Summary: God's Word augments the way we see and experience the realities of life.
Title: Augmenting Reality
Text: II Timothy 3:14-4:5
Thesis: God’s Word augments the way we see and experience the realities of life.
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds. The simulated environment can be similar to the real world in order to create a lifelike experience—for example, in simulators for pilot training. Virtual reality is often used to describe a wide variety of applications commonly associated with immersive, highly visual, 3D environments. The IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a great place to experience virtual reality in 3D form. In 1999, The Matrix and later sequels explored the possibility that our world is actually a vast Virtual Reality (or more precisely, simulated reality) created by artificially intelligent machines. Some say that virtual reality might also be termed “artificial reality.” It’s not real but it virtually feels real.
Life is not lived as a simulated experience. It is actual. We live in real-time and have real-life experiences. However, in the context of real-time and real-life experience we can augment reality.
When we augment reality we add to or develop or supplement or reinforce or beef up or strengthen something. When driving on a bright sunny day after a fresh snowfall you augment your vision by wearing sunglasses. If an athlete wishes to cut corners and exacerbate his strength conditioning he or she takes steroids to augment muscle development. A student wishing to impress the Admissions Department of a university might augment or beef up their application with an accumulation of community service or volunteer experiences. I augmented my chances of receiving a call to be your pastor when I made sure Bonnie was with me… she always makes me look better than I really am, i.e., “if ole Monty can score a wife like that he can’t be all bad.”
This morning I am suggesting that God’s Word, i.e., the bible, augments the way we see and experience the realities of life. The Word of God serves to enlighten and guide and inspire and encourage and comfort and instruct us in ways that help us experience life in ways that would not otherwise be possible. When we experience life through the lens of Scripture/God’s Word, we see life as God would have us see and experience it.
Our text begins with Paul reminding his young protégé that he is who he is because his grandmother, Lois and his mother, Eunice (II Timothy 1:5-6) raised him in the Word of God from his earliest childhood.
Paul said to Timothy, “You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 3:15
Statistically, most parents, i.e., 9 out of 10 or 85%, believe they are primarily responsible for the spiritual development of their children, but few parents spend time with their children interacting with them on spiritual or religious matters. But those 9 out of 10 parents have no plan for the spiritual development of their children. There is no plan… I will baptize or dedicate my children. I will take my children to Church where they will receive spiritual instruction. I expose my children to learning experiences through Kids Klub, Confirmation and youth group. I will read bible stories to my children. I will pray for my child. I will talk to my children about what they are learning. I will, by the grace of God, model Christ-likeness before my children. (Parents Accept Responsibility for Their Child’s Development But Struggle with Effectiveness, Barna Research Group, May 6, 2003
Timothy’s mother and grandmother had a plan. They took the bible serious when they read in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about in your home, out in the community, at night when you put them to bed and in the morning when they wake up…” They had augmented Timothy’s life and learning by teaching him spiritual things. And he was a devoted follower of Christ because they had augmented his young faith by spiritual instruction from God’s Word.
In the same way God’s Word augments our earthly lives and our eternal destinies in ways that would not be the case otherwise.
Our text begins by making a very bold statement:
I. The Bible is God’s Written Word to us.
“All Scripture is inspired by God...” II Timothy 3:16
Gk. Theopneustos: God-breathed.
Just as Jesus Christ is God revealed to us in the flesh or incarnationally, God reveals Himself to us through his written Word. Just as we see and hear God in the person of Jesus we see and hear God in the written Word of God.