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Matthew 4:1-11

Take God at His Word

  • Shawn Dean
  • Sunday Night Messages
  • November 01, 2020

If the Bible really is what it claims to be if it is the inspired, inerrant word of God, what is our responsibility as we walk and live through life?

The background of Matthew 4:1-11, is about the schemes of the enemy but mixed within these verses I want to focus on ‘taking God at His Word’.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Matthew 4:1-11
November 1, 2020 

One of the greatest compliments you can receive is when someone says to you or about you, “I take so & so at his/her word – or they say, I trust so & so, he/she has always been a man/woman of their word.”

Dwight L Moody – “what we need today is men and women who believe the Bible, from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet – men and women who believe the whole of it, the things they do understand and the things they don’t understand.”

When we talk about inerrancy here we specifically mean –

• Inspired Word of God – God caused the exact words to be written down in the Bible just as He wanted them.
• Inerrant Word of God – Because the Word is from God they are without error in everything they say about every-thing.

If the Bible really is what it claims to be, if it is the inspired, inerrant word of God, what is our responsibility as we walk and live through life?

Focus on the family, in their production, Truth Project, states, “Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?” If so, have you taken inventory of your life to reflect this belief?

The background of the text is also about the schemes of the enemy – but mixed within these verses I want to focus on ‘taking God at His Word’.

I. Life Only From God’s Word

Make no mistake about it, we are in spiritual warfare. This encounter with Jesus becomes an example for us because it reveals not only the schemes of our enemy, but also how we must respond.

A. Let God’s Word have authority in your life

• In Washington, DC we have come to be familiar with Ex-ecutive Orders – come from President of the United States – with immediate authority…Many don’t like it regard-less of which President signs them – this is nothing new.
• Bible has immediate authority because it comes from the chief exec of the Universe – many don’t like what the Bi-ble has to say on many topics either, this is nothing new.

In fact, Jesus’ answer to the enemy is powerful as He quotes from Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 8:3; He humbled you, causing you to hun-ger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Does God’s Word have authority in your life?
• Bible has authority over all in human society – our culture may not listen – but the pages speak about every facet in society –

God has a righteous will about every single issue and any Nation that hopes to see God’s unrestrictive or unbroken blessings – better take seriously the authority of the Bible. Including the foundation of social policies.

The eve of our elections is upon us – have you voted? My prayer is your hope is in God alone – not on either side of the isle of our elected officials.
• Only peace with and in God is available to each of you right now – neither party will bring the type of peace our lives in Jesus Christ has to offer.

B. Be careful not to test God’s authority

In our text the enemy even quotes scripture as part of his temptation. It gives us insight into the enemy’s schemes but it’s a misuse of God’s Word.

With all that said, how many campaign as followers of Jesus or absolutely make sure people in our nation see them as people of faith – but after they are elected we often see spir-itual schizophrenia as soon as they get into office –
• Some openly refer to scripture at news conferences to draw attention to their foolish understanding of God’s Word.

The Halls of Congress are full of these people – the White House is often full of these people – carrying bibles on Sun-day but no sign of it Monday – Saturday.
• They have missed the point!

2 Timothy 2:15; Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, ac-curately handling the word of truth.

God did not write the Bible so we could carry it to church on Sunday for a 90-minute photo-op –
• God wrote the Bible so that we could carry it into our life and those activities we are involved in.
• From the neighborhood to the board room – written so we could use it for the fabric of a moral society that needs to walk with God.

The question for the church today is not whether people are willing to sacrifice ninety minutes a week to spend time wor-shiping, listening to His Word, or praying?
• The question for all of us and Christians worldwide is, why would we be willing to give only ninety minutes a week to the only thing that matters most for eternity in our lives?

When we take God at His Word, you cannot respond to Him adequately in only 90-minutes per week.

James 4:3; You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.

C. Follow God alone, not others

Joshua 1:7; Only be strong and very courageous; be care-ful to do according to all the Law which Moses My serv-ant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve success wherever you go.

We do not have control over how people chose to live – but we do have control over how we live.
• And what God is telling us through Joshua is that we are to live our lives in conformity with His Word.

Personal Illustration –

As followers of Jesus Christ the authority in our lives is no longer how we feel or what people tell us to do, or doing what others do.
• One single most important adjustment to our lives after Jesus is to accept and take God at His Word; the written and inspired Word of God.

What a blessing when people come in and give testimony to me about how things have turned around, that amazing events have taken place – long sought forgiveness from oth-ers perhaps…
• Testimony after testimony about doing what God told them to do and unexplained blessings resulted.

As followers of Jesus, we are subject to a higher authority.
• Reasons why we should operate with integrity
• Watch our eyes & our words around the opposite sex
• Why not sleep with my unmarried boy/girl friend before marriage
Why should we do these things?

You and I are subject to God’s authority, it is a decision we made when we chose to invite Him into our life.

II. Success Rests In The Scriptures

Joshua 1:8; This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is writ-ten in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve success.

Where do we get wisdom, understanding, insight – David writes in Psalms; by mediating on the Word of God.

Psalm 119:105; Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Billions spent on efforts to be successful – walk in any bookstore – row after row – self help or get rich…

How about the old Psychic Friends Network – they foretold people all kinds of things for donations – and then guess what happened – they went bankrupt – guess the psychics didn’t see that one coming – Figure that one out?

If you want a formula for successful living – just open the drawer of the desk in many hotels across the country and open the Bible left there by Gideons?

Don’t spend a fortune, just read Proverbs and do what it says.

A. The truth shines a light on eternity

The Bible contains the only reliable data, the truth, about what’s on the other side of the grave.

As a Public Safety Chaplain, I meet many families who ha-ven’t given any thought to end of life preparations – many emotional details triggered by the loss of older family mem-bers – why? – nobody wants to have this conversation – death is a difficult topic yet we will all face it – 100% of us on earth will face it.

But here’s something far more important than families hav-ing this conversation and making these plans for their loved ones…

• Be sure to prearrange your eternal destiny – where are you getting reliable information to do that?

If the bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God, it is the source of reliable truth about the other side of the grave –

• People live on in heaven…
• There’s only 2 landing pads; heaven or hell…
• Whichever one you land on – it’s for eternity…
• Only way to land on the pad called heaven is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ – trusting what He did for us on the cross –

John 14:6 – Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

B. Be filled and firm on the hope of God

Some are offended by our confidence – our claim to be abso-lutely correct – there is no debate – we should be filled with the hope of God – nothing else.

We are all for unity – but you have to pull people together on the foundation of truth – if on a lie, it’s a smokescreen – we stand on truth – but we’re not compromising truth to pull people together.

So when someone takes issue with the biblical teaching of a topic they don’t like or makes them uncomfortable, we al-ways tell them how much God loves them, loves them too much not to share truth on every platform even when He of-fends.

And why would we expect non-believers who so far have chosen the other landing pad, to agree with us? There are a lot of folks who God calls us to love, who are headed for the wrong landing pad.

Some people just don’t want to hear the truth as we define it – as Jesus recorded it.

John 18:37-38; Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”

There’s only one way to do a lot of things in life, but this one recorded by Jesus on getting to heaven offends some…

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He [a]then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written:

He will give His angels orders concerning You’;


On their hands they will lift You up,
So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, [b]On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil *took Him along to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and [c]worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and [d]serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to serve Him.


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