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Summary: Spending time reading and studying the Word of God transforms us into followers of Jesus.

Why Is the Bible So Important?

Texts: 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12-13; Rom. 15:4

Introduction

1. I believe that the two biggest problems with the Church in America today are: 1) We don’t pray enough, and 2) We don’t read the Bible enough.

2. Illustration: Here are some things that have been said about the Bible over the years:

a. Someone once said: A Bible in the hand is worth two in the bookcase. - And someone else said: A Bible stored in the mind is worth a dozen stored in the bottom of one’s trunk. -

b. Here’s a pop quiz: Which of the following aren’t in the Bible? -Cleanliness is next to godliness - God helps those who help themselves - Confession is good for the soul - We are as prone to sin as sparks fly upward - Money is the root of all evil - Honesty is the best policy. Though these are all true, or partially true, none of them is in the Bible. We have learned to treat man’s opinions with as much respect as the Bible. -

c. DL Moody said: “The scriptures were not given for our information but our transformation.” -

d. Mark Twain, not exactly a die-hard Christian, wrote these words: “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me most are those I do understand.” -

e. No matter how many times you have been through it, let it go through you. - God’s word is like salt in the back of your car in the winter. It’s a lot more useful when you take it out and apply it. -

f. We get more out of the Bible when we let it get into us.

3. In America we have more versions, study bibles and resources available to us then anywhere in the world, and yet statistics show that we read less than many other countries.

4. The Bible is important because it:

a. Equips Us

b. Exposes Us

c. Encourages Us

5. Read 2 Tim. 3:16-17

Proposition: Spending time reading and studying the Word of God transforms us into followers of Jesus

Transition: First of all...

I. The Bible Equips Us (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

A. God Uses It to Prepare and Equip

1. The first thing that Paul tells us about the Bible is that "All Scripture is inspired by God..."

a. By all Scripture Paul was definitely talking about the Old Testament, since both he and his audience would have understood his statement that way.

b. However, he also would have considered some of his writings as well as the writings of the other Apostles as Scripture too.

c. 2 Peter 3:16 (NLT)

speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

d. So when we talk about reading the Bible we must realize that we cannot leave out any part of it because all of it is the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation.

2. But what does Paul mean when he says that it is inspired?

a. He means that "All Scripture is God-breathed."

b. That is exactly what the Greek says. The adjective (only here in the NT) is compounded of theos, "God," and the verb pneo, "breathe."

c. This is one of the greatest texts in the NT on the inspiration of the Bible (Earl, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM:2 Timothy).

d. This is a statement of its origin (Towner, IVPNT Commentary: 2 Timothy, 200).

e. The fact that Scripture is inspired by God (literally God-breathed, breathed out by God’s own speech) does not negate the active involvement of the human authors.

f. But it does affirm that God is fully responsible for his word. Scripture is true, reliable, authoritative, permanent, and powerful because it comes from God himself (NLT Study Bible).

g. The reason that the Bible is important more than any other reason is because it is God’s Word to us.

h. I think that John Calvin put it well when he said, "This is a principle which distinguishes our religion from all others, that we know that God has spoken to us, and are fully convinced that the prophets did not speak at their own suggestion, but that, being organs of the Holy Spirit, they only uttered what they had been commissioned from heaven to declare (Calvin’s Commentaries Online, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom43.iv.iv.iii.html).

3. Paul continues by saying, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives."

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