Summary: The Word of God is more than a good guide. It is our only reliable guide. How can we make it the center of our lives?
Savoring the Scripture
Purpose: To highlight the importance that Scripture plays.
Aim: I want the listener to determine to saturate their lives with the Word of God.
INTRODUCTION: America is having a junk food crisis. More Americans are overweight than ever before and junk food is primarily responsible. Surveys have proven that we would rather eat greasy hamburgers and Tasty Cakes than well balanced nutritional meals – and many of us have the waistlines to prove it.
America is also having a spiritual junk food crisis. The problem we are facing is a vast ignorance of God’s truth revealed in the Bible.
A new survey conducted by the Barna Research Group reveals widespread ignorance of common Christian terms. Researchers asked a sample group of 1,210 adults to define Great Commission, evangelical, John 3:16, and gospel. In each case, only a small minority gave accurate answers. Even “born-again Christians” had trouble answering.
Only nine percent of the respondents accurately defined Great Commission. About 75 percent of born-again Christians could not offer a definition.
• Eighteen percent of the respondents correctly defined evangelical, with 57 percent of born-again Christians unable to give a definition.
• Twenty-five percent of the respondents gave accurate or partially accurate descriptions of John 3:16, and half of the born-again Christians could not offer a definition.
• Thirty-seven percent of the respondents correctly defined gospel, and 16 percent of born-again Christians could not offer a definition.
• These terms “clearly do not convey the intended meaning to the masses,” concluded George Barna, president of Barna Research Group. “The fact that so few of the insiders understand the meaning of these terms also suggests that the Christian church in this country would be wise to invest in training people about the basic principles and concepts of the Christian faith.” [Moody Monthly, April, 1994, p. 60. 10,000 sermon illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Dallas: Biblical Studies Press.]
There was a Bible knowledge test published by the Vancouver Sun. Here are some of the answers given by people who said they knew the Bible.
1. Who was Noah’s wife? The most popular answer was
Joan of Ark.
2. What is the 7th commandment? “Thou shalt not admit adultery.”
3. What are the epistles in the Bible? The most popular answer was that they were wives of the apostles.
4. What happened to Lot’s wife? Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.
We might smile at these answers, but they show a real ignorance of what the Bible says.
We need to get off of spiritual junk food, and feed on the real and well-balanced meals that the Lord has provided. Too many are feasting on the entertainment junk food that Hollywood dishes out. As a result, we are sluggish and confused about how life works.
Truth, on the other hand, is always true. It is true whether we believe it or not. Truth is true even if doesn’t feel true. Truth can only be revealed. Truth can never be invented by anyone. Many people think that they can find truth by studying the major religions and then picking out the best in each one, but truth is not found in our wisdom. Truth only comes from God. So lets spend a few minutes discovering the advantages of feeding on the Bible.
1:1-2:13 I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
Vs.1 A. See the big picture
1. Jesus may come at any time “in the last days”
2. Serving Christ is hard “difficult times will come”
Vs.2-4 B. Identify evil
Vs.5-9 C. Identify religious imposters
Vs.10-13 D. Practice the spiritual disciplines
Vs.10 1. Faithfully pursue godliness “followed my...”
a. Learn the Word “my teaching”
b. Live the Word “conduct”
c. Know your goal “purpose”
d. Live as if God is right “faith”
e. Be patient with difficult people “patience”
f. Love all the time “love”
g. Never allow circumstances to stop you “perseverance”
Vs.11a 2. Expect opposition “persecutions and sufferings”
Vs.11b 3. Trust in God’s faithfulness “the Lord rescued me”
Vs.12 4. Remember that all believers have similar challenges “all will be persecuted”
Vs.13 5. Don’t expect the enemy to give up “proceed from bad to worse”
Vs.14-17 E. Follow the Scripture
In verse 13 Paul was warning us to not even think about running away from godliness so that our lives will be easier. ✔ “It is better to be persecuted for godliness than to have a fun time duped by the devil.” John Piper
There is an interesting contrast between verses 13 & 14. Verse 13 talks about “evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse,” PROCEED means to “to advance” or “go forward.” But then, Paul tells Timothy in verse 14 to CONTINUE which means “remain, stay, abide.” In other words, evil men are always advancing to something different, something new, something “better.” Timothy, on the other hand, is supposed to stay right where he is.