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Summary: The Bible shows us how to be saved and how to live

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This is a Plagiarized Sermon: Using material from Steve May’s Sermon, other books, God, and have even stolen some material from my own life.

Dusty Bible illustration (blow dust off of my “most important book”)

• The word Bible never appears in the Bible. It comes from the Latin word biblia, which means book.

• The first book Gutenberg printed on his newly invented printing press was a Latin Bible.

• John Wycliffe translated the first English Bible in 1382.

• According to a 1996 survey by the Barna Group, more than 90 percent of American households own a Bible. Only 31 percent of Americans read their Bible regularly.

• There are 30,442 verses—about 845,000 words—in the English Bible.

• The shortest verse is John 11:35 "Jesus wept."

• The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, a celebration of God’s Word.

• The Bible has been published, sold and translated more than any other book in history.

Bible Reading Increases –a better outcome than I would have thought

One outcome described is the small but noteworthy increase in Bible reading. Currently, 45% of adults read the Bible during a typical week, not including when they are at church. That figure represents a minimal increase over the past few years, but a significant rise from the 31% measured in 1995, the lowest level of Bible reading recorded by Barna in the past 15 years. The current statistic is still below the levels achieved in 1980s and early 1990s, but the report shows that the trend is upward.

The rise in Bible reading is largely attributable to increases in this behavior among Baby Busters and residents of the western states. In the early Nineties, about three out of ten Busters read the Bible in a given week; today that ratio stands at four out ten. Meanwhile, just one-third of people in the West read the Bible in the early and mid-Nineties, whereas close to half of them do so these days (47%). Not surprisingly, born again adults have led the return to God’s Word since 1990. After hitting a low of just 54% in 1997, the percentage of born again individuals who have read from the Bible in the past seven days has returned to a full two-thirds of that group (67%).

The group whose people are most likely to read the Bible during the week are evangelicals. Nearly nine out of ten (88%) explore God’s Word during a typical week. (George Barna Statistics, www.barna.org )

Why is that? Why DO people turn to the Bible? Is it even affecting US?

I don’t have data for that, I can only guess

 I imagine it has to do with the fact that the Bible gives us information and answers we can’t find anywhere else

Ortberg’s thoughts on “what I want to do differently” in the “Life You’ve Always Wanted”

 “Imagine having a mind cleansed of all the debris that blocks our best intentions.

 Imagine if each time you saw another person your first thought was to pray for him or bless her.

 Imagine what it would be like if, any time you were challenged or anxious, your reflexive response would be to turn to God for strength.

 Imagine if you’re a married man, that whenever you looked at any woman other than your wife you would see her as if she were your sister or your daughter.

 Imagine genuinely wishing your “enemies” well.”

He says: that’s what it would be to have the mind “washed with the Word.” To be transformed in our thinking as we combine God’s word with faith and action on a regular basis.

• Big Idea: If you take the Bible seriously, it has the power to change your life.

1. The Bible shows us how to be saved.

Background: Paul is writing to a young preacher protégé, Timothy.

 Timothy became a kind of “junior associate” (GW Hawthorne) on Paul’s 2nd Missionary tour.

 Timothy was like a brother, and even referred to as a “son” by Paul (who was single and celibate to his death).

 He was trusted by Paul and was vital to his ministry: we have read in Wed nite bible study that he was sent 200 miles to check out a church Paul had started, but was forced to leave.

 Was charged with setting order to the house of Ephesus

Philippians 2:19-23

Paul Thought of Timothy that way, but Timothy was not BORN a believer. His life was changed. Changed by the Word of God

2 Timothy 3:15

At least in pious Palestinian Jewish homes, boys were normally taught the “sacred writings” from around the age of five; teaching Scriptures to the children was commanded in the Old Testament (Deut 6:7; cf., e.g., Ps 71:17; 78:5–7). Other peoples were often amazed at how well instructed Jewish children were in their ancestral traditions. (Craig Keener, IVP Backround Commentary)

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