Text: James 1:22-25


What is your guidebook in life? Tiktok? A manual is essential for any newly purchased appliances. Even software applications have EULA: End-User License Agreement. Likewise, the life that we have as Christians has a guide. More to that, it is the transformative rule of our faith and practices.

Background of James’ writing:

There were various challenges and persecutions that were happening during the time of James’ writing. Such as the massacre of temple priests in Rome, the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD70, riots, wars, and even Nero’s gruesome tortures. The result of these dark events was called diaspora, or the Jews escaped and moved to other neighboring counties for safety and peace.
In this context, James is reminding all Christians to be guided in their life by one important book. The ultimate instruction of life. The Handbook of Life, the Word of God, the Bible. Guidebook? A mirror that reflects your life.

Main Idea:

  • Written Word (2 Timothy 3:16): The Bible

The Bible is the Word of God, and it points us to Jesus. We believe and trust the Bible because we have faith in Christ. The Bible, for Christians, is authoritative in all manners of faith and practices. Since this is God’s Word, we need to treat it as literally His and inspirationally true and binding. That is why believers must anchor their hearts and minds in the Scriptures. It is the only true–the absolute “TRUTH” amidst the “fake news” surrounding us today.

More than just a manual, it provides and sustains our life; Psalm 19:7-9 states, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.”

Greg Gilbert’s words, “As Christians, we believe that God has spoken to us in His Word, the Bible.” It is infallible and inerrant. “This God–his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true” (Ps. 18:30). Gilbert adds, “It is to God’s Word that we look in order to find what he has said to us about his Son Jesus.”

  • Living Word (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:1-3) Jesus

Illustration: Before the Coffee gets cold (transition to 1 John 2:4-6): “Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”


Verses 22-24 read that knowing and memorizing Scriptures are not enough; we need the Word of God to put into action. You do not just read and meditate but apply it in your life.

Illustration: Which translation is the best? KJV? NKJV? NIV? ESV? NASB? CSB? The one that translates into actions. Transformation is necessary for us to experience the real application in our lives.

  • Personal – emotions/ fear/ work/ good news
  • Family – honor your parents/ husband and wife/ disciple your children
  • Church – regularly attend/ give your tithes and offerings/ do missions and evangelism.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
October 2, 2022




Text: Hebrews 4:12

God’s Eternal Word and Bible Apps (Full Sermon Manuscript)



Why did someone want to get rid of the Bible? Because for some, it is a mere collection of literary works. They treat the Bible the same as history books, literature, or even like a tragic novel. Sadly, today, our society even in Christian circles approaches the Bible in an MTD manner. MTD means Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Christian Smith explained (cited by Dr. Pete Phillips):

  • A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.
  • God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
  • The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
  • God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
  • Good people get to heaven when they die.

Main Idea:

In our passage today, it simply contends that “the Word of God then acts as God himself, so that one’s innermost thoughts and intentions are exposed. This happens constantly in Christians’ lives.” The Bible when read ought to be something that moves, drives, and makes a person experience this transforming power of God.

A true Christian will—by him or herself—read the Bible even without being reminded by any of the Elders or pastor of the church. The Word of God is part of the daily spiritual diet of Christians.

General (or Natural) Revelation:

Wayne Grudem summarizes, “General revelation comes through observing nature, through seeing God’s directing influence in history, and through an inner sense of God’s existence and his laws that he has placed inside every person.”

  • Psalm 19:1-8; The creation, or nature, declares God’s glory.
  • Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

As Special Revelation

Michael Bird defines, “Revelation is the self-presentation of the triune God, who through the Holy Spirit communicates saving truth about himself and draws humanity into a community in fellowship with his Son, so that they might know him, experience his mercy, and enjoy him forever.”

  • The Inspired Word of God.
  • Infallible, Inerrancy, and Authority of the Word of God
  • Eternality of God’s Word

Bible Apps:

YouVersion is on track to reach 500,000,000 app installs soon. When the App Store launched in 2008, YouVersion was one of the first 200 free apps available. That first weekend, 83,000 people installed the Bible on their devices. But now, a community that started with 83,000 downloads in one weekend has nearly reached half a billion. (Official Website)


Both before and now, and even in the following future, the Word of God remains. The method on how we read and access the Bible changes throughout time, but one thing will remain, that in the midst of this fast-changing culture, God’s Word is still and will be the same.
The main takeaway is not how you will be able to read the Bible either through your hard-bound King James 1611 version or the latest iPhone 13, but it is how you desire, feel the joy and excitement every time you will be reading it. Be reminded that it is not mere inspirational quotes, nor something magical that will let you forget of your problem. It is the very word of God.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
January 23, 2022

This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.