Summary: A manual details what is given and what is required, explains how to put the presented information into practice, and instructs how to solve problems as they occur. God has given His disciples a manual called the Holy Bible, a guide for life.
The Disciple's Manual
A manual as a comprehensive and step-by-step guide on a particular topic for both beginners and experienced practitioners that also serves as a reference book. A manual details what is given and what is required, explains how to put the presented information into practice, and instructs how to solve problems as they occur. Another word often used for a manual is a handbook. God has given His disciples a manual, the Bible. It is our instruction manual. It is our handbook, our guide for life. Things in our lives, our families, our churches go wrong when we fail to follow the manual. James tells us in James 1:21 that we to receive or welcome into our hearts the Bible for it is able to save our souls.
I. The Neglect of the Bible
A. The best-selling book of all time is the Bible. Ninety-two percent of American households claim to own at least one Bible. When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll. The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.
B. While 92% may own a Bible, only 9% of Americans read the Bible daily. Among professed Christians that number rises only slightly.
C. Matthew 22:29 " Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."
D. Neglecting the Bible results in an lack of knowledge of God's precepts.
E. It results in an ignorance of Bible Characters and their stories as given in the Bible. Someone said many don't know Hosea from Hezekiah. There is a susceptibility to erroneous characterizations of biblical people and accounts - e.g. the Hollywood film Noah where "artistic license" deviates from the core Biblical message and replaces it with a modernistic, humanistic and false portrayal of a historical event.
F. Neglect of the Word results in people being ignorant of God's Power. Dr Phillip Paschal, Pastor of Mt Olive Baptist Church, has said, " out of all the words known to man, there is nothing more powerful than the Word of God. Philosophy, with it unending questions, fails in its comparison to the Word of God. Science, with its concepts and fundamental beliefs, does not measure up to the Word of God. If you take all of the prominent speakers from all ages, and compare what they have said to what God has said, their words will be as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. There has never been an individual or group whose words carry more authority than God’s." - Paschal, The Power of God's Word
G. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
H. Neglect of the Word results in people being ignorant to God's Program. Those neglecting God's Word fail to have a clear understanding of what the Great Commission and discipleship is all about. They become targets of erroneous teachings like the prosperity gospel and the emergent church.
I. Those neglecting the Bible are often, as Ephesians 4:14 states, "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting."
J. The major cause of neglecting one's Bible is misplaced priorities. Matthew 6:33 " But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
II. The Nature of the Bible
A. 2 Timothy 3:16a " All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."
B. All - that is every individual portion of scripture is God breathed.
C. The Spirit of God rested on and in the writers of our bible and spoke through them so that their words did not come from themselves, but from the very mouth of God.
D. 2 Peter 1:21 " For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved (borne along) by the Holy Ghost."
E. Over 3800 times the scriptures refer to themselves as the words of God. As such the Scriptures are the voice of God to hearts and souls of men.
F. As the holy inspired Word of God, the Bible is the final standard of truth for all of mankind.
1. Truth - in John 17:17 Jesus Christ referencing the Scriptures while praying said " “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth."