The Baptist Beacon
By S.G. Degraffenreid
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my paths." (Psalm 119:105) This is a wonderful passage of God's Word which tells us what the Word of God is: a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. "Thy Word" is God's Word. Will you listen to God's Word? The Word of God is a perfect treasure of Heavenly instruction, written by men Divinely inspired; therefore, God is the author. The Word of God is assuredly the perfect and all sufficient rule of faith and practice for our lives every day. But most importantly, God's Word will reveal to a lost sinner, first, who he is, and secondly, who Christ is. It is a "sure word of prophecy" (2 Peter 1:19). It is steadfast and invariable and will stand when all else falls. Matthew 24:35 reads, now listen to God's Word, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." God's Word will last forever, even after all men and man's glory passes away. Listen to 1 Peter 1:24_25: "for all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass, The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth forever, and this is the Word by which the gospel is preached unto you."
Woven throughout the Word of God from start to finish, is the Gospel of Christ which is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth" (Romans 1:16). Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? If you have saving faith you're not because to you, the Gospel is the power of God which brought you to salvation in Christ. If you are ashamed of the gospel, then you're ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Gospel. Christ suffering, crucified, dead, buried, risen, and exalted at the right hand of the Father is the very foundation of the Gospel message.
God's word speaks where Christ speaks, and is silent where Christ is silent. "Thy Word" is a lamp, and a lamp gives light to our path ahead. If you are walking down the broad way that leads to hell, then you are among the many (Matt. 7:13) Multitudes are on that way, straight to hell and do not know it. God's Word will give light to your path, and when God's Holy Spirit applies the Word with power to your conscience, then you will see just where you stand. If you have been saved by grace, then you are among the few (Matt. 7:14), and you have been down the narrow way which leads to life, you know what God saved you from, when God saved you, and what a gift it is, what grace it is to know Christ. Do you know the only true God? Do you know Christ by revelation? Do you know the Christ of the Bible? Or do you know "another Jesus" that has been created in your own mind (2 Cor. 11:4)?
The Word of God is light. Concerning eternal life or death, God's Word is The Light. God's Word is inerrant or infallible, which means that it makes no mistakes, it is perfect in every way. This is true because God makes no mistakes and is perfect in every way. God has revealed to us through His Word, that His Word is "a light unto our path." Many people have said to me "Well, I don't know much of the Bible, I just follow my ole heart", or "I just have to go with what I feel." These are all church members who have told me this. According to God's Word, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). Men have a natural hatred for God and His Word. To narrow this down, lost sinners hate God's Word, but children of God love it. Won't you hear this? Thy Word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it" (Psalm 119:140).
Light is opposite darkness. When light enters in darkness flees, darkness must flee because of its very nature. For the Word of God to be our light God's Holy Spirit must open our heart to it. David said: "The entrance of thy words giveth light" (Psalm 119:130). Entrance where? Into the sinner's dark heart. This work of grace the Lord did to Lydia "whose heart the Lord opened" when the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel to her.
His Word is alive, because it is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). It is NO DEAD LETTER. I've heard this from some people. The fact is, "God's word is
quick (living), 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." (Heb. 4:12). The Word of God is truth, whether you believe it or not. Listen to the words of Christ, "Thy word is truth" He said while praying to His Father (John 17:17). This is opposed to ALL error, in which men by nature live in and practice, although his ways seem right to him, they are wicked to God. Religious or otherwise. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes" (Prov. 12:15) God says to us in Isaiah 53:6 "We have turned everyone to his own way."
God's Word destroys all vain imaginations and pulls down all strong holds that a sinner has, it cuts his heart like a sword, reveals to him is sinful nature, his actual sins against a sin_avenging God, shows him his due punishment in hell forever because of the judgment he is under, then, shows that helpless, hopeless, broken, hell_bound sinner, that Christ Jesus died for such a one as he.
God's word breaks in to the dark heart of a sinner (2 Cor. 4:4) who is by nature, in reality, "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1), "dead" not "sick", and slays him, leaving him helpless at the foot of the cross of Christ pleading for mercy. Man has a "darkened understanding" (Eph. 4:18), is by nature a "child of wrath" (Eph. 2:3), and is "alienated from the life of God" because of the blindness of his own heart (4:18). He is neither able nor willing to do that which is good in the eyes of God. Then, by the power of God's Holy Spirit, Who uses His sword, the Word of God, the lost sinner is reproved or convinced of his own sin, his exceeding wickedness and offense toward the Holy God, of his own lack of any goodness or righteousness, and of the judgment he is under, (John 16:8) trembling at the thought of being brought before the judgment seat of Christ. He then knows he is already judged by Him who is the Judge of the universe, Guilty! Apart from the power of God's Holy Spirit, he does not, and cannot know this! But when God shows him, he KNOWS that he is GUILTY in God's court.
When faced with this truth the light of God's Word has revealed to him, he does one of two things. He rebels against the truth or he submits to it's testimony to him. He is wise to stick to this testimony that God, through His Word, applies to his conscience. Let's read what THE WORD says about this. "I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame" (Psalm 119:31). If he does not receive the love of the truth (2 Thes. 2:10), it is because he hates the light of God's Word, which light is necessary for a sinner to be born again (Roman 10:17). If he does not come to the light, it is because he loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19_21). This lost sinner would rather remain where he is, or reform the outward man (which is easy to do _ Luke 11:39). He will go to very great lengths, even giving his life to who he believes to be the Lord, to justify himself, but all this while, God knows his wicked heart. Read God's Word carefully: "Ye are thy which justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is esteemed highly among men is abomination is the sight of God" (Luke 16:15). Do you have rebellion rising up in your heart at the word you just read? The light of God's Word cuts his heart and convicts him of sin, therefore he steals away to try and hide in the darkness with which Satan has him blinded. Many may not know it, but he knows it, and he knows that God knows it, for "all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb. 4:13).
The lost sinner who receives the love of the truth, even though it condemns him (being already condemned), "comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God" (John 3:21). He comes to realize that, as Abraham named the mount, "Jehovah_jireh" (Gen. 22:14), or that "God will provide." He knows that if God were to send him to hell, he deserves it justly, and therefore, begins to throw himself on the mercy of God. He looses all care of what men see, or say of him because man cannot justify him before God. He sees that all of humanity is under the same awful but just judgement as he. He hears multitudes crying out "Where is the God of judgement?" (Mal. 2:17). After the light of God's Word, which he knows to be true, every jot and tittle, has shown him that he is lost, that he is a sinner, that he is sentenced to a just reward for his deeds, then God, first "according to the good pleasure of his will and to the praise of the glory of His grace" (Eph. 1:5_6), secondly, for the lost sinner's good, reveals to that lost sinner that Christ died on the cross for him, leads him to see Christ, and grants him the gift of faith to believe on Christ (John 6:40). And now, by power he knows that Christ is the Son of the Living God, and is now alive, because the Holy Spirit through the Word reveals this so powerfully to his heart. He now gives ALL praise and glory to the Son of God because "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto (him) but his Father which is in Heaven" (Matt. 16:17). He now sees his sins laid on his Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit bears witness with his spirit of this fact, that he has been washed in the blood of the Lamb! "Being born again, not of corruptive seed but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23). Amen.