Summary: The mission field use to be outside of the US, but now the mission field is in our own back yards. Teaching our congregation the basics of scripture will impower and enrich our faithful families. Let’s look at the basics of God’s Word.
This morning, we are going to tackle the second "Christian Survival 101 topic:
I fully recognize that we could talk about scripture all day long and still not scratch the surface of this topic. My goal this morning is to look at what scripture is, try to understand what Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy, and then figure out how to apply it to our lives.
When we talk about scripture, we are referring to the Bible.
Many people believe that it all began with Moses writing the book of Genesis and concludes with John writing the book of Revelation. Some scholars believe that the first book of the Bible was written some 1500 years before the birth of Christ, and Revelation was written around 95 or 96 AD.
The Bible is ground work for the Christian faith.
“This book contains 6000 years of recorded history. It tells the stories of the Jewish people, of the Messiah Jesus and of the early church.
It contains intrigue and romance, love and betrayal.
It’s made up of flowing poetry, gripping prose and soaring apocalyptical prophecies.
It’s not just one book it’s a collection of many books, written by many authors, authors who we believe were working under the inspiration of the almighty God.
But those many books make one book; a book that we believe was preserved for us by God for instruction, information and edification.”
The Bible contains 66 books and is divided into two sections, the Old Testament with 39 books and the New Testament with 27 books.
We say that the Old Testament is about the promise of Jesus Christ and the New Testament is the fulfillment of Jesus Christ.
Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
Meaning- God inspired people to record events in history and instructions from God for our benefit today.
Warren G. Harding said, “I have always believed in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, whereby they have become the expression to man of the Word and Will of God.”
The Bible shows us the great struggles of the Israelites as they roamed the lands of Israel, to Egypt, and then back to the promised land.
The Bible is also an instruction manual for each one of us this morning. God has inspired men to record the ways in which we should live and act.
For example: Proverbs says “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
The Bible is also a mirror.
For those who read the Bible, the scriptures reflect back to us who we are and where our strengths and weakness lay.
No other book has stood the test of time like the Bible.
Paul’s message to Timothy this morning would be his last.
Paul was in prison, waiting to be executed.
“Paul’s arrest probably occurred in the wave of anti-Christian persecutions begun by Nero in AD 64.
That crazed emperor tortured Christians by crucifying them, by wrapping them in animal skins and turning his hunting dogs loose on them, and by burning them alive, as human torches, to illuminate the games in his garden.”
The purpose of this letter was to past the torch to Timothy, to name Timothy as his successor.
There were many things going on at this point in history. Many Christians were being persecuted, and it was becoming more and more difficult to remain faithful to Jesus Christ.
But Paul encourages Timothy to stay true to the scriptures.
Paul says: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”
What is the importance of Scripture? Well, Paul tells us…
First of all, the Bible is God-Breathed.
It is inspired by God.
All of the words contained in this book are from God.
Second, Scripture is to be used for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training.
Scripture is meant to improve our lives according to God’s ways.
Now real quick, just a footnote or an aside, Paul doesn’t say that the scriptures are to be used for judgment or punishment. These are God’s responsibilities.
The question is, ‘what does the Bible have to do in our lives today?’ The answer is actually simple.
If you don’t read the Bible- then it has nothing to do with your life.
If you read the Bible- then your life will improve tremendously.
The fact is, more people own Bibles than any other type of book, but it is one of the least-read books in our culture.
God gave us this book for our personal use, to enhance our lives and strength our relationship with Him. But if we don’t use it, what good is it?
It’s no different that digging a hole. A shovel was invented as a tool to dig holes, but if we choose not to use the shovel and instead dig with our hands we become ineffective, our figures are worn down to little nubs, and we don’t complete the task.