The Protection of The Word
All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.
We are seeing a great apostasy today. The word apostasy means the abandonment of a religious belief.
In several books I am reading, in conversations with other pastors, in things that are now being embraced by people who claim to be followers of Jesus, we are witnessing here in the United States the abandonment by many of what they once held true and even fought for.
Things taught in Sunday School 50 years ago from God's Word are now being abandoned or altered to fit the sin of the day.
Jesus uses the word "astray", the Greek word: skandelizo
*to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend
*to entice to sin
*to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
*to cause to fall away
*to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
*to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
*to cause one displeasure at a thing
*to be displeased, indignant
The "all this" is chapter 13-15 of John's Gospel
We must contend earnestly for the faith. Jude 3
We must remain in His Word. John 15.5-7
These are times when things are being equated with God's Word.
Watch out that no one deceives you Jesus said. Mark 13.5
If we remain in Him and His Word remains in us no one can pluck us from the Father's Hand.
1. Jesus Told Us He Would Protect Us.
John 10 The Good Shepherd
He lays down His life for the sheep
He will be with us in the valley of the shadow of death
His rod and His staff comforts us
One of the main tasks of a Shepherd is to protect the sheep from predators.
Jesus is the Guardian of the sheep.
Sheep are defenseless. They cannot bite or scratch or kick.
They can run but not as fast as their enemies.
To survive and to thrive sheep must realize they are totally dependent on the Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is always on His watch even when only He sees the danger.
The valley of the shadow of death was a deep ravine, dark and dangerous, where wild animals hid as well as deceitful and dangerous men.
2. Jesus Prayed For Our Protection.
John 17.11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name- the Name that You gave Me- so that they may be one as We are One.
to attend to carefully, take care of
metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is
to reserve: to undergo something
The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. He protects us from false doctrine. Something clicks off in our mind and heart when we hear something that is not in line with God's Word. That is one of the reasons it is wise to get into the Word. We are protected by it...
3. Jesus Protects Us By The Word He Told Us.
He is the Word of Life
The Word Become Flesh
As the Word became flesh... The incarnation, so we are to incarnate the Word to the point where as Paul the Apostle says in II Corinthians 3.2 "You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men."
Here we are at the beginning of the Advent Season, the time when we focus on Jesus coming to the earth as a Baby in Bethlehem. We read very familiar passages and sing sacred songs. We celebrate with one another and our families.
The focus in on the Christ Child. God has given it significant place in His Word.
We are to give it a significant place, the center, in our hearts.
He is the Word of God.
He is the Word become Flesh.
He is the Living Word.
He is the Written Word.
Let's stay close to Him.
Let Him dwell in you! Colossians 3.16
"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom."
There are spiritual battles going on the likes of which we have never seen before