Chapter Two

Knowing The Profitable Things

Psalms 119:18 (NKJV) Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NKJV) As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.

As we begin the process of knowing, there are several things that must be considered. These are the facts that we must rely upon. This is the basis for our faith.

First, the Bible is the Word of God. Just about every major Protestant religion in the list of their confession or articles of faith recognize that the Bible is God's revealed word and is suitable for the task to which God gave it. We will discuss this task in this section.

Second, since the Bible is God's word, we must be able to rely upon it and use it as a source of authority. The Bible teaches us that God does not lie. Therefore when we base our faith upon biblical scripture and principles, we are safe in our faith.

Third, our salvation is totally dependent upon God's word. We will discuss how it is dependent upon God, and in the process will refute many false doctrines concerning the grace of God, and how we are saved.

Fourth, our salvation is totally within our control to accept God's word and do it, or to reject either all or part of it. We can add, subtract, or change by our free-will choice. This study hopes to guide all into making the right decision in light of what the Bible teaches, and not have to rely upon feelings or emotions to support our faith.

This study is of no value to the person who does not accept the Bible as the authorized word of God. If one cannot accept the infallibility of scripture, this study is useless. We know we must use guidelines. We must keep within certain parameters. We must follow the right blueprint or plans. We must use the same rules.

Another point that needs to be made is that the Bible is actually God speaking to us individually or collectively. God speaks to people and He speaks to nations. God speaks to the human race.

It has been said that the Bible is the "greatest book ever written". This is true. Though there have been many works of literature that have given the world population enjoyment, pleasure, and instruction; none have had the impact upon mankind as this Holy Bible. The Bible is unique in many ways. It is actually a collection of many other books. Our bible currently has sixty-six books. In times past, some of the books were kept together as one. Both books of Samuel were combined. The Kings were combined. In some manuscripts, all the minor prophets were kept together. When you get down to it, the dividing of scripture into chapters and verses did not happen until well into the second millenium (1652-The Geneva Bible).

We have a much greater advantage today than those of the past. The Bible is the all-time best selling book year after year. Many homes have a bible for each member of the family along with the Family Bible as an heirloom. Many bible students have more than one bible. These are used in study to learn. These bibles might be different translations. They might have marginal references. They might have notes to explain some language differences. The difficult thing to understand is that we have the word of God available to us and we seem to not care. People died in times past in order to preserve the Bible. We do not appear to value this book as much as we should. This is what this study is designed to do. To give us a love and respect for the word of God that we may have confidence and hope in it.

The Revelation of God

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NKJV) "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Revelation is the process that makes known. It opens up to our minds, the expressed will of God. It causes us to see or to understand. A court of law should not pass judgement without hearing the evidence. Some people will not buy something without opening the box to inspect the contents. People cannot play a game without knowing the rules. In the same way, we cannot know God without some form of revealing introduction or revelation.

Though God is the ultimate author of the Bible, He speaks through various individuals to bring His message to mankind. God makes Himself known through visions, dreams, and by speaking in different ways. He might speak by voice or through the agency of an angel or prophet. God's language cannot always be understood. As the apostle Paul and the prophet Daniel were receiving the revelation, those who stood near could not understand what was spoken. The children of Israel heard the grumbling from the mountain but did not understand the language. Note some of the following passages and see how the Lord reveals Himself to these people.

1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NKJV) Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. {2} And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, {3} and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, {4} that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!" {5} So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. {6} Then the LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." {7} (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.) {8} And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy. {9} Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. {10} Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."

Luke 1:26-37 (NKJV) Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, {27} to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. {28} And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" {29} But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. {30} Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. {31} "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. {32} "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. {33} "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." {34} Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" {35} And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. {36} "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. {37} "For with God nothing will be impossible."

Genesis 6:13 (NKJV) And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 1:29 (NKJV) And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

Genesis 17:9 (NKJV) And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

Genesis 35:10 (NKJV) And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name." So He called his name Israel.

Exodus 3:14 (NKJV) And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

Numbers 22:12 (NKJV) And God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."

1 Kings 3:5 (NKJV) At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask! What shall I give you?"

Hebrews 1:1 (NKJV) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

As you can see, God spoke to people, kings, prophets, and others in different ways. He spoke, either by direct voice or by an angel speaking for God. It was the responsibility of the people spoken to, to reveal the message of God. The fathers were to teach their families and all their descendants. The prophets were to speak, preach, write, and demonstrate the word of God. Sometimes this preaching was accompanied by miracles.

Sometimes, people accepted the word based upon who was doing the speaking.

Matthew 2:12 (NKJV) Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Acts 10:10-17 (NKJV) Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance {11} and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. {12} In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. {13} And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." {14} But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." {15} And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." {16} This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. {17} Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate.

Numbers 12:4 (NKJV) Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!" So the three came out.

Matthew 17:5 (NKJV) While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"

2 Peter 1:17 (NKJV) For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV) When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. {17} And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Joshua 5:13-15 (NKJV) And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?" {14} So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" {15} Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.

Question. Did Joshua only have one foot? Moses had to take the sandals off of his feet. The point is, I find a lot of humor in the Word of God. We should take seriously all the word, but not to the point where we do not enjoy reading it. Actually some versions do read "Take your sandals off your feet". This is the most important book we have and we must enjoy it. We must respect it. We must demonstrate in our lives that this book is important to us.


Isaiah 59:21 (NKJV) "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore."

Have you ever played the tattletale game. This is where you tell a story and each person tells it to the next person and then when it gets around to the origin, they compare the original by the final result. If God did not reveal by inspiration, the messages from God would usually end up different by the subsequent generations. As you will remember the Bible tells us of times when generations did not know God. Or you will remember how that God's worship was not done properly for generations. God decided that word of mouth left too much open for misunderstanding and error. Whether the people did this intentionally or not, God did not want to take that chance.

What part of the Bible can we ignore? Is there a part that does not speak to us?

Is there a reason for all the begats? Is there a reason for all the names of the people who built the wall of Jerusalem? Is there a reason to know about other people in times past?

The answer is Yes. We may not know why, but God gave these to us for a reason. We must respect every part of God's word. Even Jesus gave the importance of God's word when he said:

Matthew 5:18 (NKJV) "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

God working through the Holy Spirit guided the pen of those who wrote the books of the Bible. He constructed the words and applied the proper meaning to the words the writers were using. It is amazing that He allowed the personality of these people to come through. This is why some scripture is narrative, some is prose, and some is poetry.

2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

All Scripture is the key phrase here. Many folks find it convenient to ignore some scriptures and hold on to only the portions that they want to believe.

2 Peter 1:20 (NKJV) knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

The writers may not have known exactly what they were writing. We see that the Lord spoke to them to give instruction to the people. This has been preserved through time by the written word.

Daniel 12:8 (NKJV) Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?"

Daniel 12:9 (NKJV) And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

No translation can be proven as inspired. We know the various translations have different language. We usually have a personal preference of which translation to use for our studies. Because a language is different does not make it wrong. Some will say that the King James Authorized Version is the only acceptable one that God accepts. We must understand that the original language is inspired and the translators are not inspired. So how do we know that our English language bible is good enough for God? By the evidence found internally and externally.

There are enough manuscripts available that anyone who translates in error can be proven false. Ezra's priests were to explain the Law as to give a meaning of understanding. There are enough scholars around to refute any contradictions that someone might publish. There are some good books by Josh McDowell about the Bible and the evidence supporting its claims. This is some good suggested reading. If Josh McDowell should ever read this study, I would encourage him to examine the evidence and learn that the doctrine of "Faith Only" is a human doctrine and not found in God's Word. Read on and you will learn of the "True Faith Doctrine" of the Bible.


Proverbs 6:23 (NKJV) For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,

Now that we see that God has revealed His will, and that He has inspired the various writers of His word to explain His will, He must make it understandable. This duty was given to the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the "Helper".

John 16:8-11 (NKJV) "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {9} "of sin, because they do not believe in Me; {10} "of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; {11} "of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

John 14:26 (NKJV) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 16:13-14 (NKJV) "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. {14} "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Now look at what Paul says of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:10 (NKJV) But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV) For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

So God has revealed Himself; inspired His authors, and made Himself understood by the Holy Spirit. We have to accept the written word as "gospel" because that is what it is. It is the truth. Now lets look to see what the Bible can do for us.

It can convict

Nehemiah 8:9 (NKJV) And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.

2 Chronicles 34:18-21 (NKJV) Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king. {19} Thus it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes. {20} Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, {21} "Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book."

Nehemiah 9:3 (NKJV) And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.

It can correct

Psalms 17:4 (NKJV) Concerning the works of men, By the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.

There are many symbols in God's word that describes the scripture in different ways. God does this to make His word more understandable. The Bible is so simple that anyone with any understanding can learn right from wrong and what to do about sin.

One symbol is the Bible as a mirror.

James 1:23-25 (NKJV) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; {24} for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. {25} But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

A mirror does nothing except show a reflection. If we are looking at the Bible and do not see ourselves, then we are not living as the Bible instructs. A full moon gives light at night to see, but the moon has no light of its own; it only reflects the sun's light. So we also must reflect the light of God by setting the right examples and showing Christ in our lives.

Another symbol is the word as a seed.

1 Peter 1:23 (NKJV) having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

In the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus calls the “seed” the word of God. Jesus spoke several parables concerning seed. It would be a good study to look at all these parables and understand that each time the seed is used, it represents the word of God.

Another symbol is the word as a light.

Psalms 119:105 (NKJV) Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Light helps us see when there is darkness. When we have illumination, we have a better understand of these things. Jesus is described as a light from God, as well as His word.

Another symbol is the word as a sword.

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

A sword was an instrument of warfare that accomplished its task which was used to defeat the enemy. They did not have bombs and laser-guided missiles, or even muskets. Their battles had to be hand to hand, one on one. The sword was the instrument that pierced the skin to cause damage. The word of God pierces us to convict us of sin.

The word is even described as food.

Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. {13} For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. {14} But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Any person with any sense knows that a baby needs milk and not solid food. Why should we expect new Christians to digest strong meat before we give them their milk? That is what this study is trying to accomplish. The gradual development that will make one strong and mature is what we are trying to accomplish.

God's word can correct us and keep us on the right path. This can only be done if we follow it. Just because God's word exist, does not necessarily mean we benefit from it. We have to take it and apply it to ourselves.

Psalms 119:65-67 (NKJV) You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. {66} Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments. {67} Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.

God's word can also help us to correct someone else in error.

Acts 18:24-26 (NKJV) Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. {25} This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. {26} So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Acts 19:1-7 (NKJV) And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples {2} he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." {3} And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." {4} Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." {5} When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. {6} And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. {7} Now the men were about twelve in all.

God's word cleanses

A cleansing is necessary when there is filth. Some have to be reminded to wash their hands before eating or returning to work. This cuts down the possibility of transferring germs to others. There is other filth that needs to be cleansed; that filth is sin in our lives. As long as we have sin associated with us, we cannot enjoy the presence and fellowship of God. God's word guides us in order to cleanse us from sin.

Psalms 119:9 (NKJV) How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.

Isaiah 59:2 (NASB) But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.

1 Peter 1:22 (NKJV) Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

A cleansing is necessary, but other problems can arise. Our thoughts and actions can remove us from God's presence. If we are careful to keep the word of God in our lives, it will be harder for temptation and sin to overcome us.

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Psalms 119:172 (NKJV) My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

God's word confirms

His word confirms His position in relation to us and it can confirm our relationship to Him. To confirm means to establish a truth, or fact without dispute. To confirm means that you need more than one source for verification of an event or thing.

Mosaic Law required more than one witness to convict someone of a sin punishable by death. When we read stories of past events written by different authors, we can get a clearer picture of what really happened. Some events in world history can be described in different ways depending on who is writing the history. The winners or losers will describe events differently. By putting them all together, we can get a clearer picture of what really happened. This is what God's word does; it clears up the picture.

Our salvation is confirmed by the word of God. We learn that salvation is conditional upon our meeting the requirements set forth by God. Notice the following passages.

John 8:31 (NKJV) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

John 5:24 (NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 3:16 (NKJV) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 6:27 (NKJV) "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

John 6:35 (NKJV) And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6:37 (NKJV) "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

John 6:40 (NKJV) "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 10:27-29 (NKJV) "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. {28} "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. {29} "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

We have the confirmation that God will take care of His children.

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

It also gives confirmation of the forgiveness of past sins.

Psalms 32:5 (NKJV) I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Psalms 103:12 (NKJV) As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

A particular word, which has had much misunderstanding applied to it, is "abide". The word "abide" means to dwell or exist in such a place or relationship. Look at these verses and get an idea of what abide means in each case.

Psalms 61:4 (NKJV) I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

John 12:46 (NKJV) "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

2 John 1:9 (NKJV) Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:13 (NKJV) By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

1 John 2:28 (NKJV) And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

1 John 2:24 (NKJV) Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

John 15:1-10 (NKJV) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. {2} "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. {3} "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. {4} "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. {5} "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. {6} "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. {7} "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. {8} "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. {9} "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. {10} "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

Meeting the requirement means abiding within the guidelines set forth by God. We cannot be said to abide in Christ if we do not believe or practice His doctrine. Since Christ is equal with God, to not have One is to not have the Other. If we are to be a part of Christ, we must do His will and follow His lead.

God's word equips us.

Proverbs 22:21 (NKJV) That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

These are necessary tools needed to perform our task. Our task should be the same task that Jesus had. It is the same task that Paul had. That is why we are to imitate Paul as he imitated Christ. The goal of the salvation of souls is God's plan for man. Jesus came to fulfill that plan, and the scriptures teach us that plan. We are the forces by which God can carry out this plan.

1 Timothy 4:13-15 (NKJV) Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. {14} Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. {15} Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

2 Timothy 2:1 (NKJV) You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Equipping one for the work of service is to be prepared for service. We need to use any and all tools at our disposal to accomplish the task before us.

We have seen in this chapter how God's word came to us, and we see what His word can do for us. Let’s learn to put our trust in God's word. Our teaching must be by book, chapter, and verse. If we are to preach, we must only preach that which the word of God reveals. We cannot add theology to his word. We cannot add doctrine to his word. We can only teach the word so as to give the proper understanding. To explain the word of God in a language that people can relate to. To speak in a language that opens the mind to accept the words and apply them. By using symbols and examples, people can learn. We must use these tools to equip ourselves for our task.

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