They are more desirable than gold, even more than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your slave is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your slave from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. (Psalm 19:10-13)
I want you to see the value of Scripture. It is so valuable as a comprehensive resource for life because first, it provides the greatest possession. Verse 10, “They are more desirable than gold, even more than much fine gold.” The Word of God is more valuable than all precious metal.
Oh, if we could only make our society realize that. If only many in the evangelical church could realize that we don’t have to promise people material things. The Word is supremely valuable, for it leads to the path of joy, it converts the soul, it makes wise the simple and all those things we’ve seen. It is the source of the greatest possession.
Secondly, it brings the greatest pleasure. In verse 10 he says, “Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” Nothing is as sweet, as pleasurable, as enriching, as personally meaningful. It brings the sweetest things of earth. What do you seek for? Where do you find pleasure? I can honestly say there’s no pleasure in life like the lasting joy of hours spent in the Word of God.
Thirdly, it’s the source of the greatest protection. Verse 11, “Moreover, by them Your slave is warned.” In the face of temptation and sin and ignorance, we need the Word. We hide it in our hearts that we might not sin.
And fourthly, it’s the source of the greatest profit, for in keeping of its truths there is great reward. The true reward is not here and now, not in positive confession, visualization of what you want. The true reward is the obedience to Scripture that brings about the glory to come. Instead of living for what we can amass now, like the cultic Christian preoccupation with health, wealth, and prosperity, we need to know the blessedness of living for the eternal reward.
The Scripture is the one thing that gives us without question the greatest possession, the greatest pleasure, the greatest protection, the greatest profit, and fifthly, the greatest purification. Look at the response of the psalmist. Even as he is going through all of this, he says, “Who can discern his errors?”
In the midst of these statements about Scripture, how can I ever understand why I sin? Why would I ever violate that which can transform me, make me wise, fill my heart with joy, purify my heart and, comprehensively supply all my resources? How can I understand that?
And in looking into the Word he cries out, “Acquit me from hidden faults.” Those are the ones that I don’t plan and I don’t premeditate; they’re hidden. And maybe I don’t even remember to confess. And then he says, keep me also “from presumptuous sins.” Those are the sins I see and plan, the arrogant sins. Keep me from the ones I don’t know about and keep me from the ones I do, and don’t let those dominate me. Then I’ll be upright and I’ll be “acquitted of great transgression.”
The term “great transgression” is the idea of freeing oneself or breaking past a barrier, escaping the dominion of God, the realm of grace. Oh God, hold me back. A look at Scripture causes a cry for purity in the heart.
So the Word of God is the greatest possession, a glorious wealth, because it gives you that which is needed for every issue of life. It is the greatest pleasure. It fills your heart with joy in all circumstances. It is the greatest protection because it warns you. It is the greatest profit. It leads you to eternal reward. And it cleanses the heart — the greatest purification. That little list ought to be something you keep somewhere, and when you study the Word of God and look at it, it will remind you of what it will do in your life.
We’ve covered the sufficiency of Scripture and the value of it. Finally, we come to the commitment to it. What is the response to all of this? It comes in verse 14. As the psalmist cries out, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Yahweh, my rock, and my redeemer.”
What he’s saying is, “O God, may the things I think and the things I say be acceptable to you.” Why? Because they’re consistent with Your Word, Your revelation. And he’s saying, “Make me a man of the Word. Make my thoughts, my words biblical.” That’s the right commitment.
We’re seeing sad things happen in the evangelical church today. People are leaving the Word of God and chasing after other things because they have the feeling that the Word can’t meet their need. And that is a lie of the devil that has arisen because they’ve never really lived a biblical life like the Bereans, who daily searched the Scriptures. They’ve never allowed — as Paul said to the Colossians — the Word of Christ to dwell in them richly. They’ve treated it in a cursory way and never enjoyed the power of its depths.
And oh, how in this day we ought to call the church of Christ back to a preoccupation that consumes them with the living Word of God. Let our message not be that of the Bible plus the world, but let it be the message of the sufficiency of the Word of God alone.
In your heart, can you make before the Lord a renewed covenant to commit yourself to His Word? What we have heard out of the Word of God is without equal and importance in the life of a believer. Will you covenant with God to be a man and a woman of the Word? Oh, you’ll never know what the Word can do if you don’t study and apply it. It is the consummate spiritual resource through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This post is based on a sermon Dr. MacArthur preached in 1986, titled “The Sufficiency of Scripture, Part 2.” In addition to serving as the pastor of Grace Community Church and the voice of Grace to You, Dr. MacArthur is the chancellor of The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, Calif. You can learn more about TMU at masters.edu.
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