Summary: Why should I need the Bible to teach, rebuke, correct and train myself? I’m pretty sure I know the difference between right and wrong without it. Isn’t that OK?
OPEN: In Washington D.C. there is a building called the "National Institute of Standards and Technology." This facility is responsible for storing perfect samples of weights and measurements. They have what are called “prototypes” of pound weights and kilograms. Measuring rods for feet, yards and metric measurements like meters.
For example, they have a “Meter Standard” a reinforced bar of platinum alloyed with exactly 10% iridium. When they want to know the exact measurement of a “meter” they cool this bar down to 0 degrees Celsius at a sea level of 45 degrees latitude then they know they will have the exact tip to tip measurement of a meter. That bar is known as “prototype #27, because the original is kept in a suburb of Paris at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
We Christians also have a measuring rod that never changes.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us:
"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, throughly furnished unto all good works."
This measuring rod of God’s:
· Teaches me: it gives me correct information
· Rebukes me: repairs my wrong ways of thinking
· Corrects me: Corrects my character flaws
· Trains me in righteousness: Trains me to be ready to make the right choices & decisions
I. But why do I need the Bible? I make fairly decent decisions without it. I have a fairly good idea of what is right amd wrong
ILLUS: Just out of high school I hired on at a trailer factory in a nearby town. I didn’t know much. I had never really “built anything.” I was an inexperienced laborer. My job was to install insulation (batting and blown in) in the walls and ceilings of the trailers as they moved down the assembly line. One day, blowing in insulation on roof of trailer I missed my step on the beams and my foot broke through a ceiling tile (about an 8 foot long ceiling strip).
I had created the problem and it was decided that I and my partner had to fix it. The assembly line was shut down for over a ½ hour for us to make repairs. My partner got up on the roof and used measuring tape to find length of ceiling tile to be replaced. I was down on the floor ready to cut the replacement and he called down the measurement. It just so happened that I had, in my pocket, a cloth measuring tape my mom used in making clothing from patterns. I used this cloth tape to make the measurement on the ceiling strip. I then cut the material and we made ready to put it into position.
But the ceiling strip wasn’t long enough. Why was that? Because the measuring tape I had used – the cloth one – wasn’t accurate for the type of work we were doing. It was only good for working with clothing and apparently didn’t need to be as precise. Because of my ignorance, the assembly line was shut down even longer while we recut another ceiling strip and scrapped my mistake.
When I went to work at that factory I could work hard. I could make reasonably good decisions. BUT I was inexperienced and untrained. I lacked a surefootedness on the ceiling beams and I didn’t understand the importance of using the proper measuring tools.
When you and I came to Jesus – we were capable of making reasonably good decisions and had a good idea of what was right and wrong. BUT when push came to shove, we realized we were sinners. We fell short, we needed God in our lives. We realized…
1. We were inexperienced in what he wanted - His will, His desires
2. We were untrained in His type of righteousness
3. We lacked a surefootedness of character because of sin in our lives & in the world around us.
4. And, we didn’t understand the importance of God’s measure tool for our lives. We may have read it… but we hadn’t used it to its full effect.
In order for God to use us to our full potential these things needed to change.
II. Part of the reason God gave us His word - was to change us
John 17:17 "Sanctify them by your word…"
In other words: change them, mold them, remake them by the Scriptures.
ILLUS: Years ago, the State of Kentucky had a law that every classroom in its in public schools had to post the 10 Commandments. The Supreme Court ruled against the state of Kentucky ordering it to take down all copies of the Ten Commandments from the walls of its schools saying: "Having the commandments on the wall may induce a student to read, meditate upon, and actually obey what is therein written."