Summary: The Bible is an amazing thing! In this passage, we see it is a spirutal circulatory system, bringing life. But there is danger out there, and we have to keep the blood flowing or we will die.
Passage: 2 Timothy 2:14-26
Intro: The Lord through His word showed me something this week that I have been dying to share with you.
1. so without my normal introduction, I want to share an incredibly powerful image from God’s Word with you.
3. it has revolutionized my view of Scripture, and I hope it does the same to you.
4. not Paul’s usual logical progression, very emotional
I. God’s Word is the Spiritual Circulatory System.
1. Paul is writing from his death cell.
2. writing to one of the few people who has not deserted him.
3. and he is pleading with him not to desert the Word of God, as so many have.
4. and in doing so, Paul uses a powerful image of disease that he hints at in v14, but we will examine in detail later.
5. but first, Paul continues to call Timothy to teach the word of God.
6. in v15, lays out priority for Timothy, us
7. “with God looking over your shoulder, carefully interpret and teach God’s Word.”
8. word “correctly handle” means to cut straight, to cut on the lines.
PP) kid cutting with scissors
9. takes skill, takes time, takes prayer
10. for Paul, God’s Word was absolutely central for our continued spiritual life.
11. other NT writers, the same.
PP Hebrews 4:12
PP 1 John 2:14
12. the best physical image of this in the human body is the circulatory system. PP
13. it’s amazing! Doesn’t just pump blood around and around.
14. brings life-giving oxygen to every part of the body.
15. brings nutrients to every cell.
16. transports elements of the immune system to fight disease wherever needed.
17. disposes of cells that have died as planned, apoptosis and phagocytes
Il) 50-70 billion cells die each day, on purpose, and are disposed of by phagocytes
18. regulates our temperature
19. in the spiritual realm, here is the deal.
20. the spiritual circulatory system is the constant, pure flow of the truth of God into every cell of our life, superintended by the heart, the Holy Spirit
21. this is what Paul is urging Timothy to make it his priority.
22. why? Because it is God’s power at work in us, doing spiritually all the things that blood does in our physical body.
23. it brings strength, it removes things associated with death, it keeps us alive and grows us, fights against the infectious lies of the enemy.
24. the truth of God is our very life
25. if it is so important, then problems with it are very serious.
II. Spiritual Gangrene
1. work with me here!!
2. vv17-18, “their teaching will spread like ___?
3. NIV, ESV, RSV = “gangrene”
4. your Bible, maybe cancer, or canker.
5. here is the greek word, uncontested.
6. let’s talk about gangrene for a minute. (I’ll spare you the pictures)
7. caused by loss of blood flow to an area, either by clot or by infection.
8. but the loss of blood flow is catastrophic
9. when the limb or area is cut off from circulatory system, terrible things start to take place immediately!
10. cells die, lack of oxygen. As cells die, they release toxins that kill other cells.
11. no phagocytes, white blood cells to remove dead cells because no access to immune system, so death reigns!
12. if unchecked, wet gangrene will kill you! You are defenseless!!
13. it starts and continues because it is cut off from the life-maintaining circulatory system.
14. how does spiritual gangrene start?
15. v15, “wandered from the truth”
16. it begins, (aorist) when someone chooses to cut themselves off from the Word of God, doubting the truthfulness of Scripture.
17. it manifests itself in several ways Paul lists:
-godless chatter, v16
-foolish, stupid arguments v23 -quarrels
-opposition to good teaching 25
-spiritual drunkenness 26
-captives of Satan
18. my experience, often starts with doubting questions.
Il) “if Revelation future, how could it be applicable to anyone but the people it happens to?”
19. the bad thing about spiritual gangrene is that it destroys faith. V18
20. Gangrene will kill the entire organism if it is not treated immediately.
21. everything bad in the Christian life starts with refusing to believe or obey God’s Word.
22. so how do we treat it before it destroys the church of Jesus Christ, and the individuals within that church?
III. Treating Spiritual Gangrene
1. with real gangrene, if it get’s too bad, amputation is the only treatment
2. and that happens w/ spiritual as well, to preserve the whole body.
3. but look at what Paul says, and this is vital for us. It might be me who is sick!!
4. PP) first, don’t get into arguments on non-spiritual turf. Vv14 and 23