Summary: There are many preachers today who mishandle God’s Holy Writ--some use it to make money and teach false doctrine, some use it to beat people over the head, some use it to justify wicked habits and styles of living; look into II Timothy 2 and find out how God wants His servants to use His word!
HOW WE SHOULD HANDLE GOD’S WORD
Read II Peter 3:15-16. Many preachers and teachers are just what these verses describe—unstable—and many times as they get up to preach or teach, they actually wrest the Scriptures. We must learn how to respond to God’s word and how to handle it correctly!
I. Be inspired by its power (v. 9-13)
A. It cannot be bound (v. 9)
1. Satan thought he had snuffed out the witness of God in the days of Josiah, the young king of Israel, but one day, as they were doing some remodeling and renovation, someone discovered a copy of God’s word hidden for years and it brought about national revival!
2. The king of Israel took Jeremiah’s script and threw it in the fire, but God just instructed Jeremiah to write it again and then some!
3. The Sanhedrin tried to stamp out the truth of Jesus Christ by threatening the apostles with beatings and death, but the persecution of the early church merely caused it to disseminate into all the world!
4. The Romans killed millions of Christians trying to do away with the witness of Christ, but eventually so much of the Roman army had been converted that it was no longer possible to use the army as a vehicle to persecute Christians.
5. For centuries, the Catholic church destroyed countless copies of God’s word as they reached the hands of the common people, but still, God’s word was not bound!
6. Voltaire falsely prophesied that by the end of his lifetime God’s word would be exposed as a mere book of fairy tales and falsehoods! Yet some years after his death, his house was sold to a book company to be used as a clearing house for copies of God’s word!
7. Truly, God’s word is not bound!
B. It enables us to endure (v. 9-10; Psalm 1:1-3)
C. Even if we lose heart, He will abide faithful according to His word (v. 11-13)!
II. Interpret it properly (v. 14-18)
A. Do not divide the believers over minor issues (nuggets, be honest; tell them it is your opinion).
B. Divide the Bible properly
1. Major and minor issues
2. Arguing over secondary issues divides and subverts.
3. Majoring on the minors fills those with pride that “know so much!” “Knowledge puffeth up.”
III. Ingraft its principles (v. 19-22; James 1:21)
A. The proper foundation (v. 19)
1. The Spirit seals me
2. The Father knows me
3. The Scriptures feed and lead me
B. The proper separation
1. From iniquity (v. 20)
2. From unclean vessels (v. 21)
3. From youthful lusts (v. 22)
4. All these bias our opinion.
C. The proper transformation (v. 20-21)
1. Cleaned up—don’t resist it (v. 20)
2. Consecrated—not my own anymore (v. 21)
IV. Impart its principles (v. 14, 23-26)
A. Remind them often (v. 14)
B. Remind them gently
1. Don’t fight, just present the truth (not a brawler)
2. These truths may be new to some
C. Remind them patiently
1. It may take a while for them to get it!
2. Repetition is the key!
D. Remind them meekly
1. This means controlled power
2. It means you could sheer the sheep bald until they shrivel up and die from the heat or the cold.
3. You could blister them until they run off and thereby leave them at the mercy of the wolves!
4. But you choose not to do so!
E. Remember that the goal is repentance and recovery (freedom)!