Session 8: How Does Scripture Affect Our Lives? - Radical

Secret Church 17: Scripture and Authority in an Age of Skepticism

Session 8: How Does Scripture Affect Our Lives?

In this session of Secret Church 17, Pastor David Platt draws five critical conclusions and offers some final exhortations based on the truths covered in previous sessions of this study. The Bible is divine, true, clear, sufficient, and good. This reality should have a transforming effect on our beliefs and our actions. We should obey God’s Word confidently and proclaim it urgently to those around us. David Platt exhorts Christians to boldly proclaim the gospel with confidence in God’s Word.

  1. Conclusions about the Bible
  2. Scripture Affects our Lives
  3. We have sinned but God is gracious
  4. Are you allowing scripture to affect your life?
  5. Scripture should affect your life in relation to the poor
  6. Pray for the Bible to affect your life

Consider these critical conclusions that I hope are clear: 

Conclusions about the Bible

Number one, the Bible is divine. Humans did not create this book. The Bible is breathed out by God Himself. 

Number two, the Bible is true. We can trust it. “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever” (Psalm 119:160). 

Number three, the Bible is clear. We can understand it. Every single one of us can understand the Word of God. This Word is not too hard for you. It’s not far off. It’s near to you. It’s in your mouth and your heart so you can do it. 

Number four, the Bible is sufficient. It is indeed the only book we need. “It is profitable….” (2 Timothy 3:16); profitable to save the least. 

And ultimately, the Bible is good. It is worth giving our lives for. 

Scripture Affects Our Lives

These critical conclusions then lead to these final exhortations, all based on this picture in Nehemiah 8. Follow along with me in starting with the first verse: 

And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 

From early morning until midday he’s reading from the Book of the Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose and beside him stood a bunch of people—we can’t pronounce their names—and Ezra opened the book. This is the part we read earlier. All the people stand up and start shouting, “Amen, Amen.” Then skip down past the next list of names: 

They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and 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 or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 

Can you picture that? They are just reading the Word and they’re just weeping, realizing their sin. “We have sinned against God.” They are convicted. 

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 

We have sinned but God is gracious

What a picture. Yes, we have sinned but God is gracious. It’s a day of celebration. We are reading and coming back to His Word. This is a good day. 

So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. 

The Word of God and the people of God. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s receive this Word humbly in our lives and in the church. Let’s crave it. Bring out the book. We want the book. Let’s receive this Word humbly, revere this Word humbly and receive this Word continually. Surely the majority of your week—four days a week—this Word is worth that kind of time if not more. Start there. Receive this Word continually and believe this Word completely. Let’s believe what this Word says about our lives, how our lives belong to Him for Him to do with, in, and through them whatever He pleases. God, help us to believe what this Word says about our lives. 

Are you allowing for scripture to affect your life?

Are you living in obedience to this Word? Are there areas in your life right now that are in direct disobedience to this Word? Neglecting commands in this Word? And as that conviction comes I just challenge—I encourage you—repent. Live in disobedience to this Word at great peril to your life and the lives of others around you. Live in obedience and believe. Obey what this Word says about our lives. Believe what this Word says about the lost. If this book is true then billions of people right now are on a road that leads to an eternal hell. If you believe that, it will change the way you live. 

Scripture should Affect your Life in Relation to the Poor

For that matter, let’s believe what this Word says about the poor. Whoever gives to the poor will not want. He who hides his eyes will get many a curse. Let’s believe this Word completely, obey this Word confidently and proclaim this Word urgently.

I love Acts 19. It explains how Paul preached in Ephesus for two years. Consider the result at the end of the passage. Let’s start at verse eight:

And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews, and Greeks. 

That’s quite a statement. All the residents of Asia. Really? I lead an international missions organization. It would be great to be able to report after a couple of years, “Well, we got all the residents in Asia covered. Next year we’re going to do Africa. Soon we’re going to Antarctica. That’s all that will be left. We’ll have it all.” I mean, really? 

Here’s the beauty. It wasn’t because Paul went throughout Asia with the Word. It’s because people went all around Asia with the Word. They would hear the Word taught in Ephesus and they would scatter from that city to different places and the Word was spreading throughout Asia.

Pray for the Bible to Affect your Life

The reason I put that at the end of this guide is because that is my prayer for fifty or sixty thousand people tonight. I pray that you would love this Word more than you did six or seven hours ago and that from this gathering that fifty or sixty thousand people would scatter from this gathering, studying this Word like you’re life depends on it because it does and that you would scatter from this gathering proclaiming this Word like others’ lives depend on it because they do.

Session 8 Discussion Questions

Study Guide pp. 134-137

1. Did this study correct any misunderstandings you had about the Bible? Explain your answer.

2. How might the truths in this study affect the way you approach God’s Word?

3. Respond to the following question: “How do you know the Bible isn’t just a human invention?”

4. What are some practical ways you can be more consistent in studying God’s Word?

5. What are some ways you have neglected to apply the Word to your life? How will you respond based on this study?

6. How should our belief in the truthfulness and authority of Scripture affect the way we relate to unbelievers? What about the poor?

7. What are some marks of a church that is committed to the Bible as its authority?

8. What role should the Bible play in our personal evangelism and disciple-making? Be specific with your answers.

9. What questions do you still have about the authority of the Bible? Go to a church leader or another mature Christian and discuss these questions with them.

10. Based on this study, why are Bible translations and biblical resources so critical to the task of missions?

Key Terms and Concepts

  • Critical Conclusions
    • The Bible is divine. (Humans did not create it.)
    • The Bible is true. (We can trust it.)
    • The Bible is clear. (We can understand it.)
    • The Bible is sufficient. (It is the only Book we need.)
    • The Bible is good. (It is worth giving our lives for.)
  • Final Exhortations
    •  Let’s revere this Word humbly.
    • Let’s receive this Word continually.
    • Let’s believe this Word completely (with regard to our own lives, the lost, and the poor).
    • Let’s obey this Word confidently.
    • Let’s proclaim this Word urgently.


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