Summary: Part 3 of 5 part series on discipleship. It examines the importance of the Bible in the lives of disciples.
LIVING ABOVE THE FRAY
Part 3: Taking Up The Sword
Over the past month we have looked at how we can live exceptional lives. Together we saw that exceptional living doesn’t happen by accident. You must make a decision to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Becoming a disciple involves giving up some things, i.e. denying yourself. It involves voluntarily accepting hardship for the benefit of others, and it involves following Jesus.
Over the past couple of weeks we have looked at a few of the ways disciples follow Jesus. We follow Him, or learn from Him through being alone and quiet with Him, so He can speak to us. We also follow Him, or learn from Him, through prayer. Today, we are going to look at the third essential element necessary to follow Christ, and that is our Bibles.
Open your Bible this morning, your copy of God’s Word, and turn with me please to 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 10.
2 Timothy is the 2nd letter we have from a godly man named Paul, to a young man named Timothy. Timothy was a godly young man, who wanted to make a difference. Timothy wanted to live above the fray. When he died, he wanted to know that his life had counted for something.
So Paul, inspired and directed by God, would write Timothy, from time to time, and tell him how to grow and overcome the difficulties he faced. Paul begins the passage we just read by saying, “Timothy, you’re on the right path. You’ve followed the things you saw me do. You’ve held onto the religious training you received as a child, but there are imposters out there. There are fakes out there. There are people who say God expects this and God expects that, but they are lying. Here’s how you know what Jesus is really like and what He really expects.” Then in verse 16 we read, ...
My friend, you will not grow as a Christian, you will not mature as a believer, you will not build on stone to stand when the hard times come, unless you build your life on the Word of God. Fads will come, and fads will go. Things will be popular in church and religious circles, and then folks will change their minds; but there is one thing that never changes and that is God’s Word.
It would be easier for you to be a welder and have no metal, than it is for you to grow as a believer, without the Bible. It is easier to be a teacher and have no students, than it is for you to be a disciple, without spending time in the Bible. It would be easier for you to be a gardener and have no plants than it is for you to be a disciple who never opens your Bible. A Christian without God’s Word is like a carpenter without wood, a sailor without a ship, a potter without clay, a forester without trees; or an accountant without numbers.
Saying you are a disciple and yet never opening your Bible is like saying you’re a baker and never opening an oven. It’s like saying you’re a mechanic and never opening a hood. It’s like saying you’re a surgeon and never opening a body. It’s like saying you’re eating and never opening your mouth, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Christianity is not founded on a printed book, it is founded on a living Person; but the only place in all the world where we get a first-hand account of that person and of His teaching is the Bible. (Barclay)
Paul says in verse 16:
> 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.
In Washington D.C. there is a building called the National Institute of Standards & Technology. That 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. (SermonCentral.com - The Bible by Jeff Strite)
We Christians also have a measuring rod that never changes, it is the Word of God. The Bible:
Teaches me - it gives me correct information
Rebukes me - repairs my wrong ways of thinking
Corrects me - Corrects my flaws
Trains me - Trains me to make right choices and decisions