Summary: The Bible forms the foundation of our faith, and if that foundation isn't sound, your faith could crumble. But why would that be true, and what happens if we don't accept that idea?
ILLUS: A famous Christian writer told of doing a lectureship at Ohio State University. As he was being driven to the lecture, he passed the new Wexner Art Center and the driver said, “This is a new art building for the university. It is a fascinating building designed in the post-modernist view of reality.” Post-Modernist view of reality - what does that mean? Well, apparently the building had no pattern. There were staircases that didn’t go anywhere. And there were pillars that didn’t support anything. And the architect was praised (by somebody) for designing a building to reflect how he saw life. He saw life as going nowhere and as being mindless and senseless.
The Christian writer turned to his driver and asked, “Did they do the same thing with the foundation?” and the driver laughed and said “Oh no. You can’t do that with a foundation.” Then the writer commented “You can get away with the infrastructure of a building being mindless and senseless. But once you started tampering with the foundations of a building, you begin experiencing serious side-effects. (Ravi Zacharias)
I’ve talked with contractors who’ve refurbished old homes and they tell me that they don’t care what the rest of the house looks like - as long as the roof and the foundation are sound, they’ll invest their time and money in it. But otherwise, they won’t touch it.
That’s what our passage this morning is talking about: If you want to GROW HIGHER in your faith, you’ve gotta have a good foundation. If your foundation is NOT sound, then the rest of your faith will crumble
Paul was writing to his young co-worker Timothy and told Timothy NOT to neglect his foundation. “… Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. ALL SCRIPTURE is breathed out by God.”
Now what Paul’s saying is this: The Sacred writings (the Scripture) is your foundation. And you know you can trust that foundation… because it belongs to God. The Bible is God’s book - it is “God Breathed!” What does that mean? It means that there is no other book that’s equal to the Bible that you have in your hands. God has breathed into the Bible and gave it a life of its own.
ILLUS: Do you remember when God created Adam? What did God do to Adam before Adam became a living being? “The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7
When God BREATHED into Adam… he became a living creature. And God breathed the Bible and it became a living Book! It is alive with power! And when we read it, it touches and shapes us, and gives us life.
Hebrews 4:12 “… the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
And in Isaiah 55:10-11 we read “… as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
THE BIBLE IS A LIVING BOOK
ILLUS: J.B. Phillips translated the New Testament into the English language. Someone wrote: Phillip’s “translation unlocked the radical world-changing texts of the New Testament”. And Someone else said his translation was a “classic of Christian literature, (and) it is a beautiful and true rendering of the New Testament. People still speak with respect of his translation.
But Phillips wrote: “Although I did my utmost to preserve an emotional detachment, I found again and again that the material under my hands was strangely alive: it spoke to my condition in the most uncanny way.”
God’s written Word is a powerful force. And frankly, all we need to do is speak its words, and when we do speak the words of Scripture people become convicted and are faced with the need to change.
ILLUS: Even Satan (himself) couldn’t deal with its power. Do you remember the story of Jesus fasting in the Wilderness (40 days/nights). The devil found Jesus and tried to tempt Him. And do you remember the words Jesus spoke that stopped Satan in his tracks? Every time Jesus was tempted He said “It Is Written…”; “It Is Written”; “it is written.”