Summary: Learn why the Bible is the most relevant book to mankind
Let me begin this morning’s message by reading an excerpt from Calvin Miller’s book, AN OWNER’S MANUAL FOR THE UNFINISHED SOUL (pg 51-52, "Scripture Man" - Scripture is another name for the Bible).
The Scripture or the Bible has been so misunderstood and misused over the centuries, that many people are skeptical of its understandability and usefulness. Bible-carrying Christians are often seen as narrow and outdated bigots in a pluralistic society. Some feel we should do away with the Bible.
An American visiting a village in a developing country saw a native reading the Bible. He arrogantly commented, "In our country, we don’t allow the Bible in schools anymore."
The native replied in broken English, "If no Bible, you be eaten by now."
This morning, we will begin a message series on what our church believes. Hosea 4:6 reads, "... my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." What we know and believe determines how we live and behave. And for the Christian, our source for belief and behavior come from the Bible.
So the first message is on what we believe about the Bible. Our Church’s first statement of belief reads, "We believe the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, communicated by God through spirit-controlled men, without error in their original writing, containing the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of mankind along with the divine and authoritative teachings for the Christian faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)."
You say, "Whooppie! But what difference does it make, what I believe about the Bible, when I can’t communicate with my spouse of 10 years? What difference does it make, what I believe about the Bible, when I can’t pay my bills at the end of the month? Or what difference does it make, what I believe about the Bible, when I already feel good about myself and my accomplishments in life?"
You may be asking a different set of questions, but you are basically interested in how the Bible is relevant to your daily life and challenges. I hope after this morning, you will know why the Bible is relevant to you, your family and friends.
This morning, we’ll be looking at 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Paul is reminding his protégé, Timothy, that the Scripture or the Bible played a central roll in his teachings and his ability to stand firm in the face of evil and hardships. Let me read 2 Timothy 3:10-17 to give us some context for our passage.
From Russell Ash’s book, THE TOP TEN OF EVERYTHING, he writes, "No one really knows how many copies of the Bible have been printed, sold, or distributed.... A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it close to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects. Whatever the precise figure, the Bible is by far the best-selling book of all time."
One of the reasons why the Bible is by far the best-selling book of all time is that the Bible is the most relevant book to mankind. From this morning’s passage, Paul gives us three reasons for why the Bible is relevant. Let’s look together.
First, the Bible is relevant to our lives because the Bible provides us with accountability to God. Verse 16a reads, "All Scripture is God-breathed."
The Apostle Peter said, "For [the] prophecy [of Scripture] never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21)."
Maxey Jarman asked in his book, A BUSINESS MAN LOOKS AT THE BIBLE, "Is the Bible the real word of God? The answer a man gives to that question can have a lot to do with his life. The kind of life a person leads, the actions he takes, the mental security he finds are determined by the basic beliefs he holds.... If there is a God, and if [the Bible] reveals Him to us, as it claims, we would be foolish indeed to ignore it, to neglect to know what the Creator of the universe would tell us."
Several years ago, I worked in a pharmaceutical start-up company. My manager’s office was about 10 feet away from my cubical. Each morning, she would Email me the experiments I needed to carry out that day.
One day, I decided to ask her why she didn’t just come over and tell me? It felt quite impersonal to receive an Email from someone who was only 10 feet away.
She explained, "Dana, I email you so that you would have a written record of what I expect from you. If I told you, you might forget."
When we read the Bible, we are not reading the opinions of men, the interpretations of scholars or the musing of philosophers. We are not reading words from authors who were looking to make the best-seller list. We are reading the truths God wants us to know about Him, about us and about what He wants for us. God wrote it down so that we would know what He expects of us. The Bible is relevant to our lives, because we are responsible to our Creator.