Thy Word – Gospel in Life

Thy Word

Tim Keller |  April 20, 2008

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  • The Bible
Psalm 119
RS 202-03


Christians have all of these great beliefs, yet the beliefs we have don’t automatically produce changed character. That’s the reason there are so many people who profess Christianity who are just as selfish as everybody else. Beliefs don’t just produce character. Beliefs have to be turned into character through practices, through spiritual disciplines.

Today we’re going to be looking at how we are supposed to use Scripture, the Bible, in our lives. Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the Bible (176 verses), and it’s all about the practical uses of Scripture in our lives. If you want the Scripture to be used in your life to translate beliefs into character, then you have to recognize its majesty, tap its power, and unlock its secret.

Exploring Psalm 119

Our beliefs need to be shaped by regular spiritual habits and practices to truly form our character. Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, teaches us how to appreciate the importance of the Bible, use its teachings effectively, and discover its deeper meaning. When we grasp and use these principles, the Bible can help us turn our beliefs into who we really are.

1. Understand its importance

Psalm 119 highlights the importance of the Bible, its authority stretching beyond the Ten Commandments to include everything in the Bible, even the Psalms. The Bible is described as unchanging and eternal, bigger than the popular views of our time—it rules over them. Every command and word in the Bible is true and important, something Jesus emphasized when he said that not even a single tiny letter could be removed from the Law or the Prophets, showing the total authority and power of the Bible.

2. Use its teachings

Accepting the authority of the Bible leads to freedom and a closer relationship with God, and it also encourages growth and progress in society. Looking at society’s trends through the lens of the Bible gives us a timeless view, and making God the center of our lives helps us to not be controlled by outside influences. Having a real relationship with God means giving up control, believing difficult truths, and relying on the perfect Bible for deep and dynamic talks with Him.

3. Discover its deeper meaning

Psalm 119 leads us to question the idea of honoring a book, while also thinking about the dual divine and human nature of Jesus, the Word, and the limits of language in understanding God. The idea of giving up control in personal relationships is like our relationship with God, showing Jesus’ death on the cross as the way to a real relationship with God and the importance of trusting and obeying God’s Word. It’s important to engage with the Bible in different ways, like memorizing, thinking deeply about it, and studying it. This, along with the power of personal experiences to shape belief and faith, and the need for ongoing discovery and thinking to overcome doubts, is emphasized.


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Marriage is one of the most profound human relationships — but it can also be one of the most challenging. So Tim and Kathy Keller designed a devotional book for married couples to use together.