Summary: All Scripture is God-given and useful!
Title: What Is It Good For?
Text: II Timothy 3:14-17
Thesis: All Scripture is God-given and useful!
In 1969 I was a divinity student preparing for the ministry and had a very high draft lottery number so, despite having taken my physical; I was ultimately exempted from the draft to serve in Vietnam. However I was not immune to the pain and suffering of my contemporaries who did serve and have never quite gotten over the guilt of having not served in Viet Nam.
1969 was also the year Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote a song for the Motown Label titled “War.” War was a blatant anti-Vietnam war protest song that was originally to be sung by The Temptations but fearing a backlash from their conservative fans, Motown decided to spare The Temptations and went with soul singer Edwin Starr.
The classic chorus, “War, what is it good for?” was a huge hit and became one of the most popular war protest songs ever recorded. However, following 9/11 it was placed on the list of “inappropriate titles” to be broadcast. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_(Edwin_Starr_song)
If we were to take the same question and frame it around the subject of Scripture asking, “Scripture! What is it good for?” how would we respond?
I. Scripture Brings Us to Salvation.
From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. II Timothy 3:15
A. The influence of Scripture (over time, i.e., from infancy…)
Note Timothy’s spiritual instruction began at infancy and continued throughout his childhood and adolescence. As a young man he continued to learn and grow into Christian manhood.
Apparently Timothy was the son of a single mom. In verse 14 Paul urges Timothy to continue in what he had learned and had become convinced of, because he knew from whom he had learned it. In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul wrote of the sincerity of Timothy’s young faith as he observed it first of all being lived out in the life of his grandmother, Lois, and then his mother, Eunice. That flame of faith that burned in the lives of his grandmother and his mother now burns in his own life. And Paul wants Timothy to fan that flame into a roaring fire of spiritual life and vitality.
In the earliest of biblical writings the Israelite people were instructed to love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind and with all their strength… and they were to then impress them on their children. They were to make sure that their lives and their faith made an impression on their children. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) It was the custom in Jewish homes to begin to instill the knowledge of the law into the hearts and minds of children at an early age and that same spiritual nurture and care of children carries over into the spiritual life of the Christian home as well.
The nurture of the spiritual life in a children begins at infancy and continues throughout their lives. And it begins with moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and loving aunts and uncles and with the support of the faith community and opportunities for learning in the life and ministry of the church.
And the outcome of that kind of impression and influence in the life of a child is salvation.
B. The effect of Scripture (wise for salvation…)
The goal is not simply to instill a bunch of spiritual information and spiritual values into a child’s life but the goal is that the child will one day chose to become a follower of Christ.
At 8:05 a.m., Saturday, October 9 a powerful drill fitted with air-hammers pulverized the last few feet of volcanic rock and broke into the chamber where the trapped Chilean miners had waited over two months to be rescued.
For two months professional drill teams had drilled and hammered and clawed their way making a 26 inch in diameter hole that extended 2,050 feet into solid rock to rescue the trapped miners.
The shaft was 26 inches and 2,050 feet long or deep. For days the drill teams drilled away… inch by inch down into the earth foot by foot until they had a shaft from which to raise the trapped miners in the Phoenix rescue capsule.
I like to think of that digging away in terms of the cumulative effect… inch by inch and foot by foot ultimately resulted in the liberation of the trapped miners. And it is the cumulative effect of minute by minute, hour by hour, day my day, month by month, year by year of the influence of Scripture as lived out and taught by loving parents and their support team that results in the child coming to faith.