Summary: Fourth in series on intentionality. This message deals with getting into the Bible for the purpose of life-change.
#4 – Getting the Most Out of Your Bible
January 19, 2003
Today we continue in our series on being intentional, living life by decision rather than by default.
This morning we are going to focus on making the Bible real in your life.
Too often the Bible is just a decoration in the bookshelf, or maybe the coffee table, and it gets dusted off once in a while, but never really read and taken seriously.
Well folks, I’m here to tell you that God takes His Word seriously. It’s how He communicates with us.
Without the Bible, we would be lost, wandering if life had any purpose, and more importantly, lost to pay the penalty for our sins, with no hope of forgiveness or eternal life.
Without the Bible we would never know the awesome love He has for His creation, and the marvelous riches He has prepared for His children.
The Bible is not just a book. It’s the living, breathing, Word of God. It works in us to bring us into conformity with the will of God. And by the way, we would never know the will of God without the Bible.
But how do we get past the idea that the Bible is more than just a good book, or even the best book ever written?
The main way to do that is to realize that the Bible has a purpose. And that purpose is more than to tell us about David and Goliath, or even about the baby Jesus.
Because you see, the purpose of Scripture is not just to inform, but to transform. The purpose of the Bible is life-change, and specifically in two areas: our character (who we are) and our conduct (what we do). (Rick Warren – Preaching for Lifechange)
And today I want to give you some very specific information that you can use to let God’s Word transform your very life.
My prayer is that you will leave here not just informed, but equipped to make the Bible a large and dynamic part of your life.
In fact, before I get started in the main portion of the message, I would like to take a moment and pray for us, okay?
Four ways the Bible works to transform us:
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Bible is full of information that is helpful for us to know. We can found out about God’s character, His righteous requirements, His wrath against sin and the remedy for that sin, the history of His people Israel, and His care for His people in Christ.
We find out what God says about lifestyle issues and business and family relationships. It’s incredibly helpful and relevant in all areas of life.
This type of information is called “doctrine.” This basically means learning what the Bible says about things so we can believe and act on them.
Teaching takes place in a number of contexts: church, personal and group Bible studies, Sunday School, Wednesday night activities, or whatever.
Teaching is important. We need it, and we need people who are able to teach it.
In 2 Timothy, Paul directs Timothy to find men who are able to teach others, so the teachings of Christ can go forth uninterrupted. You and I are here today because they did their job.
The second way the Bible works to transform us is…
This word basically means to expose error and sin, and bring it to the attention of the person in error or sin.
Sometimes as we’re reading the Bible, we come across something that convicts us of a sin. We immediately feel a check in our spirit, and a sense of guilt or shame comes on you.
This is God rebuking you – He is exposing something in you that needs to be corrected.
Sometimes we need to go to someone and tell them they are in sin, based on Biblical definitions.
At those times we need to visit with them, telling them what they are doing and what the Bible says about it.
It does not need to be harsh or abusive, but sometimes it just needs to be done.
It’s not pleasant, but it needs to be done. Sin must be addressed, so we can move on to the next way the Bible works to transform us, and that is…
We need to be careful here. We often think of rebuking as correcting, but that’s not really the case here.
Once the rebuke has taken place, either at the hands of another person, or by the working of the Holy Spirit in us, then we work on getting back on track.