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Summary: Part 1 of a series focusing on how discipleship must be grounded on the foundation of the Bible. This message talks about getting God's Word into our lives in various ways.

The Foundation of Following Jesus

Part 1 – Intaking God’s Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17

January 9, 2011

Introduction

Today we begin a four-week series on getting into God’s Word to help us follow Jesus like we should – and that doesn’t happen in the lives of nearly enough believers.

My hope is that as we explore these four areas that God will really speak to you and move you to adopt a mindset that sees the Scriptures as being essential to living the life that Jesus blesses and uses for His purposes.

Why am I hitting this whole issue of getting into the Word so hard?

Because that’s what I’m supposed to do because that’s what all preachers are supposed to do, right?

Besides, the Gideons are here and I need to impress them that we actually talk about the Bible here, right?

God: The foundation passage for today is

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I’m not going to talk about everything this passage addresses today, but I want to use it as the foundation for what I want to communicate, which is the importance of getting God’s Word in our lives.

Some things to keep in mind from this passage that I want to mention briefly:

 Scripture is from God, not man.

That alone should be enough to make us want to make sure it’s part of our lives.

 Scripture is used by God to shape our character.

 Scripture is the basis for training for ministry.

Keeping these three things in mind, let’s look at three things that the Word of God can do to help us in our desire to follow Jesus 24/7.

The Word…

 Helps us learn about Jesus ACCURATELY.

The fact is that there are lots of different ideas about who Jesus is.

I tried to download a video from Youtube that had a kind of “man on the street” interview segment asking different people who they thought Jesus was or is.

Of course, you got a few who said things like, “He’s my Lord and Savior,” or, “He’s the Son of God,” and all sorts of biblically based answers.

But others were like, “He is spiritual concept for Christians.”

“I’m not even sure he really existed.”

“A made-up story.”

“A first-century philosopher.”

“I don’t care who he was.”

And right here in our area, you will find lots of different opinions about who Jesus is.

One of the ideas I come across around here is the idea that Jesus is this non-judgmental spiritual guru who loves everybody too much to send them to hell for doing bad.

Personally, I like that idea. It’s nice and comfortable.

Unfortunately, it’s not biblical.

There is also the idea that Jesus doesn’t really care what goes on in a person’s life or what they believe as long as they’re sincere.

Again, those are nice ideas, but they’re wrong. Why, because they’re not accurate portrayals of who Jesus himself said He was or what the eyewitness accounts in the gospels say about Him.

Folks, the Church of Jesus is filled with people who don’t know the Jesus of the Bible.

Their ideas about Jesus come from society, what others who don’t believe the Bible say about Jesus, what they read in Time, Newsweek, or U.S. News and World Report, what they see on the History Channel, or more likely, what they would like to believe, because it fits their personal philosophy about life and they don’t want a Jesus who would get on their case about it.

And these are the people you and I see every day.

The Jesus of society and convenience won’t save a person’s soul. The Jesus of society and convenience can’t bring the forgiveness of God and eternal life in heaven.

The Jesus of the Bible can – and will, for every person who will call on Him for it.

Folks, can you imagine the scene before God when someone steps up to Him and says, “Well, God, I thought Jesus was a lot more tolerant of my lifestyle, so you should judge me based on what I thought of Jesus, okay?”

I don’t think that’s going to happen.

God’s going to say, “I don’t care what you thought. I care about what I actually said in My Word – and that’s what you’ll be judged against.”

Folks, we need the Scriptures so we can learn about Jesus accurately.

We don’t want to live a lifetime of ignorance, because in this case, ignorance is not bliss.

When we learn about Jesus accurately, we can see His character, and we can ask that question I’ve been bringing up lately – “What would Jesus do?” because we will have a more accurate knowledge of how He reacted in similar circumstances.

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