Summary: Gpd's Word is a key component for guiding our lives... for knowing where we are and where we are headed spiritually.
One of the most innovative and helpful techie things I like about my Droid is the GPS App. The GPS tells me where I am and how to get to where I want to go.
This morning I want us to think of the Bible as God’s Positioning System. The Bible is a great way for discovering where we are and where God wants us to go. Perhaps a better way to say it would be, the Bible tells us who we are, who God wants us to become and what God wants us to do.
The title of the message today is:
Title: The Christian’s GPS: The Centrality of the Word of God
In the Evangelical Covenant Church we have what we call Covenant Affirmations: The first Affirmation is:
“We Affirm the Centrality of the Word of God. We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the Word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian.” One of the hallmark questions that has been carried down through the years in the Covenant Church is the question: “Where is it written?” The Bible is central in the life of our church.
Our text today is:
Text: II Timothy 3:14-17
The Thesis Statement for this message is:
Thesis: God’s Word is a key component for guiding our lives… for knowing where we are and where we are headed spiritually.
Today we will be talking about the second Mark of a Healthy Missional Church in our series:
Series: The Marks of a Healthy Missional Church
1. Compelling Christian Community
2. The Centrality of the Word of God
Last week we began a series of messages on The Marks of a Healthy Missional Church from Acts 2 in which we noted that the earliest Christian community was marked by Compelling Christian Community. Today we speak to the Centrality of the Word of God as a second mark necessary for Congregational Vitality.
In our emphasis on Congregational Vitality we understand spiritual vitality to mean: Pursuing Christ and Christ’s priorities in the world. We are Healthy in pursuing Christ and Missional in our pursuit of Christ’s priorities in the world.
The New York Times in a report, about U.S. Olympic marathon runner Ryan Hall, mentioned a scene in which Ryan had finished second in the 2011 US Half-Marathon Championships. When he went to drug test, which is standard procedure, he was asked on a form to list his coach. He wrote: “God.” An official said, “You have to list the name of a real person.” To which Ryan replied, “He is a real person.” Great comeback!
Having a life coach has become a trend the last few years and it is generally thought wise to listen to the voice of one’s coach. Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4
One of the great things about the Christian’s coach is that His Words are inspired.
I. God’s Word is Inspired
All Scripture is inspired by God… II Timothy 3:16
Inspired means God breathed. In II Peter we get a glimpse into how that worked in the writing of the Bible. “Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from a prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” II Peter 1:20-21 That simply means that when God spoke to the biblical writers, God guided them in such a way as to produce the result that was originally intended by God.
The Bible is the end result of over forty authors, writing 66 books over a period of at least 1,600 years on three different continents that consistently unfolds the story of God’s redemptive activity in the lives of mankind.
There is no other book like it. In stating Scripture is inspired by God, Paul is setting the Bible apart from all other books… it is complete. There is nothing to be added to it and nothing can be retracted from it. (Rev. 22)
The Centrality of the Word of God is where Evangelical Christians draw the line. The Word of God is not the Bible plus additional inspired writings or appendixes. An example of accepting additional or extra-biblical writings as authoritative or inspired by God, is illustrated in a statement from the Mormon church web site regarding the Mormon view of the Bible:
“To the Christian world the most well-known collection of scripture is the Holy Bible. In addition to the Bible, Latter-day Saints accept the following books which they regard as modern day scripture:
1. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, a record of God’s dealings with the inhabitants of ancient America (2000 BC – 400 AD).