they cannot understand, because there are apparent contradictions which they cannot reconcile. To think that our finite minds could take in in a day or a month all the truth revealed by an infinite mind; to think that because I can't take a statement in it the statement can't be true; to think because I can't find a solution to a difficulty none can be found, all this is to think that my mind is infinite, that I know all things, that I am God.
4. Sin. This is the commonest and most fundamental cause of infidelity. In two ways:
(a) Men sin and betake themselves to infidelity to find comfort in their sins.
(b) Sin blinds their eyes to the truth of the Bible and makes it appear foolishness.
1. Sin. Infidelity breeds sin; there is no doubt of that. It is caused by sin and in turn begets a progeny like its ancestry.
2. Anarchy. Anarchists are always infidels.
3. Wretchedness and despair.
5. Hopeless graves.
6. Eternal ruin.
III. The Cure.
1. Christ-like living on the part of professed Christians.
2. A surrendered will on the part of the infidel.
3. The study of the Will of God.
# WHY I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
INTRODUCTION. -- There is nothing more important for a man for the life that now is and for the life that is to come than a faith in Jesus Christ that is intelligent, clear and firm.
I. I Believe in Jesus Christ first of all because of the remarkable Fulfillment of His prophecies.
Jesus Christ was a prophet. He made some astounding predictions regarding the future. Predictions that seemed incredible and in some cases absurd, but which history has fulfilled to the letter. Take for example His prediction of a world-wide conquest by His disciples. (In Matthew 28:18-20.); Matthew 24:1-2,5,7,10,16,26,28; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-24.
II. I believe in Jesus Christ, in the second place, because of His Fulfilled Promises.
Jesus Christ was not only a prophet but a promiser. He made promises of a most extraordinary character, but promises the truth of which any man could test for himself, and all who have tested the promises have found them true. E.g., Matthew 11:28; Acts 1:8; John 7:17.
III. I believe in Jesus Christ, in the third place, because of the Wholesome Character of His Laws.
IV. I believe in Christ again because of the Way He Fits into and Fulfills all O.T. Types and Prophecies.
V. I believe in Jesus Christ because of the Fact of His Resurrection.
VI. I believe in Jesus Christ because of the Uniqueness of His Claims and the Way in which He Substantiates Them.
VII. I believe in Jesus Christ because of His Demonstrated Power to Save.
I believe that Jesus can save because He does save. I believe that Jesus can save because I have seen Him do it.
# SOME ABSOLUTE CERTAINTIES
INTRODUCTION. -- We live at a time when the religions and philosophies of all ages and all lands are being brought together for comparison. What an inextricable tangle there seems to be -- Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism; all the various forms of materialistic and spiritualistic philosophy. Within Christianity itself what a conflict of rival theologies! Where is truth to be found? What is truth? It is a great relief and joy to find some certainties among this endless maze of uncertainties, to find something to stand upon and be able to say here at least I have solid rock underneath my feet.
A few of the fundamental truths about which there can be no honest question:
I. The first absolute certainty is that there is an absolute difference between right and wrong.
II. The second certainty is that a man ought to make an honest and diligent search for the truth and to follow every possible clue that promises to lead to it.
1. Here prayer comes in. It is a possible clue.
2. The Bible is at least another possible clue. Many very credible witnesses claim they have come to this book, not all prejudiced in its favor but honestly seeking truth, and have in this book found what they sought. These two clues should be followed together.
III. The third certainty is, a man ought to obey so much of the truth as he finds and as fast as he finds it.
IV. The fourth certainty is that every man is a sinner and needs a Savior.
V. The fifth absolute certainty is that Jesus does save those who put their trust in Him.
VI. The sixth absolute certainty is that there is no Savior from the guilt and power of sin but Jesus Christ.
VII. The seventh absolute certainty is that the life of the one who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and who surrenders to Him as Lord, believes the promises and obeys the precepts of the Bible, is the noblest, fairest, happiest and in every way the most satisfactory life.
# WHY I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD
INTRODUCTION. -- There is no subject more important than that of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ is not Divine, then Christians are idolaters. If Jesus Christ is Divine then all who do not acknowledge Him as such and accept Him as their Divine Savior and Lord are guilty of the awful sin of rejecting the Son of God and denying Him the honor due to His name.
I. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God because of His own Claim to be the Son of God, and the Way in which He Substantiates that Claim.
Christ's claim to be divine is substantiated:
1. First, by His character.
2. His claim to be divine is substantiated by the miracles which He performed.
3. Christ's claim to be divine is substantiated, in the third place, by His influence on the history of the world.
4. Christ's claim is substantiated, in the fourth place, by His resurrection from the dead.
II. Because of the Teachings of the Bible besides His own.
III. Because of the Divine Power He possesses Today.
It is not necessary to go back to the miracles of Christ when upon earth to prove this. He has divine power. He exercises this power today and any one can test it.
1. He has power to forgive sins.
2. He has power today to set Satan's victims free.
IV. I believe that Jesus Christ is Divine because of the Character of those who Accept Him as Divine.
V. I believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ because of the Result of Accepting His Divinity.
The religion that accepts God the Father but rejects Jesus Christ His son has no such deep and lasting moral power as the religion that accepts Jesus Christ as divine. Unitarianism does not save the fallen. Unitarianism does not beget a missionary spirit. Faith in Jesus as divine makes missionaries and martyrs; it produces men of prayer and faith. It produces consecrated living. The denial of the divinity of Christ tends to prayerlessness, religious carelessness, unbelief, worldliness, selfishness and easygoing living.
# UNTO PRAYER
INTRODUCTION. -- The great need of our day in our church life is more prayer. Passages that put this call in an especially impressive and instructive way: 1 Peter 4:7 RV. The closing words, "BE SOBER UNTO PRAYER." The word translated "be sober" means to be "calm and collected in spirit." To be clear-headed. The thought is that prayer is a matter of greatest importance as the days go fast flying toward the end, and that it demands a man's best thought, and that a man needs a clear head before all else, in order that he may approach the great God acceptably in prayer. Prayer demands our best moments and our best thought.
I. "That ye may Give Yourselves unto Prayer." 1 Corinthians 7:5 RV.
Here Paul says that there are certain duties incumbent upon married people that they may by mutual consent give up for a season that they may give themselves to prayer. That is, prayer is a matter of such vast importance, and for its proper prosecution demands such concentration of thought and disentanglement from other concerns, that matters of very great weight may properly be laid aside to attend to this weightier matter of prayer. The words translated "that ye may give yourselves unto prayer" mean literally 'that ye may have leisure unto prayer." That is, prayer cannot be properly prosecuted by a preoccupied mind. It demands leisure. It demands the putting of all other things aside and attending absolutely and wholly to this.
II. "Continuing steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with supplication." The third passage is Colossians 4:2 RV.
The words translated "Continue steadfastly in prayer" mean give constant attention to prayer, make a business of prayer. It is the same word used in Acts 6:4, where the apostles wanted some one to be appointed to look after the poor in order that they might GIVE THEMSELVES CONTINUALLY to prayer and the ministry of the Word; and in Acts 10:7, where it is said of certain soldiers that they WAITED ON Cornelius CONTINUALLY; and in Romans 13:6, where it is said of officials that "they are God's ministers, ATTENDING CONTINUALLY upon this very thing." It evidently means to make a business of a thing. We should make a business of prayer. It is Jesus Christ's business. That is what He lives for. Hebrews 2:25. When the Church of Christ does make prayer its business our eyes shall behold such great things in conversions and progress in life at home and missionary conquests abroad as we have never dreamed of. Our verse says something else about prayer than making it a business. "Continue steadfastly in prayer, WATCHING THEREIN." It must be a wide-awake business.
III. "That ye strive together." Romans 15:30.
We should strive in prayer. The word translated "strive" means to "contend" or "fight" or "struggle" against opposition. To put forth intense and determined effort. The noun from which it is derived is translated "conflict" or "fight," as for example in 2 Timothy 4:7. God demands the same earnestness in prayer that He does in work. We get the best things in work only by hard working, and we get the best things in prayer by hard praying. There are obstacles to be overcome by prayer, real obstacles; there are enemies to be conquered by prayer, live enemies, strong enemies, and the prayers that win take a vast outlay of soul energy.
CONCLUSION. -- Four practical suggestions.
1. Set apart time from everything else for praying. A certain portion of every day and frequent special seasons.
2. Prepare for prayer.
(a) Examine your heart and life to see if you are in praying trim, and if not, get into it.
(b) Think carefully over the things that you are to pray for. Find the best, the most needy, most urgent causes.
3. When you undertake to pray summon all your spirit and energy and pray it through.
4. Look to the Holy Spirit to guide every step of the way, "praying in the Holy Spirit."
# THREE FIRES
I. The Fire of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:2-4.
1. First of all fire reveals. 1 Corinthians 3:13. What does it mean to be baptized with fire? The answer to this is found in considering what fire does.
2. Fire refines and purifies. Isaiah 44; Zechariah 1:3,9; Malachi 3:1-3.
3. Fire consumes. It refines by consuming. Ezekiel 24:9-11. There is much in all of us that needs to be consumed, pride, vanity, love of money, love of pleasure, fear of man.
4. Fire illuminates. When one is baptized with fire, truth we did not see at all before becomes as clear as day, the Bible becomes a new book, glory shines from every page.
5. Fire also warms; it makes to glow.
6. Fire imparts energy. All forms of energy can be transformed into heat and by heat we can generate the different forms of force and motion.
7. Fire spreads.
II. The Fire that Tries Our Works. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15.
Not a judgment regarding salvation. The persons whose works are here burned up are saved. It is a judgment regarding the works we do as Christians and the reward we shall receive for them. All the works we do for Christ, or professedly for Him, are to be tested. They are to be put to the severe test, the fire test. All that will not stand the fire test will be burned up.
III. The Fire of Eternal Doom. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
Every one of us shall know fire from God. Some of us, I hope, will know the fire of the Holy Ghost. Many of us, I know, will know the fire that tries and consumes our work which is not of the right sort in God's sight. Some shall know the fire of eternal doom. There is a fire of eternal doom. For whom is it?
1. To them that know not God.
2. To them that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.
CONCLUSION. -- There are these three fires, one of which we all must know. Which shall it be?
# THE BAPTISM WITH FIRE
The interpretation that makes the fire of future judgment untenable.
1. In that case it should read "or fire."
2. The way coupled with Holy Ghost, not two "withs," as in AV and RV.
3. Literal translation, "With Holy wind and fire."
4. Fulfilled at Pentecost. Acts 2:2-4.
What is it to be baptized with fire? The answer found in considering what fire is said to do in Scripture and what came to the disciples at Pentecost.
1. Refines. 1 Corinthians 3:13.
2. Refines and purifies. The apostles after Pentecost compared with before. Isaiah 4:4; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:1-3.
3. Consumes. Ezekiel 24:9-11; John 5:35.
4. Illuminates. James 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:14.
5. Fire warms, it makes to glow.
6. Fire imparts energy, generates power and motion.
7. Fire spreads.
The great need of ministers and Christian work, of individual Christians and the Church is a baptism with fire.
II. How Received.
How did the apostles receive it?
1. They recognized their need.
2. They believed it was for them.
3. They really desired it.
4. They continued steadfastly in prayer.
5. They were wholly surrendered to God's will.
6. They expected it.
One gets the baptism with fire in pretty much the same way as one gets water baptism. You wish to be baptized with water, you go to one qualified to baptize with water, tell him what you want and put yourself in his hands for him to baptize you, you being willing to take upon yourself all the consequences of that baptism. Do just the same in this. There is but One qualified to baptize with fire. Jesus Christ, the risen Christ, is the sole and only baptizer with the Holy Ghost.
III. Stirring up the Fire.
1. This clearly implies that after one has received the baptism with fire it may burn low and must be stirred into a flame. Experience abundantly proves this. 2 Timothy 1:6.
2. How kindle into a flame?
(a) Study of the Word. Ephesians 5:18-19; comp. Colossians 3:16. Just as soon as any one neglects his Bible study the Holy fire burns low. Jeremiah 23:29.
(b) Prayer. Acts 4:31.
(c) Work. 1 Timothy 4;13-14.
CONCLUSION. -- Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire? Will you be today? Have you been and is the fire burning low? Will you kindle it into a flame?
# POWER: ITS SOURCE AND HOW TO OBTAIN IT
Text. "God has spoken once... power belongeth unto God." Psalm 62:11.
INTRODUCTION. -- The great need in Christian work is power. The father and mother in the home. The Sunday-school teacher. The personal worker. We preachers of the Gospel. We must have power. We can have power. How can we get it?
I. The Source of Power.
Power belongeth unto God. All real power is from Him. We get power by getting in contact with Him, in union with Him. How often you see a man whom you supposed to be a comparative ignoramus doing a mighty work for God. Why is it? Somehow he has gotten into contact with God. He has got hold of God's power. If you have not the power nobody is to blame but yourself. God is not to blame, for He longs to give; the devil is not to blame, for he can't hinder. You are to blame.
II. How Power Is to be Obtained.
What are the conditions upon which God bestows upon us the power that belongs to Him?
1. We must put away sin. Isaiah 59:1-2.
2. We must be separated and stay separated unto God. Judges 16:15-17; cf. Numbers 6:1-2,5.
3. We must get down low before God. 1 Peter 5:5-6. When we give up our own wisdom we get God's. When we give up our own power then and only then we get the power of God. Isaiah 40:29.
4. We must have faith. Hebrews 11:32-34. How to get faith. Romans 10;17.
5. If we are to get God's power we must ask for it. Luke 11:5-10. The place of prayer is the place where power is obtained. Isaiah 40:31; James 4:2.
6. If we are to have power we must have the Holy Ghost. Acts 1:8; 4:31,33. Luke 11:13; Acts 2:39.
# THE CHRISTIAN WORKER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
INTRODUCTION. -- There are three passages in the Bible regarding the Holy Spirit that every one who wishes to be used of God in winning souls should ponder very deeply.
I. Luke 24:49.
1. WHAT IS THIS ENDUEMENT OF POWER?
(a) A definite experience.
(b) Separate and distinct from regeneration.
(c) A clothing of the believer in Christ with the power of God.
2. How received. Can be variously stated.
(a) Must believe there is such an enduement. Acts 19:1-6.
(b) Must desire it. Isaiah 44:3.
(c) Put away hindrances. The great hindrances, sin and self-sufficiency.
(d) Absolute surrender. Acts 5:32.
(e) Prayer. Luke 11:13; Acts 4:31.
(f) Faith -- claim. Mark 11:24 RV.
II. These words are addressed to believers. The Holy Spirit is here set forth as a fire. Significance. There is danger that this fire be quenched. Not enough to receive this fire. Must see to it that it is not quenched. 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
1. How the Holy Spirit is quenched.
(a) Through not yielding to the Spirit's suggestions. See context.
(b) Through incoming of sin.
(c) Through going back on our consecration.
(d) Through self-indulgence.
(e) Through pride.
If one has quenched the Spirit what shall he do? Go alone with God and find the cause. Then have done with it. Can power be renewed? Yes.
III. Here again the Holy Spirit is compared to fire. The verse tells us it is not enough not to quench the fire. We must feed the fire and stir it into a flame. Here is where many fail. 2 Timothy 1:6.
(a) The study of the Word. Ephesians 5:18-19; compare Colossians 3:16.
(b) Prayer. Acts 4:31.
(c) Work. The exercise of the gift increases the power of the gift. 1 Timothy 4:14 (see context, vs.13).
# THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE WORD
INTRODUCTION. -- The one who would be an efficient worker for Christ must know the power of two things. The power of the Spirit of God and the power of the Word of God. These two are most intimately related to each other.
I. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Word. 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 1:11; Hebrews 3:7; John 4:26; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13.
II. The Holy Spirit leads men to the Word. Luke 1:67 (and which follows Scripture), 2:25, compare 2:32; Acts 2:4, 14-17, etc. (25-28); 6:5, compare ch.7. (Whenever a man was filled with the Holy Spirit he was full of Scripture.)
III. The Holy Spirit is the interpreter of the Word. 1 Corinthians 2:14.
IV. The Holy Spirit enables the preacher to communicate with power to others the truth he himself has been taught. Acts 4:31,34; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.
V. The Word is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in all His blessed work.
1. John 15:26, compare 5:39.
2. John 16:8, compare Acts 2:37.
3. John 3:5, compare 1 Peter 1:23; John 1:18.
4. 1 Peter 1:2, compare John 17:17.
5. 1 Corinthians 12:9, f.cl., Romans 10:17.
6. Romans 8:16, compare 1 John 5:13.
7. Galatians 5:22, compare Jeremiah 15:16; John 15:11.
8. Romans 15:13, compare v.4 (hope).
9. Acts 9:31, compare Romans 15:4 (comfort).
The Spirit of God works through the Word. If we wish the Spirit to do His work in our hearts we must study the Word. If we wish Him to do His work in hearts of others we must give them the Word. Ephesians 6:17. But the Word alone will not do it. It is the Word and the Spirit. We must look to the Spirit to make His Word effectual. 2 Corinthians 3:6.
# SOME REASONS WHY EVERY SENSIBLE MAN SHOULD BE A CHRISTIAN
I. Every sensible man should be a Christian because the teachings of Jesus Christ are true and right and ought therefore to be obeyed.
A learned man is a man who knows a great deal, a sensible man is a man who acts upon what he knows. A man may have much learning and very little sense. The man who knows and believes the teachings of Christ to be true and doesn't act upon them has the least sense of all.
II. Every sensible person should be a Christian because the acceptance of Christ brings salvation.
Two things are perfectly clear to every candid person who considers the facts in the case. 1st. That men need salvation. 2nd. That Christ does save those who accept Him. The first of these certainties every man knows from experience. The second of these certainties, that Jesus Christ does save those who put their trust in Him, any one can know not only from the sure Word of God that asserts, Romans 1:16, but from observation as well. It is a simple, incontrovertible fact that Jesus Christ has saved men.
III. Every sensible man should be a Christian because Christ brings a deeper, purer, more lasting joy to those who accept Him than can be found in any other way.
Ask any one who has ever been a real Christian if he finds in Christ a deeper, purer, more lasting joy than he ever found elsewhere and he will tell you yes, far deeper, immeasurably deeper. 1 Peter 1:8.
IV. Every sensible man should be a Christian because real faith in Christ prepares one for every emergency of life that can possible arise. Philippians 4:11-12; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 8:28.
# IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE STUDY
INTRODUCTION. -- There is nothing more important for the Christian than Bible study. There is nothing as important except prayer, holy living and work. And the one who rightly studies his Bible will pray powerfully, live holy, and work earnestly and efficiently. Bible study is also important for the one who is not a Christian.
I. Bible Study is Important as a Means of Intellectual Development.
No other study offers the material for such an all-round development of the mental powers as the study of the Bible.
1. The Bible is the profoundest book that ever was written.
2. The Bible gives a wider scope for the legitimate use of the imagination and fancy than any other book, or all other books. It goes back into the eternal past; it looks forward into the eternal future. The greatest masters of literature have allowed their fancy to drink in its highest inspiration at the Bible fountain.
3. The Bible is the world's great masterpiece of style.
(a) It is the world's marvel of condensed thought. Volumes are packed into a single verse.
(b) It is the peerless model of simple, chaste, strong, Anglo-saxon.
(c) It is absolutely unrivaled in its power of terse and incisive statement.
(d) It has a power that no other book possesses of saying things in a way that so penetrates the mind and fastens itself in the memory that they cannot be forgotten. Any man or woman who desires to write well or speak well should study the Bible above all other books.
4. Bible study affords such opportunity as is found nowhere else for the cultivation of the powers of observation, analysis, synthesis, inference, memory and recollection.
II. Bible Study is of the Highest Importance for the Promotion of Growth in Christian Character. 1 Peter 2:2.
III. Bible Study is Important for the Production and Development of Faith. Romans 10:17.
1. Faith as opposed to unbelief.
2. Faith that prevails in prayer.
3. Saving faith.
4. Faith that expects and receives great things from God in work.
IV. Bible Study is Important as a Safeguard against Sin. Psalm 119:11.
V. Bible Study is Important as Filling the Heart with Joy. Jeremiah 15:16.
VI. Bible Study is Important as a Safeguard against Error. Acts 20:29-20, 32; 2 Timothy 3:13-15 RV.
VII. Bible Study is Important to Make one Wise. Psalm 119:130.
VIII. Bible Study is Important as an Equipment for Christian Service. The Bible is the one Instrument God Honors in Christian Work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
CONCLUSION. -- You will miss every richest blessing in life if you neglect your Bible.
# HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
I. Study the BIBLE.
1. Not about the Bible, but the BIBLE ITSELF. Satan kept men for years from any Bible study; now there is an interest, etc., he keeps them from real Bible study. Questions of authorship, date, etc., are quite important, but studying these things is not studying the Bible.
2. Not helps and commentaries on the Bible, but the BIBLE.
3. Not devotional books. They are good in their place, but learn to go right to the fountain for yourself. The Bible itself the richest gold mine in the world.
II. STUDY the Bible.
Not merely carry it. Not merely praise it. Not merely glance over it. Not merely read. Study means close mental application. The Bible is profitable only by the truth in it, and that you must digest. Take its books, its chapters, its verses, its individual words and study them. Ponder them. Look closely at them. Turn them over and over. Weigh them. Psalm 1:2; Joshua 1:8.
One great hindrance to real study is having so many chapters you must read in a day. Leads to skimming, thoughtless reading. Have a definite amount of time for study, but not a definite number of chapters or verses. Go fast or slow, according to what you are studying. Sometimes one verse, sometimes many chapters.
III. Study the Bible Daily.
IV. Have a Definite Amount of Time Set Apart for Bible Study and a Definite Time in the Day for it.
Don't trust to chance. Give the Bible the first place. Let all other books and all magazines and papers have a secondary place. One of the greatest enemies of profitable study is hurry. One of the greatest secrets of profitable Bible study is undisturbed concentration of thought. The best time, other things being equal, is the early morning.
V. Study Prayerfully. Psalm 119:18.
VI. As the Word of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
1. Humbly and meekly. Cf. James 1:21.
2. Unquestioning acceptance of its teaching when definitely and clearly ascertained.
3. Absolute reliance upon its promises.
4. Prompt, exact, unquestioning obedience to every commandment.
5. As in God's presence. "God says this to me."
VII. Have some Intelligent and Definite and Systematic Method of Bible Study.
1. Study of the Bible in course.
(a) Five points on each chapter.
(1) Subject of the chapter. State principal contents of a chapter in a sentence.
(2) Principal persons.
(3) Leading lesson. Truth most emphasized.
(4) Best lesson.
(5) Best verse. Ponder it and mark it.
(1) Read continuously.
(2) Read repeatedly.
(3) Read independently.
(4) Read prayerfully.
2. Thorough study of individual books.
(a) Be systematic.
(b) Be thorough.
(c) Be exact.
(d) Write down your results.
4. Study for personal work.
# FIVE PLAIN RULES FOR HOLY LIVING
INTRODUCTION. -- The Bible is a plain book for plain people. It is true that the Bible sometimes takes us up to heights where our heads swim at the prospect that stretches before us. It is true also that there are places in this book so deep that no scholar's plummet has ever yet struck bottom. But the book abounds in plain, simple directions for everyday living. I come to you today with four simple rules for holy and healthy and happy living. It may seem to some of you like milk for babes, but it is well to remember that there are babes in most families, and even those who are sure they are full grown need plain victuals occasionally lest they get the dyspepsia. The fact is there are many spiritual dyspeptics in our day, and they are always grumbling at the food unless it is prepared by their own spiritual cook.
I. "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." John 2:5.
These words were spoken on a certain occasion concerning Jesus by His mother. They gave directions as to the way out of an emergency then at hand. But they point the shortest and best way out of all emergencies that ever aries. There is no better rule for holy, healthy, and happy living than this, "Whatsoever Jesus says unto you, do it." Whenever in a quandary what to do, just find out what Jesus says and do it. Never mind what it is that He says, do it. The thing that He says to do may seem very insignificant, a matter of no great importance. Never mind that, do it. Something else may seem very like it, or "quite as good," but don't you do that something else. Do the thing, the exact thing that Jesus says. How many people are robbed of blessing by doing something "just as good" as what Jesus said, instead of doing the very thing Jesus says. "Do it." "Whatsoever." "Whatsoever." How are we to tell what Jesus says? He is here in the written Word, the words which He Himself spoke directly and the words which He spoke by His Spirit through apostles and prophets. Besides that He is present personally. Matthew 28:20. If we are fully surrendered to His will He is always at hand to make known that will to us. Don't ask Him to make clear by His Spirit what He has already made clear by His Word.
II. "Do as Jesus Did," or, to put it another way, "Do as Jesus would Do if He were in Your Place." 1 John 2:6.
III. "Whatsoever is not of Faith is Sin." The Rule is this: "Do Nothing that you have Doubts about." Romans 14:23.
IV. "Whatsoever ye Do, do All to the Glory of God." There are really two Rules in that one. The First is, Do Nothing that you can't do to God's Glory; that Settles a good many Questions. Second, When you Do the things that you could Do to His Glory, actually Do it to His Glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31.
V. Throw your Soul into Everything you Do; as unto the Lord, heartily. Colossians 3:23.
# GREAT THINGS, AND HOW ANY ONE CAN GET THEM
INTRODUCTION. -- There are many who think that only a few men can ever attain unto great things, that the great mass of men must rest content with small things. This is not so. The very greatest things, the things of infinite and eternal value, are open to all men. There is not a man or woman here tonight who cannot have great things, the very greatest, those of the most priceless worth.
I. First of all any one can have Great Joy. 1 Peter 1:8.
II. Great Peace. Philippians 4:6-7.
III. Great Position. John 1:12.
IV. A Great Hope. Titus 1:12.
V. A Great Inheritance. 1 Peter 1:4-5; Romans 8:17.
# D. L. MOODY: THE UNITY OF HIS LIFE
"This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14.
INTRODUCTION. -- Mr. Moody loved to urge men to concentration of purpose and effort. He practiced it even better than he preached it. His life was a constant and unanswerable argument for the power of concentration of purpose and action. His life was one of marvelous unity. There was in it a seven-fold unity.
I. First of all, he was a man of one passion, love for Jesus Christ.
II. A man of but one aim, that aim was to please God.
III. He was a man of one book, the Bible.
IV. A man of one work, soul-saving. Mr. Moody did many things, but he always had one definite end in view, the salvation of the lost.
V. A man of one idea, "God is love."
VI. A man of one source of power, the Holy Ghost.
VII. A man of one endeavor, "to do what he could."
# MESSIANIC PROPHECIES
INTRODUCTION. -- Importance of subject. Peter's argument on the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2. Paul's argument. Acts 9:22; 1:3. Christ's argument. Luke 24:27, 44. There are said to be 333 prophecies and references to Christ in the Old Testament which are expressly cited in the New Testament.
I. Classes of Messianic Prophecies.
1. Explicit prophecies that refer directly and wholly to the coming Messiah.
2. Explicit prophecies that have an immediate reference to contemporaneous or nearly contemporaneous persons and events, but which have their final and complete fulfillment in the Messiah.
3. Passages the Messianic application of which is not explicitly noted but which are fulfilled and marvelously fulfilled in Christ.
To the first class of prophecies -- those that refer directly and wholly to the Messiah belong; e.g., Isaiah 53; Genesis 49:10; Micah 5:2. A very strong attempt has been and is being made to show that Isaiah 53 is not Messianic. It is said to refer to suffering Israel. This chapter cannot refer to Israel.
(a) The sufferer is represented as perfectly innocent and suffering for the sins of others. Vs. 5,6,8,9.
(b) He is a voluntary and unresisting sufferer. V.7.
(c) The sufferer is stricken for the transgression of another than himself, viz., God's people. V.8. But Israel is God's people, so the suffered cannot be. This 53rd chapter has been accepted by the Jews themselves as Messianic in the Targums, the Talmud, the Zohar. In the Jewish prayers on the Day of Atonement and by the Jews at the present time.
To the second class of prophecies those, etc., belong; e.g., Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 72:45.
To the third class of prophecies belongs Psalm 22 (vs.1,6,8,14,18).
To the types belong all the sacrifices and institutions and personages; e.g., the Passover, Exodus 12; the goats on Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16. The typical personages, Joseph, Genesis 37, David, Solomon; e.g., 1 Kings 4:24-34; 10:1-9.
II. The Development of Messianic Prophecy.
Messianic prophecy in the Bible like everything else in God's world and Word grows. First we have only the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. Genesis 3:15.
Next it is Shem's descendants. Genesis 9:26-27.
Then it is the seed of Abraham.
Then it is the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10.
Then the Son of David.
Other particulars also being constantly added.
III. What is Prophesied of the Messiah in the Old Testament.
1. His family. Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16. Of the family of David. He was to be born at a time when that family had been cut down and lost its glory.
2 State of family at His birth. Isaiah 53:2; 11:1 RV.
3. The time of His appearing. Genesis 49:10; Haggai 2:7-9; Daniel 9;25.
4. The place. Micah 5:2. Bethlehem.
5. His nature.
(a) Divine. Micah 5:2; Psalm 45:6; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 9:6.
(b) Human. Isaiah 53:3.
6. His character.
(a) Meek. Isaiah 53:7.
(b) Gentle. Isaiah 32:3.
(c) Retiring. Avoiding notoriety. Isaiah 42:2.
(d) Full of the Spirit. Isaiah 42:1; 11:2.
(e) Persevering. isaiah 42:4.
(f) Righteous and faithful. Isaiah 11:5.
(g) Absolutely sinless. (Implied also in vs. 5,6,8,12.) Isaiah 53:10, 9, 4.
7. Manner of birth.
Born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14. (See also Psalm 69:8; 86:16; 116:16.)
8. How treated by men.
(a) Despised and rejected. Isaiah 53:3; Psalm 118:22.
(b) Kings of the earth, etc. Psalm 22:3.
(c) Scourged, insulted, spit upon. Isaiah 50:6.
(d) Sold for thirty pieces of silver. Zechariah 11:13.
(e) Details of His death. Isaiah 53:7-8. Killed. Zechariah 13:7.
(a) Pierced. Isaiah 53:5. (Heb.) Zechariah 12:10.
(2) Psalm 22:14,17.
(3) Mocked while dying. Psalm 22:7-8.
(4) Garments parted while dying. Psalm 22:18.
(5) Given gall vinegar. Psalm 69:21
(6) Made intercession for transgressors when He bore their sins. Isaiah 53:12.
(7) Heartbreaks. Psalm 69:20; 22:14.
(8) Numbered with transgressors, made His grave with wicked and with the rich. Isaiah 53:12,9.
(f) His people will offer, etc., Psalm 110:1,3 RV.
(g) His Resurrection. Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 16:10.
(h) Ascension and seating at the right hand of God. Psalm 68:18 (24:7); Psalm 110:1.
(i) Two advents.
(1) Once born as a man to be cut off. Micah 5:1-2; Daniel 9:26.
(2) Once coming in clouds. Daniel 7:8,10,13-14; Psalm 2:8-9.
(j) His work.
(1) He should die in the place of others. Isaiah 53:6,8,12. Isaiah 53:10 RV margin.
(2) He should be made a guilt offering for sin.
(3) Isaiah 61:1-3.
a. Preach good tidings, etc.
b. Bind up broken-hearted.
c. Proclaim liberty to captives, the opening of prisons, etc.
d. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God.
e. To comfort all that mourn.
f. To give unto those that mourn in Zion a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
(4) To reign as king and to execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Character of His reign. Zechariah 9:9.
a. Eternally. Psalm 45:6; 72:5,17.
b. Psalm 72:2.
c. Psalm 72:4.
d. Psalm 72:7.
e. Universal. Psalm 72:8.
f. Absolute. Psalm 72:9-11.
g. Psalm 72:12-14.
(5) A priest. Psalm 110:4.
(6) A prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15-18.
(7) A light of the Gentiles. Isaiah 42:5-6; 49:6; 60:1-3.
IV. Is Jesus of the New Testament this Prophesied Christ of the Old Testament?
# THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST (1)
I. The Certainty of His Coming Again. John 14:3; Hebrews 9;28; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Acts 3:20.
The coming again referred to in these passages is not an event that has already occurred.
1. Christ's coming at death, not the coming referred to.
(a) Whatever the coming of the Lord to meet us there may be at death -- and there may be in a sense such a coming -- He does not descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and all those who sleep in Christ are certainly not raised from their graves at the death of the individual believer. To refer this language to what occurs at death is to transform an inspired apostle into a crazy rhetorician.
(b) Jesus clearly and definitely distinguished between death and His coming again in John 21:22.
2. Not the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The coming of the Holy Spirit is in a very real sense a coming of Christ. John 14:15-18, 21-23. But it certainly is not the coming referred to in the passages under consideration.
(a) This is clear from the fact that all of these promises but one (John 14:3) were made after the coming of the Holy Spirit and referred to something still in the future.
(b) It is clear again from the fact that Jesus does not receive us to be with Him at the coming of the Holy Ghost.
(c) The various things mentioned as occurring at His coming are all wanting at the coming of the Spirit.
3. Not the destruction of Jerusalem. The destruction of Jerusalem was in some sense the precursor, prophecy and type of the Day of the Lord that is to come. But God's judgment on Jerusalem in its destruction is manifestly not the event predicted in the passages given.
Years after Jerusalem had been destroyed we find John still looking forward to the Lord's second coming as an event lying still in the future. Not any of these three events, death, the coming of the Spirit, the destruction of Jerusalem, nor all of them together, nor any other event of history that has as yet occurred, fulfills the very plain, explicit and definite predictions of Christ and the apostles regarding Christ's coming again.
II. The Manner of His Coming.
1. His coming will be personal. It is Jesus Himself. John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16. "I myself." "Himself." Acts 1:11 RV. The Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 RV.
2. Bodily and visible. Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7; Acts 1:11. So beheld, beheld.
3. With great publicity. Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:26-27.
4. With great power and glory. Matthew 24:30; Matthew 16:27.
5. Sudden and unexpected. Matthew 24:42 RV; Matthew 24:44; Revelation 16:15; Luke 21:34-36.
# THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST (2)
I. The Purpose and Results of Christ's Coming Again.
1. Jesus Christ is coming again to receive His own unto Himself, that where He is, there they may be also. John 14:3.
2. Jesus Christ is coming again to fashion anew the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of His glory. Philippians 3:20-21.
3. Jesus Christ is coming again to bring us unto perfect conformity with Himself. 1 John 3:1-2.
4. Jesus Christ is coming again to reckon with His servants and to reward them according to their works. Matthew 25:19 and 16:27. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15.
5. Jesus Christ is coming "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all them that believed." 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
6. Jesus Christ is coming again to deliver Israel and to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Romans 11:26; Zechariah 12:1-13:6; Ezekiel 37:23; 36:25-27,29; Zechariah 8:3,7-8; Ezekiel 36:37-38; Jeremiah 31:3-7; Ezekiel 36:33-37; Zechariah 8:3-5 RV; Zechariah 8:23: Isaiah 49:22-23.
7. Jesus Christ is coming again to "execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 14-15 RV. He is coming to render vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8.
8. Jesus Christ is coming to reign as a King. Luke 19;12,15; Matthew 25:31; Zechariah 14:9; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Psalm 2:6; Revelation 19:12,15-16; 11:12; Isaiah 11:1-2,4-5.
The coming again of Jesus Christ is the solution and only solution of all social problems.
Oppression, poverty, crime, greed, injustice, will be at an end. "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9.
# THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST (3)
I. When is Christ Coming Again?
1. The exact time of Christ's coming again no man knows, the angels do not know, and even Jesus Christ in the days of His humiliation and self-limitation of knowledge did not know. Jesus Christ wished so to emphasize the utter folly of all attempts to fix the date that as a man He put away the knowledge of it Himself. Mark 13:32; Deuteronomy 29:29; Acts 1:7.
2. While we cannot set the date of our Lord's return, the Bible does describe the character of the times.
(a) It will be at such a time as when His disciples think not. Matthew 24:44.
(b) The world will not be looking for some great catastrophe, but will be absorbed in their usual pursuits. Luke 17:26-30.
(c) The last days and the time of the coming again of the Son of Man will be a time of apostasy, grievous times, and faith will be hard to find. 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5 RV; Luke 18:8.
3. The Lord may, for anything we know, come any time, any day, any hour. Mark 13:34-36; Luke 12:36; Matthew 25:13; Matthew 24:42,44.
"Is not the world to be converted before He comes?" Revelation 1:7; Matthew 25:31-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-4,8; Luke 18:8; 21:35; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 24:14.
Preaching for a witness is not the conversion of the world. Furthermore, this is before "the end" comes, but the coming of Christ in the air is not the end but the beginning of the end. Further still, the Gospel has in a sense, a biblical sense, too, been already preached to all nations. Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:23 RV.
The day of the Lord is not the coming of Christ in the air for His church, but His coming with His church to the earth in judgment. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. There may be, probably will be, an interval of several years between these two. It is doubtful that the Man of Sin can be revealed until the church is taken out of the way. v.7. There is nothing whatever revealed in the Bible that must take place before Christ comes.
II. Our attitude Toward the Coming of Christ.
1. We should be ready for our Lord's coming. Matthew 24:44. This is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active life.
2. We should be watching and looking for the coming of our Lord. Luke 12:36 RV.
3. We should earnestly desire the coming of our Lord. 2 Peter 3:12 RV; 2 Timothy 4:8.
# THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY
I. The Certainty of the Resurrection.
The resurrection of those asleep in Jesus is certain because it is certain that Jesus Christ Himself arose. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 RV; 2 Corinthians 4:14. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the sure guarantee of our own.
II. The Character of the Resurrection, or How are the Dead Raised?
1. The resurrection body will not be precisely the same body that is laid in the grave. It may be like it in many respects, but in others it will be very unlike it, infinitely superior. We shall recognize our loved ones in the world to come. 2 Corinthians 15:35-38. "Together with them." 1 Thessalonians 5:13-15.
2. The resurrection body will be incorruptible. 1 Corinthians 15:42.
3. The resurrection body will be glorious and mighty. 1 Corinthians 15:43; Philippians 3:20-21; Daniel 12:3. Shine forth as the sun. Matthew 22:30; Luke 20:35-36.
4. Will be a heavenly body. 1 Corinthians 15:47-49. Earth has nothing like it. Romans 8:23; Philippians 2:6; John 17:5.
5. Will be like the body of Christ's glory. Philippians 3:20-21 RV.
# HEAVEN: WHAT SORT OF A PLACE IT IS AND HOW TO GET THERE
INTRODUCTION. -- There are many who think we know nothing about heaven, that it is all guess work. This is not so. God has revealed to us very much about it, and what He has revealed about it is very cheering and eminently calculated to awaken in every wise and true heart a desire to go there. If we reflected more about heaven it would help us to bear our burdens here more bravely, it would incite us to holier living, it would do much to deliver us from the power of the greed and the lust that is blighting so many lives, it would make us cheerier and more sunshiny. Those are very shallow philosophers who tell us that our present business is to live this present life and let the future take care of itself. You might as well tell the school boy that his present business is to live today and take no outlook into the future life of manhood, that he might wisely prepare for it on the one hand and feel its stimulus on the other. True thoughts of the life that is to come clothe the life that now is with new beauty and strength.
I. Heaven is a Place. John 14:3.
II. What Sort of a Place is Heaven?
1. It is a place of incomparable external as well as internal beauty. This appears from such descriptions as we have in the 21st and 22nd chapters of Revelation. The God of the Bible is a God of beauty.
2. Heaven will be a place of holy and ennobling companionships. On the other hand there will be no unpleasant and degrading companionships. The devil will not be there. The lewd and the vulgar and the obscene will not be there. The avaricious and the scheming and the selfish will not be there. The liar and the slanderer and the backbiter and the meddler and the gossip will not be there.
3. Heaven will be a place that is free from everything that curses or mars out life here. There will be no sin. There will be no servile, grinding toil. There will be no sickness or pain. Revelation 21:4.
4. Heaven will be a place of universal and perfect knowledge. 1 Corinthians 13:12.
5. Heaven will be a place of universal and perfect love. 1 John 3:2; 1 John 4:8; Proverbs 15:17.
6. Heaven will be a place of praise. Revelation 7:9-12.
7. Heaven will be a city which hath foundations, a continuing city. Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 13:14.
CONCLUSION. -- Is no heart stirred with a longing for that "better country"? Hebrews 11:16. We may all gain an entrance there. There is but one way, but that is very simple and open to all. John 14:6; 10:9. Accept Christ at once, and gain a right to enter and live forever in heaven.