More Than A Book
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Brigham Bryant was just a ten year old school boy, but in 2002, he discovered an ancient treasure. He had long admired the dusty painting hanging behind the librarian’s desk at his Connecticut school. It had hung there for seventy years without much notice, but Brigham’s curiosity led to the discovery of this ancient treasure.
One day he told his father about this painting that he loved. The description piqued his father’s interest. He went to see it for himself. Although dark and dingy from years of neglect, Brigham’s father discovered it to be a masterpiece by Walter Crane.
This fixture in the school library, ignored by most who visited, turned out to be worth over a million dollars. (April 16, 2002 - source: Reuters/Rense.com)
That story reminds me of the discoveries on the “Antique Roadshow”. Have you seen this PBS hit, which features everyday people who ask experts to determine the value of their family heirlooms? “This bowl has been in my family for generations. My grandmother brought it with her when she immigrated from Europe.” The expert examines the glazing, the shape, the markings on the bottom and then pronounces its value. “This is no ordinary bowl. It’s worth one thousand dollars!”
Makes you want to dig through your kitchen cabinets and find out if you have any ancient treasures hiding there. Let me give you some advice. If your bowls say “Rubbermaid” on the bottom, they are not ancient treasures.
You may not have valuable antiques in your living room or masterpieces hanging on your walls, but each of you has an invaluable ancient treasure. It’s on your book shelves, or lying on your bedside table. It’s probably lying beside you right now. Go ahead and pick it up- that Bible of yours. It doesn’t matter if it’s paperback or leather bound, written in King James English or the language of the streets. Your Bible is a priceless ancient treasure and you should feel honored to possess it.
Christian Distinctives Review:
Conversionism—a belief that lives need to be transformed by a born again experience
Influence—the conviction that Christianity includes a call to social action for the sake of others
Biblicism—a particular regard to Scripture as the authority for Christian beliefs and practice
There are many people who will say that the Bible is merely a collection of myths and legends. There are even some who will say that it is made up completely of lies. And then there are those of us who believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are true and trustworthy because they are the very words of God.
Mark Twain once said, "(The Bible) has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."
The Russian Dictionary defines the Bible as a “collection of fantastic legends without scientific support. It is full of dark hints, historical mistakes, and contradictions. It serves as a factor for gaining power and subjugating unknowing nations.”
On the other hand, Woodrow Wilson once said, "When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God."
“No matter how secular our culture becomes, it will remain drenched in the Bible. Since we will be haunted by the Bible even if we don’t know it, doesn’t it make sense to read it?” MTV political correspondent Tabitha Soren.
The Bible is Inspired.
What does that mean?
It has its origin from God (cf. 2 Peter 1:20, 21)
“It originated in God’s mind and was communicated from God’s mouth by God’s breath or Spirit. It is therefore rightly termed ‘the Word of God’, for God spoke it. Indeed, as prophets used to say, ‘the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.’ (Stott)
It carries God’s authority
Laira leaves notes for the children. Her notes speak with her authority. They would not dare say – “You didn’t tell us.”
Because it is inspired …
“kai” is not “this and this”, but “since this is this follows.”
The Bible is Useful (Profitable/Beneficial)
Scripture gives us our standard – Restoration Movement Principle
In Washington D.C. there is a building called the "National Institute of Standards & Technology." This facility is responsible for storing perfect samples of weights and measurements. They have what are called “prototypes” of pound weights and kilograms. Measuring rods for feet, yards & metric measurements like meters. For example, they have a “Meter Standard” a reinforced bar of platinum alloyed with exactly 10% iridium. When they want to know the exact measurement of a “meter” they cool this bar down to 0 degrees Celsius at a sea level of 45 degrees latitude then they know they will have the exact tip to tip measurement of a meter. That bar is known as “prototype #27, because the original is kept in a suburb of Paris at the International Bureau of Weights & Measures.
We Christians also have a measuring rod that never changes.
It is our textbook. It defines our beliefs (teaching – rebuking)
“The whole Bible unfolds the divine scheme of salvation – man’s creation in God’s image, his fall through disobedience into sin and under judgment, God’s continuing love for him in spite of his rebellion, God’s eternal plan to save him through his covenant of grace with a chosen people, culminating in Christ; the coming of Christ as the Savior, who died to bear man’s sin, was raised from death, was exalted to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit; and man’s rescue from guilt and alienation, then from bondage, and finally from mortality in his progressive experience of the liberty of God’s children. None of this would be known apart from Biblical revelation.” (Stott)
“The distinctive mark of theology today is its dreadful ambiguity. The chaos of American theology today can be traced back to its roots in the rejection of biblical authority. Preaching is not the act of unfolding our personal convictions. It is the duty of informing people of all that God has spoken. To move off from the pages of Scripture is to enter into the wastelands of our own subjectivity. Scripture plays an important role in the salvation of men. The Bible is a divinely provided map of the spiritual order. It contains the directions and markings to guide a person into reconciliation with God.” (Clark Pinnock)
It is our guidebook. It guides our lives (correcting – training in righteousness)
Ten Commandments – contemporary debate about the appropriate display of the Ten Commandments on government property.
One man once said that we have 35 million laws on the books to enforce the Ten Commandments.
“The Ten Commandments may seem narrow, but so does every runway on airports around the world. Yet no passenger wants his pilot to miss the narrow runway and land a few yards off the mark in some field or waterway or row of houses. The narrow ribbon of pavement is really the broad way that leads to a safe, comfortable landing. So the seemingly rigid commandments guides us to happy, fulfilled living.” (Leslie Flynn)
Paul marries creed and conduct as rooted in Scripture.
“Do we hope, either in our own lives or in our teaching ministry, to overcome error and grow in truth, to overcome evil and grow in holiness? Then it is to Scripture that we must primarily turn, for Scripture is ‘profitable for these things.” (Stott)
Here is the rub – many of us know the TV schedule better than we know our Bibles.
… music artists and lyrics.
… stats for our favorite players and teams.
… we have done more reading on the internet or the latest gossip magazines than we have done in the Word of God.
… we know more intimately what Max Lucado, or T. D. Jakes, or Joel Osteen says about that Bible – than what the Bible says about itself.
… we have collected dust on our Bibles, and rust on our souls.
In the midst of the enlightenment, when deism was spreading rapidly, Voltaire proclaimed that within 25 years the Bible would be forgotten and Christianity would be a thing of the past. Forty years after his death in 1778, the Bible and other Christian literature were being published in what had once been Voltaire’s very own home!