“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 119:11 ESV
(The word doesn’t reside in the intellect, it resides in the heart leading to action. As he states, it is my greatest desire to know your word so that I don’t offend you. My heart is to know you, the real you, as revealed in your word)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105 ESV
(Your word guides me. Though culture, politics, emotions, guide the world. Your word guides me and I follow)
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”
Luke 8:11 ESV
(The word is the seed. The seed contains the blueprints for life for the tree and fruit. It is unchanging, unaffected by opinions, constant. The soil (our heart) it falls on determines its effectiveness. 3 out of the 4 soils it falls on fall away without ever producing any fruit.)
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
(We are body, soul and spirit. The word is what helps us distinguish whether the thoughts and intentions of my heart are coming from the Holy Spirit, or merely my soulish/fleshly emotions. Without the word we are tempted to fall into emotionalism and call it “spiritual”)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:1, 14 ESV
(The word here refers to Jesus. We have no knowledge of Jesus without His word. Without His word we are tempted to create a Jesus of our own likeness. Jesus came FULL of grace AND truth. Not one or the other, both. Without truth, the truth of who He is as He reveals Himself, we are not worshipping the real Jesus.)
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
(All scripture… all his word has application. It’s very purpose is for teaching and correction. We can’t be taught if we’ve already decided in our hearts that we are right. We can’t be corrected if we’re only going to listen to his word when we agree with it. The word was given to us to apply and thereby change us.)
It’s not Pharisee-ical to know the word. It’s Pharisee-ical to know it and not apply it, apply it outwardly only when people are watching without introspection, or apply it to others and not ourselves.
It’s not “worshipping the Bible” to know it, if that desire to know it, comes from a heart of desire to know Him, be closer to Him, be changed by Him.
A relationship with God is not devoid of emotion. It’s driven by it!!! But it’s direction is guided by His word, lest we detour off track and find ourselves worshipping a god that looks a lot like ourselves.
There are no grades or levels of Christianity. The idea of nominal believers, disciples, and the super spiritual are tiers that simply do not exist anywhere in scripture. Jesus makes it clear, He is either Lord of all, or not Lord at all.
But there are levels of spiritual maturity. The longing for the immature is to mature, to grow.
The difference is the heart. The desire for Him as He reveals Himself in His word. The nominal believer simply wants to live his life and sprinkle a little Jesus on top. His desire is not to know God but simply to make his way in this world. To have a family. To be successful. To be healthy and happy.
None of these things are bad. They’re just what the unregenerate world wants. Being born again is not wanting what the world wants and getting it through Jesus. Being born again is being given new desires entirely. It’s being given a new heart that longs for Him, to know Him, to be close to Him. Being born again is not a one time decision. It’s a miraculous work He does in us that propels us toward Him. And the evidence that He has done that work in us is that we grow.
The parable of the sower in Luke 8 mentions the seed falling on 4 types of soil. One, the seed is snatched away by Satan. The second, the seed sprouts quickly, maybe has an emotional experience, but when difficulty comes it dies. The third, the seed sprouts but cannot detach from the things of this world. Thus the things of this world compete for the resources of the heart and eventually choke out its desire. The last the seed falls on good ground. It takes some time to sprout but it’s roots grow deep. As it grows it produces fruit. The seed is the word, the soil is our heart.