Summary: A message about the inspiration, sufficiency and purposes of Holy Scripture.
“The Word of God Written: The Might of His Word”
The Rev’d Quintin Morrow
Preached at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Fort Worth
January 13, 2002
Let us pray: “Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,One God, for ever and ever. AMEN.”
Yes that’s the book for me.
I stand alone on the Word of God.
I sang the words of that song growing up in Sunday School. Perhaps many of you here did as well. It is a song which proclaims, albeit in a child-like manner, the absolute trustworthiness, sufficiency and reliability of God’s Word, the Bible. It is too bad that more of us don’t carry the convictions of that song with us into adult- hood. Yet, statistics indicate that we don’t.
For, while the Bible is the most translated book in history (with it being translated into well over 1,000 different languages) and while the Bible is the best-selling book in history, with over 30,000,000 being sold annually, surveys indicate that Americans, at least, don’t read the Bible very much, and believe what is says even less.
Statistics indicate that less than 20% percent of Americans who claim to be Christians read the Bible daily. Statistics indicate that fewer and fewer Americans believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong, though the Bible clearly says it is. Fewer and fewer Americans believe that there is objective truth, though the Bible claims to be that. Fewer and fewer Americans believe that abortion is the taking of innocent human life, though the Bible says it is. Burglary is up. Murder is up. Divorce is up. Domestic violence is up. And the Bible has strong words of condemnation against all of those things.
So how may we account for the fact that Bible sales are up, but evil and vice in our land are also up? The answer must be that people either don’t know, or don’t believe, what the Bible claims to be—namely, the very Word of Almighty God.
Today we are beginning a 3 part sermon series on God’s Word, the Bible. We will be focusing in this short series on 3 crucial aspects of God’s self-revelation to us in the Holy Scriptures. Firstly, we will be examining God’s Word written: The Might of God’s Word. Secondly we will look at the importance of preaching next week in God’s Word proclaimed: The primacy of preaching. And Finally we will look at God’s Word received: Being Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only.
Today we will be examining God’s Word written, the Bible. Our text this morning is II Timothy 3:14-17.
But continue thou in the things thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Tim. 3:14-17).
In this familiar passage of Scripture St. Paul instructs young Timothy, a new pastor and his son in the faith, about the Gospel. He warns him about the godlessness of the last days and admonishes him to stay constantly in the Scriptures, which, the apostle says, “are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ”; and where elsewhere he says are able to save both Timothy and his hearers.
First, notice the claim the Apostle makes for Scripture. Look at verse 16: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. All Scripture is inspired by God, Paul says.
Notice first the all. The word “all” in English is what is known as a “universal inclusive.” That means, everything included in a particular category. In this case, the “all” refers to the written Word of God, the Bible. “All Scripture” means all of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments; all that which God has spoken and been inscripturated, or written down, is considered Scripture and therefore inspired God.
The Greek word Paul uses to describe the Scriptures as “given by inspiration of God” is the word theopneustos. Theopneustos is a conglomeration of two other Greek words: Theos, meaning “God.” Theos is where we get our English word “theology” from. And the word pneuma, meaning “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” You men here who have used a pneumatic drill will know that a pneumatic drill is a drill driven by air. Literally translated, the Greek word theopneustos means “God-breathed.” All Scripture is literally “God-breathed.”