Summary: The first of a series dealing with the articles of the Baptist Faith and Message.
The Scriptures (BFM #1)
Text: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
By: Ken McKinley
Today we are starting a series on the Baptist Faith and Message. Now some people would ask, “Why are we doing that? Why go over the BFM when we can just look at our little tract and read it for ourselves?” Others might say, “Why do we need to go over all this doctrine? I would rather hear about how to handle the stress in my life, or how to be the best I can be in this life.”
The reality is that we live in an era of “How to” sermons, where the emphasis is often on making people happy rather than helping to become holy. A lot of pastors today would rather stick their finger in the air and check the winds of desire to decide what the “felt needs” of their congregations should be. Now I’m not saying that pastors shouldn’t be sensitive to the needs of their congregations, I’m saying that the topical sermon approach is not the way we should do it. Historically pastors preached expository sermons. There is nothing that the people of God need more than the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD. And that’s what expository preaching brings. That’s when you study, examine, and unpack a section, a theme, or a book of the Bible in its entirety and present it, as it was written, to the congregation. When you study the Bible in your private study time, you shouldn’t just pick and choose a passage here and a passage there, because you’ll miss important points. Well it’s the same when preaching. We have to preach the full counsel of God, even the difficult parts, even the hard to understand parts, even the parts that make us uncomfortable. (Now I’m saying this in a series that’s semi-topical, so please pray for your hypocritical pastor, tonight, but seriously, we need to go through this series).
The word “doctrine” simply means teaching (in its basic sense). When Jesus preached, He preached doctrinally. Turn with me to Matthew 7:28 (read). They were astonished at His teaching. Now it’s also implied that doctrine goes beyond teaching. It is teaching the truth of Gods Word and it is implied that those truths will be learned and put into practice.
And so this series is a doctrinal series in its most basic sense. It’s my prayer that through this series we will have a better understanding of the religion / denomination we hold dear, but also that we will listen, learn, and then live out the truths we cover here.
So let me begin by asking a question: How much is your Bible worth? A person can buy a bare-bones NIV Bible for about $8.00. A good NKJV or ESV study Bible will run about $100.00. The 1599 Geneva Bible (the same one used by the Puritans when they first came to the U.S.) costs about $400.00. And if you can find an original Gutenberg Bible you’re going to pay more than $100,000.00
But those prices are determined by men. They will charge more for the version, the type of paper, the covering (whether it’s paperback or leather), the notes that have been added to it (not to mention who added them), and then they total all that up and determine a price for the particular Bible you are wanting to buy.
The reality is however; that the Bible is priceless.
Let me tell you why
In the first point, The BFM says, “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man… it has God for its author.”
Now let me tell you, it’s important to know who the author of a book is. If you pick up a book titled, “How to make friends and influence people,” and you find out that the author is Charles Manson, you might want to put that book down and try a different one. Well the Bible itself claims that God is its Author. Our text says that ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration. But what exactly does that mean? It means that God so controlled the Biblical authors that they wrote the truth that God wanted to show mankind. But at the same time, they were still able to write in their own way, with their own personality and style. In theological terms we call this verbal plenary. Every word of the Bible is exactly as God intended it to be, and yet He allowed man to write it in their own writing styles and with their own personalities showing through.
So one question that people often ask is, “So how do we know that for sure?” “How do we know it was inspired by God? I mean couldn’t someone just say that? Why should we accept that statement?”