Scripture: Psalm 106:24-27 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: 25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD. 26 Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: 27 To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.

Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

Numbers 20:24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

TEXTS: Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


INTRO: Quite regularly I get mail, especially e-mail in response to something on our WebSite on which I have taken a rather strong stand. In a good percentage of the negative letters, I am told that I take too strong a stand on doctrinal matters. The writers tell me that only certain things are important. One told me that all that is important is if you know Jesus. Another said, "I know the deity of Christ, being born again, and loving others regardless of what their doctrine is important, but you take too strong a stand on other doctrines."

One deceived young man wrote:

I'm a young man of growing convictions. Your web sight seems to focus on doctrines and theologies. These things will never and have never created unity or drawn anyone to the God who desires to have relationship with them. I encourage you to remember the divinely inspired words of Paul which call anyone without unity immature. Revealing the face of God to those around us is what draws the world to the church and stirring up dissention among the brotheren is spoken harshly against many times as I am sure you are aware. As a growing leader who seeks to find unity in a depraved generation and a splintered church I entreat you to seek the face of God and abandon a faith of doctrines and logicalities that have caused many strong Christian leaders to fail.

In the light of these suggestions from readers of our messages on the WWW, I began thinking on the question, "Does it matter what you believe?"

I have read several Scriptures and chosen two of them as my text for this message and this series. In the first, God says that his man is to speak his word and to speak it faithfully. Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. This leaves no room for equivocations and question marks where God has put periods. Dr. Dobson, an ordained Nazarene preacher likes to say that he is neither a theologian nor a scientist." He, therefore, entertains many ideas that are not according to the word of God. God’s man is to declare God’s word and to declare it faithfully, not rounding the corners to make it easier to accept or watering down to make it less rigid.

The second text which I have chosen is equally or more dogmatic. Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. God tells us that those who do not speak according to his word are without light; they have no light in them. It behooves us, therefore, to carefully study the word of God and obey the admonition to rightly divide the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

It is abundantly evident from Scripture that it is extremely important what one believes and teaches. We are not at liberty to pick and choose the things in the word of God which we like and set aside that which we do not like. As a pastor and minister of the gospel, I am not at liberty to pick and choose what subjects in the Bible I will teach and those which I will not teach and preach. If I would be free from the blood of all men, I must not shun to declare all the counsel of God. Acts 20:26-27 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

With these things in mind, I am beginning a series on the question, Does it Matter What You Believe? Of course, we could add, Does it Matter What You Preach? May I say that the person who really believes the word of God, all the counsel of God, will not shun to declare all the counsel of God. Psalm 116:10 I believed, therefore have I spoken. 2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.

The first three messages in this series will deal with the question, Does It Matter What You Believe About the Scriptures? In this first message we will consider the question:


I. Jesus affirmed that the Scriptures are the Word of God. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

A. He considered the Scriptures to be the words which proceeded out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

B. He believed that one could absolutely depend on the word of God to be fulfilled. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

C. When facing the temptation by Satan, he, without reservation, appealed to the word of God for his answer.

1. Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

2. Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

3. Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

D. When cleansing the temple he appealed to the Scriptures. Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

E. He declared that his death would be exactly as had been written. Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

F. When warning the disciples they would be scattered he appealed to Scripture as evidence that it would come to pass. Matthew 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

II. The apostles and preachers of New Testament times did not hesitate to indicate they believed the Scriptures to be the very word of God and entirely true.

A. Consider Peter’s appeal to Scripture when Judas was being replaced. Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

B. Consider also Peter’s declaration concerning the Scriptures as being surer than a vision from heaven. 2 Peter 1:18-21 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

C. Consider Stephen’s appeal to Scripture when answering the charges against his teaching. Acts 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?

D. Consider the words of James while addressing the assembly in Jerusalem. Acts 15:15-17 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

1. Note first that he said, "It is written."

2. Then, he refers that what he had quoted from Scripture as being what "saith the Lord."

E. Consider also Paul’s referencing the word of God. Acts 23:5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. Exodus 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

1. He did so a number of times in the book of Romans. Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.

2. Of course, we are all familiar with his declaration in II Tim. 3:16-17. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

CONCLUSION: Since it is unequivocally clear that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, written by holy men of old as they were moved, or born along by the Holy Spirit, let us look to it, and it alone, for our rules of faith and practice. Let us not look to the field of psychology as so many are. Let us not listen to those who claim to have new revelations and visions for we have a more sure word of prophecy spoken and written by inspired men under the direct superintendence of the Holy Spirit. How blessed we are that God has given us a book that is perfectly reliable as an all-sufficient, authoritative rule for what we believe, teach and practice.

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