Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Justification by Faith Alone Part 2

Back in March I put up an article on Justification by Faith Alone.

I think it also should be stated that we are justified by believing in Jesus, not by believing in justification by faith alone. It is very unfortunate that this has to be stated at all. We are not saved by having "accurate knowledge" to put it in WT terms. Satan has all the "accurate knowledge" in the world, doesn't help him one lick. A person may not be able to explain justification by faith alone. They may even be very confused about the subject. They may not understand the finer details and distinction of the imputation of Christ's active and passive righteousness, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is not what you know, but what you are doing. Are you trusting in Jesus. Saving faith, it has been said, has three aspects, 1) Knowledge 2) Assent 3) Trust.

1) Knowledge

Obviously there are things you NEED to know. (i.e. Jesus died for your sins and rose again, that he is the only way of salvation)

2) Assent

You agree that this is true. (The demons have 1 and 2)

3) Trust

You place all your confidence, love, and hope in Jesus alone. You rely solely on him. Not on yourself, or your religion, or denomination, or governing body. You treasure Christ above all things. This is what I'm talking about.

So once again:
You are not saved by believing in Justification by faith alone, but by by believing in and trusting Jesus (which is justification by faith alone if you realize it or not.)

Now this doesn't mean that teaching Justification by Faith alone isn't important, or that this doctrine really doesn't matter. Far from it, not teaching it would lead the church astray and inevitably bring us to a works based system. While people in our churches may not understand all the details of justification when or even after they are saved, it should be the job of Pastors, Elders, Deacons, and all faithful Christians who know their bible to instruct such ones to come to a better knowledge of the topic. Isn't that the way it is with other teachings and doctrines? I know it was for my part. As Peter said we are to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter 3:18

There are many who believe in Justification by faith, but who don't trust Jesus. May none of us be in that camp.

Grace and peace to you,

Matt

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

James and Paul

Some have claimed that James chapter 2 contradicts or denies what Paul says about justification by faith alone. Let's take a look.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith o but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith part from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. - James 2:14-26 ESV


Notice verse 14:

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

What faith? A faith that does not have works. It's a dead faith. If someone says he has faith but lacks the resulting evidential works, one must doubt that he has been saved.

As Martin Luther said, "It's not faith and works, but a faith THAT works."

This same thought is continued in verse 17:

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Faith that is not follow by the accompanied action is useless and dead, unable to save.

Notice also verse 18:

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my work.

The evidence for faith, is works. Faith can be shown only through righteous deeds.

Now look at verse 22:

You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;

James does not disagree that faith alone saves. “Completed” (Gk. eteleiōthē) often means “bring to maturity.” Full-grown and genuine faith is seen in the good deeds it produces.

James apparently has a different sense of the word “justify” in view here, as evidenced by the different Scripture passages, and the different events in Abraham's life, to which James and Paul refer. The primary way in which Paul uses the word “justify” (Gk. dikaioō) emphasizes the sense of being declared righteous by God through faith, on the basis of Jesus' atoning sacrifice (as in Romans 3:24–26), whereas the primary way that James uses the word “justify” (Gk. dikaioō) in James 2:21 seems to emphasize the way in which works demonstrate that someone has been justified, as evidenced by the good works that the person does (compare with Matt. 12:33–37).

Notice now verse 24:

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

James view and Paul's are compatible. For James, “faith alone” means a bogus kind of faith, mere intellectual agreement without a genuine personal trust in Christ that bears fruit in one's life. James, in agreement with Paul, argues that true faith is never alone, that it always produces works (compare with Ephesians 2:10)

Is faith a work? Paul and James are not implying that even genuine faith is the basis of salvation; rather, it is the means and instrument by which one is saved. We are saved by Grace through Faith. And all of this doesn't come from us, it's God's gift.

For by grace you have been saved a through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

Works are the root and evidence of true justifying faith.

Grace and peace to you,

Matt

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Satirical Hymn - The Wonderful Law of Moses

About 30 years after the death of Christ, Paul wrote a letter to the churches in the region of Galatia. The essential truth of justification by faith rather than by the works of the Mosaic law had been obscured by some insisting that believers in Christ must keep the law of Moses if they expected to be perfect before God. When Paul learned that this teaching had begun to penetrate the Galatian churches and that it had alienated them from their heritage of liberty, he wrote a passionate letter which contained very strong language. Paul says that these "Judaizers" were "accursed", "fallen from grace", and he wished them "castrated".

Today, this same spirit has infected many churches and people. Instead of fleeing to Christ, they flee to the Law and law keeping, which can only place on them an unbearable burden of guilt. Paul said that the law is "holy and righteous and good", but that it's purpose was to show us our sin and need for a Savior.

A few friends of mine and I were meditating on this subject, and we re-wrote a hymn to reflect our meditations. This hymn is satire, and not meant to be taken seriously. The purpose of this hymn is to show the foolishness of those who would seek to obey the law of Moses in an attempt to please God. That was never the purpose of the Law.

And now here are the Lyrics we came up with. If we had to name our band, we'd call ourselves, "Luther". Why Luther? For the reason that Luther took a very strong stance against Law keeping as a way to be right in God's eyes. In his words, "Go to the Jews with your Moses; I am no Jew. If I accept Moses in one respect, then I am obligated to keep the entire law. For not one little period in Moses pertains to us."

Wonderful Law of Moses
To the tune of Wonderful Grace of Jesus. (Click here for music)

Wonderful law of Moses, magnifies all my sin
How shall my tongue describe it, where shall it's praise begin,
Placing on me a burden, for all eternity,
For the wonderful law of Moses reaches me.


(Refrain)
Wonderful the matchless law of Moses
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea
Higher than the mountains, sparkling like a fountain,
All condemning law to even me
Showing me the scope of my transgressions (show it!)
Heaping on me all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious law of Moses,
Praise its name.

Wonderful law of Moses, source of my every boast,
By it I'm self exalting, pride to the uttermost,
Chains may be wrapped around me, shackled so gloriously,
For the wonderful law of Moses, Shackles me.

(Refrain)


Wonderful law of Moses, making me most defiled,
By it's enslaving power, making me wrath's dear child,
Purchasing flames of fire, far as eye can see,
For the wonderful law of Moses, sure damns me!

(Refrain)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friendship with God.

Have you ever lost a friend? I'm sure that we all have. Have you ever tried to start a friendship with someone who didn't want to? It hurts doesn't it.

"'Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness'—and he was called a friend of God." - James 2:23 ESV

Abraham is one of the only people in scripture called God's friend. Why doesn't God have more friends?

Well God has few friends because many do not desire God. In fact, the majority of mankind hate God. They love their sin and rebellion, and they want to stay in it. God can't just forgive them either. He is Holy, completely separate and other from us. God must have some legal basis to forgive them. The demands of his justice must be met. Mankind is guilty of high treason. It would be unjust if God were to just forgive a person. Not only this, but God hates sin. Why does God hate sin? He hates it because it is a slap in His face. It is exactly opposite of his character. Sin is a revulsion in the sight of God. It deserves nothing but his wrath and hot displeasure. He can not befriend anyone so filled with sin, rebellion, and wickedness.

That is why the Creator and Judge, in his infinite mercy and wisdom, to the praise of his glorious grace and justice, added humanity to his divinity by becoming a man and then died upon the Cross as a substitutionary sacrifice in the stead of sinners. There the Lord Jesus, who didn't know sin, became sin for us, so that those who by God's grace repent of their sins, and place their full confidence, trust, faith, and love in the Lord Jesus might be freed from the curse of sin and enjoy the sweetness of reconciliation and restored friendship with God. God is able to have friendship with them because he doesn't see them or their sin, but because of their union with Christ, he sees them as they are in Christ. When God sees a saved sinner, he sees his Son. He sees how we one day will be perfected and conformed to His image. So upon that basis, restored friendship is available. We preach this wonderful opportunity to all who are still at enmity with God and beg them to be reconciled to him.

Can this be demonstrated scripturally? Yes.

The reason for few friends -

"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." - John 3:19

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. " - Romans 1:18

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." - Genesis 6:5

"You who are a of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong." - Habakkuk 1:13

"What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and t the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
- Romans 3:9-18

But that's not the end of the story. We have reconciliation with God.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved- Ephesians 2:1-5

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. - Ephesians 2:11-13

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but l God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by r his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. - Romans 5:6-11

Friendship with God is not just for the 'super spiritual', as is taught and implied by the Watchtower. All who are blood bought, born again, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not only God's friends, but his children and fellow heirs with Christ. Now how AWESOME is that.

Isaac Watts Wrote:

Alas, and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Was it for sins that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown
And love beyond degree

CHORUS
My God, why would You shed Your blood
So pure and undefiled
To make a sinful one like me
Your chosen, precious child?

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut His glories in
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
For man, the creature’s, sin

CHORUS

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness
And melt my eyes to tears

CHORUS

As the hymn writer wrote "Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree." Let us praise the Lord Jesus for this awesome privilege of friendship with God.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Messianic Secret

"And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ." - Luke 4:41 ESV

"And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him." - Mark 8:27-30 ESV

Have you ever wondered, why does Jesus silence the Demons? Why do the synoptic gospels have Jesus telling certain people not to tell anyone that He is the Christ?

First off, it is not proper for the demons to preach the gospel. Satan, who is a continual enemy of the truth, ought not to be heard, not even when he speaks the truth. He didn't need their testimony, nor did he choose to be made known by them. The time was not right for such a declaration of Christ's identity to be made and they were not the proper persons to make it. If Jesus had allowed demonic testimony the Scribes and Pharisees would have found out and said that he was in league with demons.

Jesus wanted to show the people by word and deed the kind of Messiah he was. People had false notions of the Messiah and needed to be taught futther before Jesus identified himself explicitly to the public. He was not going to be the anticipated popular notion of what the Messiah would do and be. The Jews had the false concepts of the Messiah by looking for an exclusivley national and political leader. They expected a victorious king who would free them from Roman opression and inauguarte the Kingdom of God. Jesus didn't want to precipitate a revolution against Rome. He knew the crucial time table that His father had set before him and did not want to die prematurely, before he had finished his ministry. Jesus came first to defeat Satan, sin, and death. The demons were attempting to frustrate that attempt.

He also did not want to draw the crowds simply for the sake of miracles. his teaching ministry to become hindered or become second place to his healing miracles. He also was so popular that he couldn't even have a day off. Everywhere he went he had large crowds following him.

Here is a great example of how the above works. Compare the resurrection of Jairus' daughter in Mark 5, with the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11.

"And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat." - Mark 5:37-43 ESV

Notice also in this same chapter of Mark Jesus tells the Demoniac who he healed, to go and tell everyone. Not hiding anything now is he?

"Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him." - John 11:40-45 ESV

Why the differences between the way Jesus does resurrection? Because the resurrection of Jairus' daughter happens rather earily on in Jesus ministry. The resurrection of Lazarus happens a week before his death.
Notice the results of openly resurecting Lazarus, instead of keeping it quiet in the case of Jairus' daughter

In verse 43 of John 11 many Jews believed in Him
In verses 46 to 53 of John 11 the Council plots to put Jesus to death
In verse 54 of John 11 Jesus is no longer able to go out into the public.
In verse 57 of John 11 there is a warrant out for Jesus arrest.
In verse 9 of John 12 a large crowd seeks to see Jesus and Lazarus
In verses 10 and 11 of chapter 12 the Council plots to have Lazarus put to death also.
In verses 12 through 19 the large crowd greets Jesus in the Triumphant entry, and proclaim him Messiah. However, as can be shown from the parallel accounts, they still were thinking in political and military terms.

So you can see from the results of just ONE public resurrection, that it set into motion the entire sequence of events that lead to Jesus death. Jesus knew this. That is why it was kept quiet before, but when "his time had come", all was revealed.

Another thing to consider is that discrepancies are proof or their originality, not otherwise. These men were not guilty of collusion. They didn't get together and make sure their stories were correct. These accounts have the smell and taste of realism. The lack of attempts to cover up apparent discrepancies indicates that fabrication was not the intention. In fact, although there is no evidence of collusion, closer examination of apparent discrepancies can often help shed light on unexplained aspects of the other gospels. For example, why did the fishermen leave their nets so readily when Jesus called them? John's account reveals that this was not their first encounter with Jesus.

Differences in memory account very well for the variations in narrative detail. Most people would have a hard time accurately remembering casual conversations. But, even today we can quite easily remember large portions of poetry or drama learned many years ago. There was obviously some collections of various sayings of Jesus which could be used as an aide to memory. The gospel writers could have compiled their own accounts, augmenting and amending the narrative in accordance with their own personal recollections.

Variations in narrative detail also prove that there was no edited control of the text early on by the Church. This is what happened with the Qur'an. Islamic leaders got together, edited the text, and destroyed all variants. Now they can never be sure what was originally written by Mohammad, because they don't know how far these leaders went in their editing process. The New Testament spread so far so fast that no one would have the chance to edit every manuscript in every church across the entire Roman Empire.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You can make the Bible say anything!

"People can use the Bible to say whatever that want. Many people have done evil things and found their justification in the Bible."

Have you ever heard an argument like this? I've noticed this argument used argument several often. It goes something like this:

1 - People have used the Bible to support all sorts of evil things
2 - God doesn't like evil nor does he condone it.
THEREFORE: We can't trust the Bible. We shouldn't use the Bible to test the Spirits.

Their logic is flawed. The solution to misuse is not disuse, but correct use. The scribes in Jeremiah's day were MISUSING the Law. The people who have used the Bible to condone their evil actions have taken it out of context and misinterpreted the passage. They are guilty of eisegesis. Eisegesis occurs when a reader reads his/her interpretation into (into from Greek eis) the text. We are supposed to do exegesis, (or the method of the proper interpretation of a text where you get the interpretation out of the text, instead of reading it into the text). This means that you can't cherry pick verses out of their historical and literary contexts. This means that you can't play Bible hopscotch, jumping around from one verse to another, cherry picking along the way, or "proof-texting". Any reasonable exegesis of a passage like that in Acts would lead one to conclude that "abstain from Blood" doesn't refer to blood transfusions. The WT misused the Bible. Do we throw the Bible out? GOD FORBID! We use it correctly! We tell them they're wrong in their interpretation because they are inserting a foreign idea into the text, something that the original author and the Holy Spirit never meant it to mean. What matters is what the author intended for it to mean. After understanding this, the right question for us is how can its meaning apply to us.

Your logic can be shown to be absurd this way:

1. People misuse money for many evil purposes like gambling, bribery, extortion, etc. Besides this, it is a cause for greed.
THEREFORE: We shouldn't use money.

The solution to misuse is not disuse, but correct use.

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV

"And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures." - 2 Peter 3:14-15 ESV

How does Jesus respond to the religious leaders of His day?

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God." - Matthew 22:29

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Canon of Scripture

How did the books of the New Testament come to be in our Bibles?

The historic Christian belief is that the Holy Spirit, who controlled the writing of the individual books, also controlled their selection and collection. Very early on, some of the New Testament books were being recognized. Paul considered Luke’s writings to be as authoritative as the Old Testament. Peter recognized Paul’s writings as Scripture. Some of the books of the New Testament were being circulated among the churches. Clement of Rome mentioned at least eight New Testament books (A.D. 95). Ignatius of Antioch acknowledged about seven books (A.D. 115). Polycarp, a disciple of John the apostle, acknowledged 15 books (A.D. 108). Later, Irenaeus mentioned 21 books (A.D. 185). Hippolytus recognized 22 books (A.D. 170-235). You also have the Muratorian Canon (A.D. 170) with 24 books. (A reason why some of the earlier guys didn't have more books was because they didn't know of them, or perhaps knew of them, but didn't have access to them Times were hard under Roman persecution.)

It isn't like the Bible just popped into existence three centuries after Jesus died. The first disciples had known Jesus personally. They could tell the gospel story because that saw it first hand. They were eyewitnesses. They then told their followers and new believers these stories. There was a sort of oral tradition. They also didn't have long to wait before the New Testament was written. Most of the New Testament was written between A.D. 45 - A.D. 70. Only John writes after A.D. 70. Many of the books of the New Testament were being circulated among the churches well before A.D. 70. When each church got a copy of a book of the New Testament, they would make a copy of it. They also had ready access to the Old Testament. You can also recreate the entire New Testament except 11 verses, just from the writings of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers. You make it sound like there was this long period of time where there was "no bible". Which is not correct. As I have stated, within 20-30 years after Jesus died the Churches had access to much of the New Testament. Until then, they relied on earlier written sources which Mark and Matthew used in the creation of their gospels, and oral tradition and the testimony of the eyewitnesses.

That's why Jesus promised they would remember what He had said to them.

"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
(John 14:25-26 ESV)

What did they do with this that the Holy Spirit brought to their remembrance? They preached it, and the wrote it down for our benefit.

One thing must be emphatically stated. The New Testament did not become God's written Word because they were formally included in a canonical list. On the contrary, the Church included them in her Canon because she already regarded them as divinely inspired, recognizing their innate worth and generally apostolic authority, direct or indirect. The first councils to classify the canonical books were in 393 and 397. However, what these council's did was not impose something new upon the Christian communities, but to codify what was already the general practice of those communities. They verified and made official what the church has universally affirmed, that the sixty-six books in our Bibles are the only true Scripture inspired by God. The canon is complete.

It was God, and God alone, who determined which books belonged in the Bible. It was simply a matter of God’s imparting to His followers what He had already decided. The human process of collecting the books of the Bible was flawed, but God, in His sovereignty, and despite our ignorance and stubbornness, brought the early church to the recognition of the books He had inspired.

The Westminster Confession of Faith, written by the Puritans, contains a sufficient answer, worded far better then I ever could hope to word it.
"The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author of it: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to a high and reverent esteem for the Holy Scripture. The heavenly character of its content, the efficacy of its doctrine, the majesty of its style, the agreement of all its parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full disclosure it makes of the only way of man's salvation, its many other incomparable excellencies, and its entire perfection, are arguments by which it gives abundant evidence that it is the Word of God. Nevertheless, our full persuasion and assurance of its infallible truth and divine authority is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts." Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 1 Sections 4 and 5.


Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
(Psalms 119:97-104 ESV)