Summary: We need to know what is and what isn’t in God’s word.
Know Your Bible
February 26, 2012 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We need to know what is and what isn’t in God’s word.
Focus Passage: Acts 17:10-12
Supplemental Passage: Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. (Psalms 119:11 NASB)
Introduction: Start the sermon by having everyone turn to Hezekiah 12:1-7 (or some other made up biblical reference that sounds plausible. Instead start reading from 2 Kings 18:13 (about King Hezekiah.) Read a few verses and let folks sweat as they try to find the reference, simply to make the point that folks don’t really know the Bible well enough to know that Hezekiah isn’t really a book of the Bible.
Mention that the Bible doesn’t actually say that Satan tempted Eve with an apple. It only mentions a serpent and it only mentions a fruit. Mention that the Bible doesn’t say that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. It only says “great fish”.
I. God helps those who help themselves
a. Usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1757, but actually written by Algernon Sydney in 1698 in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government. The earliest recording of this saying is actually from Aesop's fable "Hercules and the Waggoner." A man's wagon got stuck in a muddy road, and he prayed for Hercules to help. Hercules appeared and said, "Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel." The moral given was "The gods help them that help themselves."
b. This saying actually GOES AGAINST Scripture!
i. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 NASB)
ii. For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NASB)
II. God will never give you more than you can handle
a. This saying is CLOSE to 1 Cor 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
b. This quote deals specifically with temptation in regard to sin.
c. When it is applied to other areas of life, it fails. If we could “handle everything” that would include salvation. We would have no need to pray, or to seek His counsel, or even to ask forgiveness.
d. God never promises there will not be trials that take you beyond your limit. Just ask Stephen, or the host of first century Christians referenced as having been “… stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; (Hebrews 11:37a NASB)
III. This, too, shall pass.
a. NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible. “Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season. “This, too, shall pass.”
b. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 NASB)
IV. Cleanliness is next to godliness
a. Sir Francis Bacon. In 'Advancement of Learning' (1605) he wrote: “Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.” Almost two hundred years later (1791), John Wesley made a reference to the expression in one of his sermons in the form we use it today. Wesley wrote: “Slovenliness is no part of religion. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness."
b. In Matthew 15, Jesus was criticized for not making His disciples wash their hands according to tradition. Jesus replied, "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." (Matthew 15:11 NASB)
V. God works in mysterious ways
a. a paraphrase of a 19th century hymn by the English poet William Cowper (“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform).
b. Too often used to explain things when a person doesn’t understand Scripture or is asked a question about something they don’t know the answer to.
c. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB)