Today we consider the ninth characteristic of a godly man: a godly man is a lover of the Word. A godly man loves the Word written, and he loves it because of the efficacy that it has had upon him. He loves all of the Word, not merely a part. He loves the counseling parts, the threatening parts, and the consolatory parts. All of it. But how, you ask, does one know whether he loves the word or not? Watson gives eight ways a godly man shows his love to the Word:
- By diligently reading it
- By frequently meditating on it
- By delighting in it
- By hiding it
- By defending it
- By preferring it above things most precious
- By talking about it
- By conforming to it
The godly man does these things because of the excellence of the Word. He understands that it is the pillar of fire to guide us and a spiritual mirror to display our hearts, he embraces the word as a sovereign comfort in distress. He loves it because of its efficacy upon his heart. He not only loves the Word written, but also the Word preached.
Let us then, test whether or not we are godly by this characteristic: are we lovers of the Word? Do we love the Word written? Do we love the Word preached? We will know that we love the Word written and preached when we desire to sit under its heart-searching ministry, when we pray it may meet with our sins, and when we are thankful for this reproof. Do we love the Word?
Do you agree with Watson that many "hide the Word in their memory, but not in their heart"?
Keeping in mind that Watson is not saying this is the purpose of preaching...do you agree with his assessment that "the Word is preached to beat down sin and advance holiness"?
Since Watson says that a "godly man does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work upon his conscience", do you think he is saying he ought to leave? What if the problem is with the person and not the preacher? Or does Watson have a belief in the efficacy of the Word that perhaps we do not in our day? Is Watson saying, if your conscience is not pierced then the Word is not preached?
Strokes of Genius:
On to Part 8...
"Those who will not be taught by the Word shall be judged by the Word". (p61)
"How can those who are seldom conversant with the Scriptures say they love them?" (p65)
"The two testaments are hung up like rusty armor which is seldom or never made use of." (p65)