Summary: Practical Exegesis of 2 Timoth 3:16,17. Special emphasis on how the truthfulness of the Bible is under attack in Christian chuurches.
Does The Bible Tell Me So?
First Preached at Broad Run Baptist Church 10/6/2002
2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 NIV
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Some time ago, a little boy named Joey who was nine years old, went to his Sunday School class and heard his teacher talk about how Israel escaped the clutches of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. When Joey got home, he was asked by his mother what he had learned that morning.
Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge, and all the people walked across safely. He used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters and call in an air strike when the Egyptians were closing in on them. They sent in bombers to blow up the bridge and destroy the enemy, and all the Israelites were saved.
"Now, Joey, is that REALLY what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked.
"Well, no, Mom, but if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never believe it!"
While we might find this little story amusing, it does show an attitude that is prevalent in our world today as far as the status of the Bible is concerned. Many would talk about the Bible as if it were based on myth or legend. Some question its historical accuracy. Others propose it is merely fiction and the invention of mankind.
When we examined George Barna’s report on what American churches believe last week, we saw the following percentages when Christian denominations were polled on whether they agreed with the following statement, “The Bible is totally accurate.”
All Adults 41%
Assemblies of God 77%
Baptists (any type) 66%
Church of Christ 57%
Lutheran (any type) 34%
Methodist (any type) 38%
Non-denominational Christian 70%
Presbyterian (any type) 40%
It appears that our culture has penetrated our churches with skeptics in both the pulpit as well as the pew. Many who proclaim to be Christians doubt the absolute truthfulness of the Bible. Yet, it is from within its pages we are schooled about the teachings and messages of Jesus and the early apostles.
Historic Christianity is based upon the Bible. Sola Scriptura—Scripture alone—was the motto of the Protestant Reformation and it should still be ours today. Yet, many believe that the opinions of others or their own are more reliable to trust than the Bible. It is no wonder that the differences between the church and the world are narrowing!
Today the question, “Does the Bible tell me so?” has been posed. It is a question that will determine by what you and I will govern our lives.
This morning we will look at three questions to help us decide what emphasis we should place on the Holy Scriptures as we live from day to day. These questions are: How is Scripture unique? What is the Bible good for? and What will living my life according to the Bible do for me?
1. How is Scripture Unique?
In our Scripture today, we read in the first phrase, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God—that is every testament, book, chapter, verse and every word of the Bible is God inspired—that is to say filled with God’s breath. The little word ‘all’ includes everything!
Notice the completeness of this affirmation—All Scripture. It is not that some sections of the Bible are God’s Word and other sections are not. The Bible does not contain the Word of God—it IS the Word of God.
Many critics of the Bible want to point out that Paul didn’t think like James, or that John’s view of Jesus ministry was so different than Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s. This difference in focus and subject matter does not mean there are contradictions or disagreements in the Bible. God had a purpose for doing things this way. There are no disagreements between Jesus and Paul, or Paul and James, or between Peter and John or anyone else. God chose to offer truth in and through different perspectives. God oversaw the whole process of His thoughts being communicated to us through the spoken, written, and Living Word. This is why we can trust God’s Word to be true because He is true.
The Bible is a cooperative effort between God Himself and the individuals He chose to write Scripture. The Bible is truly a human and Divine effort as both contributed to its formation. While God used the individual personalities of the men who first penned Scripture to explain what God wanted to communicate to us, He was the originator of the Bible. Peter tells us in his second epistle how this came about: