Summary: This is the second message in a series on basic Christian doctrine. It provides the foundation for a proper view of God’s Word. (04-25-04)
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Truth Detectors [Episode 1]
Message 2 - “The Truth About the Bible”
Opening Illustration / Participation
This illustration helps the congregation experience both a visual and auditory demonstration of unity.
Have the people put down everything they are holding and ask them to pay close attention. First, have them applaud and clap … pointing out the random nature of the noise. Have them stand and hold out their hands in front of them, palms facing one another ready to clap. Count for them, “One, two, clap!” On the word, “clap,” the entire group should clap … making a single, loud clapping sound. Repeat the exercise until the entire group makes a single, unified sound. Clap for them, recognizing their good job … then ask them to be seated.
Taken from Bore No More (Volume 2): Creative Ways to Involve Your Audience in Bible Learning, Loveland, Colorado: Group Publishing, 1999; p.63.
What you just heard was a demonstration of unity. We all worked together, in unity, to make a single sound. Friends, unity is of the utmost importance in the church. When there is no unity, there is division … and where there is division, sin reigns in the church. We must seek to have unity in the body.
This unity is particularly important with regard to doctrine … with the essential basics of the faith. That’s why we began with a unity demonstration today. When it comes to our basic core beliefs, we must have unity. Anything short of that is not acceptable. This brings us to our starting point today …
In essential beliefs we have unity.
There are some things which cannot be compromised. We must have unity in these areas. Our essential beliefs are defined in our Statement of Faith.
Our Statement Regarding the Bible (taken from our 101 Discovery Materials)
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human writers, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
**This Book is the Word of God … spoken, written, and preserved for us!
The passage that we’re going to look at today is in the book of 2 Timothy. Paul wrote this letter from prison. Many people call this letter his “famous last words” … he knew that he was going to die. He wrote to encourage the young pastor friend of his named Timothy. He called Timothy, “my son.” They were obviously very close. He encouraged Timothy to follow his own (Paul’s) example, to be on the lookout for false teachers, to stand strong in the faith, and rely on God’s Word. (2 Timothy 3:10-13). And some of the most profound, life-changing, statements regarding the Bible … the Word of God … are found right here in 2 Timothy 3:14-17. (Read the Scripture.)
The new minister was asked to teach a boys’ class in the absence of the regular teacher. He decided to see what they knew, so he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied having done it, and the preacher was appalled by their ignorance. At the next deacons’ meeting he told about the experience. "Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho," he lamented. The group was silent until finally one seasoned veteran of disputes spoke up. "Preacher, this appears to be bothering you a lot. But I’ve known all those boys since they were born and they’re good boys. If they said they didn’t know, I believe them. Let’s just take some money out of the repair and maintenance fund, fix the walls, and let it go at that."
From Christianglobe.com sermon illustrations, BIBLE, Ignorance of, http://www.christianglobe.com/Illustrations/theDetails.asp?whichOne=b&whichFile=bible_ignorance_of .
That a silly little story, but it illustrates a tragic state of biblical ignorance in the American church today which has resulted in so many Christians following after lies. If we are going to be Truth Detectors, then we must be a people of the Word … which brings us to our first Bible truth …
1. You must faithfully study the Bible. (v. 14)
There can be absolutely no doubt about this basic truth. Sadly, the people in our churches are largely ignorant about the Bible and how to properly interpret it. Instead of beginning with the Bible and seeking to make their lives conform to it’s teaching, they begin with their own lives and try to make the Bible fit them. They interpret the Bible according to their own needs … and they won’t hesitate to throw out entire parts of the Bible if they make them uncomfortable. How else could supposedly Christian people support the murder of abortion, or the acceptance of adultery, or the ordaining of homosexual ministers and priests. Ignorance of the Word is the cause. We must study the Bible. We must also affirm that …