The Mouth of God

Bible Book: Matthew  4 : 4
Subject: God, Mouth of; God, Nature of; God's Word
Series: A Portrait of God

The Mouth of God

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com

Sermon 5 in a series of 6 sermons entitled, "A Portrait of God."

Introduction

Matthew 4:4 ...

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (NKJV)_

Today we are going to look at another sermon in our series of messages on a Portrait of God. We have looked at several attributes of God that are explained to us in scripture in human terms. Now we turn our attention to The Mouth of God. Our text is Matthew 4:4, where Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

When we consider the mouth of God, we are actually considering the Word of God. That is exactly what Jesus said – “ ... every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

I love language. In college I majored in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. I ended up studying ancient Greek for 3 years, biblical Hebrew for 3 years, and spent a year studying Aramaic during my college and seminary education.

One of my favorite personal studies through the years has been the etymology of words – that is, the derivation or origin of words. Words have a life. They start somewhere and sometimes get changed or altered until they come to us. We use them and hardly think about them at all. In fact, the use of words can be pretty funny at times. For example, did you hear about the three handsome male dogs were walking down the street when they saw a beautiful, enticing, female Poodle. The three male dogs fell all over themselves in an effort to be the one to reach her first, but they ended up arriving in front of her at the same time. The males were speechless before her beauty, slobbering on themselves and hoping for just a glance from her in return. Aware of her charms and her obvious effect on the three suitors, she decided to be kind and told them, “The first one who can use the words "liver" and "cheese" together in an imaginative, intelligent sentence can go out with me on a date.”

The sturdy, muscular black Lab spoke up quickly and said, “I love liver and cheese.”

The beautiful poodle said, “That shows no imagination or intelligence whatsoever.”

She turned to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and said, “How well can you do?”

He said,, “Uh, I HATE liver and cheese.”

The poodle said, “My, my, I guess it's hopeless. That's just as dumb as the Lab's sentence.”

She then turned to the last of the three dogs, a small chihauhau and said, “How about you, little guy?”

The last of the three, tiny in stature but big in fame and finesse, was the Taco Bell Chihuahua. He gave her a smile, a sly wink, and turned to the Golden Retriever and the Lab and said, “Liver alone. Cheese mine.”

Before you think that story is insensitive, one of my dear Latino friends thinks that is the funniest story he has ever heard.

A cowboy went to church for the first time in his life. He enthusiastically told a friend about his church experience. He recalled, “I rode up on my horse and tied him up by a tree in the corral.”

The friend said, “You don't mean 'corral' you mean 'parking lot.'”

The cowboy said, “I don’t know, maybe that is what they called it, but then I went in through the main gate.”

His friend said, “You don't mean the main gate, you mean the front door of the church.”

The cowboy nodded, “Well, anyway, a couple of fellows took me down the long chute.”

Once again his friend corrected him, “You don't mean the long chute, you mean the center aisle.“

The cowboy said, “Whatever, anyway, then they put me in one of those little box stalls.”

His friend said, “You don't mean a box stall, you mean a pew!”

The cowboy’s eyes lit up and he said, “Oh yes! Now I remember! That's exactly what that lady said when I sat down beside her – Phew!”

So, as you can see, words are very important and can easily be misunderstood or carry a meaning completely he opposite of what a person means or thinks. When it comes to God’s Word, we come to the most important words ever recorded. Jesus was pointing out this truth when He spoke to the devil as recorded in Matthew 4:4. This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.

In North Carolina, where I grew up, there was a bakery named Sunbeam. This bakery erected billboards with a young blonde girl printed on them. Each year at Christmas time they would change the billboards and show the young girl with her head bowed in prayer. They would put these words on the billboards: “Not By Bread Alone.” What a wonderful witness that was. Indeed, man has a hunger in his soul for something more than bread alone. Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone, but he shall live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Let's look at the Word of God that comes from His mouth for a moment this morning.

I. The Word of Creation

All life we can see, and all life we cannot see came to be because of a word from God’s mouth. God spoke into existence all things that exist.

Look at Psalm 33:6 ...

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,

their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”

This is the place to begin thinking about God’s Word. Why? Because it tells us that He created everything, owns everything and is the only one who can tell us how everything works.

When automobiles first appeared on the scene, a man was driving one of the first Ford cars ever made. It broke down on him and he could not get it started again. He was standing looking at the thing with his hands on his hips when another car drove up and a well-dressed man got out of the car. He asked if he could help. The man with the stalled car said he doubted if anybody knew anything about these new-fangled machines, but he was welcome to take a look if he wanted to. The well-dressed man raised the hood, tinkered for a moment or two, turned the crank and the car came to life. The first gentleman asked, “Hey, how did you do that?” The well-dressed man said, as he dusted off his hands, “My name is Henry Ford, I invented that car.”

Friend, God invented you. He made you. He made the world you live in. He knows how it works and what to do when it is broken. He has spoken on the subject in a manual called the Bible. To read the Bible is to listen to God Himself!

God's Word is not only the word of Creation, it is also ...

II. The Word of Affection

God’s Word is a love letter to human beings. It isn’t written to anyone else. Animals can’t read it. Angels don’t need it. It is written to you. Even the stories of horror, war and death are a part of this love letter. They serve as warnings. Every parent who loves his or her child warns the child of dangers. Sometimes the parent will use stories of horrible things that have happened in an attempt to protect his or her child.

When I was a boy growing up in North Carolina, a little girl was run over by a car not far from my house. She was killed instantly. My parents told that story often. They used to remind me to be careful when riding my bike, playing with my friends, or walking to a nearby store. Were they being cruel to tell me of the awful thing that had happened? Absolutely not! Their words were words of love and protection.

In this Book, the Bible, God declares His love and describes His love. In Malachi he says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. In John 3:16 we read, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.” This book is a book of affection from our Lord.

Note also that God gives ...

III. The Word of Salvation

God’s Word can be a word of transformation or conversion. Listen to what the John 6:68 states ...

“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”

Indeed, His words are the words of life. Jesus provided for our salvation with His life at Calvary. He rose for our justification. He intercedes for all who believe. But it is His Word that grants life. Note the Scripture that states, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). You are saved by faith through grace, but without the Word of God you cannot believe. The Word of God is a word of transformation. God makes His grace known through His Word. He calls on us to express our acceptance of His Son through our words. Listen to what God says about this from Romans 10:9-10 ...

"9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. "

Ah, did you see that? God uses His Word to inform, convince and convict us, but He requires us to use our "mouth" to openly confess our faith in him. We cannot be saved in other way. There are not secret disciples of Jesus. Just as God speaks openly to us in His Word, we are to speak openly to Him and the world about our faith in Jesus.

Note what Peter penned in 1 Peter 1:23 ...

“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

Those who are saved are saved through the Word of God.

James 1:18 says it this way ...

“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

We give our word regarding His Word and He then gives us a Word of assurance regarding our salvation.

Note also ...

IV. The Word of Progression

The Word of God is given to us to help us progress and to grow. You cannot grow Spiritually without knowing this Book. We must stow this Book in your memory to grow in our daily living. Now I am not talking about knowledge, I am talking about wisdom – which is knowledge applied. We must know this Book, but we must also live this Book.

We read in 1 Peter 2:2 ...

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”

As a person is born and begins to eat, then he or she grows. Likewise, the child of God should be growing in a spiritual sense. We are to consume His Word, the Bible, and that will enable us to grow to be all that He has planned for us. A child that does not get proper food is weak and often never reaches the height, weight, or strength that is possible. A Christian can never be what he or she is meant to be without absorbing the spiritual nutrients found in the Bible - God's Word.

Jesus said that man could not live by bread alone. We need God’s Word!

Also look at ...

V. The Word of Protection

Psalm 18:30 states ...

“As for God, his way is perfect;

the word of the LORD is flawless.

He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”

Paul reveals that the Word of God is like a sword (Ephesians 6:17). The believer with a Bible in his hand, head and heart, is fully armed with the most effective weapon ever known to man. With God's Word we possess a power greater than the atom bomb, greater than the newest cruise missiles, and more accurate than the smartest bomb ever made. The Bible teaches us that we can defeat Satan and sin in our lives, which is far greater than defeating an earthly army. God's Word provides the necessary resources for the Christian to live victorious in Christ.

Whenever the Ethiopian emperor Menelik II was ill, he would eat a few pages from the Bible. He believed it would restore his health. He became very ill in 1913. He ate the entire book of 2 Kings and died in that same year. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997). It is not eating the Word that saves us but rather it is believing and behaving according to the Word which protects us and shields us from the enemy of our souls.

Now consider ...

VI. The Word of Direction

Isaiah 30:21 states ...

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

God speaks to us to direct us. His Word is said to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). I will tell you this, I've never gone astray following the directions found in God's Word, but I've stumbled more than once by not heeding what God said in His Word. God's Word is a divine GPS - God's Positioning Source for the believer.

Finally, note with me ...

VII. The Word of Destination

One day, His Word will determine the destiny of each person here. The question has often been asked, “Does God speak to people audibly?” He has never spoken to me through my human ears, but one day He will. You see, one day God will speak to us of our destiny. To the believer it will be, “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of the Lord.” But to the lost, it will be, “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.”

Which word will you hear? You can hear the voice of peace and joy if you will listen now to the voice of salvation. He is calling to you now. He may be speaking to a believer who needs to come to Him for forgiveness, for strength, for direction or simply to find rest in His presence. He is surely speaking today to someone who needs the Savior. Listen! He is calling your name. What will you do? The choice is yours.