Summary: The Bible is able to meet all of life’s needs, but we must be convinced of it’s benefits before we will study it seriously.
Savoring The Word of God
Purpose: To show the sufficiency of Scripture to meet our needs.
Aim: I want the listener to search the Scripture like their spiritual lives depended upon it.
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 impostors [which is evil dressed in religion]
Vs.10-13D. Practice the spiritual disciplines
Vs.14-17E. Follow the Scripture
Vs.14a 1. Have a commitment to Scripture “continue in the things you have learned”
Vs.14b 2. Have a conviction about Scripture “become convinced of”
Vs.14c-15a 3. See the change that Scripture makes “from whom you have learned them”
Vs.15b 4. Remember the change Scripture made in you “wisdom that leads to salvation”
INTRODUCTION: Suppose in this morning’s announcements that I invited you to a “Trench Party” to held in the church’s back yard at 6 pm tomorrow. Shovels will be provided and we are going to dig a trench that is 100’ feet long, 5’ deep and 4’ wide. How many would show up to dig? Not many, I’m sure. But thousands of trenches have been enthusiastically dug by hand, they were called fox holes. Why did they do it? They saved their lives.
Only combat soldiers care about digging fox holes. They care because they know that their lives may depend upon that hole in the ground. Digging is hard work and we will not dig into God’s Word until we know that it will save us. Besides saving us from an eternity in hell, it can save us from many hurtful and foolish actions as well as enabling us to please God. “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19 NAU)
✔ Until you sense the darkness you will not search for the light.
Paul now gives us two more wide-ranging reasons for staying glued to the Scripture.
Vs.16 5. Understand the advantages of Scripture
1. The Scripture is from God “inspired by God”
We are handling a holy book. We ignore it at our own peril.
2 Peter 1:20-21 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (NAU)
INSPIRED means “God-breathed.” God has spoken to us through this book.
Charles Spurgeon declared, “If God has spoken, listen! If God has recorded his words in a Book, search its pages with a believing heart. If you do not accept it as God’s inspired word, I cannot invite you to pay any particular attention to it; but if you regard it as the Book of God, I charge you, as I shall meet you at the judgement seat of Christ, study the Bible daily. Treat not the Eternal God with disrespect, but delight in His Word.”
2. The Scripture is able to help us “and profitable”
✔ Understanding the Scripture without applying the Scripture is a waste of time.
Psalm 119:97-105 97 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. 102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, For You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (NAU)
We must learn to apply the Scripture to our everyday lives. It is easy to apply the Bible to others, and it is easy to skip over the parts of the Bible that really need to be applied.
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing.” - Martin Luther Apply the Bible to yourself even when it hurts.