Our text for this sermon comes from 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
When you ask a lot of people the same question, you get a wide array of answers. Some are the same and some are different.
People in our city were asked what they thought about the Bible. The top answers were:
- I like it.
- It’s alright
- I have no opinion of it
- I walked away from it
- I don’t want to talk about it
What is it about the Bible that generates this type of emotion in people that they would shut down and just walk away?
We believe that Scripture is our highest authority. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God – We believe that when the Bible speaks, God speaks.
Profitable for teaching – Proper Biblical Interpretation is called hermeneutics. Sound biblical teaching is so important that seminaries have developed semester long courses in hermeneutics. Dr Campbell, a prof. at Dallas Theological Seminary, said this, “It means taking the Scriptures at face value in an attempt to know what God meant by what He said.”
2 Timothy 2:15 – rightly handling the word of truth – Dr. Roy Zuck says that “rightly handling” taken from the Greek language means a straight cut. What this means for us is: “If one doesn’t interpret correctly the different parts, the whole message won’t come through correctly.” This would be like reading the book jacket to form your opinion of the whole book. It would also be like watching the movie instead of reading the book.
Rightly handling Scripture also helps us to not take verses out of context. Proper hermeneutics leads us to right application of the Scripture to our lives. Ephesians 6 tells us that the Bible is our sword. The sword is the only weapon that we have in our spiritual armory. If you do not know how to properly study or interpret Scripture, you do not know how to rightly handle your weapon. Walking into a spiritual battle not knowing how to properly use your sword leads to one outcome – defeat.
Study: A state of contemplation, application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge, something attracting close attention or examination.
God’s Word is truth.
As you study Scripture, you are advancing or progressing in your sanctification process. You are being conformed to the image of Jesus.
Profitable for reproof – Reproof is rebuke, a criticism, a disapproval. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture to reprove. When the Scripture is read and you feel the twinge of knowing that something in you is not right, we call that conviction. The Holy Spirit makes it apparent that something in you is jacked up. When you are presented with this, you can either repent and turn from your idols and your sin or you can do nothing and continue to worship your idols and sin.
Profitable for correction – Correction makes right what was wrong. Correction is not condemnation. We do not like to be corrected. It is a sucker punch to our pride. It stings when people tell you that you are wrong. Correction is necessary. We all make mistakes. Proper Bible interpretation is a lifelong process. You will make mistakes. When someone corrects you, do not take offense. Go back, read the passage over in its proper context, if need be consult podcasts, commentaries or a concordance.
Profitable for training in righteousness – Discipleship. This is where you apply Scripture to your life and hang out with a mature believer. If for example, you read that a Christian is supposed to be generous and you are not, you are not growing in righteousness. If you know that Jesus has told you to share the gospel and you do not, you are not growing in righteousness. If you know that you are to love your neighbor but you are hanging on to prejudices and personal preferences that keep you from loving another person than you are not seeing them the way that Christ sees them. You are not growing in righteousness.
Another part of being a disciple is being transformed by the Bible.
How intimate your relationship with God is…is directly connected to how much time you spend in his Word.
The Holy Spirit does not grant understanding apart from the Bible but through it.
To know and study Scripture is to know more of God and develop a deeper relationship with Him.
Hearing the Word builds your faith.
Our character and overall spiritual maturity and development is a culmination of prayer, the reading, studying, and meditation of Scripture, hearing the Scriptures through preaching, and the work of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.